Posted on Sep 21, 2014 | 0 comments

A Man Without Worship
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?   1 Peter 4:18 NASB

Godless man – Peter calls these people “godless” and “sinners.” “Godless man” is the Greek word asebes. It literally means, “without worship,” but the general sense of the word is “contempt for established orders.” This is a person who does not honor God’s authority or majesty and who actively pursues life without acknowledging the order that God brings to the world. In this regard, Peter can only mean a man who resists and rejects Torah. Suddenly Peter’s comment is far broader than our usual definition of “not saved.” This word has nothing to do with going to church. Worship is not a place. It is a state of mind. I can go to church every week and never worship even though I sing the hymns and say the prayers and pay my tithe. Unless worship is an attitude of life, I will be a godless man. And Peter’s use of asebes tells me that I am not a worshipping man if I do not accept the Lord’s instructions about life’s order.

What is an attitude of worship? It is the attitude that life does not belong to me, it belongs to God. He is the One Who is in charge of my existence. So, I need to fit into His program instead of trying to get God to fit into my plans. How many times have we approached situations by praying, “God, help me make my plans come to pass”? Do you see that this is an attitude that begins with me at the center? How different it is to pray, “God, help me act in ways that advance your purpose.” There is no better example of an attitude of worship than the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane – “Nevertheless, not my will but Your will be done.”

The godless man is the man who thinks that God helps those who help themselves, and therefore he helps himself to all that lies before him. The godless man is the man who thinks that being good is good enough. The godless man is the man who thinks that love is expressed toward those you like. The godless man is that man who worries first about himself and his plans. He might appear to be religious. He might say the right words. He might even claim to love God. But the truth is in the behavior. A man of God lives life with an attitude of awe, reverence and respect for God and the instructions God gives for his life. Everything becomes a reminder of God’s grace. It is the life of humility, practice and surrender.

Much of our world is godless even in its religious proclamation. The world preaches a religion of power to the people, power to the church, power to the project or the cause. Wherever God is not the focus of our power, we brush against godless men.

“Father, forgive us for abusing the life you have given us by thinking it is our right to do what we please. Show us how to be godly in our attitudes toward life and all that life has to offer. Bring us into conformity with Your Word that by great effort we might be delivered.”

Topical Index: godless, asebes, worship, Torah, 1 Peter 4:18


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