Saturday, August 27, 2011


When we begin to comprehend all that Christ is to us, like Paul we count "all things loss" in comparison. That attitude will become the foundation of our worship to the LORD, the natural expression of hearts into which "God has sent forth Spirit of His Son."

How does Paul choose to illustrate the difference bewteen the  false teachers and true believers? By their worship

"For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).

In telling the Philippians "we are the circumcision," Paul did not intend to be arrogant or proud. By highlighting the subject of circumcision, Paul was communicating the truth that true believers have the sin and impurity removed from their hearts. Only those with circumcised hearts can give God TRUE WORSHIP. Christians need not be ashamed to draw this kind of distinction between the false and the genuine. Is it wrong to boast about the work God did in your heart? Of course not. We did not circumcise our own hearts; God Himself performed this special work, "the circumcision made without hands."
Paul lists key characteristics of TRUE WORSHIP, worship that comes from a circumcision heart:
First, such worship is offered  in Holy Spirit. TRUE WORSHIPERS do not try to glorify God through the inventions of heir minds, to "create" worship through impressive  ritual pageantry or the arts of audience manipulation.
Second, TRUE WORSHIPERS "rejoice in Christ Jesus" and not in their personal accomplishment or achieved emotional state. Since TRUE WORSHIP rejoices in Christ, we can easily conclude that a worship service should seek to make Christ better known through the exposition of the WORD. At one church you may ecnounter honored traditions and rituals that makes the people feel secure. At another church you may hear inspirational stories and music that makes the congregation feel warm and happy.  Often these worship methods can attract a crowd; but without the WORD of God to make Christ known there will be no TRUE WORSHIP.
Third, Paul stated that TRUE WORSHIP "have no confidence in the flesh." There should be no place in our worship for boasting in our own efforts. Instead we revel and rejoice in the clear working of God, in our lives and in the lives of others, to make us more like the Christ we love.

The "religious worshipers" gloried in religious appearances and fleshy externals. If he had desired to do so, Paul could easily have beaten them at their own game! "I also might have confidence in the flesh," he wrote. "If anyone else thinks that he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so" (Philippians 3:4). As Paul went on to relate, he was "circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless" (Philippians 3:5-6).
Since he was circumcised at birth, Paul would have been deemed better than those Jews who were adult converts. He could trace his lineage through Bejamin back to Jacob, the man whom God had given the name Israel (Genesis 32:28).
Before his conversion Paul had been one of the Pharisees, the strictest sect among the Jews. He was zealously against cults that opposed "true religion" that he consented to the death of Christians. "But" Paul concluded, "what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ" (Philippians 3:7). 
TRUE WORSHIP places supreme value in Christ. This supreme regard for Christ requires us to take proper view of our human gains and achievements. Do they help or hinder our worship? We must be honest with ourselves.
Why must we give up our human gains "into God's hand"? Because a proper view of our worldly gains, a view that "counts all things but loss," contributes to a proper assessment of the value of Christ. Nothing in our lives is more valuable than He is. Nothing else in the world means more than our relationship with our Savior. When we value Christ above all else, our worship will evidence that fact.. We will not need to invent ways to feel worshipful. TRUE WORSHIP will flow naturally from a dedicated heart, a heart guided by the Holy Spirit so that God alone receives the glory.
(An extract from True Worship by David Whitcomb & Mark Ward, Sr)

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