Another subject of controversy is the ability of humans, as individuals or organizations, to worship God any way we want. It seems every denomination has a different idea of how to worship God. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Does it really matter? Does God have any guidelines, or can we worship him however we choose?
In Matthew 15:9 Jesus said, But they worship me in vain, teaching the commandments of men as doctrines.
So, if we can worship God in vain, it DOES matter how we worship him.
In John 4:24, Jesus says, God is a spirit: and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
We’ll come back to worshiping in spirit, but first let’s focus on the second part of the verse. Truth. What is truth? Pilot asked Jesus that question, but apparently he didn’t wait for Jesus to answer him. In John 17:17, Jesus, talking to God, said, sanctify them through your truth: Your Word is Truth.
We must follow the instructions in the God’s word, the Bible, in order to worship God In truth.
Revelation 20:12 says, The books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
What books do you think are opened? Well there is a Book Of Remembrance mentioned in the book of Malachi. The Bible doesn’t explain much about it but, I’m sure it’s one of the books opened for the judgment, along with the Book Of Life. What other book could we possibly be judged out of?
In Psalm 40:7 the Lord said, Lo I come: In the volume of a book it is written of me.
In John 17:17 Jesus said, Sanctify them through your word…
In John 12:48 Jesus said, Those who rejects me, and do not receive my words, have one that judges them: the word that I have spoken shall judge them in the last day.
Another book we’ll be judged by is the Bible; The Word of God. So we need to follow the instructions in God’s book.
Revelation 22:7 says, Blessed is he who keeps the sayings of this prophecy of this book.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Paul said, You have received from us how you should walk and to please God.
Revelation 22:14 says, Blessed are they who do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
The instructions provided and preserved for us by God in the Bible are very important since we will be judged by them. There is a certain way to worship God, and according to Jesus himself, if we don’t worship according to these guidelines, our worship is in vain.
Remember what Jesus said, in Matthew 15:9. He said, But they worship me in vain, teaching the commandments of men as doctrines.
Notice that these were people who were worshiping God, but, they were following the commandments of men for doctrines. They were worshiping him in vain. The same thing is happening today. People are teaching doctrines, they cannot show scripture for.
In Matthew 15:6, Jesus said, to the Scribes and Pharisees, You have made the commandment of God of no effect by your traditions.
Traditions must be laid aside, when there is no support for them in the Bible. We can’t worship God a certain way simply because we were raised in that manner, if the Bible says otherwise.
In Genesis 2:15-17, God told Adam he was not to eat from the Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil. Satan entered the picture with lies and deception and the couple disobeyed God. What did God do then?
Genesis 3:24 says, He drove them out of Eden, and put angels there to keep them out forever. We can learn an important lesson from this account. If we don’t obey God and do according to his word, he can not let us into heaven, and just as all the wicked people on earth were destroyed by water in the time of Noah, the disobedient will be destroyed in the lake of fire at the end of this world. We must live our lives according to God’s Word, not the traditions of men.
Exodus 20:17, as well as chapters 25 and 28, show how particular God is. When he told Noah to build the ark in Genesis chapter 6, he didn’t just say build a boat, or build it however you want. No, God told Noah exactly how to build it, what kind of wood to use, where to put the door and the window, and he even told him the exact measurements to make everything. If Noah had decided to change anything and build it differently, the ark would not have saved them. Genesis 7:5 says, Noah did according to ALL that the Lord commanded him. So he and his family were saved. God tells us how we are to worship him, in his word, which he declares as the Truth.
Now to the spiritual part. In our original scripture, John 4:24, Jesus said, God is a spirit: and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
He was talking to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He told her that the time was coming when people would no longer have to go to a certain place to worship God. What did he mean? Look at what he told Nicodemus in John 3:3-6.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, Truly, I tell you, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.
John 3:4 Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I tell you, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
When we are born again the holy Spirit comes to live in our minds to guide us in the path of righteousness. This is being born of the Spirit. When the holy Spirit comes to live in us we become the temple of God, and our worship becomes spiritual instead of physical.
1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God lives in you?
We don’t have to go to a temple to worship God today. We no longer have to sacrifice animals to atone for our sins. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for us. He died once, for us all (1 Peter 3:18).
To be born of water is to be baptized in water (Romans 6:4). Jesus, as our example, received the holy Spirit when he was baptized (Mark 1:10, Acts 2:38). To receive the holy Spirit, we must obey God.
Act 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to those who obey him.
1 John 3:24 Those who obey his commandments live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
Obedience is essential to receiving, and keeping the Spirit of God (Psalm 51:11). Sacrifice is still part of worship today, though it is not animals we sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, through God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual act of worship.
So offering our bodies in service to God is part of worship. Praise is another.
Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise; the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Give to the LORD the glory due to his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Obedience, praise and sacrifice are key parts of worshiping God in spirit and in truth, both as a church and in our every day worship as individuals. There are other aspects as well; such as thanksgiving, prayer, giving, singing, etc. Bible reading is also a very important part of worship (Luke 4:16). God’s word has all the answers. It’s where we always need to look for the truth. We need to READ and STUDY the Bible to see what God really wants from us. By searching through his instructions, we can see how he wants us to act, and what he wants us to do, and in this, we will learn to worship him in spirit and in truth.
More Bible Truth For The End Time
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