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True Worship, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
May 11, 2022 4:00 am

True Worship, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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May 11, 2022 4:00 am

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Grace To You
John MacArthur

God will not accept people into his kingdom into his eternity into his presence who worship other deities. Anyone who worships false gods is excluded from entering into God's presence because that is acceptable worship. He will not accept the lesson here on grace do you accomplish is John MacArthur either covers biblical truths that are brand-new to you or he refreshes your thinking on a familiar passage or he helps clear up misunderstandings you may have on a particular passage or topic of the study.

John continues today probably falls into that third category for many people the subject as well as the title true worship. It answers a simple yet profound question, what does it really mean to worship God with that. Let's get to today's lesson here is John destiny is determined by worship who you worship and what you worship and how you worship is determinative and reflective of your destiny and we suggested to you that there are only two ways to worship really that will reflect your destiny.

One is unacceptable and the other is acceptable. If your worship is unacceptable to God, then you will be excluded from his eternal kingdom. If your worship is acceptable to God, you will be included. There are four kinds of unacceptable worship.

The first one is the worship of false gods.

The Bible is very clear that God does not accept the worship of false gods. God will not accept people into his kingdom into his eternity into his presence who worship other deities, whether they are deities of a religious nature or whether they are gold and silver in power and prestige and self anyone who worships false gods is excluded from entering into God's presence because that is unacceptable worship.

He will not accept that, and thus will not accept the one who offers now the second kind of unacceptable worship is this worship is unacceptable when it is the worship of the true God in the wrong way. God will not accept the worship of the false God and he will not accept the worship of the true God. If offered in the wrong way worship of the true God is very specifically established in Scripture and its mood and manner is equally specifically established. I very often hear people say, well, God, as I perceive them to be is such and such and such and such and if your definition of God does not square with the word of God, then your worship is unacceptable.

Even though you may identify it with the true God that leads me to 1/3 kind of unacceptable worship. The first one is worshiping a false God. The second one is worshiping the true God in an unacceptable manner, and the third one is worship of the true God in a self styled manner. What I mean by that. Look back with me in your Bible. Leviticus chapter 10 of this. It records for us a great event. Aaron was the high priest and Aaron had two sons, and then of course would be entering into the priesthood.

It was a great and wonderful day because this was their ordination day.

They had been allowed to accompany Moses to the holy mountain.

They had been prepared to be ordained to function as those who represented God. They had been part of that ordination of the priesthood. This was their first day really to be considered as those who would lead in the worship of God and it says in verse one Nate Avina by Hugh, the sons of Aaron, took either of them. His sensor sensor was that which was filled with incense, which was emblematic and symbolic of worship as it rose its fragrance as it were, to the nostrils of God.

It was like there worship pleasing to him, they took their sensors and put fire therein and put incense thereon and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not strange fire. Believe it or not, it may well be true that they were drunk. If you look down at verse nine. There is a warning immediately following that the Lord gives to Aaron, which suggests this possibility because he says don't drink wine or strong drink that out are thy sons with the when you go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die.

Now it may well be that they got a little bit inebriated and when they when they began to fool around and there do things that were not according to God's law for the priesthood and it says in verse two there went out fire from the Lord and devoured them and they died in a sad way to start your ministry. No started all God will not accept self styled self invented moods of worship. We do not worship God on our terms, but according to the terms of Scripture on this is little different in the New Testament if you will look with me at Matthew for a moment I'll show you. Chapter 15. This is exactly what the Pharisees did.

They tried to worship the true God with their own self styled system, not according to his commandments, not according to his standards, but according to their own inventions and of course the Pharisees had to develop this very sophisticated system of worship which was totally man-made and in the first nine verses of Matthew 15 you have a very interesting situation. The Pharisees say to Jesus why verse two, why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders why you are breaking.

Our rules are standards because they're not washing their hands when they eat bread and didn't mean that they weren't washing them for the sake of cleanliness, but that they were not ceremonially washing their not going through some ritual. Then he answered why do you transgress the commandment of God by your tradition as the issue they said you know worship by our traditions and Jesus that you don't worship by God's command.

You've invented your own system and that he gives him an illustration of it and then down in verse seven he says you hypocrites, you hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you saying this people draw near to me with their mouth and honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, for in vain do they worship me is useless, fruitless, pointless worship because they have substituted the commandments of men for the truth of God. Every time I see all the holy hocus-pocus.

It goes on and so many, many so-called Christian churches.

I see the substitution of the tradition of men for the commandments of God.

God says I will be worship in spirit and in truth, not through images or through rituals or through liturgies, but in spirit and in truth. In chapter 23 the Lord further indicts the Pharisees in Matthew and it goes all through a whole list of things but as one classic illustration of the folly of their kind of worship.

Verse 23 of Matthew chapter 23 says want you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for you pay your ties of mint and anise and cumin. That's herbs and plants and seeds if they had 10 seeds they'd count out one you known give it but you have omitted the weightier issues of the law, justice, mercy, and faith. These ought you to have done not to have left the other under so they had missed the whole point of true worship. They were straining at gnats and swallowing camels and they were hypocrites, cleaning the outside verse 25. While inside there were full of extortion and excess. And painted white, but inside full of dead men's bones. So what I'm trying to show you is there is a category of unacceptable worship.

You cannot worship false gods. You cannot worship the true God by reducing into imagery reducing into an idol, reducing him to an icon in any way and you cannot worship the true God in a self styled manner.

It must be according to the prescription of holy Scripture, enforceable, and I think this could kind of sum it up.

The fourth kind of unacceptable worship is to worship the true God with the wrong attitude you cannot worship him with the materializing of him into some image.

You cannot truly worship him with a self-styled way and you cannot worship him even though you don't have an image and even though you try to follow the Scripture. If your attitude is a right your heart is. So now we really finally write down. True worship we eliminate all the false gods we limited all the images of the true God. We eliminate all the self-styled modes of worship we come down to the biblically revealed kind of worship of the true God, but it must be with a true part, edited, and now we really get down to where we look not want take a minute to develop this to turn your Bible to the Old Testament the book of Malachi. The last book in the Old Testament and will work our way from there back deeper into the Old Testament to see this truth and I really believe this provides a death blow to all illegal is him and all ritualism, all formalism Malachi. The prophet indicting the people of God indicting them because of their sin, and he does so in many ways. In this marvelous prophecy. He points up at least seven sins which are monumental sins, of which there guilty, but one that's stands out and dominates all is that they were involved in worshiping God with the wrong attitude they were going through it as a functionary, they were just going through the motions in their hearts for the unit. They were just like the Pharisees really was hard was far from God, but just watch begin in verse six of chapter 1 and Malachi speaks to Israel a son honors his father and a servant his master.

Now that's a truism is that's an established fact. Nobody can argue that the sun normally honors his father, servant, honors his master. That's the basic principle if then I father and they couldn't argue that either he was their father, where is my honor and if I be a master, where is my reverence to the Lord of hosts under you. Old priests that despise my name would the priests despised his name.

Where is my honor. Where is my worship and was a priest say in what way have we despise not only what are you saying. How did we do we been carrying out our function. We been doing it all just the way the prescription says the prophet takes it a step further in person, ye offer polluted flesh upon mine. Older and you say in what way have we polluted the know-how. Listen to this, in that he say the altar of the Lord is what it means. The table of the Lord refers to that older the altar of the Lord is contemptible. What in the world were they doing.

They were treating their worship with contempt. It was strictly a function. It was strictly a routine. It was strictly a ritual. There was no heart, and they were actually bringing to God. That which was the least, rather than that which was the best they had contempt for worship before you pounce on them with both feet.

Before I do, may I remind you that having contempt for worship is coming to worship with any kind of a wrong attitude and it and what were they doing verse eight. They were offering the blind for sacrifice, is that not evil was well and they would want to bring in animal sacrifice to God. They bring a blind because a blind one was useless to them blindly would probably die anyway because he couldn't find his way to the food and they would just get rid of the blind animal that way and it may reflect the fact also that the blindness was due to some disease and so they brought a diseased animal I was the kind of worship they offered. Just give God what you can't use any and if you offer it says in verse eight, the Lehman, the sick, is it not evil off right now.

One of the governor try that when you go to pay your taxes and see if the governor will be pleased with the and except that you give me what you wouldn't even give the government and now I pray you beseech God that he will be gracious unto us this. This is been by your means will you regard your persons set the Lord of this is how you treat God. I think I can treat you these in regard you any different than you regarding he says in verse 10, you Kindle fire on my altar for nothing. There's no heart there is no spirit and I have no pleasure in you said the portables know what is. Neither will I watch the next word. What is accept an offering at your something's got more except he will not accept worship offered in a materialized way he will not accept worship offered in the self-styled way and he will not accept worship offered half heartedly for from the rising of the sun to the going down the same mine name shall be agreed among the nation and in every place in the sense shall be offered under my name and dates you are offering.

I do not want your impure, you know, when God told him to bring a lamb.

What kind of lamb with a brick without spot without blemish the best in the flock they were doing and responses you've profaned it. In other words, you treated as an unworthy thing you treated it as a useless thing and you said the table of the largest polluted its contemptible that they were treating the table of God with contempt, and in verse 13, Justin really sad statement and you've also said, behold what we're reading this and you sniff that it you brought that which was torn. Lehman, the sick, and thus you brought an offering. Should I accept this of your hand curse should be the deceiver who has in his flock a male and vowels quick to big Valley God plays spiritual fence sacrifices under the Lord a corrupt thing for I am a great King says the Lord of hosts in my name is terrible among the nation sources look in here, by the way to go holy backseat to verse six. He's indicting the priests. The priests were the leaders in the Senate and filled all way down to the people.

The whole system was rotten from top to bottom.

They had contempt to the table of the Lord in verse 13 I think is the key. It says behold what a weariness to them. The whole exercise of worship was just a big pain in the neck. What a drag. What a boring deal. What pain we have to go down there feel again loud just get rid of that blind lamb that Lehman and they went through the function and they went through the form but their hearts when it there was no reality there.

In chapter 3. They even went further verse 13 they got so sick of doing this that they finally began to just badmouth God, your words have been stout against me set the Lord. Yet you say you know is combat with this phony attitude.

What have we spoken against the what do you mean why would doing all the things the Scripture say what you have said it is being to serve God and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance and walk mournfully before the Lord of those. In other words, you decided that you don't make enough money doing that no profit or whatever terrible terrible at it and there was result chapter forces a day comes, it will burn like an oven been the proud and all the do wickedly shall be stubble in the day comes that God's will burn them up, leaving neither root nor branch.

You will tread down verse three. The wicked will be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I do. This is the Lord of hosts, and then verse 56 tells us about terrible day of the Lord in the smiting of the earth with a curse. You see, the people of God had come to the place where they were worshiping the true God in the true way with the wrong attitude their hearts. When just kind of look in your own settle worship false gods. That's good. I wish you true God, and I haven't really reduced him to some idle some image, some statute and I have sort of invented my own way of worship.

I'm not sitting on a mountain contemplating my navel.

I'm trying to do it by the book led by the word of God. Then ask yourself if your hearts. Ask yourself when it comes time to give you give the best best of all you have when it comes time to make your vows and your promises to God you making the promise that is the most reflective of magnanimity and generosity is your hearts filled with all reference is of it is the stuff you're going through is pointless and unacceptable. Look at Amos the prophet Amos that you find the same message and the prophecies of God to his people. But listen to what it says in chapter 5, verse 21 and this is really amazing.

Imagine God saying this I hate. I despise your feast days, I will not take delight in your solemn assemblies. I can't stand your worship 40s.

I can't stand your services.

I can't stand your worship activities though you offer me burnt offerings you give me your worship and you bring your meal offerings. I will not what's that word again accept them. They are not acceptable. I will not accept them.

I will not take the peace offerings of your fat these now there even given the good animals here there given the fact animals here and there doing in the right way externally, but he will not take it and he says in verse 23 take away from me.

The noise of your songs. I do not like your singing.

I will not listen to the melody of your hearts.

Let justice run down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. Your hearts are right you see there's no justice and equity. There is no righteousness while you're making all these offerings to me. Verse 26 you have borne the tabernacle of your mobile lock and key in your image is the star of your God, which you may do yourselves therefore will I cause you to go to captivity beyond Damascus is the Lord's name is the God of hosts, God's as I'm through with you because while on the one hand you, and you will you offer to me and you go through all of this performance of worship.

You turn right around worship false gods. You're so ingrained and engulfed involving the system of the world that this is hypocrisy and unacceptable backing up even further. Look at Hosea chapter 6 verse four Ephraim is synonymous with Israel and Judah is mentioned here as well. Oh, Ephraim, what shall I do under the old Judah, what shall I do under the it's almost melancholy in the part of God when my you do with you to your goodness is like a morning cloud like the early do it goes away.

Your goodness doesn't stay there for her. I have chewed them or cut them down slain them by the word of my mouth.

The judgments are is the light that goes forth why the securities I desired mercy and not sacrifice in the knowledge of God more than what burnt offerings there. We are back to burn offerings again. The act of worship. I want more than just a burnt offering, I want you to know me and I will reflect my heart and my attitude of mercy, but they like men of transgressed the covenant. There have they dealt treacherously against me goes on to talk about their iniquity and their pollution not just one scripture in this regard. In the New Testament. The seventh chapter of Mark left this point up Mark seven verse six and this is similar to what I saw earlier in Matthew 15, but I just want to point out to his. I think it sums it up. He answered and said to them, well, half Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Their heart is far from that is unacceptable and may I tell you this, people listen. If you worship false gods. If you worship the true God reduced to some kind of if you will worship the true God in a self-styled self defined way. Or if you worship the true God in the right way with the wrong attitude it's on accept on acceptable and it will affect your destiny. It will affect your soul because God cannot accept one who is unacceptable you just heard from John MacArthur here on grace to you. The title of his current study. True worship John, I'd like to go back to the beginning of the message where you mentioned four kinds of unacceptable worship you said there was worshiping false gods worshiping the true God in the wrong way worshiping in a self-styled way and worshiping with the wrong attitude.

I think I know how you're going to answer this question, but out of those for which one do you think is the most prevalent what kind of false worship are Christians in 2022. Most in danger of committing so I have to pick one. I don't know that I could isolate one, but I would probably land on worshiping the true God in the wrong way and I think well they worship the true God in the sense that they identify him as the God of the Bible, they don't really give him praise for who he is and what he's done because they don't have the rich understanding of his nature and his work that comes with a deep understanding of Scripture and doctrine. So yes I think they worship the right God in the sense that he's the God of Scripture, the God of his creator, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but they are incapable of giving him the worship he is due because of the superficiality of their thoughts. I think there is so much preaching and teaching directed at people and their wants and their needs and how they operate and how they can be successful and how they can be happy that much of even evangelical Christianity is man centered rather than God centered and people who are focused on themselves don't know how to worship you, you have to induce some kind of artificial worship. True worship comes when you understand God and in the God centered environment a Christ centered environment. There is going to be pure worship like you John friend to make sure your thoughts about worshiping God align with Scripture.

I recommend John's book none other discovering the God of the Bible. It's a biblical look at the amazing attributes of God which will bring focus and fresh energy to your worship. Purchase your copy today to place your order. Go to our website Jide or call our toll-free customer service line 855 grace the title the book again.

None other discovering the God of the Bible to get a copy for yourself for a few to give away visit our website Jide or call us at 855. Also, when you get in touch.

I would encourage you to write a quick note and tell us what grace do you means to you your letters let us know that we are an important part of your day and there are great way to let us know that you're praying for us. Our email address is What's more, that's or you can reach us by regular mail in our address here is grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson. Remember, grace to you.

Television airs this Sunday. You can watch it with your family on DirecTV channel 378 or check our website to see if it airs on a station near you, then join us tomorrow when John continues his study. True worship with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time. Grace

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