Tag Archives: True Worship

Worship Matters Part Four: True Worship Is Jesus-Driven

Our last post we left our not-so-plucky hero trembling in fear before the weighty and tangible majestic glory of God’s holiness. And just when he thought it couldn’t get any worse, one of those dreadful seraphs starts flying his way! When he awoke from this vision, he probably had to change his PJ’s and his bed sheets! He knew for sure that there was no hope for him, only the wrath of God for this poor wretch. Until…

Then one of the seraphim flew to me,
having in his hand a burning coal
that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
And he touched my mouth and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips,
your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Isaiah 6:6-7

This amazing worship experience teaches us another profound truth: True worship is a response to God’s glorious work of redemption Tweet this!.

Notice in the text that God is the one who takes the initiative. Isaiah simply stood there in utter fear because of his sin. This is the way redemption always works: “We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19). If you’re redeemed, you owe everything to God for your redemption. He is the one who drew you (John 6:44). And he didn’t draw you because you were oh-so-pretty or oh-so-smart. How chiseled your jaw is makes no difference. His redeeming love is what transforms.

The most significant word in this entire passage is the word “altar.” This little word teaches us a profound truth: Redemption is not free. One of my favorite new hymns, “How Rich a Treasure We Possess,” by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa, contains this glorious line:

How free and costly was the love
displayed upon the cross.
While we were dead in untold sin,
the Sov’reign purchased us Tweet this!
.

So for us, redemption is free. Yet redemption is the most costly purchase ever made. It was bought with the priceless and precious blood of the Son of God Tweet this! . Thank God that he is the one who purchased our atonement, initiates our salvation, and seals us until the day of redemption! Thank God that salvation is free! This is why later Isaiah preached,

Come, everyone who thirsts
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy, and eat!
Isaiah 55:1

The coal that touched Isaiah’s lips was taken from an altar. An altar is a place of sacrifice. And this was not any altar. The temple where Isaiah’s redemption was purchased and this vision took place was not any old temple, or even the temple in Jerusalem. This was the heavenly temple of which the temple in Jerusalem was just a shadow and copy. This temple was the temple where our Great High Priest, Jesus, appeared before the throne of God to purchase our redemption. This altar was the altar where Jesus offered up the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice of himself, the spotless Lamb of God (Hebrews 9:11-14, 23-28). This vision is our pulling the curtain back and seeing a glimpse of what was going on in the heavenly temple when Christ was on the cross.

True worship is our appropriate response to Christ’s work on the cross to purchase our redemption Tweet this! . True worship is our adoration, thanksgiving, gratefulness, confession, love, praise, and blessing poured out to a God who lavished his grace, mercy, love, and peace upon us through sending his Son to purchase our salvation through the cross.  True worship is Jesus-driven.

My plea to you is three-fold:

True corporate worship: Corporate worship must be Jesus-driven.

When you gather together with the people of God, if Christ is not preached and the gospel is not proclaimed, you are not worshiping the true and living God. Join and worship with a church that is gospel-centered and Christ-exalting.

True individual worship: Individual worship must be Jesus-driven.

You need the gospel. The gospel is not magical prayer that saves someone and they never need it again. The gospel is the power of God for those who are being saved (I Corinthians 1:18). You need the gospel every day. Preach the gospel to yourself daily. Chew on the truth that Christ died for you on the cross and has redeemed you for his glory Tweet this!! Make you private devotions gospel-centered and Christ-exalting.

True family worshipFamily worship much be Jesus-driven.

Leading your family well in family worship involves three things: reading Scripture together, praying together, and singing a song in worship together. The most important element is Scripture, and a helpful tip when leading a discussion about any text of Scripture is to do what C.H. Spurgeon did in his preaching. He said, “I take my text and make a beeline to the cross.” Make your family worship gospel-centered and Christ-exalting.

Go to:  “Worship Matters Part Three:  True Worship Requires Repentance

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Worship Matters Part One: Seeking True Worshipers

True or false?  Are you in danger of worshipping a false God?  Are you a true worshiper of the true and living God?  If your conception of God is not the same image of God that the Bible presents, you are worshipping a false image Tweet this! (Exodus 20:4-6).

A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us Tweet this!.”

The hour is coming and is now here when the true worshiper will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship.
John 4:23

Worship has been a hot topic in the church for the last couple decades, even to the point of being called “worship wars.”  The only encouraging thing about this battle within the church is that it means that someone, somewhere believes something.  Unfortunately, most of the battles fought have everything to do with personal preference and very little to do with God’s expectations Tweet this!.

Worship matters.  I stole this title from Bob Kauflin because it is so relevant.  I hope this post is helpful in that it discusses worship matters, but also in convincing you that worship matters!

God has revealed in His Word that he cares about worship.  It matters to him.  It ought to matter to us.  In Leviticus 9, Aaron worships “by the book.” The glory of God appears, God sends down fire from heaven that consumes his offering, and the people shout and fall on their faces.  God accepted Aaron’s offering.  It honored and glorified God because it was according to the very specific (and morbid to the 21st Century mindset) details that God had laid out for the priests.  This is a nice passage that shows that God is particular and even jealous about the way he commands to be worshiped Tweet this!.

However, Leviticus 10 gives us a even more shocking picture of God’s passionate pursuit of his own glory and how serious he takes worship.  Aaron’s sons get it in their mind that they know how to worship God better than God does.  They offer up incense to God in a manner that was contrary to God’s decree.  Once again fire falls from heaven.  But this time, the offering is not consumed, Aaron’s sons are!  God takes worship seriously. So should you Tweet this!.

A little exercise:  Take a moment to consider the one thing that makes you most happy.  Hold this activity in your mind.  If it’s a person, think of spending time with that person, etc…  Now, imagine that you take tomorrow off and do that activity all day long.  Pretty exciting?!  Now imagine taking two whole weeks and that’s all you can do is that activity.  A year.  Fifty years.

How long do you think it would take for you to grow immensely tired of that task?  At first what was a delight slowly becomes duty and ultimately drudgery.  This is the way any task in this world is.  There is nothing in this world that can truly satisfy you, fulfill you, satiate you, complete you.  That’s because you were made for another world!

“If I find within myself desires which nothing in the world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
C.S. Lewis

God is seeking true worshipers who will worship him in Spirit and truth.  Are you one of those worshipers?

Over the next four posts, I want to show four crucial truths about True Worship from Isaiah 6:1-8.

Until then, chew on these:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:28-29