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WORSHIP
by Vernon Dunning

To worship is: To quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, To feed the mind with the truth of God, To purge the imagination with the beauty of God, To open the heart to the love of God, To devote the will to the purpose of God.

John 4:20-26 tells us when Jesus was at the well of Jacob talking to the woman of Samaria, “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.”

A. It is important for us to understand what the Bible means when ‘worship’ is used.
B. Worship is a fundamental Bible concept and is absolutely essential to a right relationship with God.
C. Worship is a very important part of our existence.

I. THE ART OF WORSHIP.
    A. Worshiping God is an art. Worship is a skill acquired by experience, study or observation.
    B. Worshiping God requires knowledge.
       1. We must know the truth to properly worship God.
          a. The truth came unto men by Jesus Christ. John 1:17 reads: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” In John 14:6 Jesus talking to Thomas, “saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
          b. The truth is found in God’s word. John 8:32 tells us: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 17:17 reads, “Sanctify them through thy truth: Thy word is turth.”
          c. The truth is given by the Spirit of truth. John 16:13 reads, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: And He will shew you things to come.”
       2. We must know God to properly worship Him. John 4:24 tells us: “God is a spirit: and they that worship Him just worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
          a. We know God through Jesus Christ. John 1:18 reads: “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared him.”
    C. Worshiping God properly is rewarding.
       1. Worship is for God’s glory. Psa. 29:1 tells us, “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
       2. Worship is for man’s good. Heb. 10:19-20 reads, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”.
          a. It allows us to draw near to God. Heb. 10:22 continues, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
          b. It reinforces faith. Heb. 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
          c. It provokes Christian living. Heb. 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

II. THE ATTITUDE OF WORSHIP.
    A. We must worship God rationally and sincerely.
       1. There is a difference between form and faith
          a. The Pharisees were strong advocates of tradition.
          b. But worship must be of faith.
       2. There is a difference between show and sincerity.
          a. Some want to be seen of men.
          b. We must come to worship with sincere hearts.
       3. There is a difference between hypocrisy and holiness.
          a. Jesus called some worshipers “hypocrites”, Mt. 15:7-9 reads, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
          b. God wants holy worshipers who are genuine. 1 Chr. 16:29 tells us, “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”
    B. We must worship God enthusiastically.
       1. The Bible teaches God’s people to:
          a. Go gladly. Psa. 122:1, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
          b. Worship reverently. Psa. 95:6, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”
          c. Pray earnestly. James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
          d. Sing joyfully. Psa. 95:1, “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”
          e. Listen attentively. James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear”.
          f. Act unitedly. Psa. 133:1, “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
          g. Live peacefully. Num. 6:24-26, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
          h. Do dutifully. James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

III. THE ACTS OF WORSHIP.
    A. Worship on the Lord’s day consists of 5 acts of worship.
       1. Singing is worship to God. Eph. 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
       2. Praying is worship to God. Acts 2:42, “and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” John 14:13-14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
       3. Giving is worship to God. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 16:1-2, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
       4. The Lord’s Supper is worship to God. Mt. 26:26-28, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
       5. Teaching and preaching is worship to God. Paul tells us in 2 Tim. 4:1-2, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
    B. To offer acceptable worship, we must be acceptable worshipers.

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