Worship A Holy God.
A Sermon by Thomas G. Carter
Preached Oct. 6, 2019
“Hudson Taylor was the most widely used missionary in China's history. During his 51 years of service there, his China Inland Mission established 20 mission stations, brought 849 missionaries to the field (968 by 1911), trained some 700 Chinese workers, raised four million dollars by faith (following Mueller's example), and developed a witnessing Chinese church of 125,000. It has been said at least 35,000 were his own converts and that he baptized some 50,000. His gift for inspiring people to give themselves and their possessions to Christ was amazing.” Taylor is thought of being on of the fathers of the modern missionary movement. Yet he only wrote a small book on Song of Solomon. He didn’t write anything about missions or church or faith. Yet those who knew him wrote that just before the sun would come up every day, you would hear a match strike and a lamp would light as Taylor would wake up and head out to worship The Father. It was the most important part of the day for Taylor, He would be worshiping God before the sun even came up. A. W. Tozer was a great pastor and teacher who was always instructing the church on the need to worship God. He called worship the churches crown jewel. King David, the man after God’s own heart, gave us a treasure trove of worship in the book of Psalms. He worshiped God with his whole life and said this in Psalm 27:4:
“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.”
David worshipped a Holy God, and this is what we need to long for as well. What does it mean to worship God and how do we do that, are important questions to explore? We will seek to find that answer in the month ahead.
Worship starts with loving God as it says in both testaments of scripture: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” We can plainly see this in how the ten commandments start:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods, before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven about or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I am the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations, of those who hate me,”
Clearly, we are to worship a Holy God. The whole life of the Jewish faith centered on the worship of the living God. They had the tabernacle that traveled with them and they moved from Egypt to the promise land. It was always supposed to be in the center of the camp of the Jewish people. This was so it would be the center of all the activity in the camp. Later the place of worship was to be in Jerusalem on the High point of the city. For Christians we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
We are that temple which the Lords spirit dwells in. Paul say to the church in Corinth:
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit our lives are to be a living example of worship to God. When we sin we are taking the Lord with us. You don’t have to know much about the scriptures to know that God hates the sexual sins the most. Notice what God Says about that in verse 15: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!” This should move many of us Christians to our knees when we sin against God. There are many examples in scripture about how important proper worship is to God. One example is in 2 Samuel 6 where David is trying to have the Ark of God brought to Jerusalem. It was never to be touched and was never to be carried on a cart. They broke both because it was on a cart and the cart stumble Uzzah reaches out and touches it to steady it and he was killed by God. God means business. Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
We are to worship God more than just what we do here on Sunday mornings or other worship type services. John MacArthur in his book “The Ultimate Priority” has given us Four Kinds of Unacceptable Worship. These are very much something for us to consider as we learn to worship our great and powerful God. First, we need to know that we are not to worship false Gods. Paul talks about this clearly in Romans chapter 1 verse 21-32:
“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
We can see here the direct results of there improper worship of God in the God has given them over to the sins they are doing and the consequences of sin. Sin has consequences and the more we sin the more that sin can dominate or lives and in slave us to it. Christ has set us free from sin, but many Christians today return to that enslavement we have been freed from. We can even worship the false God of materialism with out being conscious of it. The bible say says in Job 31:24-28:
“If I have put my confidence in gold, and called find gold my trust, if I have gloated because my wealth was great, and because my had had secured so much; If I have looked at the sun when it shone or the moon going in splendor, and my heart became secretly enticed, and my hand threw kiss from my mouth, that too world have been an iniquity calling for judgment, for I would have denied God above.”
If what we have, or possessions, become the center of or lives to the point we need them, we will have denied God and begin to worship them as God. Habakkuk 1:16 says “Therefore they offer sacrifice to their net and they burn incense to their fishing net; because through these things their catch is large, and their food is plentiful.” Paul tells us that people who worship false Gods are worshipping demons. Check this out: “No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become shares in demons.” Paul also says in Acts 17:29: “Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.” We all know that we are the image of God so why do with think that our creator would have been made from these same materials. 
Secondly, we can worship the true Go in a wrong from. In Exodus chapter 32 the children of Israel have not seen Moses for a long time so they god to the priest Aaron to make them a god to worship. They believed it to be the God that had brought them out of the land of Egypt. Moses comes down the mount and finds what they are doing and breaks the stone tables that the ten commandments were written on. He reflection on this in Deuteronomy 4:14-19:
“The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it. “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth. And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”
When God revealed Himself to Israel, it was not in a visible form. We are not to reduce God down to any image. What ever you think God looks like it is not acceptable. God is though light. 
Third kind of deviant worship is the worship of the true God in a self-style manner. It is when we make worship about us and not about God. Tradition is a big thing that we do to make worship about us. You don’t have to be any in old church long before you might hear the phrase, “We don’t do that in that way.” We like what we like but think about the service what if we only sang one song. What if we didn’t light the candles. What if we sat while we sang the songs? Not that I am wanting us to do that but for some just hearing those worlds make them uneasy. Jesus says this in Matthew 15:3 “And He answered and said to them, “Why do yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” 
Finally, there are people worshiping the true God in the right way but with the wrong attitude. Today, is your whole heart in worship? Do you give what is the best gladly to God? Malachi talks about our worship attitude, he says;
“You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is to be despised.’ But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?” says the Lord of hosts. “But now will you not entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?” says the Lord of hosts. “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from you.”
Does this sound familiar to you. We often worship God with our lift overs. If we have extra money, we tithe. We go to church if there is nothing else going on. We avoid getting involved with the church so we can do other things. The bibles we own just get dusty because we never use them. The world looks at many people who come to church every single Sunday as hypocrites. Can others say that about you? What matters the most?
The great hymn Holy, Holy, Holy, gives us the right view of the Holy God that we worship.
 “The Life and Ministry of James Hudson Taylor,” Ed Reese, https://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/biotaylor2.html
 Joseph S. Carroll, How to Worship Jesus Christ (Chicago: Moody,1984,) 15-16
 New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Ps 27:4.
 Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Mark 12:29-30
 Ibid., 1 Cor. 6:15-20
 Ibid., 1 Cor. 6:15
 Ibid., Rom.1:19-32
 Ibid., Job 31:24-28
 Ibid., Hab. 1:16
 Ibid., 1 Cor. 10:20
 Ibid., Acts 17:29
 Ibid., Deut. 4:14-19
 Ibid., Mat. 15:3
 Ibid., Mal. 1:7-10
 John Macarthur, The Ultimate Priority (Chicago: Moody, 1983), 7-12