Why Should We Worship God?

Understanding Worship

Perhaps worship is the least understood portion of our duty to God. Some come to worship to hear and judge. That is what the men of Athens did in Acts chapter 17. Some judge the singing, the prayers, or the friendliness of the congregation. Some are bored with worship. Instead of thinking what can I get from it, think ‘what can I bring to it?. Worship is not so much getting as it is giving.

Man Will Worship Something

Modern idolatry is as deadly as ancient idolatry. Some of the Israelites would offer their children to Molech, the fire god of the Amalekites.(Jeremiah 32:35) People of today can offer their children to materialism, the god of the 21st century. However materialism is not our only God. Some worship nature and mammon (self).

True Worship

Jesus said in John 4:23,24 that “true worship is in spirit and in truth.” God seeks true worshippers with devotion of life, dedication of heart, and consecration of mind. God and not man is always the one to be pleased in worship. God does not allow ‘split devotion.’ Our God is a jealous God.(Exodus 20:5; I Corinthians 10:22) God told Israel that they could not worship him while acting like the idolatrous people around them.

A Simple Worship Service

Jesus built his church and authorized a simple worship service of teaching, communing (Lord’s supper), singing, praying and giving. Paul wrote in II Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty (cunningness), so your minds should not be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” No candles, incense, robes, crucifix or beads are needed.

We Worship God For Various Reasons

Worship to God is commanded. First and foremost we worship God to show our appreciation for what he has done for us.  David said, “the Lord reigneth.” We must see the power of God to seriously worship him. We worship God because of his mighty works. Look at the heavens and earth. They are the work of God. In Psalm 19:1 Israel sang “the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth  his handiwork.”  We look at ourselves and the physical makeup of man and have profound respect for the God who made us. We look at God and see that with obedience to his will and way we are set free from the bondage of sin, given a new life, a reason to live, and a hope in death. When we see the wonderful works of God, it will cause us to sing the praises of God, be humbled in his presence, and pray in a personal way to God.

A Summary of How to Worship God

Let us notice briefly , 5 points from Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

  • “Let us draw near” That is the call to worship.

  • With a true heart” is the sincerity we are to have. God wants the whole heart, not just your presence, but a sincere heart.

  • “In full assurance of faith” We should come to worship with faith assurance, and conviction. God is the rewarder of those who seek him. See Hebrews 11:6.

  • Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” This teaches humility. Pride keeps man from worshipping God acceptable. Worldly success, learning, and wealth can make one prideful and can hinder one from coming to God with a sense of need.

  • “And our bodies washed with pure water” God calls for purity of life. Christians are sanctified and set apart from the world. To be in the presence of God, we are called upon to live pure lives.

God Does Care How We Worship

If we think that we do not get anything from worship read Hebrews 10:22 and ask yourself ‘What do I bring into it?’ In summary let us remember that we must worship God “in spirit and in truth”…..God is a jealous God…..He is in control……He made you and can recreate you and make you free from sin and to have the hope of heaven.

In Conclusion

Please look at our streaming videos on this web site and also we have our new website www.4WayBibleStudy.com completed and we invite you to look at this. We have Bible correspondence courses and Skype studies available, a blog with sentence sermons and streaming videos. We invite you to send us an email if you have any questions. May God continue to bless you as you study his word.

L Manning

 

 

 

 

 

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Salvation and Baptism

 “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”

This article deals with baptism, the last step to be saved. We will look at the meaning of and the description of baptism — Jesus Christ and baptism — Christ’s command to preach — review of steps before baptism — baptism: what it’s for — baptism makes a change — other facts — it’s importance — its symbolism — man has tried to change it — bleak picture without it — and glorious picture with it.

The Meaning of the word, baptism:

From the original Greek language it means “to immerse” – “to dip”.  Notice the description of baptism: the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:35-39.  The eunuch confessed his faith in Christ and Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized (immersed) him. Baptism in the New Testament is described in terms of a burial. See Romans 6:3-5 and Colossians 2:11-13.

Jesus Christ and Baptism:

Jesus submitted to baptism (to fulfill all righteousness). John baptized Jesus in the Jordan river. (Matt.3:13-17)  One of the last recorded commands of Jesus before he ascended back to heaven was regarding baptism. He said, “Therefore (because He had been given all power in heaven and earth Matthew 28:18) go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”(Matt.28:19)

Steps before baptism:

Remember, baptism must be preceded by: teaching (Matt. 28:19) – preceded by faith (Mark 16:16) – preceded by repentance (Acts 2:38) and confession must come before baptism.( Acts 8:37)  See previous articles.

What is baptism for?

It is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) They asked on the day of Pentecost “What must I do to be saved?” and Peter told them what they must do. “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

For remission of sins appears in the New Testament in Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 2:38; Acts 5:31; Acts 10:43; and Romans 3:25.

Baptism is:

An appeal to God for a clear conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. ( I Peter 3:21)

It purifies the soul by obedience to the truth. ( I Peter 1:22)

The heart is sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and the body is washed in pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)

Baptism corresponds to Noah and the eight souls saved on the ark from the flood. The water of baptism saves us today. ( I Peter 3:20,21)

 Baptism marks a change:

A change of a person’s status from ‘sinner’ to ‘Christian’. We take the name of Jesus Christ. We go from lost to saved.

In Christ we’re a new creature (II Cor. 5:17) “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.”

A change of focus A change of love for the things of the world- to love God above all things. (Matt.22:37,38)

A change of our outlook on life.  Place your affections on things above. “Set you affections on things above, not on things on the earth”(Colossians 3:2)

Other facts about baptism:

Baptism marks one’s entrance in to Christ. Galatians 3:26,27 “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

There are only two relationships, a person is either of the world (John 15:19) or in Christ.

Out of Christ one is without hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12)

Redemption is in Christ. (Romans 3:24)

There is no condemnation to those in Christ. (Romans 8:1)

The symbolism of baptism:

In Romans 6:3-5 Paul writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit compares baptism to the death and resurrection of Christ. Notice the passage, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” –  We are baptized into his death and raised to walk in newness of life.

Man has tried to change baptism.

Man has tried to make changes to the meaning and practice of baptism by pouring or sprinkling a little water on a person. New Testament baptism requires immersion in water.

There is a bleak picture for those without Christ.

Ephesians 2:12 “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”

There is a glorious picture of those baptized into Christ.

Read these passages.

  • Eternal life is in Christ (I John 5:11)
  • Grace is in Christ. (2 Timothy 2:1)
  • Salvation and eternal glory are in Christ. (2 Timothy 2:10)
  • Redemption and forgiveness of sins are in Christ. (Colossians 1:14)
  • All spiritual blessings are in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

To put it simply we become saved children of God in Christ. In baptism, our status changes from excluded –  to chosen, from lost to saved. A simple ceremony, but a big change.

Could we assist you in baptism? Please contact us and we will be happy to make arrangement for your baptism. 

For additional study:

Please view out streaming videos: “Searching for Truth”…..”About Authority in Religion”…..”What Must I Do To Be Saved?”…..and “Why Are There So Many Churches?”  Personal Bible studies are available by way of Skype. Please see the Skype page. If you have any question or if I can help in any way send me an e-mail.

Leon Manning

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Salvation and Confession of Faith

“I Believe That Jesus Christ Is The Son of God”

This article deals with the confession of our faith as we study the steps in the plan of salvation. We will notice that confession is: Required…..the meaning of confession….it’s referred to as the good confession…..it’s a foundation…..notable examples…..happy results…..living faithful…..dire warnings and more facts concerning confession.

Confession of Faith is a Must for Salvation.

In Luke 12:8 Jesus said, “Whoever shall confess me before men, him shall the son of Man also confess before the angels of God.” In fact Jesus commands confession. Matthew 12:32,33 says, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” It is clear that in the absence of confession of our faith in Christ, there can be no forgiveness of sins and no hope of heaven.

The Manner of Confession:

As stated before in Luke 12:8…..”before men” meaning publically. It’s to be oral. Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

It’s Called The Good Confession.

Paul when writing to Timothy said “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”(I Timothy 6:12)

The Church Is Built on The Fact of The Confession.

Matthew 16:16-18 states “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Barjona for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock [Peter’s confession] I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Notable One’s Making Confession:

There is a supreme dignity in the good confession. Notice some Biblical examples of those who have made the good confession:

  • Jehovah made the confession (Matt.3:17; 17:5)
  • Jesus made the confession (Matt. 26:63,64; Matt. 27:43)
  • Peter made the confession (Matt. 16:16)
  • Martha made the confession (John 11:27)
  • Stephen made the confession (Acts 7:55,56)
  • Timothy made the confession (I Tim. 6:12)

Happy Results:

Christ shall confess us before the Father and the angels. (Matt. 10:32); Luke 12:8)

We Must Live Faithful to Our Confession.

In Hebrews 4:14, we are admonished to “hold fast our profession.” We are to be faithful in all things (Hebrews 10:24,25). We are to be stedfast (Acts 2:42), We are to be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)

Dire Warnings of Not Confessing Christ:

Christ will deny those who do not confess Him and do not have God.(Matthew 10:33 and I John 2:23)

Eventually Everyone Will Confess Christ.

At the judgment “every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”(Romans 14:11) However that will be too late. We must confess him in this life.

In Conclusion:

We must confess before men that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God. It is necessary for salvation. (Romans 10:9.10) Remember, it’s all easy. Jesus said “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt.11:28-30)

Our next blog:

In the next blog we will look at baptism. Please view our streaming videos: “Searching for Truth”…..”About Authority in Religion”….. What Must I Do to Be Saved”…..and “Why Are There So Many Churches. Personal Bible studies are available by way of Skype. Please see the Skype page. If you have any question or I can help in any way send me an e mail.

Leon Manning

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Salvation and Repentance

In this article we look at repentance in the plan of salvation. We will define repentance, see that we must repent to be saved, what motivates us to repent, the joy of repentance, repentance after conversion, and what repentance is not.

Repentance defined:

First, when one repents it means that we turn to God. It is a choice to turn away from the desire of the world to a life of obedience to Christ. Isaiah 7:15 gives a good definition by stating, “refuse the evil and choose the good.” It also means that we stop living for self and start living for God. Repentance is a matter of the heart. Jesus said in the parable of the sower in Luke 8:15, “But on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, kept it and bring forth fruit with patience.” Therefore repentance is turning to God in humble obedience to his will.

Repentance is a must:

God demands repentance. Jesus preached, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(Matt. 4:17, also see Mark 1:15) Also Jesus said in Luke 5:32, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” In Acts 3:19 the apostle Peter preaching to the Jews said “Repent therefore and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” In Luke 13:3 Jesus said “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Every sinner must repent to be saved.

Our motivation to repent:

Our motivation to repent is guilt and sorrow for our sins and turning to God for forgiveness. We are aware of our sins and what it does to our relationship to God. Our sins have separated us from God. There is a need to make things right with God. We must be convinced of the consequences of our own sins.

Jesus promised in John 16:8 that when the Holy Spirit had come he would “convict the world in respect of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.” Convict means to prove guilty awareness of a sense of sin. Without the conviction of sin, men would feel no need to repent. Men must be aware of sin before they are willing to repent. We are all sinners. Romans 3:23 states “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” What is sin? “Sin is a transgression of the law.” (I John 3:4) Notice David’s conviction of sin in Psalms 51. Read verses 1-17. Also look at God’s love for a man who is willing to repent in Isaiah 66:2. Our seeking forgiveness motivates us to repent.

The Joy of Repentance:

I remember my joy of repentance 62 years ago in 1952 in Salisbury, N.C. The greatest joy came after I confessed the name of Christ and was immersed in water for the remission of my sins. My father, P.L. Manning baptized me into Christ. Not only I rejoiced, but my family and friends rejoiced. There is joy in heaven when one repents. Jesus said in Lk. 15:7 and verse 10 “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance. Vs. 10 “Just so I tell you there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Repentance after Conversion:

When we do wrong (sin) as a Christian, God demands repentance. Jesus said to Peter “When you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:32) Peter has to repent of his faithless behavior, and come back to the fold. Likewise when we sin we must repent and ask forgiveness. See also II Corinthians 12:21.

What Repentance Is Not:

Knowledge of sin is not repentance. Just thinking about repentance is not repentance. Sorrow for sins only with no follow up is not repentance. One must turn from the old ways of sin to full obedience to God’s will. It’s Easy! Jesus said it’s easy. He said “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Our next blog:

In the next blog we will look at confession. Please view our streaming videos: “Searching for Truth”…” About authority in religion”… What Must I Do To Be Saved”…and “Why are there so many churches.” Personal Bible studies are available by way of Skype. Please see the Skype page.  If you have any question or I can help in any way send me an e mail.

Leon Manning

 

 

 

 

 

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Salvation Begins With Faith

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 1017) One must hear the word of God to have faith..

We will look at faith in the process of accepting God’s offer of salvation. In this article we will look at : Belief in God, Belief in the Bible, Faith in Christ, and other points about faith., Belief in Christ, and other points about faith.

Belief in God:

We must believe in God for salvation. Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Even though God is invisible, that does not mean that he does not exist. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament (sky) shows his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)  By inspiration Paul wrote in Romans 1:20 concerning the gentiles, “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible…..power and deity has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Paul also states in Acts 14:17 “God did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons.” God made the beauty of the universe. (Matt. 6:28,29) God’s thinking is not the way man thinks. Isaiah declares in Isaiah 55:8 concerning this, “my thoughts are not your thoughts.” Psalm 90:2 says “from everlasting to everlasting you are God.’ God says in Revelation 1:8 “I am the alpha and the omega…who is and who was and who is to come.”  So much more could be said and written about God. We must believe in God for salvation.

Must Believe the Bible:

We must believe the Bible because the Scriptures are from God (2 Pet. 1:20,21) The Old Testament was written for our learning. (Rom. 15:4; I Cor. 10:11) The Scriptures  (are able to make us wise unto salvation. See2 Tim. 3:15. God has spoken through his son, Jesus Christ (Heb.1:2)and the Scripture cannot be broken. (John 10:35)  Paul wrote in I Cor. 14: 37 that “what I am writing to you is a commandment of the Lord.” Romans 10:17 says “faith comes by hearing the word of God.” The gospels were written that you might believe. (John 20:31) Salvation depends on faith in the Scriptures.

Must Have Faith In Jesus Christ:

Belief that Jesus Christ is God’s Son is necessary to be saved. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one come to the Father but by me.”(John 14:6) Hebrews 1:2 says “God has spoken through his Son.” After Christ’s resurrection he claimed all authority. (Matthew 28:18-20). God gave his only Son that whosoever believes on him might have everlasting life. (John 3:16) John 3:36 states “He who believes on the Son has eternal life. He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7,8 states “a time is coming when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” We must have faith in Christ.

Other Points About Faith:

There are many other things about faith that are taught in Scripture. Christians are to ‘contend for the faith.’ (Jude vs. 3). One should have faith when praying. (James 1:6) There is “one faith.” (Eph. 4:5) We’re warned one can make shipwreck the faith. (I Tim.1:19) One can depart from the faith. (I Tim. 4:1) One can disown the faith.( I Tim. 5:8;Rev.2:13)Also one can err from the faith. (I Tim.6:10)

Let’s look at the positive. Faith can be genuine or sincere. (ITimothy.1:5) Faith can grow.  (2 Thessalonians 1:3)….can increase Lk. 17:5……can be great (Matt. 15:28)…..can gain confidence in the faith (Rom.4:20)…..and a Christian can excel in faith (2 Cor. 8:7) Also one can be full of faith. See Acts 6:5; 11:24)

In the next blog let’s look at repentance. Please view our streaming videos: Searching for Truth, About authority in religion, What must I do to be saved?, and Why there are so many churches? Email me if you have any questions or if I can help.  May God bless you.

Leon Manning

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God’s Offer of Salvation

In this message we will expand on the theme at God’s greatest gift to man. We will cover the big picture, awareness of sin, the offer of salvation, and the acceptance of Christ’s invitation.

The Big Picture:       There is one true and living God who made heaven and earth, man and all living creatures. Other facts: that there is a devil; that there is an eternity with a heaven and a hell; and that each of us has an eternal soul that will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Man must believe these facts. They are true.

One Must Have Awareness of Their Sin:      Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit would come he would “convict the world in respect of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.”(John 16:8) The word convict means to ‘prove guilty; to awaken a sense of sin.’ Conviction of sin involves convincing a person that he is wrong about sin, and that he is guilty of sin. Everyone before being saved must first accept the fact that they are guilty of sin and lost. These facts are also true and must be believed and accepted. See Acts chapter 2 and the same pattern is repeated over and over in conversion.

The Offer Of Salvation:       This offer is only through Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Remember his invitation in Matt.11:28-30. Jesus made it clear that salvation is exclusively through him. Matthew 10:32,33 states “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”   Jesus said in Matthew 18:11 “For the son of man is come to save that which is lost.” The judgment scene in Matthew 25:31-46  makes it clear that salvation is through Christ. In John 8:24 Jesus said, “if you believe not that I am he you will die in your sins.”  Acts 4:12 states “Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Beyond question salvation is through Jesus Christ.

The Acceptance Of Christ’s Invitation:      Acceptance starts with hearing the truth.  Romans 10:17 teaches that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

In our next installment, we will go into more detail about faith. Please  view our streaming videos: ‘Searching for truth, About authority in religion, What must I do to be Saved?, and Why there are so many churches?’ Email me if you have any questions or if I can help.

LM

 

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What Did The First Christians Do to Become A Christian?

It’s recorded in Acts chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost (Read chapter 2) They heard about  the wonderful works of God. Peter preached about Jesus – you have crucified him – He is now at the right hand of God. God has made him both Lord and Christ.

Their response:   They were cut to the heart, and said, Men and brethren what shall we do ?

Peter said,  “Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” Vs. 39 “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”   Vs. 40 “And with many other words did he testify and exhort saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”

This begins our study of what the first Christians did to become a Christian. This is what all Christians do to become a Christian.

If you would like a personal study by way of  Skype, or a  Bible correspondence course let me know and I will arrange that.

May God Bless You and Keep You,

Leon Manning

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The Great Invitation

    Welcome to our blog that is devoted to bringing souls to Christ. Jesus extended his invitation by saying “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matt. 11:28-30) The Savior’s invitation is one of the most beloved passages in the Bible.

    Jesus encourages us to take the opportunity of the great plan of redemption. Everyone outside of Christ labors under the heavy burden of sin and only Christ can impart forgiveness. The “rest” he offers is the relief from the guilt of sin and ultimately leads to the greater rest, Heaven. (Rev. 14:13)

    His burden is light in contrast to the burden of sin and its consequences. Man is powerless to save himself. The Gospel is our only hope.

    Future blogs will cover how to accept Christ’s invitation.

L.M.

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