Christianity’s ’MISSING LINK’
Do you know that if you’re saved, blood bought, through faith in the finished work of Christ, you are a worshipper and priest, able to offer up spiritual sacrifices to the Lord? There’s more....
IS GOD RECEIVING THE WORSHIP
DUE UNTO HIS NAME?
PSALM 29 :2 ,"GIVE UNTO THE LORD
THE GLORY DUE UNTO HIS NAME; WORSHIP THE
LORD IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS."
I have visited several bible-teaching churches and have found confusion.
They call a certain service,a worship service but the pastor gives a gospel message for the unsaved or he ministers to the believers. Now,is this worship? No, it is not. Then what is worship you might say.
WORSHIP IS THE FRUIT OF OUR LIPS GIVING THANKS TO HIS
NAME. (Hebrews 13:15). Worship is praise from us to God, while ministry is from God to us. There is a difference between a worship service, a gospel service and a ministry service.
IN JOHN 4:23 "THE FATHER SEEKETH WORSHIPPERS TO WORSHIP
HIM". Fellow Christians, please don’t forget that. The Father is seeking something. There is a lot going on today. There is a lot of work and far be it from me to ever minimize the importance of Christian service, but it doesn’t say here the Father seeketh servants to serve Him. It says here,
THE FATHER SEEKETH WORSHIPPERS, TO WORSHIP HIM
That’s what He would have-His redeemed people fulfilling this character of worship which was in His mind from eternity.THINK OF IT
--REDEEMED CREATURES, PURCHASED AT SUCH A COST BOWING
DOWN BEFORE HIM AND POURING OUT A FULL HEART IN
APPRECIATION FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE.
WORSHIP IS THE HEARTS OVERFLOW TO GOD IN PRAISE AND
THANKSGIVING. (REV. 4:10,11).
Because of His grace, we have the privilege of all being able to fulfill the place where God has put us. There is no joy greater than the place where God has put us. There is no joy greater than the joy of a worshipper of God. Why? Because the soul is occupied with the Divine Being upon whom our very life depends. There is no really enjoying life unless you are a worshipper of God.
WHO CAN WORSHIP?
Now in order to worship Him you must KNOW HIM. No proper worship can be rendered to Him unless you know Him.
The basis of worship is redemption. (Rev. 5:8-10) An unsaved person cannot worship God.
"THE SACRIFICE OF THE WICKED IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE
LORD" (PROV. 15:8) "BE YE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER
WITH UNBELIEVERS; FOR WHAT FELLOWSHIP HATH RIGHTEOUSNESS
WITH UNRIGHTEOUSNESS? AND WHAT COMMUNION HATH LIGHT
WITH DARKNESS?"(2COR.6:14) . Now, I’m not saying if any unsaved person should come to a worship service you should force him to leave, but his place would be only to observe believers worshipping the Lord, not as a partaker. So, who can worship the Lord?
And all believers are priests. 1 Peter 2:5 says, "YE ALSO, AS LIVING STONES,
ARE BUILT UP A SPIRITUAL HOUSE, AN HOLY PRIESTHOOD, TO
OFFER UP SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BY
JESUS CHRIST". When an assembly of Christians are gathered together for the purpose of worship, any brother led by the Spirit may be the mouthpiece for the assembly in praising the Lord, leading in a hymn, or reading a portion of scripture recalling what our precious Lord has done for us.
If there is a separate class of men set apart by human appointment for this, it would deny the priesthood of all. It would not be a sister’s place to be the vocal
instrument for the assembly. (1Cor. 14:34) Yet her meditations of praise in her heart are of great importance to the Lord, also. Israel’s worship was a formal worship-an outward worship-only certain ones could participate in it directly-the priestly household. It was restricted. Yet, God had intended in the Old Testament all were to be priests, a holy nation but they forfeited this place by worshipping the golden calf. (Exodus 19:5,6)
OUR OBJECT OF WORSHIP
God the Father (John 4:23) and God the Son (John 5:23) are the objects of worship but not God the Holy Spirit. (John 16:13,14). It is only fitting during a time of worship that we have the breaking of bread. (Acts 2:42)
The Father and the Son are the objects of our thoughts and mediations during this time.
This meeting is especially for united praise and worship
as we remember our Lord . The purpose of the Breaking of Bread meeting is "THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME"(1 Cor. 11:26) and "ANNOUNCE HIS DEATH" (1 Cor. 11:26) and on "FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK " (Acts 20:7)
Who administers it?
Any brother led by Spirit to do so. (1 Peter 2:5, 1 Cor.11:25).
How long do we do this? "UNTIL HE COMES" (1 Cor. 11:26).
The Lord’s Supper is instituted in Luke 22:19, expounded in 1 Cor. 11:23-34,
and celebrated in Acts 20:7.
OUR POWER OF WORSHIP
Our power of worship is the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 2:18, Phil. 3:3). Any ritual or preplanned order of service denies the power of worship. The Holy Spirit has power. "YE ARE THE CIRCUMCISION WHICH WORSHIP GOD
BY THE SPIRIT, REJOICE IN CHRIST JESUS, AND HAVE NO CONFIDENCE
IN THE FLESH". The power for worship is the Spirit of God. He is quite competent to furnish every bit of
leadership that is necessary apart from any precedent of men, or any formal appointment. The Spirit of God is quite sufficient. But, dear friends, if you are going to worship the Father-if I am-it must be in truth and thus how we need to know the truth about His
person and made known in the Person of Christ.
"FOR NO MAN KNOWETH THE FATHER SAVE THE SON AND HE TO WHOMSOEVER THE SON SHALL REVEAL HIM".
We must know Him in order to know
what is suitable to Him. We must know what our relationship is to Him, in order to worship in spirit and truth. If we are not enjoying Christ and the things
of God the spring of worship will be dried up. You may go on serving, but I’ll tell you it’s a lot easier to preach than it is to worship, it’s much more simple to teach than it is to worship. But the Father seeks worshippers and whatever is of concern of God should be of vital interest to us. And without exception every child of God is part of that priestly family and should be engaged in worship both individually and collectively.
OUR MATERIAL FOR WORSHIP
Our material for worship is "IN SPIRIT" and "IN TRUTH". "In Spirit" we can see the contrast with Judaism (2 Chron. 5:12-14) with the New Testament scriptures (1 Cor. 14:15, Eph. 5:19, and Col. 3:16). "In Truth" means we worship God according to the truth of who He is as revealed in the Word. (John 14:9)
Worship today is only to be in Spirit and truth.
And so, God does not in that respect use physical things. Instruments and choirs deny the material for worship. It’s a question of the reality of the heart, that which comes forth from the heart. I venture to say that you will search in vain for anything in the New Testament scriptures that will give you anything formal and detailed as to how you should proceed in a Christian service. We don’t even read of what the Lord Jesus said when He gave thanks at the time of the institution of the Lord’s Supper. If we knew, we ’d all be repeating is as a prayer, wouldn’t we? We don’t know a single prayer that the apostles made when they gathered together with the Lord’s people to the Lord’s name. Why?
You see it isn’t constricted within the narrow limits of a formal system
--IT’S IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH.
WHERE DO WE WORSHIP
When our Lord talked with the woman at the well she said "OUR FATHERS
WORSHIPPED IN THIS MOUNTAIN; AND YE SAY, THAT IN JERUSALEM
IS THE PLACE WHERE MEN OUGHT TO WORSHIP". She knows God should be worshipped. Now she glories in her fathers. She glories in antiquity.
Most people follow in what they are brought up in.
But dear friends, just following what you are brought up in isn’t enough. She doesn’t say a single word about what was the right place to worship. All she says is "Ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Are you and I concerned about the place where God wants you to worship? It’s not a question of what you say or I say or anybody else says.
The whole question is what the Word of God says. The Word of God is plain. Certainly she could find no text
of Scripture to indicate that they should have been worshipping in Mount Gerizim--the place where Samaritans worshipped..
Oh, you see, how antiquity,that which is ancient,
that which has been handed down from one to another
may get a grip on our hearts. I believe that under similar circumstances today you can almost see people using these same words.
Oh, I know that they wouldn’t talk about Mount Geriaim
but they would talk about this establishment or that establishment -that’s the way I was brought up and I don’t intend to change. In all solemnity, God has a place where He wants men to worship and His word shows what that place is. Are you concerned about the place that He has chosen? Are we sufficiently concerned to learn what pleases Him to stay ignorant no longer ? You see there is a guilty ignorance.
But nevertheless, our God is very gracious and He unquestionably recognizes all sincerity of heart. OUR PLACE OF WORSHIP IS THE PRESENCE
OF GOD (HEB. 9:24, HEB. 10:19) NOT IN ANY CONSECRATED BUILDINGS
We are to "WORSHIP THE LORD IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS"
If God is to be worshipped,
He must be worshipped in the beauty of holiness.
He cannot change those terms. It’s absolutely essential to the nature of His being that He be worshipped in holiness
Unjudged sin can find no place in His presence. And what is holiness as far as we are concerned. It’s the knowledge of sin and refusal of it. In Psalm 99:9
it says, "EXALT THE LORD OUR GOD, AND WORSH IP AT HIS HOLY HILL,
FOR THE LORD OUR GOD IS HOLY" He tells us here not only what the
character of God is, which must be met if we are to worship Him--HE IS TO BE WORSHIPPED IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS. You see, God has left some choices up to us--that is the choice of Where He is to be worshipped, He has not. Where are divine worshippers, where is the place of worship? In the heavenlies, within the veil. "LET US DRAW NEAR WITH A TRUE HEART" That’s one of the most important exhortations in the New Testament, "LET US DRAW NEAR’ and "IF WE DRAW NIGH UNTO
GOD, HE WILL DRAW NIGH UNTO US" . And so He would have His people, purged worshippers appearing before Him in the heavenlies, worshipping in His sphere. But you want to know what earthly place you should go to? It’s very striking the Lord never gives any indication in the New Testament of a physical location. In Matthew 18:20 He says, "FOR WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED UNTO MY NAME,THERE AM I IN THE MIDST OF THEM". Dear friends, the only place that you and I will find out where we should be worshippers together with the Lord’s people is to follow Him, according to the Word. And it should be a place where there is no human precedence for worship, a place where the Holy Spirit is free to use whomsoever He will, to offer up the praise of His people or to give opportunity for all to join unitely in a song of praise, those songs which we are privileged to sing already but which will ring throughout eternity, throughout heaven. It will be the wonder of the universe, "UNTO HIM THAT LOVETH US,THAT LOOSED US FROM
OUR SIN,IN HIS OWN BLOOD’.
This is true worship, begun, now and continued forever. (Rev.5:10)
"GIVING UNTO THE LORD THE GLORY DUE UNTO HIS NAME". Are
you doing that? Am I? "THE GLORY DUE UNTO HIS NAME" Oh what glory
is due to His name! You know He has a glorious Name, a Name beyond all competition. Now He says, "GIVE UNTO HIM THE GLORY DUE UNTO HIS NAME". May I say it again? You are not, dear friend, fulfilling the purpose of your being here unless you are GIVING UNTO THE LORD THE
GLORY DUE TO HIS NAME!