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Truth and Worship #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
September 21, 2022 8:00 am

Truth and Worship #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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September 21, 2022 8:00 am

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We have to repent of our worldly thinking and think God's thoughts after him. God has established how we are to worship in Scripture. This is the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello, I'm Bill Wright. Today, as Don continues teaching God's people God's Word, he's going to show us that unless we are true worshipers of God, our lives have no positive eternal significance or meaning. Let's join Don now for part two of a message called Truth and Worship here on the Truth Pulpit. Listen as I read Isaiah 66 verse 2.

You can jot it down in your notes for later. Isaiah 66, I'll read verses 1 and 2 for the context. Thus says the Lord, heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool.

He's 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 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? For my hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being, declares the Lord. God says I created the heavens and the earth. Don't think that anything that you make or that you do with your hands impresses me.

It's no doubt an impossibility. I spoke the universe into existence and you want to talk to me about your little, you know, your red brick building with pillars on the front? My hand made all these things, thus all things came into being, declares the Lord. Here's the point for today for those in this room, but to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit and who trembles at my word. Here is worship. Here is worship.

God, I see the 66 books of the Bible. I see your word and I understand something of the content of it and I bow before it. I tremble at the majesty of your written revelation. I tremble at the majesty of the revelation in the incarnate word, the Lord Jesus Christ. I tremble at that, Father. I tremble at your holiness that you have made yourself known like this. I tremble at in the presence of pure, unadulterated, inerrant, infallible truth knowing that I am a man whose lips are unclean and my lips speak lies. I tremble at that because I see how different, in essence, your word is from who I am on my own. I tremble at it and I bow before you. I exalt you in my presence rather than exalting myself in your presence. And that contrition of spirit, God, I am not the man that I should be. I'm not the woman that I should be. I'm a man of unclean lips. I live among a people of unclean lips. And here I am in the presence of your truth, revealed in your word, written and incarnate.

God, this fills me with a sense of fear, majesty, and I respond to you in that way. Even in the Old Testament, we see that worship was spiritual, not outward. The outward sacrifices were never the essence of worship. True worship was always inward. The sacrifices in the Mosaic system were mere shadows to teach God's people to approach him through the sacrifice of an innocent victim, to picture for them their sin, to picture for them their need of a substitute and bloodshed on their behalf if they are to enter into the presence of a holy God. This was the lifelong lesson of centuries of Old Testament worship.

The sacrifices themselves, apart from repentant faith, were never acceptable to God. And so, beloved, bringing this into today for us, what you and I have to understand is that going through the motions of a cold formality without heart engagement is not true worship. And the sad reality is I reflect on my own life and, you know, and probably for most of us, you know, that much of what we have done in the name of worship has not really been worship because it's been done with a mind that was not engaged, a heart that was not engaged in the matter, a heart not responding to worship, just going through the motions. True worship is spiritual. True worship is lofty. True worship requires the inner man to engage himself, herself with the truth of God.

And there must be that attitude of trusting faith. Jesus said, thinking about it in New Testament terms, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Beloved, do you see it? Again and again and again, I've multiplied texts to make this simple point to you that even in the Beatitudes, Jesus is emphasizing the inner man, hunger, thirst, righteousness. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. This is the lofty standard of worship. Because God is a spirit, worship must be spiritual in order to be true. Now, going back to the Gospel of John chapter 3, just to set this text from chapter 4 in its broader context, what all of this means, beloved, what we see the necessity of is that for a man to offer true worship like what we're talking about here, a man born into sin under the domination of the devil, under the wrath of God, there is an utter impossibility for an unsaved man to offer true worship to God.

Even his prayer is an abomination. And what this means is that you must be born again. You must receive new life from God if you are going to offer true worship to him at all. Look at John chapter 3, verse 3.

And I won't spend much time here, but I need to at least make the point. Jesus speaking to Nicodemus, a ruler and a teacher of the Jews in that time, Jesus speaks to a man like that, a leader in the chosen people, a leader and teacher in Israel. And Jesus looks at him and said to him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. There must be a revolutionary change by the power of God in your inner man, or you cannot enter the kingdom at all.

Nicodemus said to him, how can that happen? How can a man be born when he's old? How can I be born again given who I am and at this stage in my life? Jesus answered, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh.

That which is born of the spirit is spirit. Beloved, only in Jesus Christ and by the new birth can anyone know and truly worship God. True worship must be spiritual. Now, secondly, turning back to John 4, worship must be spiritual. And secondly, the other side of the coin to this, worship must be true.

It must be true. God only accepts biblical worship. He only accepts biblical worship. Look at there in verse 24 with me.

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. Now notice that word must there. You know, it must take place this way.

It's a very fascinating term in the original language. Must is an indication that there is no other option. And must in this specific Greek term, the word dei, D-E-I, not D-A-Y, dei indicates that this is the divine plan. It is necessary.

It must happen in this way or it does not happen at all. In other words, this is the divine mandate for worship. It must be done in truth.

He requires it to be done in truth. And so, beloved, that means that God sets the terms on which we worship. We cannot simply make up our own approach to worship.

We do not have that liberty. God is God. And God has said, this is how I must be worshiped by my people. And the people who are not mine cannot worship me because they are dead in sin and they are under judgment.

They need to be born again. For my people, I have revealed how I want to be worshiped. That is found in my word, and that is the way, and that alone is the way in which I must be worshiped. Jesus says there in verse 24 that we must worship in spirit, we've seen that, and truth.

Well, let's consider what that means here a little bit. Truth matters to God, even if it does not matter to men. The fact that you and I may be indifferent to truth and not think that it's all that important in the midst of the very busy lives we lead, we should not project our carelessness and indifference onto a holy God. To God, truth matters whether men care about it or not, it does matter to God. And he says that worship to me must be made in accordance with biblical truth. And beloved, where do we find that truth? How do we know what God finds acceptable worship to be? Well look, it ought to be obvious to us by now that we can't measure true worship by which church has the most cars in its parking lot on a Sunday morning, by which church has the biggest building or the most people in attendance. That says nothing about whether it is true or not. It might be an indication of earthly popularity, but false teachers were popular in Jesus' day, and true teaching by Jesus drove the crowds away rather than attracting them, as you read at the end of John chapter 6.

Many who followed him were no longer following him anymore. It's not a popularity contest. We can't take a Barna poll and determine what truth is. We can't assign to a church marketer that we see on a social media feed who promises to build our church. We can't rely on that to know if our worship is true or not. And if it's not true, it doesn't matter how many people come to join us in our idolatry.

The numbers don't matter. We have to repent of our worldly thinking and of our carnal aspirations and think God's thoughts after him and what God wants in worship. And here's the critical point, beloved. God has established how we are to worship in scripture. In 2 Timothy 3 16, a verse that we look at for many reasons, very often, but just understand this as I read it to you.

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. Scripture equips us for worship. If God is seeking people to be true worshipers, then isn't it obvious when he has given us a word that is adequate for everything that we need for life and godliness? Isn't it obvious that we would find within the four corners of the Bible what God requires for worship?

We don't need big creative teams. We don't need to pay a big platform budget to find out what acceptable worship is and bring in the youngest, most immature people who have creative gifts in order to make our worship something that's pleasing to God. That's the entirely wrong way to think about things, is to look to human ingenuity and creativity to find the secret to worship. There is no secret. It's all revealed in scripture.

That's what we need to pay attention to. And what do we find in spiritual worship when the Holy Spirit from God is working and influencing people? What does scripture say the elements of true worship are? Well, I want to take you to a couple of passages in scripture. Look at the book of Acts, chapter 2, with me. The book of Acts, chapter 2.

What is the biblical emphasis? We'll start in verse 38 because it reinforces the repentant faith aspect that we've been talking about. Peter, having preached the gospel to the Jews in that day, they said, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter answered him in verse 38. He said, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself. God calls them to himself. God causes one to be born again. They repent. They believe in Christ. They're baptized as an expression of their of their faith. And Peter, in a generation that was of wickedness that had just crucified the Messiah, with many other words, he solemnly testified, verse 40, and kept on exhorting them, saying, Be saved from this perverse generation. He calls them out of the world. He calls them to recognize the wickedness of the environment in which they live, to renounce it, to reject it, to denounce it, and to come to Christ, leaving the world behind and giving everything about themselves only and exclusively to Christ alone in a repentant faith.

That's what conversion looks like. It's not just this sentimental sense of asking Jesus into your heart. There's a recognition that the world in which I live in is wicked. I myself am wicked and sinful.

I need to flee from all of that and go to Christ alone in order to be saved. And so then, verse 41, those who had received his word were baptized, and that day they were added about 3,000 souls. And what did they do?

What was the overflow of that? What did their worship then look like? Having repented, believed, been baptized, now what did they give themselves over to? What was worship?

And there you see it. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer, something of which the world has no interest. The world has no interest in opening the Bible and teaching it, no interest in fellowshipping, sharing life with the true people of God, no interest in breaking of bread, probably a reference to the remembrance of the communion table, no interest in true prayer. The world does not care about that, and yet this is what becomes the center of true worship for believers and for church assemblies. You know, we teach the Word of God, we fellowship with one another, we pray, we break bread.

This is what true worship looks like. You can see another perspective on it in the book of Ephesians, if you turn there with me. In Ephesians chapter 5 in verse 17, God's Word says, Do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is, and do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.

Have your mind controlled by the Holy Spirit. In the parallel passage in Colossians 3, we see that being filled with the Spirit is equated with a mind that is dwelling richly on the Word of Christ. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, it says, Colossians 3 verse 16, at the same point in a parallel text. And then what do we do? What flows out of that fullness of the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God even the Father.

You see it? Spirit-filled person, Spirit-filled heart, and the overflow of this in worship is joyful songs, joyful mutual instruction and admonition and gratitude. Gratitude not simply in a generic sense, but gratitude that is given to the object and the source of our blessings. Gratitude expressed to Christ. Christ, God in human flesh, as we saw from chapter 1 verse 14 last time, recognizing him for who he is, recognizing that our blessings of salvation come from him, and therefore we sing praises to him and we express our gratitude to him as we teach his word, as we gather in fellowship, as we join together in prayer. This is worship.

This is worship from the inner man expressed in these kinds of outward manifestations of truth. What we care about is what God thinks and what God wants, and we believe that God has made that plane in Scripture, and we seek to emulate that pattern. Whether we do it well or not, we'll find out at the judgment seat.

We do not need modern programs. We do not need big, expensive church consultants to come in from outside and to tell us what to do. Here's what you need to do in your church. Well, look, if it's in the Bible, we've already got it, and so you're just telling us what we already know from Scripture, and if it's not in the Bible, we don't need it, and so we'll just save, you know, six figures on your consultant fee and go on with life. In Deuteronomy chapter 12, it says this. Deuteronomy chapter 12, verse 32, it says, God says, whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do.

You shall not add to nor take away from it. Our liberty and worship, our marching orders in worship, is what is found in Scripture. If it is commanded in Scripture for worship, we are to do it. Beloved, if it is not stated in Scripture, we are not to do it.

We are not to add to it. What is commanded is what is permitted. What is not commanded is actually forbidden, because we must worship in truth, and God has revealed His truth in His Word. Now, one final aspect about this worshiping in truth, but true worship must be, can only be, offered through our mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ. We must consciously go through Christ in order to find our access to God.

First Timothy 2, verse 5 says, there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. And so true worship must be made through Christ and Christ alone. What we mean by that is that we must consciously, repeatedly think on, dwell on, rely on the person and work of Jesus Christ.

We do not come to God in our own goodness, in our own works. We come only in Christ, only in Christ, only in Christ for worship, because it is only in Christ that an unsaved person can find their way to God. Worship of God must conform to the revelation of God. That is the exclusive way to worship God, and there is no other. Worship that is not in spirit, worship that is not in truth, is no worship at all.

It's actually a sin against God, even when it's done in His name. And so I just ask you, are you a true worshiper? Have you been born again?

Do you repent from sin? Do you trust in Christ alone? Is it your priority and aim in life to be biblical in life and in worship? For God said, you must worship in spirit and in truth. And beloved, these questions matter.

These questions matter because Christ himself is the one who said that those who worship God must worship in spirit and in truth. That's Don Green with part two of a message called Truth and Worship here on the Truth Pulpit. Well, we hope today's lesson has blessed and encouraged you and that you'll be able to join us again next time here on the Truth Pulpit. Until then, you can go to thetruthpulpit.com and there you can download podcasts or request CD copies of Don's messages. And by the way, if you're in the Cincinnati area, check out the Service Times for Truth Community Church that's also on our website and plan a visit. We would love to welcome you. Again, come to thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright inviting you to join us next time as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-17 08:03:13 / 2023-01-17 08:11:44 / 9

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