On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
We come to the FilBF to worship God. Many among us cannot come to True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church morning worship service because of work-related constraints. This is the reason our fellowship is not just like other fellowship meetings, we desire to worship God for that is required of every believer especially on the Lord’s Day. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work …” (Exodus 20:8–10a). Our meeting may not be considered a worship service, nonetheless, let us endeavor to spend our time in the FilBF to worship God biblically. We can only thank the Lord for His goodness that in spite of the many unavoidable hindrances, He has given us this privilege to worship Him in spirit and in truth through the FilBF! Let us therefore be mindful that we truly worship the Lord biblically.
Worship God Biblically
“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.” (John 4:23–24)
Worship is a basic part of the Christian faith. It is the response of believers to the greatness and power of God, their Creator, Provider and Saviour. The way of worship is a reflection of the understanding of believers towards their God. Worship is “frequently used to designate the custom of prostrating oneself before persons and kissing their feet or the hem of their garment.” It describes “an attitude or gesture of one’s complete dependence on or submission to a high authority figure.” Worship in the Bible is the reverential acknowledgment to God who is worthy of all honour, praises, thanksgiving and glory.
We consider a passage from the Gospel of John to help us understand what it means to worship God biblically. This gospel presents Jesus as God Himself who is worthy of man’s worship. In this chapter, we have Jesus departing out of Judea and passing through Samaria. This opens an opportunity for a Samaritan woman to have a discourse with the Saviour. Jesus reveals the universal accessibility of worship towards the only Living and True God.
Worship God “in Spirit”
The setting is a conversation between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Samaritan woman. While the disciples are in a nearby city to purchase food, the Lord starts a conversation by asking water from her to drink. Out of the exchange of queries and answers, the woman perceives that Jesus is a prophet. She proceeds to enquire about the place of worship whether in Jerusalem as the Jews do or Mount Gerizim in Samaria since her forefathers worshipped God there.
The Lord tells the Samaritan woman that the time will come when they shall worship neither in Gerizim nor in Jerusalem. This He speaks to prophesy of the church age where believers all over the world shall worship God in spirit and in truth. The Lord clarifies the misunderstanding of how God must be worshipped. He reiterates that true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
Worship is towards God who is a Spirit
Since God is a Spirit, biblical worship must be without physical representations of God. The Lord reproves the Samaritan’s way of worship which was carnal. They were concerned of the external and earthly requirements of statues and symbols in worship. This is true today where many churches worship God according to man’s ignorance of who God is. They want to see images and pictures which are idolatry! The Lord commanded, in Exodus 20:4, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:”
Worship is from a believer born-again in the Spirit
A person who worships God must first be born of the Spirit and indwelt by the Spirit. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:5–6). “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you…. ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:9a,15). These scriptural verses show that only born-again Christians indwelt by the Spirit of God can worship in spirit. They can offer acceptable worship to God the Father. Only those whom the Spirit quickens can worship God biblically. After all, the unbelievers will never seek the God of the Bible (Romans 3:10–11).
Worship God “in Truth”
Biblical worship is expressed and practiced by true worshippers. It is opposed to the “showbiz” kind of worship. It is neither induced nor engineered by emotionalism and mind conditioning. The whole blueprint of worship is recorded in the Bible and only the prescribed form must be kept by the believer.
Worship is based on the written Word
Worship should be in truth. Jesus affirms “thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The only available absolute truth for believers to follow in the pattern of worship is God’s Word. It provides the complete instruction against false and worldly worship. The Lord Jesus stresses in this passage the pattern of how to truly worship God.
It is important to consider the context of worshipping God in the Bible. Believers should not apply a blanket application of all forms of worship during feasts in the Old Testament to the New Testament church period. For example, sacrificial worship according to Mosaic Law pointed ahead in time to the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s progressive revelation tells us we do not need sacrificial worship today “for by one offering he (Jesus Christ) hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).
Worship is centred on the Living Word
Jesus Christ is the Godhead’s representative “being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus said, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him” (John 14:7). To worship the Father in truth is to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Worship must be Christ-centred. It is a reverential worship to God the Father led by the Holy Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, “for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). It is with understanding that no one is able to approach God without the perfect finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9–11). “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 7:9–12).
The Bible tells us that Christians must worship the Lord our God in spirit and in truth. This indicates worship of God who is Spirit from spiritual persons who are regenerated in the Spirit of God. Pure and genuine worship can be done only by the spirit-indwelt believers. Worship is based on Scriptures. It is biblical when it follows the pattern given progressively in God’s revelation. Worship includes a willing reverence and brings along with it such legitimate form as prescribed by God’s Word. It is opposite to what is practiced today where much of grandiose ceremonies are added but without sincerity of heart. Biblical worship must be faithful to the standards set according to the whole counsel of God. To worship God biblically focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ in whose name all the earth shall bow down in worship, even for eternity. Amen. – Bro Jose
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