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How to Worship (2)

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Notes & Transcripts | Handout
John 4:19–24 ESV
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:19–24 ESV
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Let’s think through this conversation about worship. The Samaritan woman recognizes the difference between Jewish and Samaritan worship: Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.
She knows the history of the Jews, she knows her own people’s history, and the difference between the two.
The significance of Jerusalem is clear in Scripture; it’s the place where God commanded the Israelites to worship and build the temple ().
The significance to Mount Gerazim to the Samaritans is a matter of historical fact. They believed that Mount Gerazim is where Abel offered his sacrifice, and where God commanded Abraham to offer up his son, Isaac. They believe that Mount Gerazim was the highest place on earth before the flood, and was not covered by the waters of the flood.
Jesus corrects her, but not the way people would expect:
John 4:21–24 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
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We see that the time is coming when worship will be not offered exclusively from any particular place. Since Old Testament worship was inseparably tied to PLACE, this is a shocking statement. Both Jewish and Samaritan priesthoods mediated with God on behalf of the people, the Jews truly, and the Samaritans falsely, according to their tradition. In both systems the people were prohibited from mediating on their own behalf.
First, the time is coming when worship will be offered exclusively from either place. Since worship was inseparably tied to PLACE, this is a shocking statement. Both Jewish and Samaritan priesthoods mediated with God on behalf of the people, the Jews truly, and the Samaritans falsely, according to their tradition. In both systems the people were prohibited from mediating on their own behalf.
Jesus corrects her, but not the way people would expect.
John 4:21–24 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
For Jesus to say that a time was coming when PLACE would not matter essentially disassembled each system and rendered each one pointless, ONCE the change He described took place.
John 4:21 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
Notice what Jesus says in : true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.
Jesus continues,
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father." ().
This is a more significant change than might appear. Jerusalem and Mount Gerazim were at the center of worship because of the temples that were located there. The Jewish and Samaritan priesthoods mediated worship for the people, and the people were utterly prohibited from taking any aspects of those priesthoods upon themselves. Each system of worship was very intricate and complicated.
So for Jesus to say that a time was coming when worship would not involve those places means that worship would not require a priesthood, dedicated mediators, a division between the priesthood and so-called laity, which simply means people.
Jesus continues,
“You worship what you do not know.” - the Samaritans worshiped God but did not know God. “We worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” ().
The Jews worshiped the God they knew, because they had received the Word and the Law, and God had revealed Himself in His Word. The Samaritans worshiped Yahweh, but not according to His commands, and so what they called worship was actually disobedience.
That is, true worship is personal and biblical. If what we do is only an outward activity, then it is not worship. If what we do is not according to the Word of God, then it is not worship.
In the Old Testament, God set a very high standard for worship. Let’s turn to . Here we see the story of two offerings, once of which God accepted, and one of which God rejected.
The first offering is described in :
Leviticus 9:1–10:3 ESV
On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, and he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. And say to the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the Lord will appear to you.’ ” And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and for the people, and bring the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.” So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. And the sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses. The flesh and the skin he burned up with fire outside the camp. Then he killed the burnt offering, and Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. And they handed the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head, and he burned them on the altar. And he washed the entrails and the legs and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar. Then he presented the people’s offering and took the goat of the sin offering that was for the people and killed it and offered it as a sin offering, like the first one. And he presented the burnt offering and offered it according to the rule. And he presented the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning. Then he killed the ox and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings for the people. And Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. But the fat pieces of the ox and of the ram, the fat tail and that which covers the entrails and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver— they put the fat pieces on the breasts, and he burned the fat pieces on the altar, but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses commanded. Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’ ” And Aaron held his peace.
lev 9
Leviticus 9 ESV
On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, and he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. And say to the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the Lord will appear to you.’ ” And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and for the people, and bring the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.” So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. And the sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses. The flesh and the skin he burned up with fire outside the camp. Then he killed the burnt offering, and Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. And they handed the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head, and he burned them on the altar. And he washed the entrails and the legs and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar. Then he presented the people’s offering and took the goat of the sin offering that was for the people and killed it and offered it as a sin offering, like the first one. And he presented the burnt offering and offered it according to the rule. And he presented the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning. Then he killed the ox and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings for the people. And Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. But the fat pieces of the ox and of the ram, the fat tail and that which covers the entrails and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver— they put the fat pieces on the breasts, and he burned the fat pieces on the altar, but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses commanded. Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.
It was painstaking; he took great care to follow every step. Three times we are told that he did what Yahweh commanded. Twice we are told that he did what Moses commanded (that command also coming from Yahweh). Once we are told that he followed the rule.
Leviticus 9:24 ESV
And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.
describes the second offering and the result:
Leviticus 10:1–2 ESV
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.
It’s all right there; we don’t need to even examine it all that closely.
Whatever the reason – perhaps they jealous of the result their father achieved – the two decided to, in modern terminology, follow their hearts, exercise their artistic creativity, and show some initiative. But God rejected their so-called worship, and put them to death. They offered up unauthorized fire, holding God in contempt, and suffered the consequences.
And the Lord graciously explains why: "Among those who are near me I WILL be sanctified, and before all the people I WILL be glorified." Worship is about God, for God, according to God's claim upon us. He requires those who draw near to Him to sanctify Him; that is, to recognize His absolutely authority and holiness and right to have His requirements met. To follow His instructions faithfully is to glorify Him before all the people. To ignore His instructions is to dishonor Him before all the people.
In response, they died in sudden judgment from God. They offered up unauthorized fire, that which God had not commanded, and suffered the consequences of their contempt for the God they CLAIMED to honor.
, that which God had not commanded, and suffered the consequences of their contempt for the God they CLAIMED to honor.
And the Lord graciously explains why: "Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified." Worship is about God, for God, according to God's claim upon us. He requires those who draw near to Him to sanctify Him; that is, to recognize His absolutely authority and holiness and right to have His requirements met. To follow His instructions faithfully is to glorify Him before all the people. To ignore His instructions is to dishonor Him before all the people.
Nevertheless, Jesus says,
What a relief that God changed His attitude toward creative, inventive worship practices!
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” ().
Or, did He?
That is, true worship is offered according to the nature and character of God.
God is Spirit. Worship must be offered to Him from our spirit, not merely in physical rituals and practices, but from the heart, soul, mind, and strength.
God is Truth. Worship must be offered in truth. We know what is true because of His Word, and so worship must be biblically sound.
True worship is personal and biblical. If what we do is only an outward act, or is not according to Scripture, then it fails to meet the test of right worship.
We know that the Lord's standards for worship are very, very high. In the Lord gives specific instructions to Aaron, and Aaron followed those instructions to the letter:
On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, and he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. And say to the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the Lord will appear to you.’ ” And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and for the people, and bring the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.”
He offers the sin offering for himself:
So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. And the sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord commanded Moses. The flesh and the skin he burned up with fire outside the camp.
He offered the burnt offering:
Then he killed the burnt offering, and Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. And they handed the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head, and he burned them on the altar. And he washed the entrails and the legs and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar.
Let’s turn to .
He presented sin offering for all the people:
Then he presented the people’s offering and took the goat of the sin offering that was for the people and killed it and offered it as a sin offering, like the first one. And he presented the burnt offering and offered it according to the rule. And he presented the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning.
He made a peace offering for the people:
Acts 5:1–11 ESV
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
Then he killed the ox and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings for the people. And Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. But the fat pieces of the ox and of the ram, the fat tail and that which covers the entrails and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver— they put the fat pieces on the breasts, and he burned the fat pieces on the altar, but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses commanded.
He blessed the people:
1
Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.
That was a successful offering. The glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came from the Lord and consumed the burnt offering.
As with Nadab and Abihu, the story is fairly brief.
God condemned them as a result. They literally dropped dead at the apostles’ feet. Why? Because their act of worship was a lie; it was as false as that of Nadab and Abihu.
But that’s just one story, right? Well, actually, a similar situation is described in . As Paul discusses the Corinthian church’s sin regarding communion – the Lord’s table – he says,
But tells a very different story:
1 Corinthians 11:29–30 ESV
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
1cor 11
We can conclude that God’s requirements for holy worship have never changed. But God doesn’t put people to death today, does He? Yes, I’m sure that He does. Perhaps not with fire from heaven, and perhaps not with a sudden death during church, but
Galatians 6:7 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
God is holy, beloved, God is holy.
But sin and rebellion remain under His wrath.
We no longer have a Law to observe, so how do we worship rightly?
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’ ” And Aaron held his peace.
Modern Christian culture equates worship with singing. What's the "worship time" of the service? It's when we sing, right? What is "worship ministry?" Singing. What does a "worship leader" do? He or she leads congregational singing. If you look in our own bulletins up to last week you would see the word "worship" sandwiched between "prayer" and "sermon." I've repented, and we now have "worship in prayer," "worship in song," and "worship in the word" listed.
It's a much shorter story, because Nadab and Abihu simply did what they wanted to do. They didn't follow the Lord's instructions, or Moses' instructions. They offered unauthorized fire, strange fire, worship that was not according to God's command. Instead of fire coming from the Lord to consume the offering, fire came from the Lord to consume the offerers.
Let me give you some thoughts.
Isn't it so wonderful that we are saved by grace and not by law? Yes, it is. But remember, the cross of Jesus Christ didn't change the holiness or sovereignty of God. The Gospel doesn't change God's attitude toward sin and rebellion; it changes the relationship between God and repentance, believing sinners.
Prayer is worship. Giving is worship. Using your spiritual gifts is worship. Fellowship in Christ’s name is worship. Encouraging a discouraged believer is worship. Denial of self is worship. Living for the glory of God is worship. Sharing the Gospel is worship. Teaching Sunday school is worship. Listening prayerfully and carefully to a sermon is worship. Everything that exalts God above all else, including ourselves, is worship.
It's amazing, but so many live as though the cross put an end to God's holiness, and left us to sin without guilt or fear. The truth is that the cross puts an end to the presence, power, and penalty of sin upon our lives, and establishes and glorifies the holiness of God. Even after Jesus' death and resurrection, sin remains sin and rebellion remains rebellion.
says,
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Someone might say, "Well, but God doesn't kill people for wrong worship in the New Testament." Oh, really. Ever heard of Ananias and Sapphira? tells their story. They sold some property and brought a financial offering to the apostle Peter, pretending that what they were giving – an act of worship – was everything, when in reality it was only a part. Both died as a result of God's judgment. Let me make this point: they did not die because they failed to give enough, they failed because they lied to the Spirit of God, and claimed to be giving so sacrificially and selflessly.
That's not the typical story, it's true; neither is the story of Nadab and Abihu. We have in the Old Testament and the New Testament both a picture of God's attitude toward wrongful worship. Wrongful worship ALWAYS deserves death. When those who offer it are not killed, it is not a sign that God doesn't care, but of His grace and mercy.
Worship is giving God the glory that He reserves for Himself in Scripture. It is aimed at proclaiming His eternal nature and holy character. It rejoices in His salvation and grace and mercy. It wonders at His power and majesty. It quiets before the reality of our own sin, and kneels in gratitude for His patience and kindness.
So, how can we worship rightly?
In our time, of course, worship has become an experience to have, and emotions to feel. But worship is the deliberate, purposeful exaltation of God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. Next time you have a strong desire to worship, go serve a meal at the rescue mission, or take your elderly neighbor’s trash out, or stop and pray for someone in need.
Let me give you some thoughts.
First, worship is not merely singing. Yet modern Christian culture equates worship with singing. What's the "worship time" of the service? It's when we sing, right? What is "worship ministry?" Singing. What does a "worship leader" do? He or she leads congregational singing. If you look in our own bulletins in the past you would see the word "worship" sandwiched between "prayer" and "sermon." I've repented, and we now have "worship in prayer," "worship in song," and "worship in the word" listed.
Worship is not a creative, inventive, free-for-all. He has revealed Himself in His Word, and so we have no excuse for failing to worship rightly. We know what He is like and what He has done because He has revealed it and recorded in the Scriptures. Worship songs must be subjected to the same sort of scrutiny as any other teaching.
I realize that many would say that worship songs don’t need to be held to the same standards as teaching. But do you know something? Worship songs ARE teaching. They present ideas and thoughts and doctrines and truths. Ironically, some would reject Joel Osteen because of his false teaching, and happily sing songs that teach the very same doctrines!
I’m being too literal, that songs aren’t teaching, after all, and shouldn’t be held to the same standards. But you know something? Songs ARE teaching. They present ideas and thoughts and doctrines and truths. Ironically, some would reject Joel Osteen because of his false teaching, and happily sing songs that teach the very same doctrines!
That’s why I am very careful about what we sing. When we sing we repeat words over and over again, using a melody that embeds those words into our minds. Shouldn’t those words be true and biblical?
Third, worship must be offered according to the Scriptures. How do we know who God is, and what He is like? We know from the Word of God. How do we understand God's glory and majesty? We understand because of the Word of God. Take a worship song, such as Amazing Grace:
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found; was blind, but now I see."
Do these statements agree with God’s Word? Yes, they do. We can see that God’s grace is truly amazing, that every sinner is a wretch before Him, that salvation is only by His grace, that sinners are lost until God finds them (not, as commonly stated, until they find God), and that sinners are not only spiritual blind but spiritually dead until they are born again and are given spiritual sight and life.
Let’s compare it to something else, the current most popular song on the SongSelect worship song website, What A Beautiful Name. Two lines in that song say:
"You didn't want heaven without us
Yes, the Word of God supports all of those thoughts.
How about these two lines from the most popular song on SongSelect this week, What a Beautiful Name:
"You didn't want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down"
Is there ANY indication in Scripture that God was dissatisfied with heaven, that it was missing something, that it just wasn’t right? No, not at all. In fact, quite the opposite. Heaven in Scripture is the place where God Himself is the focus of EVERY creature.
Is there ANY indication in Scripture that Jesus brought heaven down to earth? Absolutely not. In fact, Jesus says that His kingdom is NOT of this world ().
The sad thing is that What A Beautiful Name is not a bad song except for these two lines. I realize that many would say that I’m being too literal, that songs aren’t teaching, after all, and shouldn’t be held to the same standards. But you know something? Songs ARE teaching. They present ideas and thoughts and doctrines and truths. Ironically, some would reject Joel Osteen because of his false teaching, and happily sing songs that teach the very same doctrines!
Fourth, worship must be offered in holiness and humility, from all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Fourth, worship must be offered in holiness and humility, from all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Nadab and Abihu offered up fake worship; so did Ananias and Sapphira, and those who were sick and dying in Corinth. God knows whether we are worshiping Him in truth, or whether we are just honoring Him with our lips while our hearts remain far from Him.
For reasons I can't explain, the modern Christian world seems to think that worship songs can't be examined for doctrinal accuracy and clarity.
matt 15
Matthew 15:7–9 ESV
You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
says,
Worship is not merely singing. Worship is ascribing to God the glory He ascribes to Himself in Scripture. Worship is for God, not for us, and so worship is not about our feelings or experience. Worship must be offered according to Scripture. Worship must be a matter of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and requires genuine love and regard for the Triune God. Worship requires humility and repentance. Worship involves singing, prayer, holy living, faith, surrender, fellowship, and service.
The essential command given to Israel was repeated by the Lord Jesus:
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
deut 6 4
Deuteronomy 6:4–5 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
The worship God accepts is not singing and seeking a spiritual high, but the humble and grateful sacrifice of ourselves for His glory and honor. Do you want to be a worshiper of the One True God? Then worship Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, according to the truth of His Word.
Love with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your might.
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