I was reading Hebrews 10 today and was reminded of an amazing truth about worship; namely, that I can't worship.

"Why, Ryan, what ever could you mean by uttering such nonsense?"

Precisely this:

"Where there is forgiveness of these [sins], there is no longer any offering for sin" (Heb. 10:18).

Christian worship is very closely related to Jewish worship. The early church consisted largely of converted Jews who carried much of their cultural practices over to Christianity. The order of their services, the prayers they prayed, the praises they sang, and the language they used were adapted from Jewish tradition. The main difference, and an eternally separating one, was that Christ was the Final Sacrifice for the Christians, while those who remained Jews denied Jesus as the Christ. No longer did the Christians have the demand of the law on their shoulders, for Christ fulfilled the law. No longer did the Christians have to bring their own sacrifices and offerings to the high priest, for Christ died once for all, not only atoning for their sins, but completely forgiving them of their sins. Therefore, "there is no longer any offering for sin." (Read Hebrews 10:1-18.)

Now, think about worship. Think about the language we use when we pray and sing. What's going on in our minds when we worship God? Sadly, our thoughts often focus on "what I can give," "my offering," whether "my sacrifice" is pure enough to be accepted by God. These are very Jewish thoughts, because in them there is no mediator. We worship as if we each have a direct line to God the Father, and that we can please Him. Less often do we acknowledge the work of Christ in our worship. Sure we talk and sing about Jesus dying for us, but how can we have true faith in Christ if we still believe we have something to offer?

The truth is, we have nothing to give to God. All we can do is by the Spirit of faith enter into Christ's sacrifice before the Father. We add nothing to it. After all, God takes no pleasure in our offerings. Only Christ's offering pleases God (Heb. 10:5-10).

"But Ryan, doesn't Hebrews 13 tell us to bring a sacrifice of praise to God?"

Hebrews 13 speaks of the good works that naturally flow out of our faith in Christ. "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God" (Heb. 13:16). This sacrifice of praise is "the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name" (v. 15). Who's name? The Name above all names, Jesus Christ, through whom by the Spirit we are accepted by the Father. (Read Hebrews 13.)

My offering? Sin that brings death.

Christ's offering? Death that brings life.

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