Bulletin Edition March 2022

“To know God is to worship Him”

Martin Luther (therefore where there is false ‘worship’ there is no true knowledge of God) 

The Gospel of Christ is either of infinite importance or of no importance. The one thing it cannot be is of moderate importance.  “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.”

Todd Nibert

“How am I to worship God?”

(by Horatius Bonar)

Man asks, “How am I to worship God?” and

he has answered it also in his own way. In the

gorgeous temple, in the pillared cathedral, with

incense, and vestments, and forms, and ceremonies,

and processions, and postures, he says.

But these performances are the ‘will worship’ of

self righteousness, not the obedient service of

men worshiping God in ways of His own choosing.

Man cannot teach man how to worship God. When

he tries it he utterly fails. He distorts worship; he

misrepresents God, and he indulges his own sensuous

or self righteous tastes. His “dim religious light” is

but a reflection of his own gloomy spirit, and an

ignorant misrepresentation of Him “who is light.”

God’s answer to man’s question is given in the

Lord’s words, “those who worship Him must worship

Him in spirit and in truth.”

The vestments may or may not be lovely; that matters not.

The music may or may not be beautiful.

The knees may or may not be bent.

The hands may or may not be clasped.

The place of worship may or may not be

a cathedral, or a consecrated building.

These are immaterial things; mere

adjuncts of religion, not its essence.

The true worship is that of the inner man; and all

these other exterior things are of little importance.

As it is with love, so it is with worship.

The heart is everything!

God can do without the bended knee,

but not without the broken heart!


by Spurgeon

‘Soul’ worship is the soul of worship, and if you take away

the soul from the worship, you have killed the worship–

it becomes dead and barren henceforth.

There are ‘professors’ in this world who are perfectly content if

they have gone through the ‘mechanical part of public devotion’.

If they have occupied their seats, joined in the hymns and the

prayers, and listened to the preaching, they go away quite

content and easy. They would not like to be absent from the

solemn assembly, and their conscience would prick them if they

neglected the outward ordinances, but having gone through

them, and complied with the accustomed ‘form’, they are

perfectly content with themselves, and think they have done that

which is lawful and right, lovely and excellent.

Now, it is never so with the true child of God.

If his soul is awakened from the torpor of death, and his

sensibilities quickened into the vigour of life, he will feel

that unless in the song he has really ‘praised’ God in strains

of gratitude with emotions of thankfulness, he has rather

mocked his heavenly Father than acceptably adored him.

He knows that ‘prayer’, if it is not the soul that speaks with God,

is but the carcass of prayer, destitute alike of the sweet savour

which can find acceptance with God, and of the sweet

satisfaction that can bring refreshment to one’s own breast.

When he ‘hears the word preached’, he longs to feel it penetrate

his heart, even as the rain soaks into the soil. And if he cannot so

receive the truth of the gospel when it breaks on his ear as the

engrafted word that saves his soul, and so feed upon it as the

bread of life which nourishes his soul, he goes away sad at heart,

deploring that, while others were feasting at the banquet, he was

there without appetite, and had not the pleasure or the profit

which they derived.

Beloved, in our public services we ought to account nothing

truly and rightly done which is not done with the heart.

If the soul is there, in the full exercise of its powers and

passions, I believe God is gracious to pity and forgive a

thousand mistakes in outward fashion and skill of execution.

If it is ‘heartless’ worship it is unacceptable.

God cannot receive it.

If we have not thrown our heart into it, depend upon it-

God will never take it to his heart and be pleased with it.

Only that prayer which comes from

our heart can get to God’s heart.

If we pray only from the lips, or from the throat, and not

low down from the very affections of our nature, we shall

never reach the affections of our Father who is in heaven.

With every kind of religious exercise, the ‘soul’

is the standard of the whole compass of worship.

The wretched idol, SELF!

(Octavius Winslow, “Christ and the Christian

 in Temptation” 1877)

Of all the sins common to our fallen nature, God

has the most signally marked that of Idolatry, or

False Worship.

Man is by nature an idolater. His sinful mind,

being alienated from God, seeks some object

of worship other than the true and living God.

The ‘renewed’ man is not entirely exempt from this sin.

Hence the exhortation of the Apostle addressed to the

early Christians, and in these last days addressed to us:

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” “My dearly

beloved, flee from idolatry.”

Surely, it was not the gross and senseless idolatry of

the heathens to which the Apostles thus refer; from

this many of those saints to whom they wrote had

already been delivered; but to other idols and other

worship, less palpable and degrading, but not less

superstitious or offensive to God.

The worship of SELF is a natural and fearful form of

idolatry. It is an innate and never entirely eradicated

principle of our nature, but clings to us to the very last

of life. Alas! the holiest and the best of us want to be

something, and to do something, when in reality we

are nothing, and can do nothing.

We walk in our religious life, for the most part, upon

stilts; always appearing in the eyes of others taller

than we really are!

But real greatness and true humility have ever been

in alliance with entire abnegation of SELF.

Who can stand before the cross and gaze upon the

Creator of all worlds impaled between two criminals,

Himself dying as the chief, and not shrink into his

own nothingness, bewailing that he should ever have

been betrayed into the folly and the sin of burning

the incense of idolatry before the wretched idol,


Beware of SELF idolatry!

It is the most insidious, hateful, and degrading

form of idolatry to which the soul can be subjected.

The idol we worship!

(Letters of John Newton)

“People will be lovers of SELF” 2 Timothy 3:2

The passions of discontent, pride, and envy–exert

themselves in each of us. We are fallen into a state

of gross idolatry–and SELF is the idol we worship!

The principle of SELF is deep-rooted in every heart,

and is the spring of every action–until grace infuses

a new principle, and SELF, like Dagon, falls before

the Lord Almighty!

Heart worship

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You;

in whose HEART are Your ways.” -Psalm 84:5

“None find joy in worship but those

who throw their hearts into it.

Neither prayer, nor praise, nor the

hearing of the word will be profitable to

those who have left their hearts behind them.”


“They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them.” –Jeremiah 31:9

J.C. Philpot

Until God is pleased to pour out upon us the spirit of grace and of supplications, we cannot worship him aright; for God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth; nor can we without this spirit offer up that spiritual sacrifice which is acceptable to him through Jesus Christ. When this spirit has been once given and kindled in a believer’s breast, it never dies out. It is like the fire upon the bronze altar, which was first given by the Lord himself from heaven, and concerning which God gave this command—”The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” (Lev. 6:13). This fire might sink low; it might be covered with the ashes of sacrifice, but it never was allowed to go out for lack of supply of fuel.

So at times it may seem to you as if there were scarcely any spirit of prayer alive in your bosom; and you may feel as destitute of a spirit of grace and of supplications as if you had never known its lively movements and actings. But you will find it drawn out from time to time by circumstances. You will be placed under peculiar trials, under which you will find no relief but at a throne of grace; or God will in tender mercy breathe again upon your soul with his own gracious Spirit, and by his quickening breath will revive, I will not say kindle, for it is not gone out, that holy fire which seemed to be buried under the ashes of corruption, that inward spirit of prayer which he gave you at regeneration, and which will never cease until it issue in everlasting praise.

Give Him your whole self!

-Spurgeon, “The Wise Men, the Star, and the Saviour”

But, oh, when you think of Jesus Christ, whose origins are

from of old, from ancient times, the eternal Son of the

Father, and then see Him coming here to be a man formed

in the womb of a woman, and know and understand why

He came and what He did when he came, then you will

fall down and worship Him.

We worship Jesus.

Our faith sees Him go from the manger to the cross,

and from the cross right up to the throne,

and there where God the Father dwells,

amidst the unendurable glory of the divine presence stands

the man– the very man who slept at Bethlehem in the

manger; there He reigns as Lord of lords.

Our souls worship Him again.

And now, after you have worshipped Christ in your soul,

and seen Him with the eye of faith, give Him yourself,

give Him your heart, give Him all that you are and own.

Why, you will not be able to keep from doing it.

He who really loves the Saviour in his heart,

cannot help devoting to Him his life, his strength, his all.

If any man loves Christ, he will soon be finding ways and

means of proving his love by his sacrifices.

Go home, Mary, and get the alabaster box,

and pour the ointment on His head, and if any say,

“Why this waste?” you will have a good answer–

you have had many sins forgiven by Him, and therefore

you love Him greatly.

If you have gold, then give it;

if you have frankincense, then give it;

if you have myrrh, then give it to Jesus;

if you don’t have any of these things,

give Him your love,

all of your love,

and that will be gold and spices all in one.

Give Him your tongue, speak of Him;

give Him your hands, work for Him;

give Him your whole self.

I know you will, for He loved you,

and gave Himself for you.

“God is Spirit”

John 4:24

In his indescribable solitariness, God is Spirit, eternal and incomprehensible. Our Lord Jesus Christ declares, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The Bible often ascribes to God terms such as “the hand of the Lord,” “the mouth of the Lord,” “the eyes of the Lord,” “the arm of the Lord,” and “the ears of the Lord.” But these terms are mere accommodations of language to help our puny brains understand the works of God. They are anthropomorphic terms, human terms, used to describe the works of the Lord God. But they do not, in any way, represent the nature and being of God.

Idolatry Forbidden

As you read the Bible you cannot fail to notice that never once were men given any kind of physical, visible, tangible representation of God’s Being. Even under the types and shadows of the Old Testament age of ceremonial worship nothing was given as a representation of God’s Being. All the types and shadows of the law represented his work of redemption through Christ. But nothing represented God himself. Why? Because God is Spirit. He is the infinite, incomprehensible, invisible, omnipresent Spirit.

Because God is Spirit, he expressly forbids every form of idolatry (Exodus 20:3-6). The law of God forbids the acceptance of any other god, the worship of God through any image or icon, the representation of God by anything visible, and the use of religious images, symbols, or pictures. That includes pictures representing our Saviour, crosses, crucifixes, imaginary representations of angels or angelic forms, and religious relics.

Spiritual Worship

All true worship and service rendered to God must be spiritual, heart worship. It is not sufficient to come before God on bended knee, with prostrate body, or with words of praise. We must worship God with our spiritual nature, our souls, our hearts, our minds, and our wills, in and by his Holy Spirit (John 4:23-24; Philippians 3:3).

“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)

“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3)

We must worship God alone. We must worship God spiritually. We must worship God sincerely. We must worship God in truth, in accordance with revealed truth.

Don Fortner  

The deep things of God 

(J. C. Philpot, “The Things Which God has

Prepared for Those Who Love Him” 1858)

“But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.

 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep

 things of God.” 1 Cor. 2:10

The Spirit of God in a man’s bosom searches

the deep things of God, so as to lead him into

a spiritual and experimental knowledge of them.

What depths do we sometimes see in a single

text of Scripture as opened to the understanding,

or applied to the heart?

What a depth in the blood of Christ—how it

“cleanses from all sin,”—even millions of millions

of the foulest sins of the foulest sinners!

What a depth in His bleeding, dying love,

that could stoop so low to lift us so high!

What a depth in His pity and compassion to extend

itself to such guilty, vile transgressors as we are!

What depth in His rich, free, and sovereign grace,

that it should super-abound over all our aggravated

iniquities, enormities, and vile abominations!

What depth in His sufferings—that He should have

voluntarily put Himself under such a load of guilt,

such outbreakings of the wrath of God—as He felt

in His holy soul when He stood in our place to

redeem poor sinners from the bottomless pit—that

those who deserved hell, should be lifted up into

the enjoyment of heaven!

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