WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WORSHIP GOD?
That is a question we should all want to ask. Worship according to Webster’s dictionary can be defined as a transitive, or intransitive verb and as a noun. In grammar school I learned that a verb was an action word. “See Sally run.” Run is the verb or action word associated with the subject “Sally.” However, verbs are much more complicated than just action words as Webster’s states, verbs can be either transitive or intransitive. Transitive verbs has a direct object related to it, while and intransitive verb does not take a direct object.
: to honor or show reverence for divine being or a supernatural power. : to regard with great or extravagant respect honor or devotion
: to perform or take part in worship or an act of worship
: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power
It seems to me that, in our day and age, worshiping God is acted out via the intransitive verb and noun definitions. We go to church on Sundays and worship with others corporately and some may even perform or take part in the worship service and if we’re really spiritual, according to some, we’ll even worship Sunday and Wednesday nights too. The super spiritual will even attend a Bible study on another day. In our eyes those who go to church three times a week and partake in a Bible study are the ones truly showing real devotion and reverence to God. We see them as being super spiritual and very Godly. Some will even define them as worshiping in Spirit and Truth.
However, in this study we will find out that doing all those things is not necessarily showing reverence to God.
So showing reverence to God then is by necessity the formula for worshiping God.
But what is true reverence to God?
Without examining the Word of God we will deem any form of worship true because it is, from our perspective, usually a sincere effort to please God. To us this seems perfectly normal, truthful and real. If we are genuine about our belief in God and sincerely seek to please and worship Him then we’re good, we’re worshiping Him correctly. Please note that it is from this mindset that some call Jesus Lord and Savior and worship Him without making any effort to see what our Lord actually says about worship. It is by this practice that we usually accept Jesus as our savior. We hear something said about Jesus and believe it. Afterward we pick up our Bible and begin to read it. From that point on we shore up what we believe by what we read in the Bible. In other words we make the Bible fit our belief instead of letting the Bible determine our belief.
Dear reader are you ready to let the Bible teach you to believe? Are your willing to change your belief if you discover your belief is in error and doesn’t align correctly with the word of God? Is yes then read on.
If Jesus is truly our Lord shouldn’t we be subservient to Him and worship Him according to His design and commands? Shouldn’t we form our beliefs on what He says instead of trying to make what He says fit our beliefs. Furthermore, if we do that; are we not determining how to worship God?
I’m not saying that someone can’t tell you about Jesus correctly and how to worship him correctly. I’m only saying we better be certain that what we hear is actually what Jesus teaches, because, one day we will find ourselves standing before God alone on Judgment Day. The person who taught you will not be there in your defense. If they taught you wrong you will, alone, be in deep trouble and so will they.
Now that you know this; doesn’t it make sense for you to find out if what you’ve been taught is true.
Jesus teaches that the highway to death is broad and it’s on-ramp is easy to find.Matthew 7:13-14
Therefore the first clue on whether you’ve truly found Jesus’s path or not is: Was it easy? Did you have to seek for it? Was it difficult to find? Did God work miracles for you to find it?
Another concern, that one should have, is that we don’t really know what Lord means in our day and time.
A lord is someone who has complete control and authority over your life. He holds your very life in his hands. A lord can at any moment, without reason, decide whether you live or die. Your personal wish and desire means nothing. If he decides, you’re going to be put to death today, he will do it. That is the definition of a Lord. You are completely under his auspices and power. No one has this type of power of us today, but in Jesus day the Emperor was lord and by extension his governors were lords.
Jesus is Lord! He holds your very life in His hands. He determines whether you will live or die according to His good measure. Yes, there is a measure by which we will be judged and be deemed acceptable or not. It is by God’s standard that we’re measured. It is He who determines what is acceptable or not. Our own effort and ways to please God are of no value whatsoever. It doesn’t matter how sincere we seem or appear. He is Lord and our worship of Him must be His way. Today He holds before you life and death. Choose life!
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” —John 14:6— If we are to worship God correctly it we must worship Jesus’ WAY, by Jesus’ TRUTH and by Jesus’ LIFE!
His lessons are His way and we must follow them. To follow them we must obey His lessons. Jesus said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” —John 14:23-24 (NIV)
Like it or not, there are things that we need to obey. If we disobey will we deserve life? With that said we need to discover Jesus’s way, Jesus’s truth and by Jesus’s life.
Jesus also said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will, by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” —Matthew 5:17-20 (NIV)
These are the words that Jesus spoke during the introduction of the Sermon on the Mount, or as some call it, the Olivet Discourse. Jesus said he came to fulfill the law not to abolish it in response to His disciples thinking the latter. He adds that not even the smallest stroke of the pen will disappear until everything is accomplished.
Dear friend, the Old Covenant is still with us complete with the Law. What does that tell us?
Anyone who thinks the law is of little value, and teaches others to do and believe the same will be called least in the kingdom of God.
Is that what you want? Do you want to be called least?
The reason that I have stated all this is that the answer to our question of what is worship is found in the law.
Do you not remember that God sent Moses to bring His people out of Egypt. Was his purpose just to free them from slavery? His purpose was for them to come out of Egypt and worship Him!
When they finally did leave Egypt after many miracles Moses went up on Mt. Sinai to receive God’s message and stayed a long time. While he was gone the Israelites decided to worship God as they saw fit and about three thousand of them died because of it. This is a sign to all who worship God in their own way, design or device will perish. Their worship is in vain!
God’s message is clear and often. We are to worship Him according to His design and purpose none other will do and we will find that design and purpose in Leviticus is where we find that design. The first chapters are about worship and how to make sacrifices to God. All except one sacrifice are worship feasts.
I find this striking because I’m don’t anyone considers worship a feast nowadays. Yet what we’ll find is that feasts are a necessary in order worship.
THE BURNT OFFERING – FEASTLESS
As I said all the other offerings are feasts but this first and foremost offering is not. It is an offering totally consumed by fire. According to Moses it is the offering that makes one acceptable to God.
“If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you.” —Leviticus 1:3-4 (NIV)
The scripture above teaches that the burnt offering is a free will offering and that it makes a worshipper acceptable to God. The inference is that a worshipper of God is not naturally acceptable by their own free will or merit. They must comply or follow God’s instructions completely in order to become acceptable.
Let me ask an important question. If the offerer, at this point, was to deviate from God’s instruction would their offering still be acceptable to God?
Of course not!
Scripture already has been abundantly clear that unless we make our offerings or worship to God according His instruction, anything that we freely offer by our own admission design and device is completely unacceptable. In other words any sincere effort that we make to present ourselves to God as acceptable, whether we decide to love God, glorify Him as God or even to trust Him as our God is useless, in vain and will bring death upon us instead of the life unless we seek and approach Him by His will and by His design!
Therefore, the first thing the offerer must do to make a burnt offering is to select a male from the herd without defect. To do this one must make a thorough examination of the animal. If any defect is found the animal is unacceptable and the offerer must choose another. When the worshipper has found a flawless male he must present it to Lord at the tent of meeting and then it will be accepted on his behalf.
The next the person follows up by slaughtering the animal. “You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord…” —Leviticus 1:5— The offerer must do it. It is their responsibility not the priests!
However the offering isn’t done without assistance from the priesthood.
“…then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” —Leviticus 1:5b— While the priests are splashing blood the offerer must, “…skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces.” —Leviticus 1:8a
“Then Aaron’s sons the priests are to put fire on the altar… and arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar.” —Leviticus 1:8b— Finally the offer must also… “wash the internal organs and the legs with water and have the priests burn them on the altar.” —Leviticus 1:9
And this whole mess rises up as a pleasing aroma to God!
When I first read the washing of the insides requirement I was disturbed. Why was anything washed in view of the fact that was only going to be totally consumed by fire —burnt up? Why make them go through this elaborate and very messy job? Seems kind of useless doesn’t it?
Have any of you ever field dressed a deer? How would you like it if a law was passed to make you wash the insides of a deer clean before you abandon them in the woods?
So, even though this whole procedure is messy, dirty, bloody and seems strange; would the offering be accepted by God from His people if they skipped it?
Again, of course not!
The burnt offering, is a form of worship, it is offered to make one acceptable to God. Now the offerer once having completed this form of worship can now continue to worship via the other forms. I.e. the bread, fellowship, sin and guilt offerings.
NEW TESTAMENT SIMILITUDE
The burnt offering must come from either the herd or the flock. The Word of God regularly refers to His people as sheep. These animals are generally smaller and more domesticated than those of the herd which are generally larger and can be more violent. In my minds eye I see this as God’s people versus the rest of the world. God’s people are generally smaller in number and they even saw themselves as smaller. The Canaanites were giants in the land and the Israelites saw themselves as gnats in comparison. They were smaller inferior and afraid of them. Generally I see the herd as the much larger Gentile world. There are far Gentiles in the world than God’s people. Jesus came to seek and save His people, His flock first. They were just as lost as the Gentiles, but didn’t know it. Jesus brought the message of salvation first to them and through them to the rest of the world. Thanks be to God for He extends His grace to all the world!
The really interesting idea to me here is that God is showing that he predestined the herd, the much larger Gentile population, to be acceptable to Him also.
Another precept formed here is that the whole world is to pass through fire. This is the judgment of all. In effect we all must sacrifice ourselves to pay for our sins.
That is why the offerer must perform an examination to ensure that the offering is without defect. The person must select an animal without defect to represent them.
The problem is that the offerer upon examining themselves will discover that they are imperfect. If they offer themselves to make atonement they will not pass through the fire, but rather burn forever because it is a payment that can never be paid in full.
But God has provided a way out.
Once we realize that we are imperfect and can truly never satisfy the payment it is good to know that God has provided another way.
We, the offer must lay our hand on the animal’s and then slay the animal by slicing its throat. The innocent animal must die to make payment for us. Since the perfect animal represents the imperfect offerer the animals insides and legs had to be washed in order for the offering to rise to God as a sweet and savory offering.
Today it is the same. We must examine ourselves.
Today Jesus calls everyone to pick up their cross daily and deny themselves and follow him. Anyone who does not pick up their cross and follow him cannot be his disciple.Luke 14:27
Jesus adds, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-26 (NIV)
Jesus is basically saying the same as Leviticus. We must examine ourselves only to discover we’re imperfect. How can we then become a perfect offering?
God has given us a way through Jesus!
We must believe Jesus’s teaching, we must die to ourselves, we must put ourselves to death. Then we must be washed, made clean.
When an animal is gutted it a very messy dirty job. The insides are washed in some sort of a wash tub and all the offal and waste is washed away. This dirty messy procedure represents our sin and its consequence. The icky bloody mess is our lives. Notice that the legs are washed too to represent a complete inner and outer washing.
In baptism we have died, we are buried and the blood of Jesus cleanses from all the messy unrighteousness and then we are raised up into a new life acceptable to God as worthy worshipers, given His Spirit and added to the number of believers.
Every one of these actions are all taken by our own faith and free will! We must believe! God doesn’t coerce or cajole anyone. We must submit completely of our own free will.
Yet it must not be done without the assistance. True believers of the royal priesthood act as intercessors between God and us. They are the ones who metaphorically catch our blood and splash it upon the altar. They are the ones who teach us how to comply with God’s Word.
Why are priests needed? The number one reason is that Jesus is no longer with us physically. Therefore he left a priesthood behind to act in His place. These are true followers of Christ or the royal priesthood. They are citizens of God’s kingdom on earth.
I’m saying this because the uninitiated are not aware of God’s requirements and therefore cannot complete the tasks by themselves. They must be taught. Not only that but if they run forward and get baptized without the priests they reject God’s design and therefore reject their hope and salvation.
If any of God’s instructions are omitted or our faith isn’t genuine then our symbolic actions are totally insufficient. We must do everything God asks of us, just as Moses and Jesus did and carried out all His commands.
What we find in New Testament terms is that the washing of the insides and the outside of the animal is type or foreshadow of baptism. “We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life… Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” —Romans 6:2-8 (NIV)
Having completed all the requirements when judgment comes, and it will, we, those acceptable toward God will pass through the fire, as a pleasing aroma, an offering acceptable to God.
DO NOT BE FOOLED
The OT burnt offering was a shadow of the new burnt offering of dying to oneself and being buried with Christ in baptism and then raised up as new creation making us acceptable to God! There is no other way. Jesus said, I am the way, I am the truth and I am the life. We must do everything His way, by His truth and by His life! There is no other way though which we will pass through the fire and survive.
THE SAMARITAN WOMEN
When Jesus met the woman at the well in Samaria they engaged in discussion and Jesus capped the talk by saying, “Woman… believe me… a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” —John 4:21-24 (NIV)
The type of worshipers that God seeks are those who worship in Spirit and Truth. These then are those who are acceptable to God. And our goal just as it was for the Israelites is to be acceptable to God!
We’ve already shown that the acceptable believer is the one who hears the word of God, believes it and does what is says. You must believe, you must die to yourself, you must be washed on the inside and outside. You must be baptized proclaiming Jesus both Lord and Savior to have your sins forgiven.
Doesn’t Our Belief Make Us Acceptable
Now there may be some of you who are still saying, Jesus’s teaching makes it clear, all one has to do is to believe and be saved. You’re pushing a bunch of malarkey down our throats to make yourself look more spiritual or better than us.
I want you to know that I know that those who are saying this or something similar statements are not truly looking for answers, but are only justifying their belief. It becomes imperative therefore to define just what worshiping in Spirit and truth means.
But first we must agree that it is unacceptable to worship God in any other manner than in both Spirit and truth?
Why? Because God states those are the kind of worshipers He wants. On the flip side, He doesn’t want those who don’t worship Him in Spirit and truth.
What do we know about worshiping in Spirit and truth?
Below are some definitions that I found amongst thousands available on the internet.
“Worshiping God in spirit, I believe, means connecting with God on a non-physical level… It’s wholehearted, unfettered adoration from within, in response to God’s presence.” —worshipdeeper.com, March 2, 2015 by Tim
“To say that we must worship God “in spirit” means, among other things, that it must originate from within, from the heart; it must be sincere, motivated by our love for God and gratitude for all he is and has done.” —thegospelcoalition.com, March 14, 2020 by Sam Powers
“If I understand the Savior’s words, and I hope I do, not only theoretically but practically, he means that those of us who are his true worshippers must worship him with our better and our nobler part, and our soul, with all the power she has, must pay reverence to the unseen God.” —Spurgeongems.org, June 17, 1876 by Charles H. Spurgeon
I used to say something similar. “To worship in Spirit and truth is to worship with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind!” —Tom Turowski
I’d like to ask. Who are we to say that in days gone past under the Old Covenant that the Israelites couldn’t do the same? Who are we to say that their worship was only outward adornment? Especially in the light of the fact that many worshiped God with all their heart, soul and mind, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Rahab, and David among others.
Didn’t Moses say to the Israelites, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” —Deut: 6:5 (NIV)
How is this command not any different from the previous definitions provide above?
Didn’t the aforementioned Israelites have unfettered adoration for God from within? Didn’t their worship come from their heart? Wasn’t their worship sincere? Didn’t they have love and gratitude toward God? Did they not, with their innermost being, with their better and nobler part worship the living God?
The alternative argument is that God called the Israelites to obey a command they could not? But does God call us to do things we cannot? Has God ever done that? God is the God of possibility. They could worship with all their heart, with all their soul, from their innermost being, but the book of Hebrews is very clear. The blood of blood of bulls and goats can never remove the guilt of sin.Hebrews 9:9 They were forgiven, but their guilt remained.
Yet even though their spirits remained dead they became acceptable to God, because of their obedience to what they heard. They carried out the burnt offering with all their heart, for we know that faith comes by hearing and is fulfilled by obedience.
So we see, that apparently, those under the old covenant could also obey the command of God and thus worship as some modern’s define worshiping in Spirit and truth, yet we see that Jesus most definitely made a distinction between to Old Covenant worshipers and New when he spoke to the Samaritan woman.
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” —John 4:21
Therefore the worshipers, that God seeks, must do and be much more than we think or imagine.
WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
One thing that I love about the Word of God is that all the answers to all the questions that we can possibly ask can be found within very Word God that we are questioning. As we continue we shall see that answer is already provided in the book John.
John chapter one starts out with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” —John 1:1-5 (NIV)
If light equals or represents life, what does darkness equal or represent?
What can one do when one is dead?
Can one roll over in their grave?
Can they get up and get a drink of water?
Of course not. The dead can do nothing.
Obviously mankind is alive, but what’s not so obvious is that we’re dead in spirit before God. That is why John 1:5 states, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Some translations use the word understood or understand instead.
I believe the definition is much deeper. In Greek the word is “katalambano.” This is a compound word made up of two words, kata which means against, and lambano which means receive.
Now faced with the fact that most people who are confronted with the truth of God’s Word reject it I am compelled to believe that vs. 5 should read as: “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness resists receiving it.”
In other words the natural tendency of those in darkness is to fight against the Word of God. The reason being is that they are dead in spirit and God’s word is spirit and comes from His spirit therefore it is incompatible with the dead!
So, we fight against and resist God because our flesh lives but our spirit is dead. Therefore, our commonality with God is missing.
Since our spirit is dead; how is it that the dead think they can worship the living God just because they may so choose?
The answer is the dead can’t worship!
Now God knows all this yet He still wants to have a relationship with us. Isn’t that amazing? We spurn Him at every turn yet His heart yearns for us.
So what did God do? He sent John the Baptist.
Many people came to John. “[The][mine] People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.”— Matthew 3:5-6 (NIV)
The Word declares John came so that all my believe though him. “There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.” —John 1:6 (NIV)
God’s people through the years had been prepared them in advance for the coming of the Messiah, but God’s people overwhelmingly rejected Jesus.
“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” —John 1:11 (NIV)
But what about anyone who would accept and believe in the Messiah through John the Baptist?
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” —John 1:12-13 (NIV)
We see that all who do belief in Jesus are given the right to become children of God.
Does the right to become child of God make you a child of God?
Let’s say for arguments sake that everyone in the U.S. has a right to and become a lawyer or doctor. Do you believe that statement?
You do believe. Does that now make you a lawyer or a doctor?
Of course not. One must go through all the necessary schooling and pass all the tests.
Please note that having the right to be born of God is similar. We must learn its requirements.
The next verse tells us, what are not, God requirements to be come His child.
“…children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” —John 1:13 (NIV)
Being Born of God is Not
- …a natural descent or human ancestry
- …of human decision,
- …or husband’s will.
Being born of God is wholly of God and by God. It has nothing to do with natural birth or our ancestry, such as the breaking or the water, one cannot decide their a child of God nor can a father decide for you.
Therefore being dead, especially in the eyes of God, we can’t worship God. The dead are without ability to worship God due to the inherent nature of their spirit being dead. Therefore we the dead must be made alive.
Do What Jesus Says
John chapter two has probably the most important words ever spoken by a woman.
“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’
‘Woman, why do you involve me?’Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’
His mother said to the servants, ’Do whatever he tells you.’” —John 2:1-6 (NIV)
What if the servants didn’t do what Jesus said?
Would they have witnessed a miracle? Would they have put their faith in Jesus?
Those questions are rhetorical, you know the answer.
We find in John chapter one that we must put our faith in Jesus, but that faith only gives us a right to become a child of God.
We also see the cornerstone of faith is doing what Jesus says, just as the Israelites believed Moses and did what he said.
“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” —James 2:24 (NIV)
You Must Be Born Again
Nicodemus was a PhariseeA religious leader in Jesus’ day and time who came to Jesus at night. His began his conversation by trying to flatter Jesus. But he really wanted to know; how he could enter the coming kingdom of God? Jesus ignoring the flattery cut right to the chase.
“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’” —John 3:3 (NIV)
What that means is that neither Nicodemus nor any of us can even see the kingdom of God unless we’re born again. It also means if you’re born again you can see the kingdom of God.
Dear reader; where are you in this matter? Can you see God’s kingdom?
Nicodemus not able to comprehend what Jesus said asked, “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” —John 3:4-8 (NIV)
We learned earlier that the flesh has nothing to do with becoming a child of God. Flesh only gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. We must be born again, meaning that we were born with a living spirit, but it died when we knowingly partook of sin and our spirit died. God has prepared a way for our spirit to be born again.
Being born again is being born of the water and the Spirit. The water then, by necessity of the scripture, cannot be amniotic fluid because that has to do with being born of the flesh.
What other water can it be?
Since in the burnt offering the insides and the outside of the animal had to be washed, it stands to reason that immersion of believer into water is being born again. It is not a picture or celebration of what has already taken place it is when one is born again.
As Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of Water and the Spirit!
Acceptable Worship Well we’ve come full circle and discover that to worship in Spirit and truth is first to be born again in the spirit, and we do this by obeying the truth.
When Peter finished his first sermon he convicted those who heard him saying that they had killed the very Messiah for whom they had been waiting.
The people were cut to the heart and wanted to know if there was any way possible for them to make it right.
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.’” —Acts 2:38-39
Yes there is a way. Believe the message of those who were sent by Jesus and obey.
Our very first act of worship is to become an acceptable worshiper. We must believe the message spoken by the apostles, repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sin and to receive the Spirit of God. Acts 2:38-39 Having completed these requirements we are added to God’s kingdom,Acts 2:41 the one, the born again, can see. There is no other way! You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. You must be born again to become a child of God. You must be born again to be an acceptable worshiper of God. These are those whom the Father seeks. Those who worship in spirit and truth. We worship in Spirit because God has made us alive in Christ, in truth because we have obeyed the gospel of the living God!
All these requirements are mirrored or foreshadowed within the burnt offering in Leviticus chapter one.
One More Refutation
There still may be some who believe, that faith is enough on its own merit, and that Peter meant to be baptized because of the forgiveness of sin and not for the forgiveness of sin.
They say, “Baptism is a celebration or a picture of what has already taken place.”Twisted Scripture: Untangling 45 Lies Christians Have Been Told, by Andrew Farley, Salem Books, 2019, pp. 8
To those who are asking I ask in return; If faith is, alone, sufficient then why did the people, to whom Peter preached, feel a need to do something else, and why did Peter tell them repent and be baptized. He didn’t just say be baptized. He said, “Repent and be baptized.”Ibid Acts 2:38
Therefore, I ask you one final question. How can one celebrate about what has already taken place if repentance is still needed in order for it to take place?
You know the answer.