The Holy Spirit is the key to Christian worship. The called-out community of Spirit-baptized believers in Jesus Christ are true worshipers of the one true God. Man was created to glorify God in communal worship of his Creator and Sustainer. Sin ruined man’s worship of God, and the loss of enjoyment in communion with God drove man to worship the creation instead of the Creator.
Sin plunged man into the depths of self-obsession. Humanity began to worship itself and the work of its own hand. The heavens and the earth declare the glory of God, but man was distracted with his own individual needs and desires. Despite all the attention man gave himself, he found no satisfaction in his incessant pursuits of self-glorification. This agitated him and his neighbor resulting in war and death. The adversary aided man in his self-destruction by convincing man that he was good…and a god.
In his book, Recalling the Hope of Glory, Allen P. Ross recounts the history of man’s failure at worship. He retells the story of God’s mercy in guiding man back to true worship through divine revelation. God calls His people out of the world through the preaching of Christ’s cross. The types for a divine meeting place are taught to the assembly of faithful ones. The symbolism of tabernacle and temple invite believers to see that where God meets with them is a place of worship. In church, God’s people are able to recall the hope of glory as His Spirit meets with them in the re-telling of the redemption story.
Jerusalem’s Calvary was a place of divine meeting. The person representing humanity met the person of God. The man Jesus was appointed with the divinity of Christ on the day of atoning sacrifice. One day in history provided the one sacrifice offered once by the faithful representative of both God and man…Jesus Christ. What fallen man needed more than anything else, reconciliation with God, was provided by Christ Jesus. God our Savior incarnated into unblemished flesh to offer Himself the perfect offering for sin. The penalty for sin was paid, and the punishing wrath of God was endured by a divinely present human substitute. Christ died for His people as He gave Himself for the church.
Christ’s blood shed for the forgiveness of sins is applied by the Holy Spirit to this holy nation. One mission of the Spirit is to call in worshipers chosen by God the Father and given to Christ, the object of our worship. Finding Him worthy of worship is not difficult as one learns of His person and work in being our all in all. Jesus is everything to genuine disciples who know the promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you, for I am with you.” Guaranteed eternal communion with Jesus our Savior and God is betrothed bliss. Here is the ecstatic tension of a union that is already evident but not yet fulfilled.
The hope of glory is the anticipated fulfillment of an eternal festival. The marriage supper that will never end. Together forever in perfect union with blessed provision in majestic glory is our hope for the future in these difficult days of preparation. His compelling love causes us to worship Him as we receive more and more revelation of Him through our exposure to the Bible and His Spirit. He is good all the time!
Wide is the way of distraction away from this authentic love affair, but personal is the invitation to worship now in the truth and Spirit of God in Christ. Come! Now is the time to enter the worship that is eternal in Christ alone, our hope of glory.
July 19, 2021