Behold Your God — Week Seven, Day Two

11 Jul

Yesterday I wrote that there is some flexibility about how we express ourselves in worship. Therefore different church bodies may approach worship in different ways and we should hope to come to a point where we can enter in wholeheartedly to worship even if it is not according to our preference.

Today’s study may on the surface seem to contradict what I wrote yesterday, because it is largely about how we come to God in worship and how God has exacting standards for worship. In the Old Testament it is surely clear that God had precise standards for worship. Following those standards was a part of obedience to God. These instructions served many purposes. They showed what a serious thing was obedience to God. They served to unite the nation around God. They gave Israel a cultural identity. They reminded Israel that they must come to God in the way He requires.

But what about us? Under the new covenant, we do not worship in the temple. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. We do not have priests, for we have one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ. We do not see in the New Testament an excessive focus on outward forms or even extensive instructions about how worship should be structured. Instead, the New Testament focus is on the heart. Now to be sure, the Old Testament focused on the heart too but the heart really comes to the forefront with the early church.

So to honor God in worship today is less about following outward forms than it is about worshiping Him from a heart of gratitude, faith and holiness.

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