Because God is holy our worship of Him must also be holy. We are called to worship Him in the beauty of holiness.
1 Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones, give unto the Lord glory and strength. 2 Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:1-2
We can discover what holy worship is like be looking at the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then expanding upon what He reveals to us by researching the Scriptures, His Word to us, so that we can clearly understand the worship that is worthy of our holy God. If we can understand genuine worship then we can wisely reject manmade worship that does not glorify God our Father. Jesus revealed to us true worship of the Father when He responded to the statement about worship from the woman at the well in Samaria. By carefully considering what Jesus said we can then be those worshippers who please our Father.
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 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. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:19-24
Many today, like this woman, worship God in ignorance. Jesus corrects this ignorance and reveals worship that is pleasing to the Father. Twice Jesus says that those who worship the Father must worship Him in spirit and truth. God is Spirit and only worship born of His Spirit and founded upon His truth, the Bible, is acceptable to Him. Worship that comes from the heart of man is earthly and sensual, led of the devil because it derives from the flesh. Worship that pleases God can only come from the hearts of those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit through belief in the truth.
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8
God sovereignly saves sinners by the work of His Holy Spirit within the heart of His elect whom He convicts of sin and then secures their salvation through belief in Jesus Christ His glorious Son who died upon the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead for our justification. Praise God for His salvation given to sinners. Worship that comes from the filthiness of the flesh is an affront to our holy God. To worship God in the beauty of holiness means the worshiper must be born again through faith in the risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Those who worship God through faith in His Son also worship Him by belief and obedience to the truth. Jesus Christ has revealed to us that God’s Word, the Bible, is the only source of truth.
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me….14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:6-8, 14-17
God glorifying worship of the Father is anchored in the bedrock of the truth of God which is His Word. The Bible is the holy, inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved Word of God revealing Jesus Christ and the holiness of our God to those who are His. Worship that is in spirit and truth is worship that is beautiful and holy. This is the worship that pleases God our Father. The worship of the world is cursed by Him, and does not enter into His presence or bring pleasure to Him. Much of what passes for worship of our holy God is merely the work of the flesh led on by the devil fed by the lies of false teaching and apostasy. Many world renowned “ministries” that are known for their worship are ugly in rebellion and worldliness. Jesus said that He is not of this world and neither are His called out ones, His beloved saints. Don’t be led astray into fleshly worship by the likes of Hillsong, Bethel of Redding, IHOP, Lakewood Church, all prosperity based “churches”, Saddleback, its many affiliates, denominational “churches”, all cults like the Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and any other gathering of people who base their “knowledge” of God upon the word of men. Man’s word only and always leads to darkness, deception and destruction. God’s Word empowered by His Holy Spirit, the Author of God’s Word, singularly and forever leads to light, liberty and life. May God bless us His children with the sincere desire to worship Him in the beauty of holiness for His praise, glory and honor, by holding fast His truth, relying upon His Spirit and rejecting the works and word of man.
36 “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” John 5:36-47