Now don’t get me wrong?I am not saying that church has nothing to do with relationships. The epistles from the previous posts illustrated the point that the local gathering (when functioning correctly) does in turn affect relationships. It is putting things in their proper order that creates the right results in relationships. Using an Old Testament type, let us look at the Altar to shed light on the following statement:
He also said something like, if the church’s doctrine is sound then the method of worship and other stuff like that is really secondary.
Worship by Commandment
God eternal gave the plans for the Altar and the Tabernacle itself, to Moses on Mount Sinai .
?Moses,? said He ?Follow the pattern [or the shape or images] of the furniture that you saw in the Mount.? Moses then proceeded to build every item of the tabernacle by what he had seen in the mount. When the point came to offer sacrifices the children of Israel followed the commandments of the Lord to the very letter.
The Lord commanded their method of worship (Leviticus 1 ? 8) and when they followed His instructions, He found the sacrifice well pleasing and sent fire to consume it (Lev 9:23-24). This fire, from the very glory of the Lord, found the sacrifice and the worship good indeed. (Leviticus 9).
If you will, notice that this worship was based on the Revelation of the Lord, completely reliant on what He said and what He specified. What’s being done today is that Revelation is being traded in with Relationship and the bond of the gathering (though seemingly stronger) is actually weaker in it’s moral fiber.
If we are to worship, we must realize that worship is what God defines as worship not what we define as worship. These are those sacrifices of the heart, lips and spirit which he finds sweet and appealing, an offering well pleasing to the Lord.
It is this approach to God, found in Leviticus 1, where we see the free will offering, that God finds great joy in. This isn’t a song or a relationship with other priests or a gathering for the purpose of encouraging each other?it is strictly for God. In our churches, we may have relationships that grow and are nourished. We may find great encouragement of each other as well. We must be very careful to keep focus on the gathering?it is not for ourselves but for the glory of God. We are to come together to worship and glorify Him, not find comfort or strength for ourselves, although that does happen when worship is put in its proper place.
Note what the Lord Jesus says to that church of Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7) which was full of ministry and works. They were running about completing a multitude of tasks, yet the Lord Jesus points out to them that they have lost their first love. Such a sad statement on where their worship and work had gone wrong.