I. At times I am amazed at the vagueness that has entered our beliefs
A. I’m sure the wishy-washy-ness of the denominational world has much to do it.
1. To define something crisply means you are dividing people into two groups -- those who are right and those who are wrong.
2. And “Heaven forbid, if we actually charge anyone with wrong-doing!”
3. People are shying away from confrontation
B. What surprises me is that the tendency to view everything as grays creeps into many parts of our beliefs.
C. We have had a number of discussions dealing with worship and I have come to the conclusion that many do not understand what worship is.
II. What is worship?
A. “Honor and respect given to a divine being or supernatural power”
B. Mankind has frequently worshiped many things, but God declared that only he is to be worshiped
1. God told the Israelites to worship no other gods - Ex. 34:14
2. Satan tried to get Jesus to worship him - Matt. 4:8-10
3. Cornelius tried to worship Peter, but Peter stopped him - Acts 10:25-26
4. John was even forbidden to worship an angel in heaven - Rev. 19:10
5. Man can even love the things in this world so much that they become his gods - I Jn. 2:15-17
C. Worship is something that you do to show your respect for God
1. Without the doing, our worship would be meaningless - James 2:21-24
D. Worship involves giving up something that you value
1. The Jews offered the best of their flock to God. They also gave of the first fruits -- the first of their crops and herds to God each season.
2. Abraham gave up his only son - Gen. 22:1-19
3. Christians offer up a spiritual sacrifice - I Pet. 2:5
a. We offer up our very lives to God - Rom. 12:1-2
a. When we see people bowing before God in prayer, they are giving up their pride -- humbling themselves before God.
b. When listen to God’s Word, they are giving up their time and show that God’s Word is more important to them than their own words and desires.
c. When people sing praise to God, they give up their own respect to give glory to God.
5. These are all acts of devotion to the Living God.
E. But the doing alone is not enough either
1. We cannot be justified by the works of the law - Rom. 3:20, because we cannot keep the law. We always fall short.
2. John 4:23-24 - Worship in spirit and truth
a. The truth is doing the things God has commanded
b. The spirit is with meaning
3. Col. 3:16 - With grace in your hearts
4. I Cor. 14:15 - With spirit and understanding
F. The Jews failed on both accounts - Matt. 15:8-9
1. They went through the motions, but their hear wasn’t in it
2. They worshiped God, but as they saw fit
G. The Corinthians also failed in the partaking of the Lord’s Supper
1. They did not do it together - I Cor. 11:20-21
2. They need to examine motives and attitudes towards their worship - I Cor. 11:27-30
III. How we worship
A. Worship is directed towards God
1. Our prayers are directed to “our Father” - Matt. 6:9
B. Our worship is through Jesus - Col. 3:17, I Pet. 2:5
C. In the Old Law, worship was done at the tabernacle and latter at the temple
1. It was there that God’s presence dwelt
2. It was there that people of God met with Him
D. Today, God’s temple is the church
1. It is a sanctuary built by God - Heb. 8:1-2, 9:11
2. The church is the temple where God’s presence is - Eph. 2:19-22
3. That is why Jesus said where 2 or 3 are gather, he is with us - Matt. 18:20
E. Unlike the Old Testament temple, the church is not locate at any one spot - Jn 4:21
1. The church is wherever God’s people gather together
2. It is not the place but the relationship that each Christian has with God
a. When we become Christians, we put on Christ - Gal. 3:26-27
b. The church is where Christ dwells fully - Eph. 1:22-23
IV. Acts of Worship
A. God has never left man to devise his own methods of worship
B. Acts 2:42 - Four acts are listed: Apostle’s teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers.
C. The Apostle’s Teaching
1. Learning from God is an act of worship - Nehemiah 8:2-6
2. The message of the cross brings glory to God - I Cor. 1:18, 26-2:5
3. Acts 20:7 - Example of the church in Troas doing so when gathered together
4. The whole counsel of God is taught - II Tim. 4:1-5
a. Man’s teaching is not expounded on
b. No political speeches
c. No secular psychology lectures
d. No harangues for more money
1. A partnership, fellow heirs - Eph. 3:6
2. This uniting together is a part of our worship to God
3. Notice the importance placed on it - I Cor. 1:9-10
4. Jesus’ prayer that we learn to be one - Jn 17:20-23 - Notice how the glory of God is wrapped up in our being joined together
E. The breaking of bread
1. The communion we have is not just with each other, but it includes our Lord when we partake of His memorial - I Cor. 10:16-18
2. In discussing the Lord’s Supper, notice how often the phrase, “when you come together” is used. - I Cor. 11:17, 18, 20, 22, 33
3. Around the Lord’s Table, we unite in our worship of God. We bring honor and respect to the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf - I Cor. 11:23-26
a. The Lord’s Supper is composes of simple things - grape juice and unleaven bread.
b. Nothing ornate or showy
4. Example of it being done: Acts 20:7
a. Done on the first day of the week as that was the day Christ arose (Mark 16:9)
1. The teaching of God’s Word is God speaking to us - I Thess. 2:13
2. Prayer is man speaking to God.
a. Praise to God - Matt. 6:9
b. Thanksgiving - John 6:11
c. Confession of sin - I John 1:9
d. Intercession for others - I Timothy 2:1-2
e. Supplication for our needs - Phillipians 4:6
3. In a prophesy of the church, Isaiah calls God’s house, a house of prayer - Isa. 56:7
4. Heb. 13:15 - It is our sacrifice of praise to God
5. We cannot just listen, but we must pray along with our brethren.
a. Our prayers in worship lead out-loud - I Cor. 14:14-17. Others are to listen and indicate their agreement. That is what the amen at the end of a prayer means -- “So be it”.
b. We cannot let others do our worship for us.
6. It too draws us together - Acts 2:24
1. Not listed in Acts 2:42, but also an act of worship
2. The Corinthians told to sing with spirit and understanding - I Cor. 14:15
3. Ephesians told to speak to one another and make melody in our hearts to God - Eph. 5:19
4. Colossians told to teach and admonish each other in song, singing to God.
5. The Hebrews were quoted a verse where we are told to sing God’s praise in the midst of the congregation - Heb. 2:12
6. Singing is not a form of entertainment, but our worship to God.
a. We cannot let others do our worship for us. Choirs and solos do not fulfill the command for us to sing.
b. Sing cannot be done without being vocal - teaching must go on, else it is not singing. Similiarly you cannot say you have partaken of the Lord’s Supper if you do not eat and drink.
1. Another way of joining together to accomplish God’s purpose
2. Rom. 15:26 - The word contribute is that same word “fellowship”
3. The Philippians support of Paul in spreading the Gospel was a form of “fellowship” - Phil. 1:5, 4:15-18
4. It is another thing done when Christians gathered together - I Cor. 16:1-2
a. Done as prospered
b. A work of the members of the church
5. To be done liberally and cheerfully - II Cor. 9:6-7
V. The worship of the church is simple
A. But we must participate
B. We must be sincere in our worship
C. Rev. 19:5-7