The Advent Part 87
Besides the four principal pillars upon which the Congregation of God rested in its infancy, namely the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer, we see that the praising of God was also added to the list shortly after its inception. They did not do these things infrequently, they did not do these things once in a while, they did these things daily. Since we covered the four pillars in previous posts, today I wanted to focus on the praise of God and see what it entails, and why it is that we must daily praise God with all our hearts with all our minds and with all our souls.
Praise of God is a holy sacrifice, one that God receives with joy from the lips and hearts of those who are truly His.
Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
It is by Christ, the ‘Him’ which this passage in Hebrews is referring to, that we can offer the sacrifice of praise to God, and we must do this continually. The continual praise of God and the sacrifice thereof is something established by the Holy Spirit, and just as the Holy Spirit has not ceased from among us, the need to continually offer up the fruit of our lips and the sacrifice of praise to God has not ceased.
The atmosphere of heaven is one of unceasing praise and worship to God, and knowing that our spiritual state is likewise heavenly we must continually be in His presence offering our worship and our praise to Him who is worthy.
Revelation 5:11-14, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’ And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’ Then the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”
If we were raised up together and made to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, then our praise and worship of God must ring forth just as the praise and worship of those in heaven rings forth.
Worshiping God is not a chore, praising God is not a chore, and these are not things that are reserved only for a particular church service, or for once a week as has become customary in many a believers’ lives. We worship and praise God continually, for He is worthy, we worship and praise the Lamb continually for He is worthy, and a state of worship and praise is the natural environment of a regenerate and born again soul.
It is impossible to miss the simplicity, originality, hunger and passion with which the primary church pursued God, and I fear it is these things that are missing in today’s modern church. Sure we have big beautiful building, sure we have political influence, sure we have programs and courses and workshops, but we are missing the passion and the hunger for the things of God, we are missing the simplicity of worship and praise that was the staple of the primary church.
When someone came to God, they took their place in the Congregation of God. Nobody had to fill out a membership form, nobody had to direct deposit ten percent of their income into the church account, there were no denominations there were no hidden agendas, and Christ united them all and made them one in Him.
There was only the Congregation of God where He was present, where He revealed Himself, where He did signs and wonders, and where He led. There was no system that was formed by the will, judgment or opinion of man, there was only God and the worship and praise of Him.
There is no place in the Bible where we are commanded to be members of a certain denomination, or to belong to a certain group. Every true believer is a member of the congregation of God, a member of the Body of Christ, and one can only be a member of one body. Just as my arm could not be the member of another body, a true believer can only be a member of the Body of Christ. When we place our denomination above Jesus, when we circumvent His teachings in lieu of the teachings of our church or our pastor, then we are not members of the Body of Christ, but members of that church.
Wherever man sits upon the throne, wherever a man is the head of a body and not Christ, wherever a man is the leading authority the spirit of dominance and religious politics is protected and even lauded. The authority of man makes a servant of someone that has no gift or calling from Christ, while at the same time one who has a gift and calling on their life cannot serve unless the man in charge gives his blessing or otherwise approves. This however is a dishonor to the name of Jesus, and to that which He birthed through His death, burial, resurrection and the sending of the Holy Spirit among us.
In every denomination, whether great or small, in every religious system, the authority of men is acknowledged and recognized, and men are constantly seeking the approval of other men. We however are servants called of God and approved of God, not through man, but through Jesus Christ and the Father who raised Him from the dead, for the true definition of a servant is one who obeys and serves his Master.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.