“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)
ENCOURAGEMENT IN WORSHIP
We are met here this morning for one purpose – to worship the Lord God in truth, in love, and in the fellowship of His people. Let us never take these opportunities for worship for granted. Let us never view them as burdensome or as a chore. Let us say with the psalmist, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1). Let true worship in spirit and in truth be our one desire as we pray and sing praises together and as we hear the glory of God in the Lord Jesus Christ our great Redeemer – “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4). Let us “give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name;” and “worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2). —Pastor Bill Parker
“And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him” (Matt. 3:15). Water baptism by immersion is a public confession of our identification with the Lord Jesus Christ. Though we confess many things concerning Him, chief among them is our union with Christ in His death. The same is true of the Lord’s table, we do show His death till He come. There are many things that could be meant by Christ’s words to John when He said, “suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” In this baptism, Christ Himself showed us what the fulfillment of righteousness is – His death. His being obedient in baptism demonstrated the way He would fulfill all righteousness – by His being obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. This is also the way we are made the righteousness of God in Him. It is through our having died in Him and our resurrection in Him. —Pastor Gary Shepard
“Wherefore HE [Christ] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
THE GREATEST TRUTH OF ALL
Child of God, do you see yourself as a poor, pitiful, and sinful creature? Does the Holy Spirit Who resides within you continually convict you of your sins and lack of perfection? Imagine how it would be if all of your sins were recorded in God’s law-books to be held against you in the day of Judgment! As the psalmist wrote, “If Thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Psalm 130:3). Certainly none of us would pass this test. But the psalmist goes on to write, “But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared” (Psalm 130:4). How is this possible when we know that God is holy and must punish ALL sins and condemn all sinners to whom sin is charged? Here is the greatest truth that we as sinners saved by God’s grace in Christ can know because of God’s holy Word. It is the greatest truth because it is the Gospel that concerns the glorious Person and finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we consider HIM Who is our Great High Priest, we must never forget that as sinful as we are and as wretched as we see ourselves, because of the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ imputed to our accounts, the Lord God can never impute our sins to our account. And this is all due to the merits of Christ, God manifest in the flesh, and His obedience unto death as our Surety, Substitute, and Redeemer, Who, having our sins charged to Him, secured complete forgiveness of all our sins and complete salvation from all sin. The following words found in Holy Scripture apply to every sinner who has been brought by God to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of their own dead works – “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:33-34). It is in this way that the Lord God states emphatically, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10:17). This truth is the foundation of our faith and the motivation for obedience.