Volume. XXIV, No. 36
Sunday, 07 March 2010

Worship Part 4

So far, I have spoken about the first out of eleven guidelines for worship based on the occurrences of the word, worship, in the Bible. The first principle was that the Bible tells us about manners of worship. Before I talk about the second point, let me answer the question, “why do we care about manners of worship at all?” Isn’t it true that worship is spiritual and the forms or manners of worship really do not matter? There are two things we need to consider: (1) being spiritual does not mean disorderliness in forms and manners, (2) worship is a reflection of our inner relationship with God, which will come forth with certain forms or manners.
The first consideration is beyond dispute. Consider religions in general. The Moslems turn toward Mecca five times a day and make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Obviously there are many other things they do in order to worship Allah. American Indians used to worship their gods by erecting totem poles. Think about Hindus or other religious people and how they worship. They do have their own rules and guidelines for worship. Even Satan worshippers have their ways to serve evil spirits. Why do Christians think they can worship God without proper form or manner of worship? Some professing Christians may say that we are free, free in Christ. Thus, we can worship God in spirit which does not require any formality. Freedom does not mean without boundaries and limits. If a free person does whatever he desires, sooner or later he will see himself as bound. Freedom does not mean license, debauchery, or self- indulgence. Though we do not live under Old Testament regulations, we should not neglect the spirit of God’s Old Covenant. Literally, God taught His people how to worship Him. Look at the book of Leviticus, which was a textbook of worship for the children of Israel in the Old Testament. We do not follow that book today, but the same spirit must rule over our worship. Worship is not to be done in any disorderly manner. Having a proper order in worship services and certain guidelines for the worshippers makes our worship neither legalistic nor spiritual. One thing that I cannot but mention is the danger of consumerism or worshipper-friendly philosophy. The fundamental focus of worship is not man but God. Worshippers are not to make their own definitions of being spiritual. When they feel good, they think they are spiritual. Thus, churches have tried to provide things that their congregations like.
Two more things need further considerations: (1) Worship is for God, and thus worshippers must show their reverence to Him and His name. (2) Presumptuousness is a dangerous enemy of true worshippers. With all good intentions and good hearts, people worship God presumptuously and feel good. Deuteronomy 17:13 cautions us not to be presumptuous: “And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.” Psalm 19:13a also says, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins...” “Feeling good” does not make our worship upright. Probably, one of the presumptuous areas in worship is music.
The second consideration is that what we do must be a reflection of who we are. If we are godly and spiritual inwardly, such godliness and spirituality must be shown through worship. If we respect God, then we ought to show our respect to Him. If we adore Him, then the adoration must be shown through worship. We cannot say that we respect Him, while we are coming to church casually. We cannot say that we adore Him, while we do not have proper worship manners. We do not treat the leaders of our countries, communities, or work places as some professing Christians treat their God.
Second, we need to know the object of worship, which is God alone.
I need to mention that the object of our worship, God, is the very reason why we need to care about the ways we worship Him. If we truly know Him, we will know how to worship Him. The reason that Christian worship services have been more relaxed recently raises the very question about our understanding of God. Who is He? Manner of worship will eventually show how we consider God. The way we worship will demonstrate how we view God. The manner of our worship is a reflection of our theology of God.
God alone is worthy of our worship. Exodus 34:14, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” God is the only object of biblical worship, which certainly excludes any idea of idol worship or religious syncretism. Deuteronomy 4:19, “And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.” Sun, moon, or star worship is not allowed, which includes astrology. Angels are not the object of our worship, either. Revelation 22:9 says, “Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” In fact, serving other gods is only an indication that we have been deceived as Deuteronomy 11:16 says: “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them” [cf. 1 Kings 9:9; 12:30; 22:53]. God, the object of worship, is not vague; we do not need to decide who that person is. It is clearly declared in 2 Kings 17:36, “But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.” Godworship is exclusive. Psalm 81:9 says, “There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.” Idols include anything made with human hands (probably in today’s climate, it must include anything that has been falsely invented by human mind). Isaiah 2:8, “Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made” [cf. Micah 5:13]. Idolatry provokes God’s anger. Jeremiah 25:6 says, “And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.” True worship is well mentioned in Revelation 9:20, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk” [cf. Revelation 20:4].
It indicates that we need to know of God, if we are to worship Him. There is such a thing as ignorant worship. Acts 17:23 says, “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” Where there is no true doctrine of God, there is no true worship. Paul worshiped God right, but he was accused for heresy. Acts 24:14 says, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” Jesus Christ is the object of worship, because He is equal to the Father. In fact, all the angels are commanded to worship Him in Hebrews 1:6, “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” The same angels worship the Father in Revelation 7:11, “And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.”
When I see how you worship God, I can see your view of God. Your understanding and theology of God will formulate the way you worship. Talk to you next week. God bless!
Pastor Ki (as published in New Life BPC, London)
My family and I would like to express our sincere thanks to Pastor Weng and the congregation of Hope Church for the love, prayers, spiritual, physical and financial support for my children and I during the death of my late husband. We appreciate the support you all have showered upon us thus enabling us to live through that very difficult time.
I want to thank Hope Church and the congregation for their generosity in providing us with love gifts. As not all love gifts are made known to me, I cannot personally thank all of you but suffice to say that your generosity to my family and I is much appreciated.
Thank you.
Siew Ling Tan; Joey, Wei Yi, and Yun Yi Teh
Lively Hope Article

More Lively Hope



Kitchen Rosters:Team Leader: Bro Yick Ho Lam. Next Lord’s Day Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Lucas Yiew.
Basic Bible Knowledge Class (BBK):  Starts today in the Extended Sanctuary.
Christian Books available from:
1) Faith & Freedom Ministries, PO Box 1117 Innaloo City, Perth WA 6018;
2) Reformation Book Centre, Magill Free Church, 496 Magill Road, Magill. Open for book sale on Weds, 4:30 - 6:30 pm.
Appreciation Dinner for 2009 Christmas Concert organizers & active participants will be held this evening, at 6pm.
Looking Ahead
Sunday School Workshop, Sun, 28 Mar, at 7 pm.
Family Bible Camp, Easter weekend, 2-4 April 2010.
Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr & Mrs S H Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Len & Richard Pearson, Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Myung Ki (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
Radio & chemotherapy treatments - Bro Winston Selvanayagam.
Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & ministry (Sihanoukville); Bro Thi Chhay (Kratie BPC); & Bro Paul Sokha (Battambang).
Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam.
iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim (Melb).
IBPFM (USA) - missionaries & funds.
Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond). For guidance, wisdom and protection.
Hopefuls in S’pore - Grandpa Ki; Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan; Bro Eu Jzin Tan; Sisters Angie Chen, Amanda Fu, Gillian Ong, Joanne Tan, Serene Wong, & Mag Yu; In Kuching: Teo family.
God’s comfort - All those in grief.
Study in Sydney: Bro Joshua Chung.
Inaugural worship service of Covenant B-P Church (Perth) next Lord’s Day at 3pm.
Journey mercies: Bro Cong Pham, & Dr Joseph Seow (Adl); & Sisters Chrisanthi Selvanayagam & Peng Ha Yeo (Adl).
God’s guidance & help for Sis Mag Yu (S’pore).
Bro Richie & Sis Myra Hornung (Mindanao).
Family Bible Camp at Easter: Rev & Mrs Tracy Minnick, organisers, & participants.
Revival in Church: more to come for Bible Study.
Job - Sisters Marion Chan, Judy Li, & Corinne Teng.
Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Josephine Wong & Bernadette Ng.
Unity of fellowship & doctrine of B-P Churches.
Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Rev & Mrs Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren (Adl); Sisters Melissa Chong & Maybelline Tan (Adl), & Chrisanthi Selvanayagam (Syd), & all others who have travelled.
Church activities - over the past week.
Corporate Prayer Meeting (CPM) last Wed.
Rain & good weather over past 3 days.
Daily mercies, protection & guidance.





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