What is worship? To some of us, we relate worship to a song and to the lifting of our hands. We call this “Worship.” Worship may be this, but it is not complete without giving. We need to give of ourselves to God. We must come into God’s presence and surrender ourselves to Him, laying down everything at His feet and having only one desire…to be in an intimate relationship with Him.
Let’s open this study of God’s Word with prayer: “Father, thank You for allowing me to minister Your Word with people reading this, Your message. I ask that Your revelation knowledge will flow freely, uninterrupted by any of Satan’s forces. Father please speak through me and think through me, so that Your message will cause people to see so much clearer Your Word and that through Your Word people’s lives will be changed. I ask You to meet everyone’s needs with more than enough. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus…Amen!”
Let’s start by establishing a foundation. Everything that we have in life needs to have a solid foundation and so does God’s Word. Look at Galatians 3:13, I am reading from the New King James Version of the Bible. I am letting you know this, so you are with me in this study, I will read from this version unless I have something to show you in another version. This is only to keep everyone on the same page. Let’s read, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),” as we can see, it is important for us to understand what Paul is saying. “Christ has redeemed us….” In order for a person to be redeemed, it meant that a “Ransom,” had to be paid. You see we were in bondage, or to put it another way, we were held captive to the law. The law had certain conditions that had to be followed. We had to keep “All the law” in order for God to bless us, but if we didn’t keep “All the law” then we were subject to the curse. The law that I am talking about is “The Mosaic Law.” This law wasn’t only the “Ten Commandments,” that we are familiar with, but it is a law consisting of (613) laws, all of which had to be kept. That in itself sounds impossible doesn’t it? Never-the-less, it was the conditions set up for all of mankind, according to the Old Testament. This is what Christ redeemed us from, He redeemed us from the curse of the law. You see, Jesus became the “Ransom” for us!
Now you probably asking yourselves, “How did Jesus take care of the curse?” He became the curse for us, by hanging on the cross. If we can take a look further into this verse, we can then see the whole picture. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.'” Jesus who is the Christ, put Himself upon the cross, so that all the curses of the law were put upon Him. He took our place! He paid the ransom!
Why did Jesus do this? To get this answer, we have to look at verse fourteen, “That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Jesus did this, so that we could receive the blessing of Abraham and that we could also receive the promise from God. I want you to notice what the scripture says, “That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles….” As you are aware, a Gentile was a “Non-Jewish” person. Before Jesus’ crucifixion, only Jews were allowed to receive the blessing, but after Jesus became the ransom, Jews and Gentiles could receive the blessing.
How did we receive the blessing? It was through Jesus Christ! You need to see this, under the Old Testament, the only way that mankind (Jewish) people could receive the blessing of Abraham was by them doing something to get something. Let me show you, turn to Deuteronomy 28:1-2, “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:” This is no longer the case in the New Testament. Jesus became the curse for us, because He was fulfilling the Old Testament law and the now the New Testament was established, because the Old Testament was fulfilled, all mankind can now have the blessing by just believing in Jesus and His finished works. Mankind (Jews and Non-Jews) alike don’t have to do something to get something, all that they have to do is believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
We all have the blessing of Abraham, because we believe in Jesus and we believe in His finished works. In all of this, because Jesus went to the cross in our place, we also have the promise of the Spirit through our faith. What does this mean? It means that we have the promise of the Spirit, and we also have the blessing of Abraham, all because we believe in Jesus Christ. With our faith, we receive the blessing and we also receive the promise of the Holy Spirit. What else does God give us? Let’s look at Galatians 3: 29, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” If we believe in Jesus Christ, then we are His property (much like a person who enlists in the military becomes the property of his country), we are in Christ. It is because we are Christ’s, we are also Abraham’s seed. According to the Bible, if we are Abraham’s seed, then we are heirs according to the promise. What is this promise? To find out what the promise is, we need to jump over to Romans 4:13, “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” The promise that God made to Abraham and his seed was that God would give him the whole world. This means that because we are in Christ, we are the seed of Abraham and we have the promise to be heirs of the world. This tells us that we have everything in the world, which means that we have all the riches of the world, all the properties of the world, all the animals in the world and we have everything that is on , around and within the earth. This also tells us that we are to be successful in the world. Notice that the Bible says, “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law…” therefore, if we continue to try to do something in order to deserve the promise, then it will never work for us. The only way for us to receive the promise is through faith. Faith activates the promise! Faith manifests the blessing! Faith is what causes us to have every finished work of Christ. It is so simple, yet there are many people who have the mind-set that they have to do something to get something. This s why many people are not receiving the blessing or the promise. The blessing and the promise are gifts and the only way to get them is by receiving them, not by trying to earn them. Now this brings us to the next verse, verse fourteen, “For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,” If people continue in the mind-set of being under the law, (doing something to deserve something) the Bible is clear, “That faith is made void and the promise made no effect.” We must renew our minds with faith and we must believe in Jesus and His finished works.
Why then is faith voided when we try to do something to get something? That answer is found in verse fifteen, “because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.” The law bring us wrath, where there is no law, the Bible says that there is no sin or transgression. Now look at verse sixteen, “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” God gave us the gift of the blessing. This is available to those who are the seed of Abraham. We are in Christ, therefore, we are Abraham’s seed. If we are Abraham’s seed, then we are given the blessing. Since we are Abraham’s seed, then we are also given the promise of being heirs of the world, is this not correct? If so why then aren’t there many Christian men and women experiencing the blessing and the promise? Let me tell you that it is because they are still stuck with the mind-set that they have to something to get something from God. Sad as it is, God has already given it all to us, but we aren’t receiving it because we won’t receive it with faith. Remember, that a gift can never be earned. If we earn it is no longer a gift, it is a wage.
I can remember that when I was a young man that I was taught that in order for me to get something in life I had to give something. My pastor of the church I attended taught this, and I became very rebellious about giving money to the church. I began to equate money with always giving. My rebellion wasn’t based upon money in the offering plate, it was based upon how I perceived my thought in giving in general. I felt that I had to give something in order to get blessed. If I didn’t give, then I felt I would be cursed. This became imbedded inside my brain, so my rebellious nature grew from it.
Let me ask you something, “What is the purpose of giving? Why do we pass the collection plate in church?” God certainly doesn’t need our money. He already has more than enough, so why then do we give? Are we giving to get something? If that is the case, then that would mean that the law is right. We have to give in order for God to bless us, but that can’t be true because the Bible said the blessing is a gift. We don’t have to give when we already have the gift. Why, then should we give? What is God’s purpose for giving? Is God saying that seedtime and harvest are wrong? No, I don’t believe that for a moment. What is wrong is that our mind-set is not right. Our giving has always been motivated by our desires to get something and we think that we are to give to get blessed, but we shouldn’t be thinking this way, instead, we should desire to give because God has already blessed us.
When my wife was sick, we prayed and God healed her of cancer. The healing was the result of her already being blessed. When I had no job, no income, God still provided me the money to pay the bills so that I had more than enough. This miracle was the fact that I was already blessed. I give God praise. I give God my worship. My money that I put in the offering plate is given as a form of worship. I don’t put it in the plate because I want to receive something, but I place it in the plate to show God how much I love Him and to thank Him for all He has already done.
Why do we give? We give of ourselves as a worship to the God who loves us. We surrender everything that is us, to the One, that we love. Giving is an act of worship. It is not done in order for us to receive something, it is an act of worship. Don’t take my word for it, let’s see what God Word says, turn Psalms 96:6-9, “Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.” Many of us say this, “Why does God need our money?” First and foremost, God doesn’t need our money, but He does desire our worship. He has already given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. He has given us the money to buy and sell with. It was given to us by the Lord, so are we willing to give it back to Him as a token of our worship? We are supposed to give our worship to the Lord. We have been taught the opposite and we have been taught that we are to give in order to receive. We are to give in order to be blessed, but this can’t be true, because the Bible says, “Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness….” This says to us that we are to bring an offering and come into His courts and do what? We are to worship God!
Let’s take this time and dive a little bit deeper into the Scriptures, turn to 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” How is it that we are supposed to give? We are to give as we purpose in our hearts. We are to give from our hearts as we worship God. We are not to give grudgingly (reluctantly or regrettably). We are not supposed to give out of necessity (the fact of being required or indispensable), so how does God want us to give? He wants us to give “cheerfully.” He wants us to give joyfully! He wants us to give lovingly and we are to give in a state of worship.
Giving is a form of our worship, it is not for us to do something to get something. We are to give from our hearts to God, whom we love. We have already been given the blessing, Jesus gave it to us. Our giving is to give thanks to God for what He has already done. Sad as it may be, many Christian men and women still believe that in order for God to bless them they are required to give of something to earn it. They still have the mind-set that in order to receive anything from God, they have to give their money. This is a lie, because we can’t buy God. Our desire should be to surrender all to Jesus. We are to surrender our houses, cars, wealth, money, body, souls and spirits. We need to tell God, “Take all that I have, because I worship You.”
Turn to Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” The Bible doesn’t say that this is spiritual in nature, but what it is saying, is that it is physical in nature. We are to honor the Lord, which means that we are to give Him high respect; great esteem for what He has already done. How can we do this? The verse tells us that we are to honor Him with our possessions and the first fruits of our labor.
What then is worship? It is the feeling or expression of our reverence and adoration to the Father, our Creator, from His creation. It is the giving of ourselves to the Father and not expecting anything in return. It is our gift to God.