The idea that you have to be right with God in order to worship him is bogus! You don’t have to search your heart for every trace of sin before you worship Jesus. Relax, and come to God just as you are.
Did the woman caught in adultery ask forgiveness before she gained an audience with Jesus?
Did Zacchaeus, the sinful tax collector and thief get his life cleaned up before he and Jesus talked about their dinner plans?
Did the sin-entrenched woman with the alabaster jar get her life straight and ask forgiveness before Jesus allowed her in his presence?
I love what Joseph Prince said:
“You don’t have to worry about your sin because you are worshiping your forgiver.”
Approaching the Communion Table Dirty
People are even afraid to come to the communion table without first searching their hearts. The following scripture is so misunderstood:
1 Corinthians 11: 28 – 32 NLT:
So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
This passage is not about repenting and trying to find every little sin that we have forgotten. It’s about searching our hearts to believe that Christ paid for our sin. It’s about believing we’ve been forgiven. If we haven’t accepted Christ’s forgiveness through his sacrifice on the cross, then what’s the point of taking communion?
Communion is to remember what Christ did on the cross. That’s what we are examining at the communion table. You examine the cross. If we believe that he died on the cross to forgive us our sins, we won’t be judged. There is no reason to judge someone who’s sin has already been wiped away.
Examine What You Think About the Cross
If you examine your heart and find belief that Christ paid for your sins, you will not be condemned. You’re dirt free! His death paid not only for your sins, but also for your healing. So again, by examining what he did on the cross, you will find no reason for your body to be sick or weak.
The idea that you have to be “right with God” to worship puts the whole deal on you.
It nullifies the work of the cross. Newsflash: you’ll never be perfect. That’s why you need a savior. You are “right with God” because Christ made you right. His death paid for your cleanliness. So anytime you come to him, he sees you clean. He sees you righteous. He paid for your past sin, your present sin, and yes, your future sins. It was ALL taken care of ONCE.
Look at the “continuous” cleansing we are promised as believers:
1 John 1:9 AMP:
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
Believers Are on “Continual Wash-Cycle”
See that word, “continuously”? It’s like God throws us in a washing machine the minute we believe and we are on a “continual wash cycle”! Awesome! That’s why Jesus on the cross, said, “It is finished.” He forgave you once. That’s all it took.
So if anyone tries to make you feel guilty over your lifestyle, remind them that there is no condemnation in Christ. If they try to tell you that God won’t let you in his presence to worship if you’re messed up and still trying to get your act together, don’t believe them. Just quit behaving that way and enjoy the continuous cleansing. The more and more you believe that God has made you righteous, the more and more you’ll start behaving “right”.
Don’t let your imperfection keep you from worshiping God. He loves you unconditionally. (I Cor. 13) Nothing can separate you from his love (Romans 8:39). He even saved you while you were still a sinner (Romans 5:8).
Believe in his saving power and you will always be allowed in his presence. It’s not about you being right, it’s about his righteousness. That’s the key to worship! Remember that, and you will always have an audience with the king!
If you’ve enjoyed this post, “You Don’t Have to Get Right with God to Worship”, give this one a read: “If You’re Feeling Far Away From God Here’s How to Get Back.”