THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 11-27-11
LESSON TITLE: “WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER: CHRISTIAN WORSHIP AND THE LORD’S DAY”
Today we have woke up to another beautiful, wonderful and blessed day, thanks to our God and Father in Heaven. How exciting it is to gather this morning as the children of God to Worship and Praise the name of our Creator! So may I welcome you to the study of God’s Living Word on this His special day!
We are certainly glad that you have put God first today and that you have decided to give this time to Him. As you know, we will have the privilege this morning to sing songs of praise, as well to study His precious Word, and to approach the throne of God in prayer. So, at this time may we start our praise to God by talking with our Father in prayer. Bow with me please!
Now it’s time to join in song to praise our God. Our first song of the day reminds us that we are never alone with God! So, at this time won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing together, “Be With Me Lord!”
(SONG # 1)
Do you ever have struggles in this life? Or maybe a more accurate question would be, “how many struggles do you have to deal with in your daily life?” The reality is many things happen in life which bring us down or discourage us.
However, as Children of God, we have some promises and hope that others without God do not have. For example, in Galatians 6, we read that we are to help each other in time of need. This means that when I have a problem, my brethren are there to help. Do we turn to our brothers and sisters in Christ when we need help?
Another verse which helps us to know that we are not alone in dealing with the issues of life is found in 1 Corinthians 10:13. There we read, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” So we not only have our brethren to helps us in life, but we also have God. And in this text we even learn that God will help us to know what to do and how to do it so that we will not be over burdened. Do we turn to God in times of need and when we need help.
Finally, notice what the Hebrews writer said in Hebrews 13:5,
here we read, “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Wow, what a comfort and what an encouragement. God is always there and we will never be alone. No wonder the same writer went on to say in verse 6 of the same opening, “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”?We truly serve a great and mighty God. Have you placed your trust and confidence in God today?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our lesson topic today, we will be concluding our series entitled, “What God Has Joined Together.” The specific lesson of the day will focus on, “Christian Worship and the Lord’s Day!” So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now it is time to join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “Anywhere Is Home.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We’re so glad you’ve continued with us as we now go to God’s Word and consider our final lesson in relationship to those things that “God Has Joined Together.” I think for several months now we’ve had a great study in comparing, contrasting and then joining together those things that are essential in God, and although we’ve been taking maybe only two things at a time, I hope we’ll begin to gain from this study the idea of the importance to realize that Christianity comes as a whole.
We can’t really pick and choose something and just decide what we like or what we want, and we can leave some things by the side and we can grab hold of those things that we really want to do or follow or that we think we’d like to follow. God says to obey Him! God says, “Keep My commandments.” And as we go throughout the New Testament we find that God expects us to follow the whole counsel. So that shows us that as we follow God, we not only need to have maybe faith and love, and we might not only need to have different types of aspects like gentleness and kindness or … We have to have them all and strive our best to accomplish them all in the sight of God and in the sight of others and in His glorious name.
With that in mind then, this morning we are going to end our discussion by looking at the concept of the worship of a Christian and we’ve looked at some aspects of worship but today we want to look at specifically in relationship to the Lord’s Day.
You know I think it is very essential to realize that today we hear people say, “Well I’m going to worship God on the Lord’s Day.” And I think it is also significant to look around and see that most religions especially those that claim to be protestant, they follow what? They follow a pattern by commandments and examples of worshipping God, when? On the Lord’s Day! So what is the Lord’s Day? Some might suggest that the Lord’s Day is one day or another or some might even go back to the Old Testament and say, “Well what about the Sabbath Day? Was that not the Lord’s Day? Certainly the Sabbath Day was God’s Day in the Old Testament and that’s where we would like to begin our discussion this morning.
Back up with me to the book of Genesis just after it clarifies for us the great creation of God in chapter 1 and begins to move into chapter 2. Notice there that after all of these things were complete on day 6 that it begins to say this in verse 1. “Thus the heavens and the earth and all the host of them were finished and on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done and He rested on the seventh day from all the work which He had done and then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it He rested from all the work that He had done or made, created with His hands.”
You see here, we find the discussion about the seventh day, the last day, we might say, of the week. We know that to be Saturday. So as we look at the Old Law and consider what began from the creation of God since God said, “I rested on the Sabbath Day, He made the Sabbath Day holy to His people during the Patriarchal Period and as well the Mosaical Period.
We see this reiterated over in Exodus chapter 20. After Israel has come out of the Land of Egypt and now they are at Mt. Sinai about to receive the Law specifically through Moses. In chapter 20 we have what are called “The Ten Commandments.” And you remember The Ten Commandments. Amongst those Ten Commandments is a law that says, “Thou shalt keep (what?) the Sabbath Day.” What does it say there? Verse 8, “Keep or remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” “The six days of the week you shall work and do work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord.” Why? Well if you’ll look there in verse 11 it says, “For in six days God made the heavens, earth, sea and all that was in them and he rested on the Sabbath Day.” Sound familiar? “He rested on the Sabbath Day,” Genesis chapter 2, we read that just a moment ago in verses 3-4. But notice then what he goes on to say, Because God rested on the literal seventh day, and we work six days as God worked six days, we are also to do what on the seventh? Rest on the seventh day! That’s the logic that is used here as he speaks to the Israelites and as he gives them the commandments here, the Ten Commandments.
After that, he adds this, that “God rested on the seventh day, therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day,” and it says here, “hallowed it.” Now certainly then the Sabbath Day is significant. If God saw a need to rest on that day, certainly He was challenging His people to do the very same thing.
Now why then if were true that under the Old Covenant we had the seventh day or the Sabbath Day and then they had even the Sabbath months and Sabbath years that God would actually have for a period of rest that God would actually have for a period of rest besides just a day, but even a longer period of rest referred to as a specific Sabbath, so why is it then we get over into the New Testament that we see things begin to change somewhat? In fact, one of the most interesting verses to me about this is one thing that Paul said to the Colossian church. You might recall there in Colossians chapter 2 verse 14, he has just told them that, “The Law or handwriting of ordinances that were against them had been taken away by the cross.” In fact it says, “It was nailed to the cross so that the Law of Christ could be put into effect.” Immediately after he states that, he begins to warn the reader who would include not only Gentiles but also Jews, that they should not judge others by even Pagan or Jewish practices. In fact if you will notice here, he says, “Let no one judge you in food or drink.” Were there certain foods the Jews could not eat? Certainly there were. Regarding festivals, were there a lot of celebrations and festivals under Jewish Law made by God and be even man? Yes, there were. Then he says, “Not even by New Moons,” which would have been one of the celebrations, “or Sabbaths.” Guess what! God was trying to reveal to them the fact that we are not under that which was bound in the Old Law. We are not under the Law of Moses. We are not bound by those things because we serve Christ.
Do you remember what it says back in the book of Galatians? It tells us clearly there that as we look to the Law of Moses that it was a what? A tutor, as we discussed earlier, verse 24. It was something that was bringing us to Christ. Something that was going to be replaced and what was it looking to? Verse 23 of Galatians 3 says this, “But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law.” Verse 25 says, “But after faith came, we are no longer under the tutor.” Then it goes on in the following verses after saying that we put on Christ through baptism to say, “In Christ Jesus there is no Jew or Greek. There is no male or female, bond or free. We are all one and equal as Abraham’s seed.”
Doesn’t that tell us something? It tells us that the Hebrew writer so eloquently describes to us that everything about the New Covenant starting with Christ and the Laws and the promises far exceeds and is more wondrous than the Law of Moses because Moses law was only based on (Hebrews 8 and 9) the blood of animals, but the New Covenant of Christ was based on the blood shed by Jesus on the cross, the Son of God, God in the flesh. It can’t help but be a better law! It can’t help but in every way to be superior to the Law of Moses and why would I go back and say I wanted to follow Moses when Jesus Christ died for me? Not Moses! Jesus Christ gave His life that I might live. He extends grace. He extends mercy. Not Moses or any other man that has ever lived or that will ever live! Jesus is the One and Only Christ and Lord of all!
Now then we begin to say, “So what do we find under the Law of Christ? What do we find by commandment and what do we find by example that the New Testament church was doing as far as worshipping God? Were they assembling on the Sabbath or were they assembling as we might say on another day? Well we find this early on in the text right after the church is established in Acts chapter 20 and verse 7 as Paul here is talking in relationship to one of his missionary journeys and in fact specifically here in verse 20 it says that he is now in Troas before he is about to go to Ephesus and you might remember here that later in that text that he actually talks about meeting with the elders there at Ephesus. But if you’ll notice with me there it says, “He waits,” in verse 7, “in Troas that he might worship with the brethren.” In fact he waits seven days that he might worship with them, have a worship assembly. When was the church worshipping? When did Paul expect them to be worshipping? When did he know they would come together or assemble as the people of God for a formal worship. Well he waited six days, and then in verse 7 it says this, “Now on the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.” He spoke to them. He gave them a message and they also broke bread. What would breaking bread be? Partaking of the Lord’s Supper. (1 Corinthians chapter 11) We could go back to other texts such as even found throughout the gospel accounts that teach us about Jesus instituting the Lord’s Supper. That didn’t refer to Moses or the Law of Moses, but to Christ, the sacrifice made by Jesus and the Law of Christ. Significant here! He said that on the first day of the week is when the Christians were assembling in Troas to worship God and to do one of the aspects of worship that we know. In fact, two, one preaching and one partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
Another good example that we have also is found over in 1 Corinthians 16. In this text, we find about giving. Certainly giving was a commandment of God that the work of the church might be accomplished to the glory of God and not that the church would fund itself by the world or the evils or wickedness of the world, but that the church would give of its own means and capabilities to do everything and anything necessary to accomplish the Will of God. What is it that is commanded there by Him in 1 Corinthians 16 and verse 1? He says, “Now concerning the collection for the saints,” He says, “As I have given orders to the churches of Galatia so also ye must do.” Then in verse 2 he says, “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside storing up as he has prospered that there be no collection when I come.” What were they to do? Well when you assemble on the first day of the week, when you come together, when you come worship God, be ready with that offering and give it that it might be used in the work of the church and that it might assist those who have special needs even in evangelism such as Paul.
We could go on and look at other texts that would show us that. I also want to remind you though historically. Go back historically and look what began to take place after the church was established after A.D. 33. We have historical records that the New Testament church that was began by Jesus met on Sunday, the first day of the week, not on the Sabbath.
But finally, what I would like for you to look at with me is found over in 1 Corinthians 15. Here we have the reason why. Why would I no longer do it the way it was done, but under a higher, greater, better law, a better sacrifice and covenant and promise, why would I change? Why would I do it God’s way here and why would God choose Sunday over Saturday? Well if you will notice with me there in chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians verse 1 beginning, he says, “Moreover brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preach to you which also you receive and in which you stand, by which also you are saved if you holdfast that Word which I preached to you unless you preached in vain.” Now hear verse 3. “For I deliver to you, first of all, that… Christ which had died for our sins,” he says, “according to the scriptures that He (verse 4) was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” What day did Jesus raise Himself from the grave? Up from the grave He arose! On Sunday! It was on Sunday, the Lord’s Day! Why do you think it’s called the Lord’s Day? Why do you think the reference is to the greatest act, not only that He died and suffered and was put in the grave, but what gives us hope, eternal hope is that He came out of the grave, that He was resurrected, that He came forth and gave us the opportunity unto salvation.
Brethren and friends today, as Christians, as those who love Jesus and who put Jesus Christ and His Law first, we worship on the Lord’s Day! Certainly we respect all that is found in the Law of Moses but we are not under the Law of Moses. We serve Christ!
Do you serve Christ today? Have you done what is required to be a part of His church? It is simple. If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Christ, if you’ll repent and turn away from sins, and if you’ll be buried with your Lord and Savior in baptism, dying to the old man in that watery grave and rising as a new creation, it is Jesus Himself, you Master, your Lord, your Creator who will add you to the church and you will be a child of God.
Why not do it God’s way? Why not only do it God’s way in your daily life but every first day of the week when you assemble to worship Him?
(SONG # 3 – “Blessed Assurance!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an uplifting and an encouragement to all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How blessed we are to have a day set aside by God to give Him our Worship and Praise! May we always give God our very best every first day of the week, just as He has commanded.