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May 26, 2022 4:00 am
We are to worship in spirit and in truth, the perfect balance not just spirit that is not just enthusiasm but through not just truth but enthusiasm from the deep part of our soul we worship, we express ourselves on God's review my happiest Christ and having fellowship with the ever blessed spirit to me. He said it is the nearest approach to what will be in heaven. When you think about the great joys of the Christian life. That quote gets to the core issue worshiping God in spirit and in truth. That's the closest thing to heaven on earth today on grace to you. John MacArthur helps you understand how to worship God in the right way to study is called true worship in today's lesson begins right now I have been as you well know, greatly concerned about the matter of worship and wondering whether this is unique to my own error. I have read some more ancient scriptural commentators some more ancient Saints of God to see if they to face similar periods of time when the church had lost its perspective on worship and I found that to be the case. In fact, throughout church history. There seem to be a rather constant cry, calling the people of God to the worshiping life. For example, St. Anselm of Canterbury years ago said this slight man flee for a little while by occupations hide thyself for a time, from thy disturbing thoughts passed away. Now thy toilsome cares and put aside thy burdensome business you room for some little time with God and rest a little while in him in the inner chamber shut out all thoughts save those of God and such is can ADD and worshiping him speak now to God and say I seek thy face, thy face, Lord, do I seek and thus did he call his people to worship band room on our great 19th-century saint of God.
He wrote down the musings the thoughts. The lessons the Lord taught him the impression she had each day and I started the beginning of the book and I went all the way through the book and read each of his entries written on the Lord's day Sunday, many of them revolve around the theme of worship.
One of them that particularly struck me. He wrote on the 26th Lord's day of 1881 during the whole day and every service. I felt myself strengthened and upheld by the Lord's presence in spirit more than usual. There were moments of great nearness" and I stop at that point, moments of great nearness and I said to myself. I long to know those kind of moments moments in which there is an overwhelming sense of the nearness of God. I wonder whether most Christians ever really experience that I wonder whether you can reach back in your memory and find moments of great nearness moments when you have drawn and I am the God in his James 48 says he has in response drawn nine do you moments in which you have sent profoundly. The presence of God moments when the divine nearness has been like your own hands and feet your own breasts that it but all through this series. This is been really the purpose and goal of that we might so drawn and I am the God that we are literally overcome by his presence now in our look at worship. We tried it, of course not to exhaust the theme but just a touch as it were, the edges of it, that the spirit of God might begin to teach us and we look at the definition of worship.
We talked about the importance of worship we know it's important because it's God's priority.
He seeks true worshipers. It says in this passage we talked about the source of worship and that is salvation. We were redeemed to worship. We talk about the object of worship and the object is God as spirit and as the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We talked about the sphere of worship we are to worship everywhere and at all times and yet uniquely in the assembled presence of God's redeemed people and now we're looking at the nature or the essence of worship, what it is we are worship in spirit and in truth, the perfect balance not just spirit that is not just enthusiasm but truth, not just truth but enthusiasm from the deep part of our soul we worship, we express ourselves based on God's revealed truth. And remember that I showed you the Samaritans had the spirit and not the truth, and the Jews had the truth and not the spirit. And so Jesus says it isn't here in Garrison and it isn't there in Jerusalem. God is to be worship in spirit and in truth and true worship brings both of those together. You cannot have enthusiastic heresy on the one hand, and barren orthodoxy on the other and really worship God. There must be the mingling.
You can have heat without light, and you can have light without heat to must be in balance and remember last time we looked at the concept of spirit and we said that to worship God in spirit means to worship God from your inner being isn't superficial. It is an external isn't formal is liturgical. It's a heart and that's what the psalmist meant in Psalm 103 27. Bless the Lord all my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name and what Paul meant in Romans 19 reason I worship God in my spirit. We suggested to you that there are several necessary elements to worshiping God in spirit. First, spiritual life, we have to be alive spiritually alive to God, we have to be those who possess the Holy Spirit which comes by salvation and to begin with, into worship in spirit. We must have had a transformed inner person and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. Secondly, we must focus our thoughts on God. Worship comes out of the heart that is thinking on God. Thirdly, our thoughts on God are dependent on discovery and meditation out of the word of God and as we look at the word of God and as we discovered screws and meditate on its truths we find ourselves worshiping and then fourthly, we must have an undivided heart and un-divided park. The psalmist says I will praise the with my whole heart, I will praise thee with my whole heart to worship in spirit, then, is to have a spirit transformed by regeneration to think on God to concentrate all of our faculties on him and his work and those thoughts arise from the discovery and the meditation on the word of God and flow back to God through an undivided heart no many times in the Old Testament. You can read it in Isaiah. You can read in Jeremiah and Ezekiel. You can see it in the New Testament in Matthew's gospel. The Lord indicts people for worshiping him externally while their heart is far from him. That's a rather common phrase, these people worship me with their form, but their heart is far from me. That's the very antithesis of what God desires.
She desires the heart to be nigh unto him. In Psalm 112 we find a Psalm of praise.
It begins praise ye the Lord. And it follows along the line of praise and how is it that the heart can praise it comes in verse seven it says his heart is fixed and then in verse eight.
His heart is established. You see, it is a fixed heart and an established heart totally focusing on the wonder of God, out of which arises praise. In Psalm 57 we find again the same thought. Verse seven. My heart is fixed. Oh God, my heart is fixed I will sing and give praise to wake up my glory awake psaltery and harp by myself awake early.
I will praise the Lord among the peoples. I will sing under the among the nations for thy mercy is great under the heavens and I truth under the clouds, be thou exalted all God above the heavens.
Let thy glory be above all the earth see again. It is a fixed heart. We ask ourselves the question, are we really there we come to worship the Lord and there are many times when we may think we are and were not, and that's where Psalm 139 comes it search me oh God, and know my heart try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. David says search me oh God, and know my heart and if you find anything deal with it and that is an admission that even David couldn't fully understand his own heart. He may have felt that he dealt with everything in sources God or maybe some things that I don't see and it may be that in our hearts and our lives.
The reason we have difficulty really abandoning ourselves in worship to God.
The reason we don't experience the nearness of God that we would like to experience is because we have areas of our life that are not dealt with and maybe areas that we are blind to.
And only God knows. And so as we approach this matter of worship to have an undivided heart. We must come with an open and repentant spirit that would be the fifth and those elements of true worship in the spirit there must be an openness there must be a willingness to say God turn on the searchlight or whatever you find in the corner expose and if you have found it very difficult to worship. If you come and go home and there's little change in your life and there's little sense of the nearness of God. There's little sense of entering into divine presence. It may well be that there are areas in your life which you have long overlooked it. Only God knows about and you must plead with him to search them out and expose them and willingly confess them in a broken and a contrite spirit. You see those things must be dealt with. Every time in the Scripture we talk about worship we must talk about cleansing, purging, purifying, confessing, repenting, because that the only person who can hurriedly and fully enter into communion with an utterly holy God is one who sin is utterly dealt with and we don't want to go rushing into God's presence in our impurity, thinking that all is well. We like Isaiah must confess before God. Our sin and allow God to touch that living burning coal to our lips if need be to purchase now turn our wrote many years ago. These words without the heart is no worship is a stage play is an acting apart without being that person really is playing the hypocrite. We may truly be said to worship God. Though we lack perfection, but we cannot be said to worship God. If we lack sincerity.
That's very true. We may worship imperfect, but we cannot worship in sincerely and so as we come to worship God. It must be from the depth of what is within us, sincere worship of God.
So we yield our spirits to the Holy Spirit, who fills us with his presence and power. We ask him to cleanse out every corner of our lives. And then the flow of worship can occur.
Nothing superficial about Belus look at the second balancing element we worship in truth we worship in truth we touched on last time in our discussion of the idea of discovery and meditation on the word but let me just expand it if I might all worship is in response to truth all worship is in response to truth there is no worship that is not linked inseparably to truth. Worship is not an emotional exercise with God words inducing feelings. Worship is a responsibility upon the pilot ask a very important question.
What is in Jesus answered in John 1717 when he said, thy word is truth or Psalm 119. The testimonies of the Lord are true know if we are to worship in truth, and the word of God's truth, then we must worship out an understanding of the word of God worship God. Truly, we must understand who we is in the only place he revealed himself is in his word in Romans 118. It tells us of the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth.
Now there is the truth. In terms of conscience, the truth in terms of what what is called general revelation and in verse 19, that which may be known of God is manifest in them. God first of all, disclosed himself in general terms in conscience and creation and minimal that truth about God, but verse 25 says they exchanged the truth about God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the creator not God's whole purpose was to reveal himself. He revealed himself first of all creation, conscience, and then he revealed himself crystal clear in the pages of the word of God. If we are worship in truth, then we are to worship truly is God is to be worshiped and the only place will find God truly defines in the Bible is the Bible that explains the God of creation and the God of conscience, everything we know about God is in the word of God and to worship in truth then means to worship from out of an understanding of the word of God. You cannot worship God in a vacuum. You cannot worship God apart from his revelation and illustration of this comes to mind in the eighth chapter of Nehemiah where it tells us that is ripped open the book inside of all the people that is the word of God, and he opened it up, standing above the people on the platform and immediately all the people stood up at the presentation of God's word and Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God and all the people answered. Amen. Amen.
Lifting up their hands and they bow their heads and worship the Lord with their faces to the ground. The word of God. Just it's very holy presence through them all to their knees in an act of worship. All worship listener is in response to truth about God and all truth about God is revealed in his word.
If we are called to worship God that we want to worship God as God is super want to know how we use.
We have to look at his self revelation.
The Bible discloses the truth about God, which guides our worship and truth is the objective factor in worship as spirit is the subject, but both must come together in Psalm 47 seven is a very interesting statement. It says sing ye praises with understanding sing ye praises with understanding.
All worship must be based on truth. Worship is not simply a holding hands and swaying back and forth or having ecstatic experiences having experiences that have no meaning or no content that is not worship. Worship is not even a good feeling as good as good feelings are worship is an expression of praise from the depths of the heart toward a God who is understood, as he is truly revealed sing ye praises with understanding. There is no virtue and saying you're worshiping God in something which you don't are, nor does anybody else comprehend. There's no true worship, apart from a true understanding of God. Any group that does not understand truth about God does not worship God cannot worship God use worship in spirit and according to truth in second Corinthians 4 to Paul says we've renounced the hidden things of dishonesty. We don't do things that manipulate we don't walk in craftiness we don't handle the word of God deceitfully. Another was we don't use it to induce certain experiences or certain words result, the responses but by manifestation of the truth. We commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God pulses. I will never use the Bible. I will never deceive anybody.
I will never try to be dishonest with anybody to gain my own ends. All I desire to do is to manifest the truth and therefore to commend myself in the sight of God. All response and worship is a response to the word of God and it's amazing how many people don't understand this as I mentioned sometime earlier people very often asked me how can you have a worship service.
When you preach such a long time when your people have time to worship and the answer is you cannot worship God. Apart from an understanding of who he that's why I'm so committed to expository preaching. That's why I'm so committed to the systematic teaching of the word of God, week in, week out, there is no other thing to do. I can give you clever sermons that would move your emotions and they would move your attitudes and I could maybe make you cry by filling in a lot of stories and other things I could make it interesting and fun and exciting, but when it was all said and done, you might say boy John MacArthur can preach, but you wouldn't worship God is a far greater challenge for me to teach the word of God and let it command you to respond to God as God is revealed and this is self revelation. That's why I think that any young person going in the ministry is not committed to expository preaching is cutting his own throat of because people must respond in life in every dimension to the truth of the word of God. We have to worship in truth and truth is revealed in this word that's our source.
That's why I'm so totally committed to the fact that we must teach the word of God when the early church met together, they met to discuss the apostles doctrine to be taught the apostles doctrine, the teaching of the apostles. What were they they were the revelations of God, about himself, the self-disclosure of God made manifest through their writings and their teachings, and they were the substance of the truth on which those people worshiped. That's why positive Timothy until I come read the text.
Explain the text and apply the text stay in the text teach sound doctrine. What set truth about God, but were not here to create an emotional experience were here to teach you about God out of this book and out of that foundation of knowledge comes worship in the early church.
They they worshiped in the used songs in these hymns and spiritual songs made melodies they had times of praise and times of thanks and all of those are listed in Colossians 3 1670. But in says and 16 before that. Let the word of Christ dwell in you. Julio's abundantly fooling richly so that when the word dominates you, then your praise is regulated in your worship is conformed to the divine standard so the nature worship. The essence of worship.
What is to offer God worship from the depths of our interbeing in praise and prayer and song in giving and living but always based upon his revealed truth in it so difficult to keep the church conformed because the church tends on the one hand to get cold and lifeless and and and I see and on the other hand to get emotional and fanatical and feeling oriented in the must be a balance and we were tend to be on the IC, unemotional and get intimidated by the feelers over the but that's not where it belongs either both in balance must know the truth, you know, and Paul went to Mars Hill in Athens. In chapter 17 of acts there worship was unacceptable and his indictment is most telling. Most telling piece is a very simple thing to them. This was verse 23 as I passed by, and behold your devotions. I found an altar with this inscription to the unknown God whom therefore ye worship in ignorance. There was the worship in ignorance and that's unacceptable. You cannot worship God in ignorance and may I say that even on the cold and sort of Orthodox in where ritual and formality and routine, and tradition has become a mindless meaningless activity. There's just as much a loss of true worship as in the ecstasies of the other extreme, and so I submit to you that if you're going to worship God.
There must be faithful commitment to the word of God isn't going to happen by some zap out of you worship as the overflow of your understanding of God's self revelation and it's here in this book. As you study the word of God to discover its truth and meditate on its truth and focus on God and have an undivided heart and a repentant heart that's pure and clean.
You're going to find the flow out of that heart is one of worship, over and over in the New Testament you read this phrase brother and I would not have you to be what ignorant there's no premium in the Bible on ignorance. Be diligent to show yourself approved on the God of work when the need is not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth be renewed in the spirit of your mind truths truths truths and so we have been given the commander worship in spirit and in truth. Now I trust and pray that the spirit of God will tie those things deep within us. The essence of worship so simple yet so profound in its perfect balance can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit, but you must come along with a willingness to dig into the word of God so that your worship will be a flowing over of that discovery and meditation.
This is grace to you with John MacArthur thanks for tuning in today.
John's helping you to understand God's character and to respond rightly in John's current study called true worship.
John today made the point that all worship is a response to truth about God and of course God is revealed in his word, and so for listeners who are new to the Scriptures and maybe don't know a lot about how to study the Bible as well as for long time Christians for whom the Bible has become familiar what practical guidelines would you have for how to go deeper in the study of God's word. First of all, I think there's a general superficiality in the church today so much preaching is just disastrously inadequate and so people are cheated out of enriching preaching. That's why they flock and flood to these conferences where they get the word of God with some kind of richness in some kind of depth so you need to start by being in a situation where you're being taught the word of God.
So you have some depth coming at you where you have some opportunities at Bible study and some grab some fellowship groups are Bible study teachers and handle the word well then, on a personal level. The things you don't understand about the Scripture somebody else does understand, and you need to go to the sources where the Scripture is explained and that's what grace you has done its entire lifetime of the communicating the word of God.
One of the tools that I would suggest for you if you're really serious about investing your life in the word of God and reaping the everlasting dividends would be to think about the MacArthur New Testament commentary series. Now, don't panic. Its 34 volumes. That's a library for a lifetime. It covers every book of the New Testament.
All 27 books are in the MacArthur New Testament commentary series. I preach to these books over the years, and then wrote commentaries based on those messages and with additional material. The idea of a commentary is to explain everything in the text. It's like a having me sit next to you as you study God's word. Great resource for any serious Bible student there couple ways to get the MacArthur New Testament commentary can order all 34 volumes at once or if you already own a portion of the commentary series or the volumes you need to complete the set or start with one worthy of the volumes on the Gospel of John of the book of Romans and go from there is never been a better time to buy for limited time every individual volume is 25% off the regular price. That's right, and friend. These commentaries are great to turn to when you come across a confusing verse in your own devotional time commentaries also will help you see amazing biblical truths that you may miss order of volume or two from the MacArthur New Testament commentary series today. Call us toll-free at 855 grace or go to our website TTY.org again, keep in mind that each volume of the MacArthur New Testament commentary series is available right now at 25% off the regular price and that sale goes through tomorrow. This is an ideal time to get the commentary on Romans Ephesians Revelation again to purchase John's commentary volumes discounted 25%. Call us at 855 grace or go to TTY.org. Let me also mention a few more Bible study tools that are currently available at 25% off the regular price. Starting with grace to use flagship resource.
The MacArthur study Bible. It has 25,000 footnotes that explain virtually every passage of Scripture.
You can also get books, including the gospel according to God slave fulfilled family. All of our books to take advantage of the sale. Place your order now TTY.now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson. I trust you were encouraged by today's Bible lesson and your tomorrow when John shows you what your life will look like if you're a true worship. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time by grace to you