WORSHIP (Part 2)

By Evan Pyle


We know that the Old Testament foreshadows that which is to come.

1 Corinthians 10:11:
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Colossians 2:17:
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

We see in the account of Abraham and Isaac many elements of the sacrifice Jesus Christ came to make for the sins of all people: God offered what was most precious to him, his only begotten Son, as a sacrifice. In this sense, Isaac foreshadows Jesus. But God intervened and provided a sacrificial ram as substitute for Isaac. Jesus is that sacrificial ram for us. There is more. Abraham foreshadowed and modeled for us who follow in the steps of his faith, the type of worship that God yearns for from his people. Abraham, in extreme submission, obeyed God, and in doing so proved God’s perfect will. God had already stated his will when he said that in Isaac’s seed would all nations be blessed. Abraham believed and obeyed. He knew that God would even raise Isaac if need be. When God provided the substitute, this proved God’s will.

Romans 12:1-2:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Our Father asks us for no less than our all, a living sacrifice. We are to take all that God has given us, the best and most precious gifts, and offer them in submission to his perfect will. Worship is our whole lives offered to God in extreme submission and extravagant love. Worship is our whole lives lived unto God. The result of a worshipping (submitted) life is transformation. Worship is giving all we are to God.

When we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, it is holy and acceptable to God.

Psalm 29:2:
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Another Old Testament “worshipper” was King Saul.

1 Samuel 15:30:
Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord thy God.

This is an example of false worship, for the sake of appearances. Saul’s false worship was in response to the embarrassment of looking bad in front of his people. True worship is a heart response to God.

2 Kings 17:36:
But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.

Worship is to what or to whom we give ourselves. The priorities in my life and the decisions I make are all a reflection of my worship. Worship is the place in my life where I exhibit extreme submission and extravagant love... whether to my lusts, fears, resentments, emotions, my bodily needs, or the Lord God. We are to have no other gods before him, for he is God and changes not. All other ground is changeable, shifting, sinking sand. Yes, man’s forms of worship are but vain:

Isaiah 44:16-17:
He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:
17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.

Much Christian “worship” today is divorced from Holy Scripture and is the device of man’s imagination and reasoning. He jumps, shouts, claps and sings himself into a frenzy. Or he meditates into a “heightened” emotional state. Just as the priests of Baal tried to elicit a response from their god through their much shouting, jumping, and frenzied antics; deluded Christians today are trying to get God to respond to their much shouting, jumping, and frenzied antics. He says, “I am warm, I have seen the fire, I feel good, so good!” And he does everything but offer all on the altar of sacrifice to his dear Heavenly Father in response to God’s goodness.

2 Corinthians 10:5:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Rather than basing our worship on the relevancy of the times, we must base it on the timelessness of his holy Word.

Jeremiah 7:2:
Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.

Finally, let us consider Jesus’ direct teaching on worship, in his own words:

John 4:20-24:
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Jesus eliminated the place (neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem), the race of people (true worshippers), and physical form (in spirit and in truth) as criteria for worshipping God. The only acceptable form is in spirit and in truth. God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart of man. He is seeking “such” to worship him. He accepts no less, and offers no other standard, than a living sacrifice.

John 9:38:
And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

When the saints of God gather to publicly worship, there is not a prescribed biblical format that calls for certain types of singing or instrumentation in order to worship properly. In fact, singing is not required to worship. The biblical requirement is a heart attitude of worship; one of a living sacrifice of all that we are to God. Christians who truly worship in their daily living will worship gloriously when in the fellowship of the saints. Worship is not a subject to argue; but a life to live, consecrated to him.



From the May 2000 issue of The Vine & Branches