1) We should give to God what is due to Him. Think of His love and mercy. He hates sin. And yet how He loves the sinner! God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.
2) We should worship God because it is good for us. Only the worship of God can satisfy the highest aspiration of our nature. Worship can soothe our sorrows and anxieties. It nourishes the deepest root of morality. It inspires us to love to our full potential.
John writes in 1 John 2:3-6, 9-11
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
The claim to be a Christian may be variously stated in terms of knowing God (vs. 4), or living in Christ (vs. 6), or being in the light (vs. 9), but invariably, if it’s an authentic claim, it will show itself in a new life of obeying God (vs. 4), imitating Christ (vs. 6), and loving our brothers and sisters (vs. 9-10). Without such a moral authentication, the claim is seen as bogus.
To which someone might reply, “Because no one is perfectly obedient then no one knows God!”
Wrong. As Calvin said,
He does not mean that those who wholly satisfy the law keep his commandments (and no such instance can be found in this world), but those who strive, according to the capacity of human infirmity, to form their life in obedience to God.
A few days ago I wrote a post on God’s wrath. It needed to be said.
But in telling others about God, we don’t lead with God’s wrath. People need to first hear that they are loved unconditionally before we address the issue of sin. We assume wrath comes before grace, but that is not the biblical way. God’s first and last word is always grace. Until we have been assured that we are loved and forgiven, it is impossible to address our sinfulness correctly. We will operate out of our own resources, trying to get God to like us by our own efforts to change. God’s first word is always grace, as Barth said. Only then can we begin to understand God’s holiness, and ours.
1 John 1:1-4 describes well the relationship and passion of the disciples/apostles to Jesus, the Word of Life.
It so aptly describes that which they heard, seen, looked at, and touched.
To hear would not have been enough. To have seen was more compelling. But to have TOUCHED was the conclusive proof of material reality, that the Word became “flesh, and lived for a while among us.” This word “touched” (epselaphesan), the climax of the four relative clauses, describes more than a momentary contact. It means to grope or feel after to find, like a blind man in the dark.
The conclusion: the disciples (and John in particular) REALLY KNEW JESUS.
Professional body builders have massive muscles and glistening tans. Why? They don’t play a sport. They don’t use their muscles to pull trucks. They are not prison guards or firemen. They just put on a Speedo and strut. It’s all for show. What a waste of their incredible strength!
Some Christians look like this spiritually but never use their muscles.
This is what Christians do when they build all of their spiritual muscles just for show but never use them to do anything significant. They feel good about themselves but have little impact on the kingdom.
Thanks to Barry Davis for introducing this ridiculousness to me.