John Murray On Worship

From the pen of John Murray:

God alone is to be worshipped . It is with this word that our Lord resisted one of Satan’s temptations: ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thy  serve.’ When we come together it is to worship God. Everything else really rest upon this. Whatever we may do, in worship, if it is not directed to the worship of God, no matter how decorous and embellished our exercises may be, then it is not worship. If we go to the house of God simply because it is custom or to fill up a quota of exercises, then we are not worshipping God. These are numberless ways in which we in the exercises of instituted worship we may desecrate worship. All exercises must be directed by, and contribute to, the worship of God.

…Reverance and Simplicity. You have no doubt heard that adoration is an element of worship. It is not so much an element as the attitude that must permeate all the elements of exercises of worship. Adoration springs from the apprehension of God’s majesty, and where this is, there must be reverence, that is, godly fear. Here again much of our worship falls under the charge of irreverence and therefore under condemnation. There is a place in life for jollity and jollification. But how alien to the worship of God would this be in the sanctuary. God is the ‘King of Kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable, whom no man hath seen, nor can see.’ (I Tim. 6:15,16.) The King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God (I Tim. 1:17)! 

* John Murray, Collected Writings of John Murray Vol.1 (Carlisle, Penn.: Banner of Truth, 1976), pp. 166-167


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