Be Careful How You Worship


Now we all know, don’t we, that the idea that
God is a consuming fire is just an Old Testament idea. This is a trick question, this is to see if
you’re paying attention. Is it true that it’s just an Old Testament
idea that God is a consuming fire? No, because this very verse, Deuteronomy 4:25, is quoted in Hebrews 12:29, when the author of the letter to the Hebrews
is talking about the importance of worship and the seriousness of worship, and how we’re
to worship God with reverence and awe. That’s a New Testament command, not an Old
Testament command, and it’s also an Old Testament command. It’s a New Testament command, “Worship God
with reverence and with awe,” why? Because “our God is a consuming fire,” quotes
this verse from the Old Testament. There are a lot of people today who want to
say in churches, “Well, it’s a very different attitude in the New Testament from the Old
Testament about worship. God was very serious and particular about
worship in the Old Testament but in the New Testament, you can pretty much do what you
want.” That’s not true. Be careful how you worship. That’s the message of the Scripture all the
way through. Worship is a lot simpler in the new covenant
than it was in the old, but it’s no less serious. God is no less serious, and the relationship
He wants with His people is no less serious and profound. And so, here is one of the many places in
Deuteronomy where we hear an echo in the New Testament that really deepens our understanding
of that New Testament teaching itself.

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