“Therefore brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we ha e a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”. (Hebrews 10:19-22, NIV).
What makes our worship “acceptable” to God? Many pray, “Lord, we pray that today our worship will be acceptable to you,” or some variation of that prayer. The question presupposes a system whereby we “do something” that makes our worship “acceptable” .
Hebrews teaches us that our “acceptability” before God comes through the work that Jesus Christ has done for us, not something we “add” or “do”. He opened up the way for us through his body and through his blood. Through faith in what Christ did, we enter into the “Most Holy Place” into the presence of God. Moreover, Hebrews goes on to tell us that we “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22). Thus, it is the work of Christ that makes us acceptable to God. There is nothing else we must do to “gain acceptability.”
When we assemble as a community of faith in Christ to worship God, it is a matter of communally coming before the Lord based on what Christ has already done for us-He has opened the way. It is not a matter of being concerned with the modality of prayer, music, speaking, of whatever else might happen. To be concerned with “getting it right,” or to approach the rest of scripture as a “rule book” that prescribes patterns or modalities of worship in order to arrive at acceptable worship to God is to deny the sufficiency of the work of Christ to bring us acceptably, perfectly, and completely into the presence of God for worship.
Today as we assemble, let our confidence in coming before God be found in the work in Christ on our behalf to make us acceptable to God.