Worship – Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher

The first time we are introduced to worship in the Bible we find out an important aspect of it. Cain and Abel both made an offering to Yahweh. Abel’s offering was acceptable to God while Cain’s was not. We learn that not all worship is acceptable to God. Yahweh tells Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” (Gen. 4:7). Abel offered a sacrifice by faith (Heb. 11:4) which comes from the Word of God (Rom. 10:17), while Cain apparently did not.

As one considers the Law of Moses, God gave the Israelites very specific directions as to how to worship Him acceptably. He also gave them the day(s) they were to come before Him and where they were to come.

As Jesus passed through Samaria (John 4), the woman Jesus spoke to asked Him about worship and specifically the place of worship. In His answer, Jesus let her know that their worship at Mount Gerizim was not the proper place of worship (4:22). Their worship was not acceptable to God because it was not in the right location. Again, we should learn that God does not accept all worship. He only accepts worship that is done in accordance with His Will. We are to worship the Father with the proper attitude and according as God has instructed (which has always been the case from the beginning).

We observe more people who want to worship according to their desire instead of doing as God instructs. This is evidenced by the comments regarding the use of instrumental music in worship to God. God said to sing but never authorized mechanical instruments in worship to Him today (since God did not authorize their use for New Testament worship, their use is sinful). While seen in this aspect of worship, it is but one example of many to be seen today. Let us make sure we worship “Father in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).

God has mandated that we worship Him (John 4:23-24). In that which God has mandated regarding worship, we are to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), pray to the Father through the media‐ torship of Jesus the Christ (1 Cor. 14:15; Col. 3:17), have communion with Christ and other Christians in the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:17- 34), study God’s Word together in the preaching of the Word (Acts 20:7; 2 Tim. 4:2), and put money into the common treasury of the church (1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 8-9). God mandated that we “come together in the church” (1 Cor. 11:18) or “come together…into one place” (11:20).

God also mandated when we are to come together by the example given in Troas: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7), and the direct statement to the Corinthians: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Cor. 16:2). There would be other times where we are authorized to come together that would be optional (as decided by the elders or leaders of a congregation), but this worship upon the first day of the week is something God has mandated. No man or group of men have any right to suspend or dismiss or change this first day of the week worship. If man has the right to change that coming “together in the church…into one place” (11:18, 20), then they would have the right to change any of the other aspects of worship God has mandated: singing, prayer, Lord’s Supper, preaching, and giving. If we do not have the right to change these, then we do not have the right to change coming “together in the church…into one place.”

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Author: Editor

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