Worship

Worship, Part 2

The worship of God is not defined anywhere in Scripture. A close study of the subject shows that worship is not confined to praise alone. Worship, as an act of homage or reverence, may flow from the sanctified heart as we acknowledge God’s nature, attributes, ways, or claims. It may express itself as praise, thanksgiving, or in our service. 

 

The Worship of Believers

Introduction to Worship

A Prepared Offering

“When anyone offers a grain offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it. He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and oil with all the frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.” - Leviticus 2:1-2

“Thus the lamb and the meal offering and the oil shall be provided, morning by morning, for a regular burnt offering.” - Ezekiel 46:15

Revelation: Chapter 22

The Last Message of the Bible

Introduction - The Book of Revelation has been ridiculed by skeptics of all ages. Just as the Book of Jonah in the Old Testament is dismissed, Revelation has also been dismissed from the realm of facts into the area of fantasy. Spiritual man can only understand spiritual things. In Revelation 22:6, the angel who was introducing John to the final mysteries said, “These words are faithful and true.” One must admit to the profundity of the revelation, yet by faith we can trust, comprehend, and appreciate something of its grandeur.

The Wise Men

Matthew 2:1-12

Worship Calls for Divine Guidance

The Wise Men’s purpose was to worship Christ (see Matthew 2:2). God led these wise men; they followed the star and were brought into the presence of the Christ and then they presented their gifts. If we are to obey the Father’s wishes (see John 4:23), then we must be led by Him through the infallible guide – the Word – as applied by the Holy Spirit. 

John 16:13 “He will guide you into all truth.”

John 16:14 “He shall glorify Me.”  

Consider Abraham Here:  

First of all, God made known His wishes (see Genesis 22:2). Abraham, at great cost, carried them out. In the final act, he severed all fleshly connections (see Gen. 22:5) and then went on to worship. Notice that Abraham was going to worship – to offer his son as a burnt offering. Then, finally, he offered the ram as a burnt offering. In Leviticus 1, Moses, brings the burnt offering to our attention. This typifies Christ offering Himself without spot to God to do His Father’s will, even unto death. Then, conversely, in the same sacrifice God is well-pleased with His Son.

 

The Wise Men Received Divine Revelation Concerning the Birth of the King 

When the new star appeared they had to make a decision: Will we go and worship Him? Or will we stay? Their subsequent experiences show how worship calls for both concentration and determination of the will. On arriving in Jerusalem, they were treated coldly. “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?” they asked. Many were unaware of His birth, indifferent even, and Herod was opposed.

Worship

What is Worship?

    Worship is offering praise to God for Who He is and for what He has done for us—the greatness of His work. It is the overflow of a heart that has been musing on Christ.
    Worship is giving to God—not receiving from God, although it invariably results in blessing for the good.

 

Why is Worship Necessary?

    We were created that we might bring glory to God (see Isaiah 43:7).

    We were redeemed that we might bring honor to God (see Ephesians 1:12).

    God, our Father, seeks our worship (see John 4:23).

Examples of Worship: 

    - The worship of the wise men (see Matthew 2:1-11).

    - The worship by the woman with the alabaster box of ointment (see Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9).

    - Worship by Mary (see Luke 10:38-42).

    - Worship by the cleansed leper (see Luke 17:12-19).

The Lord’s Supper: 

    Remember Him: “This do in remembrance of Me” (see Luke 22:19).

    Show His death: “For as oft as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death” (see 1 Corinthians 11:26).

    Look forward to His return, “till He comes” (see 1 Corinthians 4:26).

    Witness to the unity of the Body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 10:10-17).

 

The Importance of Worship

The Feast of Tabernacles

This feast is both memorial and prophetic. We look back and remind ourselves of our redemption. “We have known redemption, Lord.” We also look forward to the perfecting of our redemption, the consummation of our hope and the sharing of Christ’s ultimate glory.

Let me remind you of something we mentioned earlier: Leviticus 23 begins with the death of Christ, the Paschal Lamb. Then it reminds us of the resurrection, and finally sweeps us on to glory. This would be a good pattern to follow for the Lord’s Supper. We should never leave with Christ on the Cross or in the tomb. We should carry from our worship the thought of Christ exalted, crowned, and glorified. We also should remember Him in light of His soon return. 

In closing, God selected the place where His people should gather to worship. He has made similar provision for His people in the 20th century, by instituting the Lord’s Supper. “This do in remembrance of Me.” See 1 Corinthians 11. At this weekly remembrance feast, worship becomes the predominant feature. We also express our unity in Christ, and our fellowship together in the bonds of Christian love.

Leviticus 23 is one of the most profound and comprehensive chapters in the Bible. It begins with the Passover and ends with the feast of tabernacles. That is to say we have first “Redemption” and last of all “Glory.” Between these two great truths we have some of the richest and most profound spiritual verities. In the context of our subject, the importance of worship, each of these great spiritual truths should be present to some degree as the Spirit leads. 

John 4

When God’s remnant people returned to Jerusalem to restore the divine testimony, they were spiritually intelligent enough to realize that their first act of obedience to Jehovah was to give priority to the building of the altar. The altar was their ground of acceptance by God (see Ezra 3:3). This was followed by the building of the Temple (see Ezra 5:16). Later, they built the walls of Jerusalem under Nehemiah (Nehemiah 3:6). 

This was the divinely prescribed order:

    - The altar and its worship.

    - The Temple with its regulated service.

    - The building of the walls, which was their testimony and witness to the world around.

This divine order did not change when the Church commenced at Pentecost. The believers followed it and prospered, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s Supper was the center of their testimony. In this, they acknowledged, first of all, the death of Christ as the ground of their acceptance by God. Secondly, they used the Remembrance Feast, as an opportunity to worship God. In this unique gathering, they acknowledged the blessed truth of the oneness of the Body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Thirdly, they broke out of Jerusalem, and took the Gospel to the regions beyond.

It is not coincidental that the early brethren were led to give priority to the Lord’s Supper in their gatherings. This was followed by the building of the “House of God” in the restoration of divine truths, long buried in the decay of professing Christendom. These spiritual exercises were followed by evangelical and missionary testimony throughout the world. Who can deny that their obedience to divine principles was greatly honored by God? 

 

Some Notes on John 4:20-24

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