Lesson 9

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Vain Worship

“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” – Matthew 15:9

Vain Worship: I know you have heard of this term use before today. It is used often to express unacceptable worship towards our Father God. Vain means devoid of substance and with unsuccessful results. A person can be so excessively proud in their unlikely intended at expressing respect that they fail pointlessly, in vain, having no directions. A lot of times, this same person is out right disrespectful or have done something in a blasphemous way.

Every attempt to worship God after that is ineffective and worthless. So why not stop and do what God is commanding of us? Let’s start with Genesis 4:7 which states, “If thou doest well, shall thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

What is God saying to us? He will not accept any old type of futile worship, even with good intentions. We are to honor, respect and adore God, including His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

How are we to worship God respectfully? As we have learned so far from John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Let focus on the last part of the verse, “in truth,” and how that this word represent honesty and sincerity. A heartfelt statement of your genuineness and loyalty; which expresses something that you generally believe to be true towards Him. For example, Jesus is Lord! Hallelujah to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Anything other than “in truth,” you are doing just like Mark 7:7 states, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Yes, men! God is not pleased with this unacceptable and traditions of worship. If you are seeking God’s truth in His word, then you will do as He commands for us to worship Him. The scriptures states in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In other words, we must know the truth of God’s will and then be willing to change our attitude towards His true purposes. If we believe these Holy Scriptures to be truthful, you have nothing to fear in worshipping Him in truth.

The obvious fact is that any worship you do must be respected. It must be done well, for God to accept it from you. Our worship must be genuine, or it is vain worship.

Also if we try to worship God “in truth” but not “in spirit,” that is not done with correct manners then we are just practicing rituals and traditions. This type of worship is also vain and unacceptable to God, for Jesus says in Matthew 15:8, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” Our hearts (our essential character) must be found in our worship completely, never far away. We must worship God both in spirit and in truth.

Suggested Book: The Dilemma of vain Worship by Lucius Joseph

Suggested Book: Worship that is Right with God: Traditional versus Contemporary Worship by Johnie Scaggs

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We strongly recommend that you look up each reference of the Holy Scriptures from your own Bible. (We recommend using one of the following translations: King James, New King James, American Standard, New American Standard, or Amplified).

Lesson 9 Quiz Questions

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Suggested Book: The Beginner’s Guide to Praise and Worship by Gary Kinnaman

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