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True Worship, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2022 4:00 am

True Worship, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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May 9, 2022 4:00 am

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If you come to church for what you can get out of the music or what you can get out of the sermon.

If you come to church for the fact that you'd like to get less this point because we are here to worship God. That's giving exactly what God considers to be genuine worship.

Find out if your worship qualifies as true worship as John MacArthur starts a study by that name.

True worship today on grace to you, John. This study is one that change the way I looked at worship.

I was thought of worship as something we do in church on Sunday and that seems to be the common view among evangelicals today when I use the word worship.

They're usually talking just about the music. As if that's all there is to worship when you speak of worship. When you teach about worship what all is included in that concept well.

Worship by biblical definition has two components. Jesus said you have to worship in spirit and in truth, so worship in spirit means that all my faculties, my soul my spirit my mind my will.

My affections are all wrapped up in expressing adoration to God. But it has to be embodied by truth through the years I have felt that worship has moved away from anything related to the mind to two pure emotions. Much of modern worship is the repetition and repetition and repetition almost a mindless hypnotic kind of inducing of a of a good warm feeling that is not worship but that is what is basically declared to be worship. Worship is the mind, consciously understanding affirming, declaring and singing divine truth it does need to be repeated 14 times in a row to induce some kind of semi-hypnotic stage so I think when we talk about worship were talking about giving God honor that means thanking him for who he is and what he's done and reciting all of that who he is and what he's done. That's why the hymns are so important because the hymns may have a chorus that's repeated to kind of affirm one great truth, but they have verse after verse after verse after verse to chronicle the glories of God and his work in salvation. So true worship is directly related to how you understand sound doctrine.

Your worship is only a reflection of your theology, where I get into it. True worship you want to miss this.) John four is the go to passage for this series and I encourage you to head there now as John MacArthur begins is series true worship by coming before the throne of grace fathers we come now to the study of the word of God. We pray that the spirit of God might give us entrance into the truth that we might see and hear and understand that we might respond with obedient hearts for Christ sake, payment. I would like you to take your Bible and look with me for a moment at John's gospel chapter 4 John's gospel chapter 4 and I would like to read verses 20 through 24. In this text is going to be the touchstone for our study of worship will be coming back to it intermittently and then finally in a very in depth study because I believe John 420 to 24 is the most significant New Testament passage on worship and we must understand its truth as if we are to understand our subject at all. The conversation is between the woman of Samaria and our Lord Jesus Christ, and she says our fathers worshiped in this mountain and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship Jesus. I thunder her woman. Believe me, the hour, when you shall neither in this mountain nor yet Jerusalem worship the father he worship me know not what we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews, but the hour, then now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the father seeking such to worship him. God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth, the word worship appears in one form or another eight times in that passage is essential that we understand what our Lord is saying here and we will I trust. By the time our series is finished.

Most people come to church for what they can get. There are some people you know just check the church page and see who's playing where on a given Sunday and go for what they think will appeal to them or quote unquote bless them if you come to church for what you can get out of the music or what you can get out of the sermon. If you come to church for the fact that you'd like to get blessed you missed the point. You really have. You know, because we're here to worship God.

And that's giving not getting we come to offer to him something not to receive. Granted if we offered him the praise due his name. We will receive at his hand for the Bible says in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is more blessed to what give than to receive.

So there is blessing in giving much more than if you just come to receipt if you came just to analyze the music or just to analyze the sermon and if your responses. While I've heard better and I'm sure you have at least in the case of the sermon you missed. All we are doing is prodding your heart to worship God and if your heart is in tune with God. Frankly, it should take very little prodding. Worship do you do it when you come in.

Is that what you have in mind. You prepare your heart for worship. Have you ever asked yourself that question. What you're going to have to ask yourself that question in the series and I'm not to write the very beginning what my purposes. I want to really back you into a corner and force you to make a decision about whether to worship God or not.

And that's really what are preachers for you know force people to make decisions. There are all kinds of views of the preacher and I'll confess which one I take of myself in the process of explaining this. The first one is the ritualist. Some of you come maybe from a background of a more ritualistic church where the preacher's role is just another 10 minutes in the liturgy. He does his thing like everybody else. And then there's the. The role of the preacher as the, the foreman, he just comes in and browbeaten everybody and intimidates everyone and then there's the huckster who uses the pulpit to sell his latest enterprise or to promote his latest cause and then there's the professor who just dumps information unrelated to life, but I would like to think of myself as a persuader in the objective of this series is to make you think first of all, about what worship is. Secondly, whether you're doing it or not. And thirdly, if you're not will you and if you won't, then you're going to have to deny what the Bible says that's the objective of preaching to force you to the corner where you have no other alternative than to do what God says or not do what he says and know clearly what you've done so, worship is incumbent upon us and I believe were going to see some things. Perhaps you've never seen is clearly before know what is worship.

Let me give you definition to start now that I've got your attention.

What is worship very simple definition ready for this honor paid to a superior being honor paid to a superior being that's worship very simple word to define it means to give homage honor, reverence, respect, adoration, praise and glory to superior being, frankly, the word in the Scriptures used indiscriminately. It's used of people who gave that kind of homage to idols its use of people to give that kind of homage to material things, as well as to the true gods of the word in itself is not a holy word. As such, it only describes honor given to superior being the common New Testament word and there are several that have implied in them. The idea of worship at the most common one is the word press to know which means to kiss toward and it came from that ancient custom of kissing the hand of a superior person bow down.

The ground bow his head and kiss the hand.

It also is used to convey the idea of bowing down or prostrating oneself, and it is the idea that you prostrate yourself before a superior being with a sense of respect and awe and reverence and honor and homage in a Christian context, we simply apply that to God. We bow before God. We prostrate ourselves before God. We kiss the hand as it were. As the psalmist says kiss the sun we bow in respect and honor before God, paying him the glory due his superior character. Essentially, then, worship is giving is giving honor and respect to God and that is why we gather here, we gather here to give respect to the preacher or even the people to participate in the music although it is fine that we should hold one another and respect.

At this point in our experience as Christians, all of us fade and we are here for one purpose and that is to give honor to God and through all that occurs there is to be the stimulating of that desire in our hearts to honor God.

So if you come for what you get with you.

Come the quote unquote get a blessing you missed. You have come to give not get an worship is a consuming desire to give to God and it first begins with giving ourselves and then of our heart attitudes and then of our positions. Let me see if I can illustrate a couple of places in the Scripture.

This thought Exodus chapter 30 provides a graphic illustration I think of worship in Exodus chapter 30 we are hearing the instruction given by God for the worship of the tabernacle God had given them clear instruction about how worship was to be carried on in the tabernacle and there were many things that were a part of that instruction that had great symbolic value. They were great teaching tools. There were visual aids. One of them is described in the 30th chapter and verse 34 and I think this is a wonderful, wonderful insight. The Lord said Moses take unto these sweet spices stacked D Monica galbanum and those were available elements in that part of the world. These sweet spices with pure frankincense and of each. There shall be a light weight for components in equal part and make a perfume a perfume after the art of the perfumer use all the skills that it takes to take those spices and make them into a perfume tempered together, pure and holy, holy, being unique, separate un-touched by any other element, and thou shalt beat this very small and put it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation where I will meet with the gotchas. Get this perfumer put together and put it in the tabernacle where I'll meet with the it shall be on you most is a concoction, a perfume, a sweet smelling incense is what it really is it's incident and it is to be holy. That is, it is to be only used for this purpose. In the tabernacle, but in verse 37 and ask for the perfume, which thou shalt make you shall not make to yourselves, according to the composition thereof. It shall be unto the holy for the Lord. You can't make any for your own use. You can have any personal perfume of this particular recipe and verse 38 says if you do make it for yourself, to smell it for yourself. You will be cut off from God's people now. Did you know there was a perfume recipe in the bottom and did you know that it was probably the most lovely fragrance imaginable and that God said it could cost you your life if you ever made any of this for yourself is a what what in the world is the point. The point is this fear was a fragrance designed to be only for God. And when this incense rose to God's nostrils.

It was unique to him say what is it picture pictures worship that unique gift that fragrance that rises out of the heart to the living and glorious God, and it is something that is to be offered to no other person is to be used for no other purpose is to be a unique separated, sanctified, holy act that rises out of the heart of the person to the very nostrils of God. It is symbolic of worship. When you come to meet me there.

Let there arise from use something that is holy and only mine. I believe me below. There are many things that go on that people think our worship, but they're not there a certain kind of music that makes us feel like were worshiping because of the lilt of it and because of the style of it, and it gives us a feeling of peace and maybe a few goosebumps but the fact is that it may well be that same style of music that same mood of music with words that were totally without God could affect the same emotion in us is not worship. Worship is that which is distinctly and only for God and what's while capturing the most profound of our emotions does so by the most profound divine truth. We are to worship God as a sweet smelling, offering that was to be the expression in symbol in the worshiping place. The tabernacle now in the New Testament. I would like you to look at John chapter 12 verse one and I want to show you a similar thought as the incense fragrance rose to the nostrils of God signified worship, and here we have another fragrant gift offered an worship, this time to the living God in human form, the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse one of John 12 Jesus, six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead be raised from the dead, and there they made him supper and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard.

They are re-costly cost.

Probably a year's wages for just that amount, and she took it and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair in the house was filled with the odor of the art for Sprint's Chapter 11 says the glory of a woman is her hair and soul. She uses her glory, for the lowliest task imaginable. Any anybody in that part of the world who washed people's feet would've been thought of as the most menial slave. She uses that which is her glory to wash the dusty dirty feet of Jesus and doesn't just use water but pours out the costliest frigates.

That's the essence of worship. Worship is self humiliating and worship is profuse in its giving and you remember that Mary and Martha were different. Martha was always serving in Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus and Jesus said Mary has chosen the what the better part and Judah said wait a minute that's 300 and Mary.

I worth of ointment and we could've given to the poor. He didn't really care about the poor. He held the bag and wanted as much as he could get out but Jesus said, let her alone literally it is better to worship than to give welfare joy. What you give. God is infinitely more important, what you give man any man is not to say is not important to give to man. It is to say, it is important more so to give to God and we tend to be so pragmatic.

We are the we are the generation of the Martha is currently the we got the church's fine tuned to a system and we got the programs and the whole shot we are the busy ones we are not the generation of the Mary's and we are very careful that we don't waste our substance and we tend to mark out very carefully. Even what we give God rather than the plot route that which is a year's wages and stupid humility to wipe his feet with her hair as worship and rising out of that fragrance was the essence of the worshiping heart is with God's after true worship is better than wealth or true worship is better than religious activity would be good and welfare is necessary and so is activity but worship is better and yet I fear that many of us don't even know what worship is, I suppose we could compare her worship with ministry and help to distinguish a little. We are very ministry oriented are but let's compare that ministry concept with worship ministry is very important. We have to have that but ministry can be looked at in this way ministry is that which comes down to us from the father through the sun in the power of the spirit to one another, God through Christ by the spirit gives to us spiritual gifts to minister to one another. Worship is the opposite worship starts from us by the Holy Spirit through the son to the father and both are in perfect balance. There must be worship God seeks acceptable true spiritual worship is get that's it. God seeks acceptable true spiritual worship. Every one of those words is critical and you can understand.

I hope each word, by the time were done in its fullest God seeks acceptable true spiritual worship. In John four. The text we read at the beginning. Verse 23, the hour, the now is when the true worshipers underline that true worshipers that's the theme of this text shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the father seek such to worship him for the father seek such God seeks acceptable true spiritual worship. Now for going to given that we have to know what it is we ask ourselves the question what is acceptable true spiritual worship. And I want you to ask yourself the question, do I worship God.

Is that a priority for me dry come faithfully regularly with a deep heart commitment to worship God not to hear certain, but to worship God. My so consumed with that hungering desire to worship God that I hurry myself into the assembly of his people for the expression of worship in Psalm 45 verse one there is a most interesting statement. Look it up.

It's just a simple statement I can quote to you it says my heart is bubbling over with a good matter.

That's a Psalm of praise go all way down to verses 10 and 11 and that some great praise in the psalmist to say my heart is bubbling over in the Hebrew is the idea of something boiling over. And that is really I think a wonderful way. What captures the thought of worship was worship his heart so warmed by the truth of God that eventually it boils over in praise is it is the heart so warmed by the truth about God boils over and prays that's the real stuff worship, but I hope that's the definition you can comprehend and you'll find it further defined as we go through the spring. Our father, we know that you are to be worshiped and you are to be worshiped as a priority of our life is not an option.

This is not something we can pick and choose. You've called us to worship you Lord we ask your forgiveness for those so many times we have not worshiped. When we been so indifferent those times and we have sought only that which would bless us. Fetus Phyllis not sought.which would glorify you when we have sought our own joy and not your glory. When we have sought our own pleasure and not your Majesty. When we have in our little Christian way worshiped ourselves rather than you help us to know the importance of true acceptable spiritual worship which you seek.

And if there are lower, some not known Christ and thus have no capacity to worship you at all those who have been worshiping false gods worshiping the right card but in the wrong way, or any other unacceptable for credit.

Today they would come to Jesus Christ and be cleansed and purged and made true worshipers such as the father seeks to worship him, for Christ sake, this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is currently looking at the nature of true worship that's the title of our series, and friend.

The goal of this series is to help you glorify Christ in everything you do.

It's really one of our most important studies and there's lots of material that we won't have time to err, so I encourage you to go to our website and download this entire series free of charge, or you can order the CDs when you contact us today our web address Jide and there you can download all of John's sermons from his first one in 1969 to his most recent message at Grace Community Church.

That's over 3500 messages covering every verse in the New Testament. Much of the old and again every lesson is free to download at Jide can also order the true worship eight CD album at our website or when you call 855. Also, while you're online, don't forget about the study Bible app it's preloaded with English standard. New American Standard and King James version's of Scripture and for reasonable price. You can unlock the footnotes from the MacArthur study Bible. These 25,000 detailed explanations plus dozens of charts and introductions every book will help you study Scripture more effectively. Just go to Jide and download the app our website one more time. Jide now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you staff on Phil Johnson.

Thanks for starting your week off with Grace to you and be here tomorrow when John looks at the crucial differences between biblical worship and false work.

It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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