Worship is an essential act for all Christians who wish to go back to the kingdom of heaven. Without worship, we cannot receive the forgiveness of sins or salvation. Let us understand the significance of worship for our faith.
Why Do Christians Worship?
Although many believers neglect worship these days, we can see its importance from the very beginning of the Bible. In the book of Genesis, we can see the first act of worship in the time of Adam and Eve, after they sinned in the Garden of Eden. God taught their children, Cain and Abel, the way to worship; by offering an animal sacrifice. In order to receive the forgiveness of sins and go towards the Tree of Life, Cain and Abel needed to offer a sacrifice to God. Through this we can see that offering a sacrifice to God in the Old Testament is the same as worship in the New Testament because a sacrifice contains the worshiper’s repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Without worship, there can be no forgiveness of sins nor salvation.
The Old Testament Times are a Copy and Shadow of the New Testament Times
The worship structure was handed down from the time of Cain and Abel and codified in the time of Moses. At that time, God prescribed specific worship regulations. In the Old Testament times, worship consisted of shedding the blood of animals for atonement. This foreshadowed that in the New Testament times worship would focus on the sacrifice of Jesus, the Passover Lamb, for the forgiveness of our sins.
The Garden of Eden is not just a story in the Bible, but a copy and shadow that illustrates how we sinned in heaven and were expelled to the earth. In order for us to go back to our home in heaven, God examines our hearts through the worship service. Just as He tested the hearts of the Israelites in the desert after they left Egypt, we are tested to see our faithfulness and repentance towards God.
The Right Way and the Wrong Way
Gen. 4:1-5 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor…
Sacrifice, which is worship, is necessary to show repentance and receive atonement. Though Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God, only Abel’s offering was accepted because it was done in obedience to God’s will, while Cain’s was rejected because it was offered according to his own opinion. This Biblical account demonstrates that only the worship offered in accordance with the will of God leads us to God’s blessing and the forgiveness of sins. For this reason, worship must not be omitted and should be offered correctly, according to God’s will. If we worship God according to our own way, such as on Sunday rather than the Sabbath, our worship will be rejected like Cain’s offering. God showed how to restore the Garden of Eden through the differences between Cain and Abel’s sacrifices.
How to Show Our Repentance
Lev. 4:1-3 The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands—“‘If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed.
In the Old Testament, an animal sacrifice as a sin offering was required to forgive the sins of the people. All the Old Testament sacrifices contain sinner’s repentance and God’s atonement. (Lev. 4:13-17) In the New Testament, worship is offered in spirit and in truth for the forgiveness of our sins.
Whenever people came to realize their sin in the Old Testament, they offered an animal sacrifice to God in repentance. As faith without deeds is dead, we should express our sincere repentance to God through worship. Jesus’ coming as the High Priest to atone for our sins demonstrates that worship according to God’s laws and regulations is still required in the New Testament times as well.
What is Worship?
Aside from singing hymns and listening to a sermon, worship is giving prayer and praise to God with sincere repentance. The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament represented the death that sinners deserved because of our grievous acts. (Lev. 16:6-10, 20-22)
Because of God’s love for us, our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother became a sacrifice for our sins today. When we worship, we must have the mindset to turn away from sin. This is why the main purpose of worship is to receive the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus Came as High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek
Heb. 7:11-12 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood…why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?…
God takes up all our sin through worship according to the order of Melchizedek. The worship offered in the order of Aaron in the Old Testament was not perfect, however, the worship offered in the order of Melchizedek allows perfection to be attained.
Heb. 7:21-24 …because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
Jesus has a permanent priesthood that can never be changed. This shows that worship according to the new covenant must be continually offered to God, as a priest is necessary when there is a sacrifice. (Heb. 7:25, 5:8-10)
As Jesus came as high priest in order of Melchizedek, we can be saved completely. Jesus fulfilled the order of Melchizedek by establishing the New Covenant Passover. (Mat. 26:17)
Mat. 26:26-28 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Just as Melchizedek blessed Abraham through bread and wine (Gen 14:18 -20), Jesus came as the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek blessing us with the Passover bread and wine. When we participate in worship according to the Order of Melchizedek by keeping the Passover and all the feasts of the new covenant, we can show our sincere repentance to God, receive atonement for our sins, and enter the eternal kingdom of heaven. Let us worship God reverently in Spirit and Truth, following God’s will, and receive eternal life.