The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:12 mentions two traits that I would urge you to consider today as you enter into worship. He wrote, “For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God.”
Simplicity and godly sincerity.
Simplicity doesn’t mean being a simpleton. It has to do with singleness. It’s the difference between 100% cotton and a poly blend. The all-cotton blouse has the trait of simplicity because it is singular in composition. And thus we too are to be not poly blends of many competing loyalties toward many competing lords. We are to be composed of simple love and devotion for the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to occupy the chief place in our minds and loyalties and affections.
And then I also exhort you to pursue godly sincerity in your worship today. When you are part of a formal worship liturgy each week, it is easy to fall into repetition with no heart. But godly sincerity is the heart behind the repetition. It is you doing what you do as unto Jesus Christ, in a living and real relationship with Him.
Finally, I offer you this caveat: Paul knew that these traits of simplicity and sincerity were by grace and not by human devising. They were gifts of the Spirit and not ways to manipulate something out of someone. In the entanglements of our hearts, we have to guard against seeing simplicity and sincerity as things we gin up to get God to accept us.
Simplicity and godly sincerity are the right environment for worship, but they are gifts of grace. They are not something you put on to get something out of God. You are here today at His bidding, as His new creations, called by His irresistible grace to come and worship Him and receive from Him. You can’t manipulate anything out of Him, and it is the height of fleshly wisdom to try to put on simplicity and sincerity in order to manipulate something out of someone else.
So I invite you all: come, in singleness and in holy authenticity that seeks Christ alone, come and worship God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.