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May 10, 2022 4:00 am
What does God want of a believer. He wants acceptable spiritual worship and it begins with a presentation of the body as body here is that body and when you worship God doesn't happen primarily at church and only when the music is playing, is it an emotional experience of a rush of spiritual thoughts. A sense of closeness to God. That's hard to predict and to sustain the find out when and where true worship can happen and what it should look like.
Stay here today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues is study titled true worship and I with the lesson here is John the importance of worship.
I want to understand how important it is and I want to lay on your conscience so you cannot be indifferent to it without being directly in defiance of God. Worship is important for four reasons for reasons.
Reason number one. The Scripture demands it.
Scripture calls for, by the very volume of Scripture. You might even use the phrase Scripture is filled with worship is important because Scripture is filled with secondly all of life is affected by it. All of life is affected by thirdly it is the major theme of redemptive history is the major theme of redemptive history and fourthly is commanded is commanded, and that's a more explicit way of saying number one number one. The first reason that we say that worship is important is because Scripture speaks so frequently of the word of God literally repeats hundreds and hundreds of times. The emphasis on worship and we can pick out a few select portions. These are simply selections out of a mass of biblical material.the entire book of the Psalms would be a good starting place. Let's go back to the 20th chapter of Exodus and let's see when God began to lay down some standards and some principles and some guidelines some commandment statutes, ordinances, laws, propositions, what was it that was most important to him. God gives the 10 Commandments, the Decalogue of the priority of his desire for man's obedience. And here it starts God said verse two, Exodus 20 I am the Lord thy God, who brought Dee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth that shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of them that hate me and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. The first commandment is to worship God and God alone. That is, it in the 34th chapter of Exodus and verse 14. This is even more explicitly stated in here it says for thou shalt worship no other God for the Lord, whose name is jealous is a jealous God worship then is the first commandment that becomes for us the priority then now when God called out his people. He established in the midst of their life a worshiping place so that they might focus on that. Look at the 25th chapter of Exodus for just a moment and God gave them all those instructions you know to build that place it.
Have you ever studied the instructions of the tabernacle just really amazing as they moved out of Egypt and they began to wander in the wilderness, God was calling them to worship and so God put in the middle of the camp this tabernacle. This intent it takes seven chapters in the Bible, 243 versus for God to give all of the standards and all of the measurements and all of the furnishings that were to be a part of that place 243 versus kind of interesting when you think that God gives the whole creation of the universe in just 31 God really is concerned with worship and in giving that whole prescription for worship. The whole intent of it was that they might focus on God and the camp of Israel was all around it and their whole life was looking in in focus on that tabernacle infection tabernacle was completed, the glory of God came out of the sky and came right down and dwelt there so that the people would know that the glory of God was there. Now in Exodus 2522 we read this and there I will meet with you and I will commune with these from above the mercy seat from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony of all things which I will give the and commandment unto the children of Israel. God gave them a worshiping place. Worship was the priority God met his people. There and if you read the book of numbers in the first the end of the first chapter, the beginning, the second chapter and you read how God laid out the people around the tabernacle, its most fascinating. The Bible tells us in Vegas numbers one about 52 or 53 verse that right outside the tabernacle nearest to the tabernacle where the priests this is the camp.
The Canton of Israel for all 40 years.
They wondered that the priests were the nearest in the just beyond the priest with the Levites of the priests were in charge of what worship and the rest of the Levites were in charge of the service. The caring for the tabernacle.
So the priests were next to it and in the Levites and then on the outer ring outside came all the 12 tribes of Israel.
The whole focus of their existence was in regard to the matter of worship. That was the greatest proclamation God made in their midst. I am to be worshiped. According to numbers chapter 1 verse three, a soldier was to be 20 years of age when a young man reached the age of 20 could serve as a soldier in numbers 824.
It tells us that a Levite could begin to serve the tabernacle and the temple. When he reached the age of 25 but in numbers for verse three it says that it priest had to be at the age of 30 soldier 20 server 25 priest at 30 why were simple because worship was the priority and demanded the highest level of spiritual maturity because it was the greatest responsibility. Lots of people involved in the activity log people out there fighting the battle another level. For those who served the highest level for those who brought the people to worship God. You remember Isaiah chapter 6 were Isaiah says, in the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord, high and lifted up his train filled the temple and so forth. And you remember that he saw above the throne of God. The Angels Sarah for and he saw them there and it says that they had six wings with two they covered their faces to the cover their feet, with two they did fly how interesting that they had four wings related to worship into related to service worship is the priority. They covered their feet, because it was a holy presence. They covered their faces because they could look upon his holy glory with just two. They took care of the activities worship is the primary no one of the psalmist says in Psalm 90 50, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God, and that just triggers your thoughts into Psalm after song after song exhibit John that's all you'll test games go to the New Testament, Romans 12 one into a very familiar Scripture. Paul has given 11 chapters of the marvelous gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. His redemptive purpose and plan for the world the mercy that he has had on sinful men, and then he says in verse one of chapter 12, I beseech you therefore, brother, and based on these mercies of God, I beg you. Here's what I want you to do based on all of the truth of the first 11 chapters what is God going to ask present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable under God which is your listen to this spiritual worship Allison to be very careful 11 chapters of doctrine. Paul has been defining the Christian and all of his benefits and I says in response what does God want what is it that God wants from you. This is what he's done. What is he wants what he wants is spiritual worship center that is acceptable to him and that word acceptable is very important word is a word of sacrifice is a word of worship and anyone who ever worshiped any God seeks to bring to him that which is acceptable is in the vein of worship and the word appears again at the end of verse to the acceptable perfect will of God. What does God want out of a believer.
He wants acceptable spiritual worship and it begins with a presentation of the body as a living sacrifice.
It begins with a presentation of the and I think implied in the body as a whole person, living sacrifice, because if it was a well-adjusted physical body. It can't be because giving the physical body is not an act of spiritual worship. The body hears all of us. It is that body containing that true self. Psalmist said simple. The reason God saved you and me was in order that we might truly acceptably worship him.
That's the eligible another passage. First Peter 25 first Peter 25 and you have a similar setting here in chapter 1, you have the wonders of redemptive grace. You have the great statement in verse 19 of the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish, without spot. Verse 18 talks about our redemption.
Verse 23 talks about our new birth being born again verse two of chapter 2 talks about newborn babes who have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Now we have been saved is what he saying and as saved individuals.
Verse five says we have become living stones making a spiritual house. We have become the living house in which God dwells. God is a live in house made with hands, God is a live in a building made of bricks and mortar. He lives in the living stones of his people. So we have become the house of God holy priesthood and what is our call. We as holy priests are to offer. Tom's spiritual sacrifices. That is an act of worship acceptable to God, and again, the term acceptable has inherited the concept of an offering spiritual worship acceptable true spiritual worship is offered on the basis of God's transforming work in Christ so you can see, and that's just a look at a brief way that worship is important.
Number one because Scripture speaks so often, number two, I'm just going introduce the second. The second reason that it's important to worship is because all of life both now and forever depends on worship is not an addendum to life. Worship is at the core of life see the people who worship God acceptably enter into eternal life. The people who do not worship God acceptably enter into eternal bit so worship then becomes the crux worship then becomes the core time and eternity are determined by the nature of a person's worship how you worship is reflective and determinative in your destiny. Another only two kinds of worship you can offer really.
You can either offer acceptable worship or what unacceptable worship. The mass of the world offers unacceptable worship God will not accept the Bible is explicit on this and there are people today who want to tell us that ultimately everybody gets a ultimately everybody's going to be acceptable to God that is not true that is not true. The Bible does not say that the Bible says there is acceptable worship and there is unacceptable worship a song about unacceptable worship therefore conducts first the first kind of unacceptable worship is the worship of false gods. The worship of false gods. That is unacceptable. So all those poor people over there worship in their gods will be all right in the end because they were sincere. Another will is unacceptable for God to worship and nine God because there is no other God and God is a jealous God and he will not tolerate the worship of another. He says my glory will I not give you another and yet the world worships false because of the Romans one verse 21, when they knew God speaking of the human race when they knew God, they find him not as God, neither were thankful and frankly that just means they wouldn't worship it, they wouldn't give him glory.
They wouldn't give him praise.
They wouldn't give him thanks. They wouldn't give him homage and adoration. They refused to worship God, and God said that is unacceptable. So in verse 24 God gave them up to their uncleanness and their vileness and their sinfulness was unacceptable. In fact, what happened when they refused to worship God. It says in verse 23 they began to make images like corruptible man and birds and four-footed beasts, and creeping thing, they turned a lot analysis everybody worships somebody. Everybody worships somewhere even an atheist worships who does an atheist worship himself. He is ultimately everybody worships and when men reject God. They then very often will worship false gods. They'll contract to God. And of course this is that which God forbade in the first commandment that there should be any other guts but men do that and basically there are several kinds to connect the first is what what you call material God's earthly gods. They are not specifically thought of as deities. Men just worship the material world. I think this is wonderfully illustrated in the book of Job in verse 24 of chapter 31 and it says this if I have made gold.
My hope or have sent to the Feingold thou art my confidence in his manner worships goal worships money he worships his material wealth. If I rejoiced because my wealth was great. And because mine hand got much if I beheld the sun wanted shine or the moonwalking and brightness and my heart had been secretly enticed for my mouth S kissed my hand. This also was an iniquity to be punished by the judge, for I should've denied the God it was about if I worship what I possess. If I worship my little world. If I go around kissing my own hand. I've denied but men do that they worship the gods of their own making gods of the material world and then some of them will formulate supernatural God's deities suppose it deities God has said this is an acceptable Deuteronomy 414 and the Lord commanded me. At that time to teach you statutes and ordinances says Moses you might do them in the land which you go over to possess God told me what to tell you, taking ye therefore good. He'd undo yourselves, it did not want to be worn about one thing.
Listen to this motion is for use sought no manner of similitude on the day the Lord spoke to you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire that you're never the day that God spoke out of the midst of the fire on the mount Horeb use sought no similitude of the word you saw no form for God you saw no representation of God you saw no image of God. Not at all. Why, because God does not ever wish to be reduced to any image never and he says when God appeared he did not appear in any manner of similitude because he didn't want you to perceive him in that way, not in your mind you think of God as an old man with a beard signature is bad. Somebody said idolatry does not begin with a hammer. It begins with the mind as you begin to conceive of God in improper terms you will ultimately cause God to be made in improper terms in the idolater takes his hammer is just one forms got out of wood forms the God it's in his mind to begin with. When I think of God. I do not think of him in any image I have no mental image of God.
People have asked me that when you think of God, what is it you visualize absolutely nothing. I do not have any mental image of God whatsoever. I have no visual conception of what God is and I say that by the grace of God that I should not reduce God to some image choices don't allow yourselves to think of God in those terms were 16 lest you corrupt and make a carved image, and that is exactly what they did some image out of a male or female, likeness or the beast or the winged fowl or a creeping thing or a fish in all the nations around them had these kind of guts, did you know that the Philistines had a God that was half man half fish. It was a mermaid in reverse very typical don't do that, lest you should lift up your eyes into heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars and the host of heaven should be driven to worship them and they did that they worship the sun the stars and angels and he says don't do it, so there was no place for that in the New Testament it says that the things a Gentile sacrifice first Corinthians 10 the sacrifice of the demons.
If you make those kind of God, you can wind up worshiping the demons and impersonate those God you think exist so there is unacceptable worship to God. And the first kind of unacceptable worship is the worship of false gods and throughout the Old Testament. This is condemned. I just want to draw our thoughts to conclusion by having you turn to Isaiah chapter 2 verse six and here is Isaiah's commentary on what was happening among his people. They had forsaken the people the house of Jacob.
They had become verse six of Isaiah to fill with customs from the East.
They had allowed the false philosophies and religions of the East to come in and they were involved in suits saying like the Philistines.
The mediums and consulting familiar spirits and all that and a please themselves and the children of foreigners instead of staying isolated and pure, they allowed all the foreigners roller for God's doing invade their thinking and their worship there land is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures, their land is full of horses, neither Zuni and of their chariots. It is because they were blessed by God.
It isn't because they were prosperous their land is also full of idols, and they worship the work of their own hands. That which their own fingers have made the common man bows down in the great man humbles himself therefore forgive them not, and he warns me better: a rock and hide in the dirt for fear the Lord and the glory of his majesty. They were idolatrous.
Ezekiel 8 says they worship the sun that's the people of God. The pagans, they worshiped anything they could think God is proliferated everywhere and it's true today.
Every single religion that doesn't rightly discern God worships false gods in every materialist, every ear, religious, atheist, agnostic, who wouldn't darken the door of any religion worships some material, God of his own invention, even if it is himself is unacceptable. God, it damns the soul.
You read in the book of acts that Marvel stated by Paul in chapter 17 verse 29 he says. How could you possibly think that God is made of silver and stone and what when you are from God, you're not Silverstone.
What are you how could you think that your originator would be such functional like produces like a seems basic philosophy. You can read in Revelation chapter 13 about how they will worship the beast and the false prophet, and later on their worship. The great horror writing on the beast and later on the worship of false economic system called babbling the worship their economy and their money in their politics and the law come crashing down so how you worship affects your eternity in the first unacceptable kind of worship is the worship of false gods. You're listening to John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and the featured speaker here on grace to you is current study is looking at true worship.
Well John you first preached a series about 40 years ago and as I said yesterday when I heard you teach this for the first time it will revolutionize the way I looked at worship you could see even then that the church was moving away from biblical worship and so I'm wondering in the four decades since you first preached this series. Do you still see the same need.
Yes, monumentally, monumentally, it's gotten worse exceptionally gotten worse now church after church after church is trying to create an emotional experience that has little or nothing to do with worship and if you have sound and light show and loud thumping hard-driving beat that moves the emotions and the words are almost immaterial.
There sort of lost in the thunder of everything that that's a superficial church that's a superficial theology. So where you have superficial theology you have to induce kind of a false worship where you have sound doctrine, where you have deep theology, where you have a rich understanding of divine truth. All you have to do is if the people the opportunity to praise the Lord just give them a hymnal give them good words.
Good lyrics to sing and their praise will come from deep within doctrine is the foundation of all true worship I'm going to suggest a book to you today that may be the biggest book you've ever purchased in your life. The book is titled biblical doctrine. Systematic summary of Bible truth.
It is a systematic theology thousand pages. By the way, covers everything in the work of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the fall of man, the sufficiency of Scripture. The cross salvation in times the doctrine of the church much much more.
And everything about the nature of God's sections on worship and all the way through the book at the end of the section. You'll find hymns to sing that are reflective of where we would worship and how we worship.
In light of this great truth. This is all the doctrines of the Bible in one volume, readable, accessible, powerful transforming again the titled biblical doctrine of systematic summary of Bible doctrine you get a copy from Grace to you reasonably priced God have it, it'll be the resource of your life to inform your worship. That's right, this is an important book in this great benefit in it and friend. Maybe you think that studying doctrine is an activity reserved for Bible scholars, but studying doctrine is all about knowing God better and worshiping him fully in every Christian needs that.
So I encourage you to order a copy of John's book titled biblical doctrine. When you get in touch today. You can call our toll-free number 855 Grace or go to our website Jide TY.org biblical doctrine is a great reference tool covers every important biblical truth and answers questions you probably have will be asked about the Christian faith to get a copy of biblical doctrine, call 855 Grace or go to our website Jide TY.and while you're online. Remember, you can download any of John's 3500 sermons, including the one you are today for free. You can also download the grace to you. App gives you access to all of John sermons wherever you take your smart phone and don't forget about the grace to you blog every week. John and the staff write about some of the most discussed issues in the church today and all of those resources and much much more are available for email@example.com that's our website Jide TY.org now for John MacArthur and the entire Grace to you staff on Phil Johnson. Thanks for tuning in today and join us tomorrow when John looks at the most common forms of false worship and how to avoid them. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you