A Worshiping People

MEMORY VERSE: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” —Colossians 3:16

ACTS 2:42-47; I PETER 4:7-11

IN MATTHEW 22:37-40 Jesus answered a lawyer’s question as to which was the great commandment of the Law. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

But it is impossible to love God and to worship him acceptably unless he is known. Jesus, speaking of the hypocritical attitude of the scribes and Pharisees, said that the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled in them. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth 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.”—Matt. 15:8.9

Then again Jesus, speaking to a Samaritan woman, said, “The hour cometh. when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers 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 4:21-24

Salvation was of the Jews “because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” (Rom. 3:2) They alone knew God as a just and loving, wise and powerful God, a God whom they could worship and serve. Through the Prophet Jeremiah, God instructed the Jews, “Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”—Jer. 9:24

Knowing God and worshiping him acceptably is a particular privilege of the church during the Gospel Age. Jesus, when speaking to the woman at the well, said that the hour “now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” It was during the first advent of Jesus that he formed the nucleus of the church, drawing out from the world his apostles and disciples. Among the many promises to these faithful followers were promises that they would receive the Holy Spirit, and that this power from God would enlighten their minds with respect to God and the things pertaining to God. One such promise is recorded in John 14:26 (Diaglott): “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in my name; shall teach you all things, and remind you of all things which I said to you.” This wonderful promise had the beginning of its fulfillment at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and its power became immediately manifest in their lives. It enabled them to call to mind and understand the teachings of Jesus, to understand and appreciate something of God’s character as revealed in the Gospel and the divine plan of the ages. To grant this insight to the church has been one of the principal works of the Holy Spirit during the Gospel Age. It is in the divine plan that the footstep followers of Jesus begin to understand something of God’s justice and why this aspect of his character must necessarily be the foundation of his throne. The other facets of wisdom, love, and power likewise become evident as the divine plan for the salvation of the world is known and appreciated.

It is with this knowledge that the church is enabled to worship God “in spirit and in truth,” and as a people they find that the highest form of expression of their love for God is in obedience and willing service to his cause.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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