“…before his presence … Enter into his gates… into his courts …” (Psalms 100:2a, 4a-b).
The word “worship” means “to make obeisance”; “to do reverence to.” (The Greek word most frequently translated as “worship” is “proskuneō.” It comes from “pros,” which means “toward”; and “kuneō,” which means “to kiss.”)
God instructed Moses in the First Commandment of the Ten Commandments to show God’s People that He alone is God, and there is none other. Therefore, God’s People are not to “bow down thyself” to any other (that is, to adore and worship; to make obeisance to). (See Exodus 20:3-6; Deuteronomy 5:7-9; 6:4-17; 10:12-13; Matthew 4:10.)
Our text verses reveal that all worship by God’s People is to be “before his presence”; at “his gates”; and in “his courts.” In the Old Testament, this pointed to where God said He would be on earth (Exodus 25:22). God said He would meet Israel in the Tabernacle, in the Holy of Holies, through (on the basis of) the blood of the sacrifices through the High Priest. The same was true when the Temple was built by King Solomon (1 Kings 6:12-14; 8:10-12, 27-66; 2 Chronicles 6:6-42; 7:1-22, especially verses 1-3, 16); which was placed in Jerusalem, the home of the king and of God’s House.
Therefore, “his courts” represent where God is on the earth. The Tabernacle and the Temple were physical structures where the Shekinah Glory of God dwelt, in the Holy of Holies, above the Ark of the Covenant. The Tabernacle and the Temple pointed to Christ, who is the Temple of God; being God Himself, dwelling in a human body, without sin (Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:9).
In the New Testament, Christ revealed that His Temple would include His People. His Body, called the Church, would be spiritual in nature (Ephesians 2:19-22; 3:1-21). He would be the Head; His people baptized into His Body by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27-29) would be the citizens. The Law would be Love (John 13:34-35); and the Power to perform His Commandments would be the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7-8; Romans 8:11-16; Galatians 4:5-7; Philippians 4:13). These Born-Again people are called the Temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20), His Habitation (Ephesians 2:20-22; 3:20). This is New Jerusalem, Mount Sion (Hebrews 12:22-23), the House of God (1 Timothy 3:15).
Therefore, since the revelation of His Body, His Church, in the New Testament; “his courts” are in the Church, where dwells His Glory:
“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21)
And it is here that we are to honor, worship, and praise His Holy Name.
The sad things of modern-day religion are:
- The lack of knowledge of God’s Dwelling Place on earth today, which is the Church;
- The lack of teaching that God is to be honored, worshipped, and praised;
- The lack of knowledge that true worship begins in the spirit of the one regenerated (having been given the desire to worship, the perception of who to worship, and the power to perform worship by the Holy Spirit of God);
- The Church today, in most people’s mind, is either the church building (a place set aside for people to gather for religious exercise); or some particular group or denomination to the exclusion of all others;
- Not understanding that the Church is spiritual in nature (Ephesians 2:20-22; Luke 17:20-21); that you must be baptized into His Body (1 Corinthians 12:13; John 3:3-8); that Christ must dwell in the spirit of man (Romans 8:9-16). That is, you must have Christ dwelling in you; and you have the witness that you are sons and daughters of God.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)
(Also see 2 Timothy 1:7-10.)
Therefore, the Church, the Dwelling Place of God on earth, is not a building; but a living organism of called-out people, born of the Spirit of God, baptized (in water by immersion) in the name of Jesus; drawn together by the Spirit of God.
They are to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to baptize in water by immersion the believers who confess Christ as their Savior; to teach what Christ has instructed in His Word; to build up the believer in the Head, Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:12-16), or to disciple the believers; bringing them to perfection (or maturity); and to teach them to walk in the Holiness of Christ and in Peace (Hebrews 12:14; 1 John 2:4-6), to walk even as He walked, thereby perfecting love; to teach the believers to “know” Him (Philippians 3:7-14); and to lead the believers to honor Him, worship Him, and praise Him with all thankfulness for who He is and who God has made them in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, the answer to the title of this devotion; it is not “what” you worship; but “where” you worship; that is, before His Presence, His Gates, and His Courts; “His” being none other than Jesus Christ.
Therefore, worship of God is not in a physical building, but in the Spiritual House of God; which may or may not meet in a physical building, but nevertheless meet together from time to time.
Worship is in the spirit of the Born of God. You do not have to wait until the Church meets together. But it is when you bow before “His Presence” anytime, 24/7, and honor Him, worship Him, and praise Him.
The Place of Worship is where God is; and He is in His Body, the Church.