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bibleboy
Jan 29th 2009, 07:48 PM
In John 4:7-26, Our Lord rested at a well and conversed with a Samaritan woman. During the discussion the subject of worshiping God surfaced. Though the woman’s understanding of the subject was incorrect, it is evident that she was quite sincere. “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship” (vs. 20). Actually, it was God Himself who commanded where it was to be conducted. Before entering the promised land, Moses warned God’s people of this, “Be careful that you do not offer burnt offerings in every cultic place you see, but in the place which the LORD chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you” Deuteronomy 12:13-14.
Upon completion of the temple and house of worship for God in Jerusalem, The LORD approved of Solomon’s work and prayer (see II Chronicles chapters 5-7). The LORD sternly warned Solomon to avoid vain worship, and rebellion. “But if you turn away and forsake My statues and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all the peoples” 2 Chronicles 7:20. And that’s exactly what happened!
During Jesus’ time, king Herod rebuilt & remodeled the temple. But vain worship and lack of true respect for God and His will secured its destruction in 70 A.D.. Who can forget the cleansing of the temple by Jesus? He had to do this twice! (John 2:13-17, Matthew 21:12,13). Even though there were some in Jerusalem who truly did not seek to honor God (but themselves), Jesus did not deny the fact that Jerusalem was the original place under the Old Law, where worship and scarifies were to be observed. Jesus explained this to the Samaritan woman when He said, “You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews” (vs. 22). In saying this, Jesus wasn’t questioning her sincerity, that wasn’t the issue. The real issue was knowing. She not only had the wrong information about the place and procedures of worship, but she didn’t have a legitimate grasp of Who she was claiming to worship. Thus our Lord works with her sincerity by enlightening to her who God is, and what He desires.
A new era and Law was approaching, because of Israel’s continual disregard & rejection of God’s word and proper worship. The time was coming when location of proper worship would not bare a serious significance, but rather the heart and subjective actions of the worshipper! That is not to say that the condition of the heart and actions never mattered, but this time it will bare a universal significance, to all nations, and people, everywhere. Not just among the Israelites in Jerusalem. Jesus said, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father” (vs. 21). He went on to define the type of people God is looking for to worship Him, “the hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will worship in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (vs.23, emphasis added). Who are the real worshipers? Those whoare sincere and genuine about honoring the Father with the attitude of heart filled submissiveness, unto the knowledge He has revealed, and within the parameters in which He has ordained.
When is worship real? When believers come together for the common Goal of focusing upon God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and actions; in the way that He has purposed it to be done. When we assemble to worship, our aim should always be for God’s glorification and not personal gratification. It should be to magnify and please God! This of course requires real faith. Not personal ambition or secular ideals but rather, the word of God! Notice what the author of Hebrews says concerning the first worshipers, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he (Abel) obtained witness (from God) that his deeds were righteousness” (Hebrews 11:4, brackets added).
How was Abel righteous? Because he worshiped by faith. Romans 10:17 tells us, “so then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” God did not accept Cain’s worship because his worship was not in faith. It’s not that Cain didn’t receive the message, Cain disregarded it, he downplayed it, he treated it as a common thing. Thus his worship was vain, it wasn’t done in spirit and truth. It wasn’t real.
“And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?’” (Genesis 4:4-7). When our hearts and actions are captured and manifested by a real and genuine conviction of who God is, and what He has said, then our worship will be real.

Walstib
Jan 29th 2009, 08:13 PM
Hi bibleboy,

Welcome to the board! I encourage you to post in the introductions forum here (http://bibleforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=19).

Nice post I think, when did you write it?

bibleboy
Feb 9th 2009, 09:18 PM
Hi bibleboy,

Welcome to the board! I encourage you to post in the introductions forum here (http://bibleforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=19).

Nice post I think, when did you write it?


Thanx Walstib. I wrote it sometime last year, i just revised it a bit.

keck553
Feb 9th 2009, 09:26 PM
Not much has changed. People who call themselves believers continue to either know God, or know of God.