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We Must Worship and Serve Only the True God

Only. The Devil himself would grant that God is to be served, his meaning was, that a man might serve God, and him too: but Christ says, God only. But it may be said, this word Only is not in the Scripture whence Christ cites this sentence, and so Christ hath added to the word of God. Indeed, in Deuter. 6. 13. Alone is not, but in the next verse it is said, Do not follow after other Gods, which is in effect God only[1].

The Papists ask, where we find Only in justification by faith[2]: indeed we do not find it, but we do find that by faith and nothing else we are justified, Rom.3:28. and so we may well collect it, by Faith only.[3] By grace are we saued through faith: and that not of our selues, it is the gift of God, Eph. chapt. 2. verse 7. [4]And on this warrant have many ancient Fathers been bold, to add the word Only: as Origen[5] upon Rom. 3. 28. Hilary[6] upon Mar. 8.[7] and divers [various] other say, Faith only justifies.

God is only to be worshipped & served, and none besides him. Zephaniah prophesizes against them that serve the host of heaven upon the house top, and swear by Milcom, Sophon. 1. 5.[8] But Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac: and it is said, they feared the Lord, and served their idols also, Gen. 31. 53[9]. 2. King. 17. 41.[10]

It is the property of Aaron’s rod, that being turned into a serpent, if the Magicians turn theirs also into serpents, Aaron’s will devour the rest, Ex. 7. 15.[11] Bring the ark into the Temple of Dagon, Dagon will fall down, & break his face; and though it were lifted up again, yet it fell down again. 1. Sam.•. 3[12]. The stories bear witness, that the God of the Hebrews would not come into Pantheon[13]. Samuel bad [asked] the people, if they were come again to the Lord with all their hearts, to put away their strange gods from amongst them, 1. Sa. 7. 4.[14] If there were any other (beside him) that were able to hele up, we might have some reason to serve other: but since it is he that must help us in all necessities, we must worship him alone.[15]

Otherwise, when we pray to him, he may send us to the gods which we have chosen to serve for our help, Judg. chapt. 10. vers. 14.[16] If we could find an equal, or a better than God, we had some reason to make him a partner in his worship: but if none be worthy once to be named with him, (so far is all beneath him) we shall offer him too much disgrace and injurie in so doing.

It is an embasing of gold [it debases gold] to have any other metal joined with it: yea, though it be silver. The sonne (saith Malachi, chapt. 1. vers. 6.) honoureth his father, and the seruaunt his Lord: if I bee your Father, where is your honour which you doo mee? If your Lord, where is your reverence?[17] Whether we account of God as of our Lord and Master, a man can have but one Lord or master; or whether we take him for a father, a man can have but one Father, except he be a bastard, Es. chapt. 2. vers. 14.[18] and so be Filius populi[19]: If for a husband, not two husbands, for he is a jealous God, and cannot abide that. No man can serue two masters, but he must loue the one, and despise the other: no man can loue GOD and Mammon.[20]

Verse 11. Then the Diuell left him, &c.

Blessed is the man (saith James, cha. 1. vers. 12.) that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, hee shall receiue the crowne of life:[21] Christ hath endured the Temptation, now follows the blessing.

Jacob would not let the Angel depart (with whom he strove) before hee had blessed him, Genes. chapt. 32. vers. 26[22]. Job (after his affliction) received his twofold blessing, Job. 42.[23] The woman of Canaan first heard herself accounted a dog: but at last she heard, Fiat tibi[24], &c. Paul was first buffeted by the prick of the flesh: and after heard, My grace is sufficient for thee.[25]

So here at last, when the Devil saw it was bootless [ineffective] to stay any longer, there was no good by him to be done[26], he leaves our Savoir. But yet he went not away willingly of himself, but was sent away with an Avaunt[27]: which is a comfort to us, to think we stand not at the Devil’s courtesy, and that he shall not tempt us so long as he list [desires/wishes] for God has the Devil in a chain, Apoc. 20. 2.[28] and will not suffer him to tempt us above our strength, 1. Corinth. chapt. 10. ver. 13[29]. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest on the lot of the Righteous, least the Righteous put foorth their hand to wickegdnesse, Psalm. 125. 3.[30]

To have the Devil not to come to us, is a great favor: but to have him come and go away conquered, is exceeding mercy. For Tribulation brings patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope makes not ashamed, Rom. chap. 5. vers. 4.[31] As God said of Job, chap. 2. vers. 3. Hast thou markt my seruant Iob, who keepeth still his integritie?[32]

The Temptation of Christ on the Mountain, Duccio Di Buoninsegna

And behold the Angels came, and ministered unto him.

And as Luke: sayth, chapt. 15. verse. 10. There is like ioy with the Angels in heauen, vpon the conuertion of euerie sinner[33]. For we are made a spectacle unto men and angels, 1. Corinth. chap. 4. verse. 9.[34] Before God are saod to stand ten thousand Angell, Dan. cha. 7. vers. 10. and to minister before him. He has a greater preeminence, but we are also herein partakers of the divine nature, 2. Pet. chapt. 1. ver. 4. either because we are fed by angels, as Elias was, 1. King. 19. 5. or defended by them, or watched of them.

But says Esay, chapt. 18. vers. 28. He that beleeueth makes not haste.

Christ was not hasty but stayed God’s good time: he would not make his own bread, but staid till the Angels ministered unto him. Then there appeared an Angell to comfort him, Luke. 22. 43.

This wisdom must wee learn by holding our tongue, Job. chapt. 33. ver. 33. otherwise, one of these two extremes shall we come to: either Extremum luctus gaudium occupat, or Extrema gaudii luctus occupat,[35] says Barnard. Luke 16. 25.[36]

The world is like Jael, who meets Sisera, Iudg. chapt. 4. ver. 19. and entertains him at first very friendly, she allures him to her and gives him drink, and lays him down: but so soon as he was a sleep, she smites a nail into his temples.[37] The world begins with milk and ends with a hammer: but our Savior’s meaning is clean contrary [exactly the opposite]. The world first gives[38] good wine: & when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. Iohn chapt. 2. ver. 10.[39] But Christ hath kept back the good wine till now, chapt. 2. vers. 9. as Matthew says, chap. 13. vers. 41. The Sonne of man shall sende foorth hys Angells and they shall gather out of his kingdome, al things that offend, and them which doe iniquitie, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall bee weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the iust shine as the Sunne in the kingdome of theyr Father.[40]

Our Savior’s method is, to give bitter first, and sweet after: wherefore we are to wish, that here we may suffer affliction, that we may after be crowned by him.


[1] Deuteronomy 6:13 does not have the word “only” limiting the word “God.” But in the next verse, the idea is made plain by the prohibition on serving other gods.

[2] Andrewes here takes an aside on the question of “only” as it appeared in a dispute between Protestants and Roman Catholics in the 16th Century. However, the question still exists.

[3] Martin Luther translated Romans 3:28, “One is justified by faith alone” (allein durch den Glauben). The ‘alone‘ is not in the Greek text. An internet search will demonstrate that Luther’s translation at this point is still a point of contention.

[4] Andrewes answers, this ‘only’ is proved by other citations, such as from Ephesians (written by Paul as was Romans),

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:4–9 (ESV)

[5] “ORIGEN (Ὠριγένης, Ōrigenēs). Also known as Origen of Alexandria. A prolific and influential church father who lived ca. AD 185–254.” Justin M. Gohl, “Origen,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[6] “HILARY OF POITIERS (c. 315–67). Hilary was born of a pagan, noble family. Like Augustine after him, he found pagan philosophy a useful preliminary to the Christian gospel. Shortly after his conversion he was made Bishop of Poitiers. Subsequent resistance to Arianizing trends within the Gallic church led to a term of banishment in Asia Minor.” Sinclair B. Ferguson and J.I. Packer, New Dictionary of Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 301.

[7] I am not certain of Andrewes’ citation at this point.

[8] The people of Israel were judged for worshipping other gods rather than the true God:

                                  “I will stretch out my hand against Judah

and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

                                    and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal

and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,

                                  those who bow down on the roofs

to the host of the heavens,

                                    those who bow down and swear to the Lord

and yet swear by Milcom,

                                  those who have turned back from following the Lord,

who do not seek the Lord or inquire of him.”

Zephaniah 1:4–6 (ESV)

[9] Jacob swore by the “fear of Isaac”, that is, he worshipped the God his father worshipped. But those in Jacob’s household included people worshipping idols. At one point, Jacob tells the people to put away their idols.

[10]  Following the deportation of Israel, Assyria resettled the land with people from other regions. These people continued with their previous worship, but also added the worship of the “local god,” the Lord:

35 The Lord made a covenant with them and commanded them, “You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, 36 but you shall fear the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. 37 And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to do. You shall not fear other gods, 38 and you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not fear other gods, 39 but you shall fear the Lord your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” 40 However, they would not listen, but they did according to their former manner.

41 So these nations feared the Lord and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children’s children—as their fathers did, so they do to this day.

2 Kings 17:35–41 (ESV)


Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

Exodus 7:8–13 (ESV)


When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

1 Samuel 5:1–5 (ESV)

[13] The true God will not willingly come into the Pantheon with the false gods.


And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord and brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. And they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark of the Lord. From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.

And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the Lord only.

1 Samuel 7:1–4 (ESV)

[15] If any of these other gods were able to provide some help, perhaps we could serve them. But they can do nothing. Moreover, the true God provides for us all the help which we could need.


10 And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, saying, “We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals.” 11 And the Lord said to the people of Israel, “Did I not save you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites, from the Ammonites and from the Philistines? 12 The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you, and you cried out to me, and I saved you out of their hand. 13 Yet you have forsaken me and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more. 14 Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” 15 And the people of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned; do to us whatever seems good to you. Only please deliver us this day.” 16 So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord, and he became impatient over the misery of Israel.

Judges 10:10–16 (ESV)


 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’

Malachi 1:6 (ESV)

[18] I’m not sure of the reference here.

[19] Latin, Son of the people.


No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and [Mammon].

Matt. 6:24 (ESV)


[22] Andrewes here provides examples of how God provided blessing to those who had suffered some struggle. First, Jacob wrestles with an Angel, but will not let the Angel go until he provides a blessing.

And Jacob was left alone. And ga man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, h“I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Ge 32:24–26.

[23] At the end, Job having suffered the Devil’s assaults is blessed by God:

10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Job 42:10 (ESV)

[24] Latin, let it be done, let it be for you.

22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

Matthew 15:22–28 (ESV)


So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:7–9 (ESV)

[26] When it became clear he would not succeed.

[27] Be gone, hence! Away!

[28] And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,

Revelation 20:2 (ESV)


No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)


                                  Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,

which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

                                  As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

so the Lord surrounds his people,

from this time forth and forevermore.

                                  For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest

on the land allotted to the righteous,

                                    lest the righteous stretch out

their hands to do wrong.

Psalm 125:1–3 (ESV)


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1–5 (ESV)

[32] Will we be one to have our integrity after Satan has come?

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”

Job 2:1–3 (ESV)

[33] “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Luke 15:10 (ESV)


I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

1 Corinthians 4:6–13 (ESV)

[35] Latin, freely: The end of sorrow turns to [overtakes] joy; or the end of joy turns to [overtakes] sorrow.


But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.

Luke 16:25 (ESV) If this life is all “joy” it will end in sorrow. But the end of our sorrow here will be the joy of heaven.

[37] The general of the army who has come out against Israel is routed in battle. He runs from the battle and comes to the tent of someone he thinks will be his friend and hide him. Jael, brings in the general Sisera gives him milk ot drink, which leaves him sleep. She allows him to go to sleep. She then kills him with a tent stake through his head.

[38] The original text is unclear at this point.

[39] Jesus performs a miracle, and the best wine comes last:

And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

John 2:8–10 (ESV)

[40] We will not see the true value of anything until the end.

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Matthew 13:36–43 (ESV)