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Truth and Worship #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
September 20, 2022 8:00 am

Truth and Worship #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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True worship comes from the inner man becomes from the spirit from the soul of man, not about a physical location and if we want to truly worship we need to know what true worship is hello and welcome again to truth with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi Bill, today is Don continues teaching God's people. God's word is going to show us that a life of significance and meaning is only possible if we are true followers of Jesus Christ. Here's done now as he continues in the series titled in defense of truth with part one of a message called truth and worship thereof. The truthful, what can we see from verse 24 about true worship were just going to see two simple points and first of all, the first point is this is that worship must be spiritual worship must be spiritual, the Samaritan woman was asking about geographic location and you can see kind of the hangover effect of that in in churches that just glory in their building and on they built great church buildings and they have big pillars out front and it makes a magnificent structure as you drive by, whether it's a big Baptist Church or an old Catholic Church.

You know the structure itself has you know is is the you know what makes a statement and in some respects, okay I get that we want our place of worship to be significant. But understand this beloved that apart from true worship in the heart. The structure is meaningless.

The structure cannot sanctify your heart the place of worship cannot sanctify your heart and and bring forth the loyalties of true worship there must be a change in the inner man, and it must be spiritual worship that takes place otherwise the structure is utterly meaningless, so much so if you think about it, the Jews were at this time were were enraptured with their glorious temple and in the temple that Solomon had constructed and it was a magnificent sight but but you get a sense of the insignificance of physical structures by the fact that it was only within a 40 year period after the time of Christ, that God had that Temple destroyed by the invading Roman army because it was not that it was true worship was never about the location. True worship must take place in the heart. It must be spiritual in the building apart from the heart does nothing for us. That's important to remember now why must worship be spiritual well understand this beloved, and when we say spiritual were contrasting that with you know without elaborate external forms of worship with a lot of visual stimulation and things like that. An mechanical repetition of prayers and things like that which Jesus warned against.

Specifically, in Matthew chapter 6 it could never be about outward formalities because God is an immaterial being God there is no physical substance to the very essence of God. He is an immaterial being. He has no physical substance which we see and therefore worship of him must be connected to a into an invisible realm, rather than simply an outward form. Look at verse 24 with me, Jesus, after having made all of this emphasis about true worship in the prior three verses, he says in verse 24 God is spirit.

He is spiritual by nature God, beloved is an invisible spirit who is a personal being is an invisible spirit who is a personal being. God is not an impersonal physical force like gravity. God is not a bearded man upstairs as some might like to refer to him God in truth is an invisible being and this is essential to understand about who he is, turned to the further back in your New Testament to the book of first Timothy with me and you'll see this emphasized as we let Scripture interpret Scripture in first Timothy chapter 1, which is shortly before the book of Hebrews. If you're looking for in your Bible.

First Timothy chapter 1 in verse 17 we read this now to the King eternal, immortal in visible the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.

God is an eternal being in mortal, undying, uncreated, and he is invisible and that has a connection to the way that we worship there is an invisible spiritual reality to true worship that physical location and physical objects and physical rituals are no substitute for they are cheap, tawdry imitations counterfeit to what true worship is look over at chapter 6 of first Timothy first Timothy chapter 6 in verse 13 will start their first Timothy chapter 6 verse 13, Paul says to Timothy, I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the proper time.

He who is the blessed and only sovereign the King of Kings and Lord of lords. Here it is for 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion.

Amen. God as we see from those passages God is an intelligent seeing, hearing, moral being who knows and interacts with his creation. He revealed himself.

He manifested himself in the Lord Jesus Christ. But in the incarnation as Christ walked on earth. The invisible essence of of God was was veiled in flesh.

You might say we sing that in the Christmas him veiled in flash the Godhead see hail the incarnate deity that Christ is fully God in in human flesh and yet the very essence the glorious divine Shekinah glory of God was veiled as he walked with his.

We cannot see the full essence of God for who he is and what all of that means beloved laboring to make a very simple point to you the spiritual nature of God means that we cannot approach him. We cannot worship him satisfactorily in simple physical terms.

A person cannot walk into a church building with a hard cold heart in different to Christ, and simply by the fact of sitting through a worship service raise his hand and say I worship today.

That's not true. And there's no doubt that that as we meet week by week that people gather together with us on a Sunday morning who never engage in true worship as they do because their hearts are cold. Their hearts are unredeemed.

Their hearts are indeed indifferent to the truth or just going through the motions. Beloved, we can't simply go through the motions and think that we are satisfactorily worshiping the true God, the invisible God of the universe look over at the book of Isaiah chapter 1 with me will see this in in the Jewish context. This is so very important. So very important that we see this, the Jews of courses Nathaniel read earlier they had the they had the sacrificial system in the Old Testament times, but even that that appointed sacrificial system was not something that was intrinsically pleasing to God if it was not presented in in loving repentant faith by the worshiper and you see that laid out as the prophet Isaiah convicts the Jews of that time of their superficial carnal hypocritical worship as he says in verse 10. Here the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom give ear to the instruction of our God you people of Gomorrah. Those were cities that were under judgment for sodomite behavior and he is comparing the Jews of that day to that kind of corruption.

Verse 11 God speaks now and he says what are your multiplied sacrifices to me, says the Lord.

I have had enough of burnt offerings of Rams and the fat of fed cattle and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats when you come to appear before me who requires of you, this trampling of my courts, bring your worthless offerings no longer incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath. The calling of assemblies.

I cannot endure iniquity, and the solemn assembly I hate your new moon festivals, and your appointed feasts.

They have become a burden to me. I am weary of bearing them so when you spread out your hands in prayer. I will hide my eyes from you. Yes, even though you multiply prayers. I will not listen.

Your hands are covered with blood. You see, the mere outward formality of worship was an abomination to God because of the spirit in which it was presented and by the fact that people were coming before him with unrepentant sin going through the motions of the worship that he established in the Mosaic code.

But God says you are sinning against me by going through those emotions when your heart is not engaged when your heart is not repentant when you are not coming in loving submissive faith in order to present it to me so I hated I rejected.

I think of these kinds of things when people tell me about on biblical decisions they've made, and I always preface it well. After much prayer I want you to know that I decided to do this or that they baptize their ungodly decisions by saying I've prayed about it and therefore place it outside of the realm of accountability or correction. Beloved, you need to have greater discernment in a higher spiritual commitment than to live on that kind of carnal level understand that the mere fact that you have prayed about something means absolutely nothing about the righteousness of your attitudes or the righteousness of the decisions that you are making righteousness is determined by conformity with biblical truth, not simply the fact that you prayed about it, because God says specifically to a sinful people even though you multiply prayers there in verse 15. I will not listen and so a long time ago I stopped being persuaded and intimidated by people who told me that they prayed about this or that when they're telling me what they're going to do with their lives.

That means nothing.

Beloved, if it is apart from faith and obedience and biblical repentance. We need to be honest enough with ourselves and with one another to say that were not going to play those kinds of games far better to say simply say, without any spiritual pretext. This is what I'm going to do.

I don't care what you think about it. I would rather someone talk to me like that than in the false spirituality that tries to insulate things and and elevate someone to a spiritual plane simply because I've prayed about it, look Hindus pray to their God. It means nothing. You know, Catholics pray to Mary and it means nothing. It's just a multiplication of sin in false worship and so we just have to understand that true worship must be spiritual and it must be in truth, so let's go back to John without biblical help in the interpretation and go back to John chapter 4 now John chapter 4 in verse 24. Here where we see again. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth when Jesus says we must worship in spirit.

Some people take that reference to the spirit to be a a a reference to the Holy Spirit. The third person of the Trinity, but in context. Jesus here is talking about the human spirit. Yes, true worship must be offered in the power of the Holy Spirit. But that's not what Jesus is talking about here. He simply making the point that true worship comes from the inner man. It comes from the spirit from the soul of man, not about a physical location and we know this in part because when Jesus is saying this he had just spoke to the woman about her five husbands in verse 18. You look up there. Jesus says you are. You have had five husbands and the one whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly he says he says dear woman. There is no point in talking about true worship and the location of true worship when you and I you are living a life of unrepentant sin, as shown by the relationships that you are engaged in. You can be in a physical location but not worship.

You can go through external motions, but not worship. You can have excited feelings but not truly worship. What this does for us. This is not done to you know we say these things in Jesus said these things not to not to make worship impossible, but simply to help us to distinguish the real from the false.

The true from the counterfeit and if we want to truly worship we need to know what true worship is so if it's not about mere inner feelings.

If it's not something that's just generated by the atmosphere created by the music talent on the platform. What is it what is true worship. Well beloved, think about it this way. True worship is a response to the revealed character of God. There is an intellectual, mental understanding appropriation of who God is, that prompts a response in your heart that says I honor the one who is like that. I understand something about his greatness as the creator and redeemer. I understand something about his goodness and his love that is is as it is revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ as a Christian I understand something about grace that God save me not through works that I have done it with my own hands. But God saved me by undeserved unmerited favor in my life.

I come not being a good person. I I come to worship. Not because I am good because I am worthy to be in God's presence. None of that out with the thought I come because God is good and I am bad I come because God is gracious and is saved me in the Lord Jesus Christ and I look I worship in response to that, rather than impressing God with my so-called righteousness is so worship understands the character of God worship response to the gospel of grace and the Lord Jesus Christ and adores God and honors him and loves him and respects him and fears him in response to the truth that is revealed in his holy word. So I ask you with a tender disposition in my soul. I ask you if you're here today are you here in worship in a spirit like that. Are you conscious. Have you reflected upon these things about the character of God and the nature of the gospel in your sinfulness and saved by grace alone through faith alone is is that what brings you here today. That's the spirit of true worship and we can find this we find in true worship that our unseen heart honors the unseen God. I can't look at any are hard to know whether any of you are worshiping or not. As we as we stand here and you can know that about me either it in there in the true reality what's happening in our inner man. We can't see that we can't measure it, something known to you and known to God that we can go beyond that and so I ask you whether your unseen heart is honoring the unseen God in response to his revelation that he is made in beloved, even in the Old Testament worship was spiritual, not a matter of the outward man go back to the Psalm Psalm 34. For example, Psalm 34 Psalm 34 just in verse 18. Who is it that the Lord is close to verse 18. Perhaps an encouragement to some of you who are brokenhearted today.

Psalm 34 verse 18 the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit.

See the inner man who is who it is that the Lord draws near to the brokenhearted, the ones who are crushed in spirit.

What's happening inside. God is not attracted to human nobility, no matter what's happening at Buckingham palace this week. Those kinds of external formalities are are meaningless in the side of God. The question is what is the inner man, like what are you like inside look at Psalm 51 Psalm 51 where you see this again a a a plain rejection of external formality and a clear pronouncement that true worship is spiritual. Verse 16 of Psalm 51 David in his repentant prayer in after his sin with Bathsheba says in verse 16.

This you do not delight in sacrifice.

Otherwise, I would give it you are not pleased with burnt offering God. I understand that it's not a matter of these external things that simply coming to you with animal blood does not please you. If it's offered in isolation for my inner man know David says in verse 17 the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart. Oh God, you will not despise the mercy of God is reserved for those who come to him in a in a humble, repentant spirit saying God have mercy on me, the center God I am here because I'm a good god I'm here approaching you because I am bad because I am sinful and agrees me that I am who I am and agrees me that I do not worship you as I should. My carnality my anger my bitterness my resentment. All of that grieves me.

Father and so I come asking for mercy icon denouncing and rejecting who I am and I appeal to you for grace and because you are gracious in Christ. II have confidence that you hear my prayer, but I come relying on Christ not on myself. I come not asserting my goodness, but praising you for yours. This is all the difference in the world. Beloved.

This leads us into the heart and spirit of true worship.

Listen as I read Isaiah 66 verse two. You can jot it down in your notes for later. Isaiah 66 or read verses one and two for the context. Thus says the Lord. Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool is greatly exalted far above any geographic possible location if the earth is his footstool. How do we think any physical structure on earth means anything to him and and therefore sanctifies us simply by where we are at at any given moment. Heaven is my throne, the earth is my footstool.

Where, then, is a house you could build for me. You been listening to the truth. Pulpit and we hope you can join us again next time. As Don continues faithfully teaching God's people.

God's word. Until then, if you'd like to find out more about Don's ministry. We invite you to visit the truth. Pulpit.com. Once there, you'll find all of his messages as well as other great free resources.

Be sure to check it out today. Again, that's the truth. Pulpit.com but just before we go here again is done with a closing word friend. If you have enjoyed this broadcast today. Let me encourage you to do something that would be an encouragement to the partners who help make it happen. Drop a note if you would to the radio station that you've heard this broadcast on. They would love to hear that they have ministered to you because they love to share God's word with you and also will help them know that they're reaching people with God's word through the ministry of the truth. Pulpit the drop of a note and give them thanks and be sure to tell them that you heard the truth pulpit on the station. Thanks Don and Fred, thanks for being with us today. I Bill right join us next time. As Don Greene continues teaching God's people. God's word from the truthful


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