The axe at the root—a testimony against idolatry

‘But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers 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 4:23–24

Suggested Further Reading: Philippians 3:1–8

Let me give a sketch of this worship as it actually exhibits itself. A man may
have been to a place of worship from his youth up, and he may have fallen into
a habit of repeating a sacred form every morning and every evening; he may
even have been a tolerably diligent reader of the Word of God, and yet though
this may have continued for sixty years and more, he may never once have
worshipped God after the fashion prescribed in the text. But see him! The
Father seeks him, truth comes home to his soul, and in the light of that truth
he feels himself a sinner, and feeling himself so, he cries, ‘Father, I have
sinned.’ That is his first true worship. See, brethren, his spirit feels it,
he means what he says. All that he said before was as nothing, but that first
cry ‘I have sinned’ has in it the vitality of worship. He hears the story of
the cross, the full atonement made by God’s appointed sacrifice, and he prays,
‘Lord, I believe in Jesus, and I trust him;’ here is another specimen of true
worship; here is the spirit resting upon God’s appointed sacrifice, and
reverencing God’s way of salvation by accepting it. Being saved by the
precious blood of Jesus, he cries, ‘Father, I bless thee that I am saved, I
thank thee that my sins are washed away.’ This is true worship. The whole of
the Christian’s life, consisting as it must do of dealings with the invisible
God through Jesus Christ by his heart, is a life of worship, and when at last
he comes to die, you perceive that his worship will not cease with death,
because it has always been spiritual, and did not depend upon the body.

For meditation: Worship consists of trusting Christ and living for him (Romans
12:1), not merely of singing hymns and saying prayers. Paul’s first act of
true worship was to replace his faith in religious ceremonies and his
religious upbringing (Philippians 3:3–6) by faith in Christ (Philippians
3:7–9). Are you a so-called ‘worshipper’ who needs to do the same?

Sermon no. 695 / 17 June (1866) – Charles Spurgeon

–  Bible Gateway.

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