Has God Set Boundaries in Our Worship?
In order for men to arrive at the point where they do whatever is right in their own eyes, there is necessarily a decrease in the fear of God and how He is worshipped. Rejection of truth as written in God’s word is a first step. Personal experience and desires have, in our day, become the basis for determining what is perceived as ‘doctrinal truth.’ Experiences are important, but only those which conform to the Scriptures.
In Exodus 19:9-25 we read in God’s Word how He sets a time to meet with the people whom He has delivered from Egypt. The purpose is the giving of His Law, being given to a people of grace. They were a people who had been saved by grace alone. They had received grace, been delivered, they had then believed, and now were being given the Law of God for one purpose: to delight in fulfilling God’s law in obeying it, the blessing of being a covenant children of God Almighty.
Yes, the giving of the Law of God was an act of grace and a blessing. It still is. There is no contradiction between Law and Grace. Abandon God’s law and you end up with moral and legal relativism and pragmatism. It is a great mistake to view God’s grace as the antithesis of God’s law. Indeed, the only way to enjoy God’s blessings is by the grace of His Law, because the opposite of grace is not Law, it is works. The opposite of law is lawlessness, and Christ Jesus did not die so we would become lawless. He freed us from the curse and the condemnation of the law so we would be freed to obey it, and delight in the Giver of it.
In the aforementioned passage of Exodus 19, God gives the people instructions in preparation to meeting with Him on Mount Sinai. They are very instructive, and contain wisdom for the Church today in our preparation in meeting with God in worship on Sundays.
God told the people to do three things in this passage prior to meeting with Him:
- Consecrate themselves
- Wash their clothes.
- Be ready.
Aside from these three things, God set a boundary around the mountain, and for a very specific purpose – meeting together and worshipping Him! Note verses 12 and 13:
You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’
Clearly, God takes meeting with and worshipping Him very seriously. In this case, anyone who crossed that boundary would die, no exceptions. If you tried to stop a person from crossing that boundary, even you would die.
The point is simply this. God takes meeting with His people seriously. He takes how He is worshipped seriously. And God has not changed.
Yes, God wants you consecrated to Him. No, He is not so much concerned about your clothes as He is your heart prior to meeting Him. Yes, He wants you prepared to meet Him for worship.
What does all this mean? As I’ve previously said, in order for men to arrive at the point where they do whatever is right in their own eyes, there is necessarily a decrease in the fear of God and how He is worshipped. I would add here a dismissal of Gods Law. If you dismiss or abandon God’s law, you have abandoned – if you’ve ever received – Gods grace.
Do you fear God? If you do not, you will probably be among the masses who gather on Sunday in flip-flops, disheveled and carelessly dressed, unprepared to meet God. Oh, I know, many will cry out “Legalism!” They are ignorant of the very meaning. You will dress wonderfully for a job interview or a date, but you would come to church to worship your Creator in pajamas, cut-offs and flip-flops? Seriously? You say you can do that because of grace. My friend, if that is your thinking, you have turned God’s grace into a doormat to wipe your feet on, and where is the fear and reverence to God?
Worship is not a game. Reverence to God is not optional. Those who view liberty in Christ to do as they please without regard to the Law of God practice antinomianism, lawlessness. It may be popular, but it will damn your soul and has no biblical warrant. There is no such thing as lawless Christianity. Christ did not die so you could live or worship Him as you see fit. No, God’s Law and the seriousness He has conveyed to us as to how He is worshipped is instruction to the Church, and is to be taken seriously.
Many of my readers will cry, “Grace, grace!!”
And I reply that God’s Law and God’s grace have been married. Let no man come between them. If you do not love God’s law, you despise His grace, for in His law, there is His grace indeed.