Worship and Sanctification
This page is a resource that we use for Christian bible study. We have developed some of the information on this page and we have borrowed information from other studies which are freely available. Our intent is to provide a study resource that we can access when traveling. We do not disagree with anyone's personal interpretation of scripture and our thoughts are not offered as an argument for the perspective from our understanding of this revelation. Please feel free to read or use the study material if it is of help. Thank you
There was a time when our notes on worship and sanctification were separate bible studies, now we’ve combined them. Folks may perceive worship as a duty which is “due to” God, that is, it is not an experience or event rather it is our recognition that God is worthy of our worship; emphasis on "worth" in our worship. Additionally, perhaps, it is also God’s gift (that is grace and a spiritual attribute) which enables a spirit filled life. A life filled with God’s spirit will have joy, it will produce fruits and it will be interactive, in positive ways, both within a local church and out in the world. Worship and the sanctification of our personal life permit God to enable the kingdom of heaven on earth, we become a source for God’s light – that is His life within us.
Our English word worship may come from the Saxon word, weorthscipe: meaning to honor and value.
In a general way, we often think of worship as various forms of homage which express the faith of an individual. Christians worship God as the Trinity, that is: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Many non-Christians, like Jewish or Islamic folks, worship God as a single, omnipotent, personality ... we should also note that there are certainly countless other avenues of faith in which folks worship God from many varied and discrete conceptualizations of God's being and nature. We feel that we, as Christians, share a common tradition of worship with the revelation of God to the Hebrew people. The same worship models of the Old Testament apply to the New Testament though changed through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We note four basic models of worship in our study of the Old Testament:
1. Prayer ... this may be individual, family, group or national prayer
2. Tabernacle + Temple ... formalized "ritual" or if you prefer "liturgy" for "meeting with God"
3. Synagogue ... study of God's word to man with study and interpretation by the faithful - e.g. bible study
4. Sabbath, Holidays and Festivals related to our faith ... opportunities to remember the great goodness of God
These models become mixed in many ways: formal, informal, joyous, somber, ritualized, open/free, praise, learning, seeking God's will, people may be alone or in groups, people may be quiet or singing or dancing, people may be reading the Word of God or contemplative ... We often frame our study of worship with reference to the events of John 4, that is, we as Christians should worship God in "spirit and truth" ...
We try not to forget that the Church is central to the nature of worship for a Christian ... prayer, the study of God's word and the celebrations of the Sabbath/holidays/festivals are very similar in form to the model we find in the Old Testament. However, in the New Testament the model of the Tabernacle and Temple becomes the dynamic relationship of Christians, through the Holy Spirit, within the local church:
1 Pet 2:5
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
The spiritual relationship with God which Christians seek through Jesus Christ is an ongoing construction, dependent upon cooperative effort, which varies from church group to church group. This process is very dependent upon the spiritual development goals and spiritual tools which a local group of Christians is able to possess through faith and use for positive spiritual outcomes. This image repeats at multiple levels of Christian fellowship until it embraces the entire Christian church. The building block is the faith of the individual Christian as he/she participates in the activities of the local church. Note this thread of revelation from Exodus which is related to the commandment of God to Moses to build the Tabernacle:
Ex 35; 5 ... Take from among you an offering to the Lord, whoever is of a generous heart let him bring an offering to the Lord.
In the context of the Old Testament tabernacle, these gifts were our equivalent of money, goods (gold, silver, etc.), time and skills ... consider now the model of the New Testament tabernacle ... to extend the image a bit ... a New Testament - Tent of Meeting ... not a physical structure but a spiritual construction ... this is not to negate the call of a church for money or member's time or skills ... however, think what else applies spiritually? How each local group of Christians address this issue has a lot to do with .... (each of us must complete that phrase for ourselves).
Take a look now at the same thread of revelation a little bit farther along in Exodus. Remember that, through revelation from God, they had a clear plan and knew what needed to be done.
Ex 36; 5 - 7 ... "The people bring much more than enough for doing the work which the Lord has commanded us to do." So Moses ... proclaimed ... "Let neither man nor woman do anything more for the offering for the sanctuary" So the people were restrained from bringing for the stuff they had was sufficient to all the work and more.
Note in Ex. 35; 5 the reference to a "generous heart" ... the offering for God's tabernacle was not to be from everyone, rather from those with a "generous heart". Sanctification is about closeness to God, you can conceptualize moving closer to God however we believe that it is He who wishes to move "closer" to us. Moses and the people of Israel may have built the tabernacle but it was God who chose to make it a habitation for His "Name". In James 4; v8 we are told: "draw near to God and He will draw near to you"
In the process of worship we change first as individuals and then as a group within the context of the local church.
- Ezekiel 36; v26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you
- Jeremiah 32; v37-38 "they shall be my people ... I shall be their God ... I will give them one heart ... one way"
- Isaiah 35; v8-9 "a highway will be there ... a way ... it will be called the way of holiness ... the redeemed will walk there"
|John 4, 20 + 22 - 24||Woman at well, spirit and truth|
|Rom 12, 1 - 3||good, acceptable + perfect|
|Heb Chapters 9 - 13||Thread - New Covenant of Faith, Love, Relationship|
|Zeph 2, 3|
|Micah 6, 6 - 8|
|Mat 7, 12|
|Mat 22, 38 - 40|
|Ezek 46, 9 - 10||north - south, east - west|
|Psalm 34||6 steps to the presence of God|
|Psalms 29, 51 + 100||3 Psalms of worship|
We define spiritual sanctification as: to put aside or dedicate for the worship of God ... from a slightly different view we can use the word sanctuary which adds the conceptualization of refuge and a place of protection ... the root word from the Greek of the New Testament is Hagios which can be translated as holy, saint, sanctifyc
Holy and holiness is one when consideration for hagios.
Holiness is an attribute of God which combines:
- His love (and its associated forgiveness)
- His righeteousness
These two attributes give holiness a built in tension ... it is a characteristic of God's people (Heb. 12: 9 - 10 and 1 Thes. 4: 3) ... holiness is a characteristic of God's people because they are God's temple (1 Cor. 6: 19) ... holiness is not attained by outward denial (Col 2: 20 - 23) but rather by an inward renewing of our mind (Rom 12: 1 - 2).
This tension can also be seen in passages:
- 2 Pet. 1: 3 - 7 (attaining to holiness and all that God has for us)
- Heb 12: 1 - 2
- Heb. 13: 22
- 1 Pet. 1: 23
- 1 John 3:6, 3:9 and 5:18
Holiness is the basis of worship (Ps 93: 5 and Ps. 96: 7 - 9)
Agents of our sanctification:
|Holy Spirit||draws us||the Holy Spirit draws us apart and brings us to a state which permits the growth of our faith with increased knowledge and obedience to the will of God|
|Word of God||informs us||Exposure to the Word of God can cleanse our minds ... permitting our thoughts and attitudes to conform with God's universal standards|
|Our Faith||faith is the vessel in which God's "Name" resides - as the ark of the covenant was the focus for God's "Name" in the tabernacle - so our faith is the focus for God in us - our faith is: Jesus Christ||Note that our Faith comes from
hearing the Word of God ... permitting our appropriation of God's full
provision for our life
Acts 26: 18
Rom. 10: 17
|Blood of Jesus||our redemption||The gift of Jesus Christ to us,
his church, very reasonably termed the Blood of Jesus, is redemption or if
you prefer separation to God and away from sin
We are set apart ... Gal 1: 15 and Jer. 1:5
|Our Acts of Service||an outward sign of our sanctification||The living sacrifice of our
lives as Christians is connected to holiness ... remember in James
2: 26 ... for as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart
from works is dead ... works, performed through faith, are linked to
the eternal presence of God because they sanctify or make holy the gift
God has given us through Jesus Christ ... sanctification becomes a place
of refuge because we have entered the presence of God in worship ...
Note that the alter sanctifies the gift ... not vice versa ... Mat. 23: 16 - 19 and Rom. 12: 1
Sanctification is not an option ... it is a demand:
- In Leviticus the word is used over 60 times, e.g. Deut. 14:2 ... kingdom of priests, a holy people
- Ez. 44: 23 ... office of priest is to define what is holy and acceptable
- 1 Pet. 1: 15 - 16
- 1 Pet. 2: 9
- Heb. 12: 10 + 14
Our sanctification begins with God's will:
- John 10: 36 ... Jesus is sanctified (consecrated) by the Father
- John 17: 19 ... For their sake, I sanctify (consecrate) myself that they may also be sanctified (consecrated) in truth
- John 15: 16 ... You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give it to you
- 2 Thes. 2: 13 ... God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by (of) the Spirit and belief in the truth
- Eph. 2: 8 ... for by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing it is the gift of God
- Eph. 2: 10 ... for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them
Sanctification also depends on our free will choice:
|Rom. 6: 19||Yield yourself to righteousness for sanctification (holiness)|
|Rom. 6: 22 - 23||Now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the return you get is sanctification (holiness) and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.|
|Rom. 12: 1||We must first offer our bodies (e.g. our life) as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.|
|Rom. 12: 2||This renews our mind that we may prove the will of God|
|Rom. 12: 3||Measure of Faith to do God's will|
|Rom. 12: 4 - 5||That we might find our place and function in the body (of Christ, e.g. the Chruch)|
|Rom. 12: 6 - 8||That the gifts given to each may be exercised|
Psalm 34; v1-3
Acts 5; v21-24
Genesis 22; v12
2 Samuel v24 note that David insists on paying for his sacrifice - does God want gifts that cost us nothing (Isaiah 58 for definition of fasting, passages on unacceptable sacrifice, Matthew 6 all have a common theme for God's desire for the effectiveness of His grace in our life
Matthew 4; v1-10
Psalm 63; v1-2