Wednesday, October 12, 2005

True Worship

What Is True Worship?
A. W. Pink

Arthur W. Pink addressed the issue of worship in his three volume commentary on John published in 1945. As I read his words, I was amazed at how timely his commentary is for our day.

"We must worship ‘in spirit,’ and not merely with the physical senses. We cannot worship by admiring grand architecture, by listening to the peals of a costly organ or the anthems of a highly trained choir. We cannot worship by gazing at pictures, smelling incense, counting of beads. We cannot worship with our eyes or ears, noses or hands for they are all ‘flesh,’ and not ‘spirit.’ Moreover, spiritual worship must be distinguished sharply from social worship, though there are few today who discriminate between them. Much, very much, of our modern so-called worship is soulical, that is, emotional. Music which makes one ‘feel good,’ touching anecdotes which draw tears, the magic oratory of a speaker which thrills his hearers, the cleaver showmanship of professional evangelists and singers who aim to ‘produce an atmosphere’ of worship(?) and which are designed to move the varied emotions of those in attendance, are so many examples of what is soulical and not spiritual at all. True worship, spiritual worship, is decorous, quiet, reverential, occupying the worshipper with God Himself; and the effect is to leave him not with a nervous headache (the inevitable reaction from the high tension produced by soulical activities) but with a peaceful heart and a rejoicing spirit."

Contrary to popular belief and practice, worship is neither a function of the flesh nor humanly generated emotions. It is of the spirit! Philippians 3:3 says, For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. In fact, Christ denounced those who presumed to worship by fleshly means. Christ says in Matthew 15:8-9 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

God directs how we are to worship Him "…they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.." Therefore as believers we must carefully examine our worship. If we see that our "worship" is mindless, shallow, and/or of the flesh and not the spirit…repent! Consider this verse in closing, God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. Psalms 89: 7

1 comment:

Chris P. said...

I do enjoy Pink's thoughts and teaching. You are right in that true worship is a spiritual work. I would say just like your post above that worship and doctrine are useless unless manifested, Unfortunately the "church", modern and post-modern alike, has relegated all of this to methods/liturgy and forms of gathering in a building or Starbuck's, or wherever, and connecting with God without taking Romans 12:1-2 to heart. God has "connected" with us. Therefore I can now worship Him by being the living sacrifice He commands us to be. From the OT Hebrews on, worship and obedience/submission/understanding/acting upon His Word, are one and the same thing. We can only know this by being transformed by the renewing of our minds, which is only done by and through the Word of God.