Some people say, “It does not matter how we worship. I can worship God any way I want to and God will accept my worship.” Friends and brethren, is this what the New Testament of Jesus Christ teaches? Is it? Let us see.
In speaking to the Athenians, the apostle Paul said, “Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, he declares I unto you” (Acts 17:22-23). It is obvious from the reading of this passage that God does not accept this kind of worship! Ignorant worship is vain worship!
In Matthew 15:7-9 Jesus said to some religionists of the ﬁrst century, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This person draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” It can be clearly seen from this passage that worship is vain when people teach for doctrines the commandments of men, although they may draw nigh unto God with their mouths and may honor God with their lips. Their heart is far from God when they teach the doctrines of men. God does not accept this kind of worship!
In Colossians 2:18-23 the apostle Paul mentions some things and then says, “Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the ﬂesh.” Will worship is worship directed by and follows one’s own will. It is self-chosen and for this reason, it is a departure from God’s wisdom and way. However pious and plausible it may seem, and regardless of how beautiful it may appear, it is folly and thus it is vain. God does not accept this kind of worship!
In John 4:23-24 our blessed Lord said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” It is quite obvious from this passage that it does matter how one worships God. God said that worship “must” be “in spirit and in truth.” We dare not say otherwise. Please examine your worship in the light of these and other Scriptures and see if God accepts it. True worship comes through study (2 Timothy 2:15).
Carrol R. Sutton