Unacceptable Worship, Dec 9, 2012

– first things are important – Seek first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33)
Mark 7:1-16
– what the Bible teaches about worship?
  – man needs to realize that God is the object of man’s worship (John 4:24)
– worship which God rejects
  – ignorant worship (Acts 17:23)
  – vain worship (Matt. 15:9)
– acceptable worship
  – public (Acts 4:23, Heb. 10:25, John 4:24)
  – private (Phil.2:16, Rom. 13:1-7)
– seeming “good” deeds can have bad motives. It’s possible to do the “right” thing for the wrong reason. Jesus warned of it. (Mark 7:7)
– they didn’t murder; but they did hate (Matt. 5:21-22, 43:44)
– they didn’t commit adultery, but they did lust (Matt. 5:27-28)
– they gave to the poor, but they did so to look good (Matt. 6:1-2)
– the God who looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7, Matt. 22:37-40)
– the greatest treason is “to do the right thing for the wrong reason,” wrote T.S. Elliot
– according to Jesus, love is the remedy
– the case of Cain and Abel:
  – the record of Cain’s rejected sacrifice reads: Gen. 4:3-7
  – the differences between their offerings:
  – one was of produce, the other was a blood-bearing sacrifice (Heb.11:4)
  – the opposite of faith is by sight (2 Cor. 5:7)
  – Cain worshipped according to “sight” – according to what his own senses and wisdom dictated would be an honorable gift unto the Lord.
  – faith is the result of hearing God’s word, submitting the mind and body to its dominion, and acting in accordance to what the Lord has instructed.
– “To believe God, and not obey him, is to not believe him.” Or as James wrote, “faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26)
– Paul defines the source of faith that is well-pleasing to God (Rom. 10:17)
– Abel offered his sacrifice by faith (Heb. 11:4)
– but faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17)
– the way of Cain is the way of presumption (Ps. 19:13)