|Volume 18 Number 10 October 2016||
In the beginning of the Book of Genesis, we see that God has placed man in the Garden and made for him a companion, woman. Life would appear to be perfect. God had provided for His creation all that they would need in this life and more, but temptation was coming.
In Genesis 3:1, the serpent asked the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” The woman answered the serpent in verse 2, explaining that they could not touch or eat of the tree in the midst of the garden or else they would die. The serpent was so cunning and clever, and he knew exactly what to say. The serpent spoke to the woman in verses 4 and 5 and said, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Notice the temptation here is not just about eating food for nourishment. Yes, the fruit was “pleasant to the eyes,” and was very “good for food,” but the tree provided something more than nourishment. It provided knowledge of good and evil. It provided a way to “be like God.”
In Matthew 4, we see Jesus, God in the flesh, in a secluded place, the wilderness. The Spirit had taken Him there to be tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights, and at the end of this time, He was hungry. The devil spoke to Jesus in this physically weak condition and said, “If You are the Son of God command that these stones become bread.” Jesus could have succumbed to the devil’s temptation, but instead He replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Jesus knew who He was, and He knew what His purpose was here on this earth.
Unfortunately, Adam and Eve did not make the same decision that Jesus made when it came to being tempted. Eve took of the fruit, ate and gave to her husband, and he ate. We, like Adam and Eve, lose sight of who we are and what our purpose is here on earth. We must be more like Jesus. We must all come to realize, it is not about us, it’s about Him.
Mark N. Posey
We worship God because He is worthy (Revelation 4:11; 5:12). Man is neither worthy of worship nor are the things man invents; yet, man invents many things that occupy his time and energy in praise, love and affection. Man’s worship must be objective, God being the right object. What are the types of worship, either right or wrong, revealed in the New Testament? True worship is what God accepts!
When we follow the commandments of men instead of God’s instructions, our worship becomes vain. If our worship is vain, it is empty, hollow and useless; it will do us no good. If it is vain, it would be as though we had not worshipped God at all, and we will be lost. When we worship in the way “we want,” then God is dishonored and insulted (Matthew 15:7-9; Mark 7:7). The word “vain” is an adverb from maten, meaning “fruitlessly.” Vain worship is unacceptable!
When the apostle Paul was in Athens, he encountered people who were worshipping all kinds of false gods, as well as One whom they called “The Unknown God.” He took the opportunity to tell them about “the One whom you worship without knowing” (Acts 17:16-31). While preaching to them, he let them know that “these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (v. 30). Ignorant worship is unacceptable!
The Creator is self-existent, unconditioned and unlimited in power and knowledge. The creature owes its very existence to the Creator. To substitute the worship of the creature for that of the Creator is the height of perverseness and folly, meriting the retribution of the wrath of God, thus resulting in the “lie.” Paul used the definite article in Romans 1:25; it is not a lie, but the lie. The lie is essentially idolatry, which puts us in the place of God; it is the lie that you will be like God (Genesis 3:5). Creature worship is unacceptable!
While writing to the church at Colossae, Paul talked about doctrines and commandments that, while appearing wise and godly, nonetheless, originated with men. He referred to this as “self-imposed worship,” or as the KJV puts it, “will worship” (Colossians 2:20-23). According to Paul, God is not pleased with those that practice “will worship,” or self-impose upon themselves what is neither required nor authorized. Self-imposed worship is unacceptable!
True worship is God-centered worship. Jesus tells us that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). This means that we worship from the heart and in the way God designed. It’s also important to know that worship is reserved only for God. Only He is worthy and not any of His servants (Revelation 19:10). We are not to worship saints, prophets, statues, angels, any false gods or Mary, the mother of Jesus. Worship is to glorify and exalt God – to show our loyalty, respect, appreciation and admiration to our Father. True worship is the only worship that God will accept and approve!
Conclusion: The highest form of praise and worship is obedience to God and His Word. We must obey Him instead of man.