Vain Worship

by Roby Ellis           SPANISH/ESPAÑOL

[Scripture Reading: Genesis 4:1-5]


A. When Cain and Abel brought their offerings to God, Cain’s was rejected because it was not offered “by faith” (cf. Hebrews 11:4).

B. Many of the Jews of Jesus’ day were likewise offering their worship to God in vain (Matthew 15:8-9).

I. When one departs from God’s pattern, his worship becomes vain.

A. Korah and his cohort departed from God’s pattern and paid a heavy price (Numbers 16:1-33; cf. 2 Chronicles 26:18-23).

B. Jeroboam led Israel far away from God’s pattern for worship (1 Kings 12:28-33).

C. Even David became guilty of this on at least one occasion (1 Chronicles 13:7-12; 15:1,13).

D. It was only a very short time after the birth of the church when departures were made from the pattern (1 Corinthians 11:17-34).

II. When one worships without the spirit, his worship is also vain.

A. Hypocritical worship is vain worship (Matthew 6:1-7; Acts 5:1-11).

B. Irreverent worship is vain worship (Malachi 1:6-14; cf. Deuteronomy 4:10; Leviticus 19:30).

C. Worship offered with impure hearts and motives is vain as well (Matthew 15:8-9; cf. Isaiah 29:13).


A. When you worship God, are you seeking to please Him or your own sense of style and taste? Does your attitude indicate that you are seeking to please God or someone else?

B. God has defined what worship is from His perspective, and man has modified God’s standards to suit his own preferences.

C. Has your offering today been more like Abel’s or more like Cain’s? 

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