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Study information for Service Meeting
10 min: Be Zealous for True Worship Like Jesus.Talk based on the May 15, 2013, Watchtower, page 8, paragraph 2, and the December 15, 2010,Watchtower, pages 9-11, paragraphs 12-16. Emphasize how preaching is a ‘fine work’ that Christians are privileged to do. (Titus 2:14) Mention how our knowing the truth moves us to preach the good news zealously and to conduct Bible studies. Commend the congregation for the zeal they have shown for fine works.
(Titus 2:14) who gave himself for us to set us free from every sort of lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people who are his own special possession, zealous for fine works.
***w10 12/15 pp. 9-11 Be Zealous for True Worship***
Be Zealous for True Worship12, 13. What have Christendom’s religious leaders today done regarding (a) God’s name? (b) God’s Kingdom?
12 The religious scene around us today is similar—if not worse—than it was in Jesus’ day. For example, recall that the first thing Jesus taught his followers to pray for concerned God’s name: “Let your name be sanctified.” (Matt. 6:9) Do we see the religious leaders, especially the clergy of Christendom, teaching people to know God by his name and to sanctify, or honor, that name? On the contrary, they have misrepresented God by such false teachings as the Trinity, immortality of the human soul, and hellfire, making God appear mysterious, unfathomable, cruel, even sadistic. They have also brought reproach on God by their scandals and their hypocrisy. (Read Romans 2:21-24.) Furthermore, they have done everything possible to hide God’s personal name, even removing it from their translations of the Bible. They thus hinder people from drawing close to God and cultivating a personal relationship with him.—Jas. 4:7, 8.
13 Jesus also taught his followers to pray for God’s Kingdom: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:10) Though Christendom’s religious leaders often repeat that prayer, they have urged people to support political and other human institutions. Moreover, they belittle those who endeavor to preach and bear witness to this Kingdom. As a result, among many who claim to be Christians, God’s Kingdom is no longer a topic for discussion, let alone a matter of faith.
14. How have the clergy of Christendom watered down God’s Word?
14 In prayer to God, Jesus clearly stated: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) And before leaving the earthly scene, Jesus indicated that he would appoint “the faithful and discreet slave” to provide spiritual food for his people. (Matt. 24:45) Though quick to claim stewardship of God’s Word, have the clergy of Christendom proved to be faithful to the Master’s trust? No. They have been inclined to label what the Bible says as fable or myth. Rather than feeding their flock with spiritual food, thus bringing them comfort and enlightenment, the clergy have tickled the believers’ ears with human philosophy. In addition, they have watered down God’s moral standards to cater to the so-called new morality.—2 Tim. 4:3, 4.
15. How do you feel about all that the clergy have done in the name of God?
15 Because of all that has been done—supposedly in the name of the God of the Bible—many sincere people have become disillusioned or have completely lost their faith in God and in the Bible. They have fallen prey to Satan and his wicked system of things. When you see and hear about such things taking place day after day, how do you feel? As a servant of Jehovah, when you see the reproach and blasphemy heaped upon God’s name, do you not feel impelled to do what you can to right the wrong? When you see sincere and honesthearted people being deceived and exploited, do you not feel moved to bring comfort to the oppressed souls? When Jesus saw people of his day being “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd,” he did not just feel pity. He “started to teach them many things.” (Matt. 9:36; Mark 6:34) We have every reason to be zealous for true worship, as Jesus was.
16, 17. (a) What should impel us to exert ourselves in the ministry? (b) What will we consider in the following article?
16 When we view our ministry that way, the apostle Paul’s words found at 1 Timothy 2:3, 4 take on special meaning. (Read.) We work hard in the ministry not only because we know we are living in the last days but also because we realize that it is God’s will. He wants people to come to a knowledge of the truth so that they too can learn to worship and serve him and be blessed. We are impelled to exert ourselves in the ministry, not primarily because of a time limit, but because we want to honor God’s name and help people to come to know his will. We are zealous for true worship.—1 Tim. 4:16.
par. 12 (Matt. 6:9) “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.
par. 12 (Rom. 2:21-24) do you, however, the one teaching someone else, not teach yourself? You, the one preaching, “Do not steal,” do you steal? 22 You, the one saying, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You, the one abhorring idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who take pride in law, do you dishonor God by your transgressing of the Law? 24 For “the name of God is being blasphemed among the nations because of you,” just as it is written.
par. 12 (Jas. 4:7, 8) Therefore, subject yourselves to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.8 Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones.
par. 13 (Matt. 6:10) Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.
par. 14 (John 17:17) Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth.
par. 14 (Matt. 24:45) “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time?
par. 14 (2 Tim. 4:3, 4) For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the wholesome teaching, but according to their own desires, they will surround themselves with teachers to have their ears tickled. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give attention to false stories.
par. 15 (Matt. 9:36) On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.
par. 15 (Mark 6:34) Well, on getting out, he saw a large crowd, and he was moved with pity for them, because they were as sheep without a shepherd. And he started to teach them many things.
par. 16 (1 Tim. 2:3, 4) This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, 4 whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.
par. 16 (1 Tim. 4:16) Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching. Persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
***w14 5/15 p. 8 How Should We “Answer Each Person”?***8, 9. (a) What is one way to reason with someone who believes that Jesus is equal to God? (b) What other lines of reasoning on this subject have you found to be effective?
8 Scenario 1: In our ministry, we meet someone who believes that Jesus is equal to God. What scriptures could we use to reason on the matter? We might invite the person to read John 6:38, where Jesus is quoted as saying: “I have come down from heaven to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” After considering that verse, we could ask the person: “If Jesus is God, who sent him down from heaven? Would that One not be greater than Jesus? After all, the sender is superior to the one who is sent.”
par. 8 (John 6:38) for I have come down from heaven to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
***w14 5/15 p. 9 How Should We “Answer Each Person”?***13. How might we illustrate that God is superior to Jesus?
13 Simple illustrations are often the best kind to use. For example, when explaining that God is superior to Jesus, perhaps we can try the following approach. We can mention that both God and Jesus used a family reference when describing their relationship. God referred to Jesus as his Son, and Jesus spoke of God as his Father. (Luke 3:21, 22; John 14:28) Next, we might ask the householder: “If you wanted to teach me that two people are equal, what type of family relationship would you use to illustrate the point?” The person may mention siblings—even twins. If he does, we could point out how natural that comparison seems to be. Then we might ask: “If you and I could come up with this illustration so readily, would not Jesus—the Great Teacher—have thought of the same comparison? Instead, he spoke of God as being his Father. Jesus thus portrayed God as being older and having more authority than he had.”
par. 13 (Luke 3:21, 22) Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus too was baptized. As he was praying, the heaven was opened up, 22 and the holy spirit in bodily form like a dove came down upon him, and a voice came out of heaven: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.”
par. 13 (John 14:28) You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I am.
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