Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: “We Know What We Worship”


patternist-2.pngAs our Lord spoke with the Samaritan woman in John 4, she made the statement, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship” (19-20).

Her statement is similar to those we hear today. People often compare different “styles” and “acts” of worship, and do so in a non-judgmental way. “We do this, and you do that”, as if the actual acts that are performed are equally acceptable to God.

However, consider that Jesus was critical of the worship of the Samaritans, judging it to be unacceptable. He stated that the worship of the Jews, in contrast, was acceptable. He said, “we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews” (22). A question: How did they know what they worshiped? How did they know that they were to worship in Jerusalem? Because God told them!

The Samaritans presumed to know God’s will, though He had not told them to worship Him on the mountain. Such presumption is foolish. We can’t know how to worship God unless He tells us how He wants to be worshiped! Jesus clearly condemned worship that had man as its authority rather than God, telling the Pharisees, “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips,but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'” (Matthew 15:7-9).

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