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True Worship, Part 5 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2022 4:00 am

True Worship, Part 5 B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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May 19, 2022 4:00 am

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Second Timothy 222, he says, flee youthful lusts and follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, and then this statement with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart is a marvelous inside and is calling upon the Lord, a today he's looking at God's holiness and why you need to focus on it and how it should affect your worship.

It's a practical lesson that shows you the attitudes and actions that characterize someone who's really come to grips with who God is, will be in the Old Testament for much of today. If you have your Bible turn to the book of Isaiah. And here's the lesson. Now if we are to worship God is spirit, then we must define his nature, and I think we can sum it up in one word in one word and I think that is the word which most sums up the nature of God. He is holy. He is holy and God to be worshiped must be worshiped as holy. Now I want to reinforce this in your thinking by taking you back through some familiar ground, but I cannot teach this series and leave this out. So look at Isaiah chapter 6 the concept of worshiping God with holiness and fear is what we are after. It's not just Old Testament Hebrews 1228 says worship God acceptably with reverence and godly fear for our God is a consuming fire.

So it's New Testament as well, but it Isaiah 6.

Isaiah goes to worship the Lord and he goes into the temple. King Uzziah has died after 52 years on the throne. It's about 740 BC just a few years before the northern kingdoms going into captivity as a judgment for their sin. He sees the demise of his people. He senses the problem in his nation and he rushes into the presence of God to worship and he has a vision of God in verse one in which God is majestically lifted up surrounded by seraphim who are the guardians of the holiness of God to have their wings are used for service and four of them are used for worship, giving us an insight into the priority of worship. Even they worship God. They cried back and forth. And this is what they say, holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory and there we find again that most magnificent definition of God's otherness God's uniqueness is holy.

He is holy, and as Isaiah is worshiping God.

He perceives holiness and that is the right perspective that God has a holiness that causes them to react against sin and what is Isaiah's response, verse five, then said I will is me. I am disintegrating.

I am falling apart. I am going to pieces, and the word will mean skirts curse me. He is overwhelmed with the sinfulness.

He says I'm a man with a dirty mouth and I dwell in the midst of a people with dirty mouths. All he can see is his sin and he has the best mouth of all of them but he cannot see any goodness in himself in comparison with God. And the reason it's a start is the end of verse five because he has seen the king the Lord of hosts that you may not have a vision like this, nor may I but nonetheless the lesson is true that when we enter into the presence of God. If we truly see God. We see him as holy, holy, holy, and so we are then faced with a sense of our offer on holiness.

If you have never worship God with a broken and a contrite spirit, then you really never worship God because that is the right response to entering the presence of a holy God. Holiness inspires fear.

He was afraid why was he afraid because he knew the holy God had every right to react against an unholy center.

He knew that God had every right to judge and got every right to try to take his life on the spot and I guess my heart is concerned that there's a lot of flippancy in entering into the presence of God in our society today that God has become so casual in our thinking, God has become so so human, so buddy buddy that we don't understand the whole perspective of God's offer holiness that he is a consuming fire that he has a holy indignant against sin and if we flippantly rush into his presence with lives unattended to buy repentance and confession and cleansing by the spirit, then we are vulnerable to that holy reaction is only by his grace we breathe another breath is not for he is every reason to take our life. For the wages of sin is death, and so Isaiah has the only reaction that a true worshiper could ever have in true worship. And that is humble, broken contrition, he sees himself as a sinner and in the midst of his repentance in the midst of his confession. The angel comes with a coal purges him and God says you're the one I'll send in my place and there is a marvelous communion. There is a marvelous camaraderie. There is a marvelous union between God and the true worshiper through the confession of sin and the purging of his lips and so that's really the spirit of true worship. You see the holiness of God are overwhelmed with your own unholiness not look with me for a moment at one passage that I think has been sort of lost in the shuffle. Second Timothy 222, Paul is writing to Timothy, and of course, is instructing him about being a godly man, a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and he tells them all the things that are necessary to guard his life for usefulness and talks to him about being a vessel unto honor, sanctified fit for the Masters use prepared in every good work. In verse 21 second Timothy 221 and then in second Timothy 222, he says, flee youthful lusts and follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, and then this statement with them that call on the Lord, out of the pure heart. There is a marvelous insight into true worship is calling upon the Lord out of a pure heart and it is not that our heart is pure by our own design or borrowing device is there in our heart is pure. In the can session and the repentance that Isaiah experienced in facing a holy God's will true worshiper is primarily aware of is on holiness and if you go through the Old Testament. I just jog your memory.

Whenever the people of God encounter God. There was a terrifying reaction. They felt afraid they felt intimidated they felt their life was in danger because they knew they were sinners in the presence of a holy God in Job who thought he knew God, who probably thought he worship God the way God wanted to be worship when he gone through that amazing pilgrimage and came to the end of it and really saw God as the sovereign holy Lord of the universe.

He said now I see the with mine. I and I repent in dust and ashes again overwhelmed with sinfulness. Manolo, the father of Samson. The 13th chapter of Judges and the 22nd verse cries out, we shall surely die because he had seen the holiness of God. There was a backup crew when really discerning God's presence began to shake, so that his legs smashed against each other and there was the restored remnant, who, when they heard the holy word of God spoken by Hagy.

I came to terror in their hearts look with me for just another illustration of the ninth chapter of Ezra and Ezra comes before the Lord, and you see the spirit of a broken contrite heart, which is the spirit of the true worshiper verse five and that the evening sacrifice so it's time for worship. It's the official time for worship.

It's time to come before God in the evening sacrifice. And he rose up, he says from his heaviness and tore his garment and tore his cloak and fell on his knees and spread out his hands. The Lord here is a man of God in an act of worship.

Prostrate tearing his garments burdened and here is the attitude of his worship.

I said oh my God I am ashamed and blasts to lift up my face to the my God, that's reminiscent of the public and will be on his breast, and would not lift up his eyes so much as to heaven for our iniquities are increased over our head and our trespasses, grown up into the heavens. We know that it reaches you know that you know we are sinful and then he goes on to describe the sin and then he talks about God's grace. Mercedes is for little moment. Grace is been shown from the Lord our God, you've given us a tent peg given us life you given us a place to put up a tent you've you've let us survive, in spite of what we've done in the end. In verse 15, Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous, for we remain yet escaped as it is this day. Behold, we are before the in our trespasses, for we cannot stand before the because of this he just is broken over sin any praise in verse one of 10 and confess and wept and cast himself down before the house of God and the people came around them and they poured out their tears of penitence that is the heart of a true worshiper coming in the presence of God afraid coming in the presence of God knowing that God is a right to take your life even if you have been his child. Even if you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. There's a sense in which God still has the right to punish for sin and he says in the New Testament to those who are his own every son. He chastens and scourges when our Lord walked on the earth. People were afraid of it.

I always think of the disciples who were terrified when they knew he was God in their boat and we calmed the storm and Mark Fordyce as they were exceedingly terrified is far worse to have God in your boat than to have a storm outside your book because you have to face the holiness of God displayed in the power that had been displayed and they said what kind of man is this, that the wind and the waves obey his voice, and when Jesus sent the demons into the herd of pigs and they went into the lake and drown the people ran out and pleaded with him to leave their country terrified.

He panicked them they were free and Pier 1 in Luke five was fishing and couldn't catch anything the Lord said, now let your nets down. They'll be there and he did and they were all there and Peter looked at the Lord and said go away leave for I'm sinful man.

All he could see was his own sinfulness when confronted with the reality of a holy God. Jesus had that effect on people.

He traumatized people. He scared people. I believe the Pharisees were so afraid of them. That's really why they killed, they were astonished. The Bible says what he taught they were astonished at what he did.

They panicked when they saw his power in the herd is wisdom. Jesus traumatized people. He let them know that God was in their midst and they immediately were confronted with the evil of their hearts the true worshiper then is going to come in that vein is gonna come in that spirit, he is going to be broken over his sinfulness and that's the attitude that you use when you come to God who is the eternal spirit who is the omnipresent spirit if I'm not have a true worshiping life then it is a life of brokenness. It is a life of contrition is a life which sees sin and confesses continually at the worshiping life. You can't just sin, and sin, and sin and then enter into the church on Sunday and think you're going to worship the Lord talk to a man on this trip came to see me and he said you know I listen to your tapes get them all. I study with you and I are really love it in your mind you, my teacher, I love to have you as my friend so forth and got a talking it's been a couple hours with a patrician. I did and he said you know he said the I have a situation in my life, which is very sinful anyone on describe horrifying thing and he said and I just I just stay in the sin all the time and I said well doesn't it bother you to see how it bothers me, but not enough to quit and then you study the word of God all along with at the same time and you probably think your worshiping God.

You're not and I said I can't fellowship with you.

I can't be your friend to separate myself from you so I would die if I couldn't think you were my friend will I said you I can't be because that life does not a God, you, you can't do that if God is a spirit and is everywhere at all times is to be worshiped.

That way, and if he is holy as spirit that is to be worshiped in the beauty of holiness.

And that means you live your life with a sense of fear because you know that God has every right to chasten your unholiness at the same time to keep the balance you live a life of thanksgiving, don't you because he doesn't give you what you deserve is not rendered unto us according to our sins. But what happens is we get so used to sending and getting away with it sending and being forgiven that we just keep sending you see this guy was so used to doing the sin and God hadn't done anything yet. They just kept doing were all like you. We are so used to mercy. We are so used to grace. We are so used to God for giving us that we just trade on the abuse God is gracious and a holy God if he really wanted to enforce his holiness said in the Bible. The wages of sin is death said to Adam the day you sin you die anytime we seem to be dead and that would be true to his holy character. But God is so merciful. Everything was a capital offense in the beginning you the day you sin you died and say what sin you just cannot really you can only give anyone deal you do and you die and then as time went on, God of course didn't even take avenues like he scared them by grace and then as you come down to the Mosaic covenant, about 35 sins that have a capital punishment assigned to them.

But even that God acted graciously toward and there were many times. For example, just take David, he committed the sins that had been given the death penalty over and over and over and over, and God is gracious and merciful and forgiving. There were consequences but not death God was gracious, so God showed himself gracious, but that doesn't mean that God doesn't care about your sin. It doesn't mean you can run into God's presence was in your life doesn't mean you can abuse that mercy because the day may come when he acts in righteous indignation against you, and he has every right to do that in me as well seek we get so used to mercy that when God does what is just we think is unjust. Somebody Geico. How can God let that happen will have all these problems. Listen, how can he not allow those to come when were sinful to look at it backwards people of the Old Testament is a work of a God, is it with 4040 little boys yell baldy baldy at the prophet, and a bear comes out of some of stress, what kind of God.

Let's happen. God slays two young men made Avina by you on a daily ordination just because I got a little drunken fool around with the incense in the temple and God spoke God slays Amana touches the art to try to keep it from falling off the cart. What kind of God gives her a man. Leprosy and makes him a victim of leprosy.

When is been a faithful king, 52 years is because he got little proud why why the sky not die and why so much mercy and and where and why is the fire die.

After all, he gave the gift of the Lord just was what they said they give me one die for that. That's not the question.

The question is why when you did that promise blurts out and didn't do it. Why did you live is a course. See the question is, and why did God take the life of an adult or over there. The question is when you committed adultery. Why didn't God take your life.

It is never a question of God being unjust. It's only an issue of God being merciful and sometimes when he does do what is just, he does it is an illustration use. You got have a signpost somewhere along the line. That's what first Corinthians 10 says these things that happen as examples to us. As you look through Scripture you see the times when God acted in a holy way against unholiness.

That's to show you that God will do that and the question is not how can God be unjust ask the question is how can God be merciful when his holiness is violated. That's the issue, screams and what is not awful important. Some people actually died because they were coming to the Lord's table sinful. That isn't the issue.

The issue is how come were alive and we come that way so many to just God's grace is grace. People say how could he turn lots wife into a pillar of salt is in the question.

The question is why didn't he turn us in the pillars of salt.

When we act in a worldly fashion as she did, and lusted after the things of the flesh.

How could he swallow up Cora Dayton and a Byrum in the ground for being disobedient know that is in the question.

How could he not swallow us up when we were disagree to have to see things from the side of God's holiness that's so important.

God is gracious, but usually don't let his grace so short is holiness. She will try to say is we must worship God acceptably with reverence and godly fear for our God is a consuming fire and you must worship God in the beauty of holiness.

You must understand that he is a spirit he is everywhere at all times to be worshiped everywhere at all times and in the beauty of holiness, and what this says beloved is so important. This says that when I live my life.

I am to live a holy life before God and the little life where I confess, repent and turn from my sin, so that my worship to God is that which pleases God and I do not want to go rushing into his presence in an act of worship with unholiness, lest I receive my just desserts at his hand.

And so while we are thankful for his grace and we understand his love. We have somehow in our Christianity missed his holiness. That's the heart of our worship. God is a living, eternal, glorious, holy, merciful spirit.

The object of our worship and we must come in the contrition and humility and the brokenness of sinners who see ourselves against the backdrop of his other holiness FW Faber was written so many very very beautiful words, wrote this. Listen carefully.

It is a hymn of praise, my God, how wonderful thou art thy Majesty how bright how beautiful thy mercy seat in depths of burning light how dread are thine eternal years. Oh, everlasting Lord by prostrate spirits day and night incessantly adored how wonderful how beautiful the site of the must be thine endless wisdom, boundless power and awful purity business and how I fear the living God with deepest tenderest fears and worship the with trembling heart and penitential tears.

Yet, I may love the 20 Lord Almighty as thou art for thou hast stooped to ask of me, the love of my poor heart, no earthly father loves like the no mother air so mild bears and forebears as thou hast done with me thy sinful check. It's about prayer Lord, we come to worship this morning. The God who is spirit who is not confined to temples made with hands is not bound by the images of men God who is infinite, eternal everywhere. Every place at all times and we have come to worship the God who is holy, who can only be worshiped in the beauty of holiness in the reverence and godly fear that a sinner must have who enters into such holy presence. And so, Lord God, may we see as the men of old saw your holiness and, like Isaiah, may we cry. Woe is me. I am undone and in that confession may we be touched with the coal from off the altar, our lips purged and may we be acceptable. We thank you that Jesus Christ has made the provision for that that he has made the way possible that he is "unto us access whereby we can rush into your presence. Come boldly. There, without fear, knowing that we stand in Christ's place place of honor and acceptability. But Lord, may we to be aware that as we come into your presence in the blood of Christ as we come, having been washed from head to feet. We do gather the dust of the earth and we need that daily preparation of heart daily confession and cleansing that is so basic to a worshiping life. We thank you that you've given us the positional holiness you've given us the reality of eternal holiness in Christ.

Now help us in our practice in our daily walk to walk the walk that fits the calling to which were called. May we truly worship the Lord and out of the flow of a worshiping life in a responding God know the tremendous blessing and usefulness that Isaiah and your kingdom might be advanced in this day. Thank you in Christ. That's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary with some practical direction for your worship. John's current study here on grace to you is titled simply true worship John you've been talking in this series about worship in spirit and in truth and is kind of convicting, really because I find myself sometimes in church. Just reading the words of the hymn as I sing, and not really thinking about the meaning not really worshiping in truth, so what are some of the practical hindrances to our worship and what are some practical suggestions for worshiping, honestly in spirit and in truth. While it's a basic question, and obviously there hindrances to our worship would be a lack of the knowledge of God and of God's character and how I like to talk about is who he is and what he has done and what he commands so worship is only as effective as the knowledge of divine truth. In other words, if you have a very shallow knowledge of divine truth, you have only a shallow capacity to really worship you can be artificially stimulated by the emotion of the music and in all of that but real worship comes from the heart and the more you understand the revelation of God, the richer your grasp of Scripture in sound doctrine, the more your heart is uplifted in the contemplation of those things and I think worship also in music takes us to a place where we can be disconnected from the normal invasions of our thoughts.

Let's say you're sitting in church and the preachers preaching and what happens typically is and I know this is a preacher. People come and go. They think about home they think about some mail some other place some other conversation and your always try to get them back to the attention of the sermon music has a wonderful way of blocking all of that out because it sweeps you up in in the words the lyrics and the melody and the beauty of it and so it may be for you know for 1/3 of the foundational principle it may be the point at which you are most focused on divine truth which is why it should be sound doctrine.

Because I don't think people are really any more focused in a worship service than when they are actually singing because nothing else is occupying their minds and their verbalizing these truths and that has a way of causing them to be memorized almost involuntarily so worship is vital in every sense in the life of the church and I want to remind you of the book worship. That's its title you need to know how to worship because God requires worship he saved you to be a worshiper and you're going to spend an eternity in heaven doing nothing really but worshiping and serving the Lord. So if you want to know what worship is all about order copy of the book, worship, take advantage of our reduced price is 25% off the regular price for a limited time. That's right. And when your day is filled with distractions and unexpected emergencies and maybe even conflict with others. How do you keep your focus on worship the practical answers that you need and find out how you can lead others to genuine worship in this book simply titled worship. It's currently on sale for 25% off the normal price sorter your copy today. Just call 855 grace or go to our website again to pick up John's book called worship at 25% off the regular price for a copy of the MacArthur study Bible. Almost anything we sell at that same 25% discount. Call us at 855 grace or go to and print a quick note today is the second day of our truth matters conference. It's a sold out event, but you can still enjoy all of the teaching sessions in the Q&A's by live stream for all the details, go to our website We've also been sending out information about the event via our social media so if you follow us on Facebook or Instagram or twitter. Keep checking for our latest posts about the truth matters conference which runs through tomorrow again. For details on live streaming go to now for John MacArthur in the entire grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson invite a friend to tune in tomorrow when John looks at timeless local instruction that will help you worship the Lord the right way. Don't miss the next half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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