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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#845. True worship is truthful (29/6/23)

This week, our devotionals are based upon our short series on worship entitled ‘Above All’ from CCP's weekend away. In each devotional, I’ve included the recording from each session.

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:21-24)

Main idea: spirit and truth worship is the inflow and outflow of truth about God.


To listen to the message from our weekend away, follow the link below:


“Right worship, good worship, pleasing worship depends on a right mental grasp of the way God really is.” (John Piper)

For many, worship is true if it feels authentic to the person worshipping. However, to worship in truth means that we worship God as He has revealed Himself. He doesn’t adapt to us, we adapt to Him. God-pleasing worship is ‘in truth’ - it’s a response to how He has chosen to reveal Himself in His Word. To this end, worshipping out of the Word is an important value and skill to learn. As we noted in session 1, when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, His model for prayer begins with worship:

‘This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”’ (Matthew 6:9-13)

I hope we can see the way that Jesus is using the truth about God in His worship and we are to do likewise. The Bible paints us the most perfect picture of God we can have this side of heaven. Therefore, let’s use this to meditate on who He is and then turn this back to Him in worship. Terry Virgo wrote:

Believers gathering to pray need to begin by acknowledging the greatness of their God and their access to Him. It is not wise to begin a prayer meeting by completely focusing on the problem or challenges that we face. Like the early believers, we need a big view of God. Like Joshua before Jericho, we need to be more impressed and even overwhelmed by the majesty and omnipotence of the captain of the hosts of the Lord than by the height of Jericho’s walls (Joshua 5:14).’ (Terry Virgo. The Spirit-Filled Church)

To worship ‘in truth’ means that we cannot give worth to a God we do not know, to repeat our quote from John Piper:

“Right worship, good worship, pleasing worship depends on a right mental grasp of the way God really is.” (John Piper)

In our day, when the church often diminishes the truth of scripture in favour of subjectivity and personal preference, there is a danger that God says this of us:

‘When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you.’ (Psalm 50:21)

The attributes of God help us to worship (here are a few)


God is Self-existent - The God of creation is Self-Existent, sometimes called

the doctrine of Independence or Aseity. (Genesis 1:1-3; Revelation 1:8)

‘God's independence/Aseity is defined as follows: God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy.’ (Wayne Grudem)

God is Trinity - God is three and one. (Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3)

1. God is three distinct persons (the Son is not the

Father or the Spirit etc.)

2. Each person is fully God (The Father, Son

and Spirit are each fully God)

3. There is one God (one essence)


God is Eternal (Infinite in time) - God has no beginning and no end. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2)


God is Immutable or unchanging - God has always been the same (Hebrews 13:8)

‘This means that he is totally consistent: because he is necessarily perfect, he cannot change either for the better or for the worse; and because he is not in time he is not subject to change as creatures are.’ (J. I. Packer. Concise Theology)


God is Omnipresent - God is everywhere. (Psalm 139:7-10)

‘Omnipresence means that God is everywhere present with His whole being at all times’ (Charles Ryrie. Basic Theology)

God is spirit and invisible - God is not made of matter. (John 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17)

‘God's spirituality: God's spirituality means that God exists as a being that is not made of any matter, has no parts or dimensions, is unable to be perceived by our bodily senses, and is more excellent than any other kind of existence.’ (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology)

God is Omniscient (infinite in knowledge) - God knows everything that can ever be known. Isaiah 55:9)


God is Almighty or Omnipotent - God is infinite in power. Genesis 17:1; Exodus 6:2-3)

One of God’s names is God Almighty (El-Shaddai) .

‘The power of God is that ability and strength whereby He can bring to pass whatsoever He pleases, whatsoever His infinite wisdom may direct…’ (S.Charnock)


God is Sovereign King - God directs all things according to His will. (Psalm 22:28)

The Westminster Confession of Faith 1643-46 put it:

'God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.’ (Westminster Confession of Faith 1643-46)

God is love - God loves perfectly and is seen most clearly in the gospel. (Jeremiah 31:3; Ephesians 1:5; 1 John 4:7-12)

‘The love of God is uninfluenced. By this we mean, there was nothing whatever in the objects of His love to call it into exercise, nothing in the creature to prompt it. The love which one creature has for another is because of something in them; but the love of God is free, spontaneous, uncaused. The only reason God loves any of is found in His own sovereign will (Deuteronomy 7:7-9).’ (A. W. Pink. The Nature of God. Page 92)

God is Jealous - He will not share worship. (Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:23-24;2 Corinthians 11:12 )

‘God's jealousy means that God continually seeks to protect his own honour.’ (Wayne Grudem)

God is Saviour - God is our saviour from beginning to end by His grace. From predestination to glorification, our salvation is all the gift of God’s grace. (Romans 8:28-30; 1 Timothy 1:15-17)


God is holy - God is separated from and hates evil but is devoted to His glory and what is good. (Psalm 71:22, 99:9; Isaiah 6:3)


We have briefly looked at some of the attributes of God. Studying and meditating on God so as to worship Him in spirit and truth pleases God and has great promise for us, as Charles Spurgeon wrote:

'Would you lose your sorrow? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead. It is to that subject that I invite you this morning…' C. H. Spurgeon
 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. NOTICES

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Next week in our week of prayer. We are having a shared prayer meeting with Vineyard Life Church Richmond on Tuesday evening (in the building) so let's do all that we can to be there. Would be great to have at least 50 of our members there.


2. ICEBREAKER

What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?

3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER

This week, our study is based upon the subject of our weekend away. Please ensure that you use the devotionals to catch up or review our teaching on worship from our time away.

Worship is a vital subject that is often misunderstood. We could define worship in many ways and here are a few definitions:

‘We worship what we give most worth to’ (My definition)
‘Worship is our Spirit-birthed, holistic response to the revealed and supreme worth of God.’ (My definition)
‘True worship is a valuing or a treasuring of God above all things’ (John Piper)
‘Worship is when the mind rightly understands and the heart is rightly valuing God.’ (John Piper)
‘Worship is not entertainment. Worship is when the people of God come and as priests, lift up their praises, their adoration, their affection to God.’ (R. C. Sproul).

Worship is everything that we do and it also acts of worship of various kinds.

  • Please read John 4:21-24

  • True worship is in spirit. This is about worship being from our inner person rather than as a show. What does the previous chapter in John, teach us about how to get the right heart/spirit to worship?

  • True worship is in truth. How does or can one use the Bible to worship?

  • We are told that God is seeking worshippers. How do you think that God is wanting to develop your worship?

  • Please read Proverbs 4:23 (Let’s endeavour to memorise this text.)

  • SIV - What does this text teach about worship and its effects in regard to mission?

  • SIV - How can we pray for you regarding your Serving, Investing and Inviting this week (SIV)?







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