True Worship – Part One
He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
“But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person”
1 Corinthians 5:11
The Life of Christ will naturally conform to and fulfill the Word of God. Christ Himself is the Living Word and His Spirit in us must, by its very nature, empower us to live in its Holy Way. We are here to “do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God”. It is not Mercy to compromise with sin; it is mercy to hate any sin in our lives as it is to confront sin within the Body of Christ. The purpose of Mercy is to enable men and women to give themselves as a “living sacrifice” unto God. It is never intended to give people license to remain in their sin. How short-sighted are those who would preach a gospel contrary to the purpose of God in His Mercy. The ministrations of God’s Justice and His Mercy are never in conflict. (see note below**)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service”
Mercy truly received will always produce a life which grows into the very righteousness of God Himself. Those who would pervert mercy as a license to sin have no understanding of what Salvation in Christ means. It is a “different” gospel which speaks of compromise and godlessness; a gospel which leaves men and women powerless with regards to the victory of Christ over sin. Such a gospel leaves the individual bound to their sin and brings them to the very gates of hell itself. Christ came to inject the very dunamis of His Life to save us, empower us and resurrect us unto righteousness and godly living. May we ever be exhorted to “fight the good fight of faith” and to contend in Christ for the ascendancy over sin.
“Thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from* their sins”
*Greek Word: ἀπό (apo) “any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed” Thayer Greek Lexicon
“What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law, but under grace?
**NOTE: This exhortation of Paul was written to cut off those who live in sin and flaunt it without remorse or desire to change. There are those who struggle against sin, who seek help and ministry, to whom we are to pour out our very souls unto God on their behalf that they may also know of the power and the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. This word of exhortation is that there would be a standard in HIS CHURCH so that sin and the stain of its consequences would not be tolerated in the Body of Christ. Compromise is the downfall and the sin of a worldly and powerless church. It is a day for the Church to begin to arise with His Light and Glory (Revelation 19:7).
“But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these…”
2 Timothy 3:1-5
“My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives”
Every child of God will know and experience His dealings; it is the surest sign of Him setting His Love upon us. King David knew much of God’s blessings and judgments. He was inspired to declare in Psalm 23:4 “Thy Rod and Thy Staff, they comfort me”. The true in heart find as much comfort in God’s Rod of correction as they do in the Staff of His provision and protection. All God’s children know of His correction, but many do not benefit from it. It is here where disciples are distinguished from adherents. Correction has no benefit to those who ignore God’s dealings. Those who seek to know the wonder of Him appointing them to His service, will consider these things as vital to their development.
“All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby”
The peaceful fruit of righteousness is the result of being exercised by His corrections! Why would we ignore or take lightly His dealings with us? His corrections are given to make us partakers of His Life.
“Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?”
We want life, His Life, in us. His Life grows in those who are in subjection to His corrections. A stubborn and rebellious child will not bear the likeness, the wonder and the power of God in any depth. It does not negate the power of a gift of the Spirit*, but it will leave the one in whom the gift operates with a sense of emptiness and may bring them to eventual ruin.
The Path into the life of ministry and service is filled with the dealings of a loving and wise Father. In His corrections we also discover a growing into and a knowing of His Holiness.
“For they indeed (our fathers in the flesh), for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness”
Holiness is more than a gift; it is the very essence of God Himself. The only path to growing in His holiness is in our partaking of Him. God cannot give us holiness; we become holy through the medium of living and abiding in Him. He is the Holy One and it can only be real in us via relationship.
What is the fruit and benefit of His Holiness in us?
“Eagerly pursue peace and holiness with all,
without which no one will see the Lord”
The depth of an individual’s ministration will be in corresponding measure to their seeing of God.
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us”
1 John 1:3
A wise son desires
the correction of the Father.
*Note: There is a great difference between the power expressed in a gift versus the authority and power revealed in those who live, abide and walk in submission to the King of kings. This will be covered later in this writing.
“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12
In the life of a true disciple everything is to be unto Him. It is our faithfulness to this One alone, that frees us from selfish pursuits in the name of God. Religion is simply taking the Name of the Lord our God in vain; we seek to promote ourselves under the pretense of serving God.
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain*”
*NOTE: shaw' (H7723), "deceit; deception; malice; falsity; vanity; emptiness." The 53 occurrences of shaw' are primarily in poetry. The basic meaning of this word is "deceit" or "deception," "malice," and "falsehood." This meaning emerges when shaw' is used in a legal context: "Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness" (Exo 23:1). Used in cultic contexts, the word bears these same overtones but may be rendered variously. For example, in Psa 31:6 the word may be rendered "vain" (KJV, "lying"), in the sense of "deceitful" (cf. Eze 12:24). Eliphaz described the ungodly as those who trust in "emptiness" or "deception," though they gain nothing but emptiness as a reward for that trust (Job 15:31). Vines Dictionary of Old Testament Words. “A masculine noun meaning emptiness, vanity, evil, ruin, uselessness, deception, worthless, without result, fraud, deceit. The primary meaning of the word is deceit, lie, or falsehood. God used the word to indicate that He punished Judah in vain. The word is used by the psalmist to state that all activities such as laboring, guarding, rising early, staying up late, and toiling for food were useless without God's assistance (Psa 127:1-2) …” The Complete Word Study Old Testament (Word Study Series) Hardcover – June 1, 1994 by Baker D.R.E., Dr. Warren Patrick (Author), Dr. Spiros Zodhiates (Editor)
The unsaved cannot take His Name in falsehood or deception; they cannot take a name which has not been given to them! This commandment was written to His people. Sadly, throughout history, we read of many who have taken His glorious name unto themselves for their own gain and purpose. False teachings, prophesies, wrong and immoral deeds, and the perversion of His Word to draw people unto themselves, were and are committed in the name of God. Those guilty of such things will not escape His judgements or wrath.
“Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”
The only hope of freedom from the contagion of this horror is by the workings of the Cross in our lives. It is only by the “spirit of burning” and the crucifying of that “carnal man” that we will know purity of heart in our service unto Him. There is no valid expression of the risen Christ who has not known of His judgments, His fire and His Mercy. Authenticity is the fruit of a life who has walked with Him in truth.
“Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel”
1 Corinthians 9:9
“The measure of your holiness
is proportionate to the goodness of your will”
John of Ruysbroeck