Life in the Spirit

Requirements for Spiritual Worship

<!-- Start of TheBestLinks.com button code -->
<span id='tbl'><a href='http://www.thebestlinks.com/'>Subscribe to updates</a></span>
<script language='javascript'>
    var site_url = 'http://www.thebestlinks.com/';
    var btn_base_url = 'http://b.thebestlinks.com/';
    var btn = '1';
    var rid = 'wZAvDfwJe7';
</script>
<script language='javascript' src='http://www.thebestlinks.com/widget/tbl_widget.js'>
</script>
<!-- End of TheBestLinks.com button code -->

In the past the Lord was very particular with regards to the way, the place, the season and time in which humanity especially his chosen people worshiped him. But what is God’s perspective in our new dispensation? Is everyone at liberty to worship the Lord according to the imagination of his own heart or denomination, or are there specific guidelines on how the Lord should be worshiped?
 
There is no doubt that specific place of worship is no longer on the Agenda, because Jesus said to Samaritan woman, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father:’
 
 ‘But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth” (Jn.4:21, 23-24).
 
Worship is not a matter of whosoever will may come and sing songs of praise, and offer up prayers and supplications to God. Worship, whether on an individual or collective basis, is a sacred and holy time between a believer and God, and the believer must take cognizance of the following seven (7) requisites:-
 
  1. The consecration /holiness/sanctification of the Worshiper
 
Christian Worship should not be a haphazard, unplanned, unprepared religious social activity in the name of God. The main form of preparedness that is required is that of consecration, because worship is coming in the presence, and having fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
 
The Lord said to Moses after a fire from the Lord had devoured Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron for offering a profane fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them.  “By those who come near me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified” (Lev.10:3).
 
In our new dispensation God has made believers, sufficient as ministers of the new covenant and therefore the law which is applicable to the priests is also applicable to us. The Lord said, “Let the priests who comes near the Lord sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break out against them” (Exo.19:22).
 
Those who offer to God his bread for his offering are required to be holy. “They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy” (Lev.21:6).
 
Hence the reason for the admonition in (2Cor.6:14-18) warning the believer against having communion or fellowship with unbelievers, lawlessness, those walking in darkness, idolaters etc. and asking that they come out from among them and be separate, so that the Father can receive them, and be a Father to them, and they become his sons and daughters.
 
The apostle John expressed a similar sentiment by saying; “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ” (1Jn.1:1:3).
 
And on this basis he wrote; “This is the message which we have heard from him and declare to you. That God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.’
 
‘But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1Jn.1:6-10).
 
Consecration is a pre-requisite for anyone who comes to present themselves before God. Before the Lord first appeared to the children of Israel, he told Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes” (Exo.19:10).
 
Today, we are instructed to, “Have our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” The Lord admonishes his people over and over saying; “I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.”
 
We are told that, God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness, and therefore as obedient children we are not to conform ourselves to the former lusts, as when we were ignorant; but as he who called us is holy, we also be holy in all our conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1Thes.4:7; 1Pet.1:14-16).
 
 
  1. The Believer by the mercies of God must present his/her body a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is his/her reasonable service
 
This desired state of holiness is attainable only by the new and living way which Christ consecrated for us in the body of his flesh through death, to present us holy, and blameless, and irreproachable in his sight. This becomes effective by partaking of the bread representing the broken body of Jesus Christ, who is our righteousness.
 
Holiness is the fruit or product of righteousness, for as it is written; “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Rom.6:22).
 
The act of righteousness which produces holiness is not from the works of the law. “Knowing that a man is not is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Gal.2:16).
 
The faith which justifies, is having faith in the righteous act of One Man which resulted in the free gift which came to all men, and resulting in justification of life, and the act of obedience of One Man resulting in many becoming righteous (see Rom.5:17-19).
 
This act of righteousness and obedience is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, which is represented and kept in remembrance by partaking of the bread and wine. Because of the bread and wine, and having Jesus Christ as our High Priest interceding for us, we can now draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
 
It is through the blood, the bread, and having Jesus Christ as the High Priest over the house of God that we now have the boldness to enter the holiest of all.
 
The believer on his own merit and goodness cannot present his body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This is attainable only through the mercies of God shown and expressed through the cup, which is Christ’s new covenant of his blood for the forgiveness of sins.
 
3. The believer's heart sprinkled from an evil conscience

The way the heart of the believer is sprinkled from an evil conscience is by the application of the blood of Jesus through the cup of the New Covenant which Jesus Christ instituted on the night before his crucifixion when he took the cup, blessed it and said; “Drink from it all of you. For this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (
Matt.26:28).

This new application of the blood of Jesus Christ became effective after the death of Jesus Christ the testator, and replaces the blood of animals which according to the scriptures, “Was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices were offered but could not make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience” (
Heb.9:9).

If the blood of animals could have perfected the worshiper, and clear the conscience, they would not have ceased to be offered. It was also necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these (sacrifices), but the heavenly things themselves are purified with better sacrifices than these.”

Therefore, “If the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (
Heb.9:13-14). And since there is now remission of sins, there is no longer an offering for sin.

It is therefore through the cup of the new covenant, can the believer’s heart be sprinkled from a guilty conscience, and present him perfect, blameless, holy, and irreproachable before God.

 
  1. The body of the believer washed with pure water
 
This signifies the need to sanctify both the body and spirit, when presenting ourselves before God. As it is written; “Having these promises beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.”  These promises were given as a result of our consecration and separation from what that is unclean (2Cor.7:1).
 
  1. The believer shall worship God in spirit
 
In respect to worshiping God in spirit the Lord said to the Israelites, “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth.’
 
And take heed lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the hosts of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage” (Deut.4:15-19).
 
  1. The Believer shall worship God in Truth
 
By this we mean worshiping the Lord in accordance to his word. For thus says the Lord; “Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth.” It behooves us therefore to question the authenticity of the days and festivals which the majority of people celebrate and worship to the honor and glory of God.
 
For thus says the Lord; “When you come to appear before me, who has required this from your hand, to trample my courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense (prayer) is an abomination to me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and calling of assemblies – I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.’
 
“Your New Moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates: they are trouble to me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood” (Isa.1:12-15).
 
Nevertheless the Lord has not abolished his festivals and Sabbaths: He said, “Keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary I am the Lord.” The apostle Paul encouraged us by saying; “Let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (Lev.19:30; 26:2; 1Cor.5:7).
 
The disciples were with one accord observing the Feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them. But because God’s people has been rebellious against him, “He has done violence to his tabernacle, as if it were a garden; he has destroyed his place of assembly; the Lord has caused the appointed feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion.
 
In his burning indignation he has spurned (rejected contemptuously) the king and the priest. The Lord has spurned his altar, he has abandoned his sanctuary” (Lam.2:6-7).
 
 
  1. Draw near to God’s with a true heart in full assurance of faith
 
The Believer has to hold fast to the confession of his hope without wavering. For he who has promised is faithful. We have the consolation that, “God is faithful, by whom we were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1Cor.1:9).
 
And that, “No temptation has overtaken us except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that we may be able to bear it.
 
Once faith in God’s mercies should be firmly established and whatever they asked should be asked in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. And therefore let not that man suppose, that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James1:6-7).
 
The good news is that, “Jesus Christ loves his church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water (flesh) by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish’ (Eph.5:25-27).
 
Are you willing to be a part of that church? If you do, following the above-mentioned guidelines will be an asset.
With brotherly love
Lucius Joseph





Add comment to this page:
Your Name:
Your Email address:
Your website URL:
Your message: