THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 12-11-16

LESSON TITLE: “WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH”

WELCOME

LET ME WELCOME EACH OF YOU TO OUR PROGRAM THIS MORNING! HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO HAVE YOU WITH US THIS LORD’S DAY, AS WE COMMIT THIS TIME TO OUR MASTER. IT WILL BE OUR PRIVILEGE THIS MORNING TO AGAIN PARTICIPATE IN THE THINGS OF GOD AS WE SING PRAISES TO HIS NAME AND AS WE STUDY FROM HIS MATCHLESS WORD. NOW LET’S APPROACH THE FATHERS THRONE TOGETHER IN PRAYER.

PRAYER: DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND EVERY DAY OF LIFE FOR WE KNOW THAT GOOD THINGS COME FROM YOU AND YOU BLESS US IN EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE. WE THANK YOU FOR THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL - THE SACRIFICE OF YOUR SON JESUS AS WELL AS HIS RESURRECTION - THAT MAKES ALL THINGS POSSIBLE IN THIS LIFE AS WELL AS THE PROMISES IN THE LIFE TO COME. HELP US THIS DAY IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH TO GIVE YOU OUR VERY BEST AS WE OFFER THESE SACRIFICES BEFORE YOUR THRONE. IN JESUS NAME WE, PRAY AMEN

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

THIS MORNING IS ANOTHER BLESSED OPPORTUNITY TO WORSHIP OUR CREATOR. ONE OF THE GREAT PRIVILEGES OF OUR WORSHIP IS OUR SONGS OF PRAISE TO GOD. I HOPE YOU WILL ALL DO YOUR PART THIS MORNING AS WE SING TOGETHER THESE ENCOURAGING HYMNS. WON’T YOU RAISE YOUR VOICE TO GOD AT THIS TIME AS WE TOGETHER SING, “THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD.”

IF YOU’RE LIKE ME, ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING THINGS I HAVE EVER FACED IN THIS LIFE IS LEARNING HOW TO RAISE MY CHILDREN. WE ALL WANT TO TEACH THEM AS MUCH AS WE CAN AND GIVE THEM THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES IN THIS LIFE. HOWEVER, WE ALL KNOW THAT OUR SOCIETY SAYS WE MUST DO IT ONE WAY, BUT GOD SHOWS US ANOTHER. GOD’S WAYS ARE ALWAYS MORE PERFECT THAN MANS!

WHAT ABOUT YOU GRANDPARENTS? DOES THE JOB OF TRYING TO MAKE YOUR GRANDCHILDREN BETTER PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD EVER END? DON’T WE ALL WANT WHAT IS BEST FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE COMING UP IN OUR FAMILIES? SO, WHERE DO WE NEED TO FOCUS TO KEEP THEM IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION? OUR FOCUS MUST BE ON GOD!

AS WE ALL WOULD AGREE, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF PARENTING IS TEACHING CHILDREN THE THINGS THEY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOD, BECAUSE THEY WILL NEVER GET THIS FROM OUR SOCIETY. THERE IS A VERSE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT THAT TALKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT ONLY GOD’S PEOPLE KNOWING HIS WILL, BUT ALSO THE IMPORTANCE OF THEM TEACHING IT TO THEIR CHILDREN. MOSES SAID, “ONLY TAKE HEED TO YOURSELF, AND DILIGENTLY KEEP YOURSELF, LEST YOU FORGET THE THINGS YOUR EYES HAVE SEEN, AND LEST THEY DEPART FROM YOUR HEART ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE. AND TEACH THEM TO YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR GRANDCHILDREN,” DEUTERONOMY 4:9.

THINK ABOUT THE WORDS OF THIS GREAT MAN OF GOD AS HE REMINDS US THAT THE THINGS OF GOD MUST BE ON OUR HEARTS, “ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES!” NOW IF IT IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO BE ON MY HEART AS LONG AS I LIVE, THEN I WANT THE THINGS OF GOD ON MY CHILD’S HEART ALSO.

LET’S NEVER FORGET OUR DUTY AS PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, AUNTS, UNCLES, COUSINS, AND SO ON, TO DO OUR PART IN HELPING THOSE WHO LOOK UP TO US KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR GOD. FURTHERMORE, LET’S TEACH THEM THAT OUR GOD IS THEIR GOD, AND AS LONG AS THEY HAVE HIM ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! ARE YOU WILLING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE?

THIS MORNING, WE ARE STILL COVERING OUR THEME ON THE CHURCH. TODAY OUR SPECIFIC LESSON WILL BE “THE WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH.” AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, I WILL BE BACK TO LEAD THIS STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AS WE SING, “THIS IS MY FATHERS WORLD.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CONTINUING WITH US THIS MORNING AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD. WE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF DISCUSSING ANOTHER TOPIC IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE BRIDE OF CHRIST - THE PRECIOUS BLOOD-BOUGHT INSTITUTION, THE CHURCH OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. THE ONE BODY WHICH HE ESTABLISHED THAT ALL MEN WHO CERTAINLY COME TO HIM AND OBEY HIS WILL ARE PLACED WITHIN AND THEREFORE THAT SAME BODY - YOUR KINGDOM - THAT AS WE LEARN IN FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 15 WILL SOMEDAY BE DELIVERED BACK TO THE FATHER IN THE END OF ALL TIME. WE ARE BLESSED AS GOD'S PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO KNOW, NOT ONLY WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE CHURCH, BUT TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND AND THEN TO FOLLOW THOSE THINGS THAT GOD INSTRUCTS US WITH. SO WE'VE LOOKED AT MANY THINGS TOGETHER CONCERNING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST OR THE CHURCH. WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT A LOT OF THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS THAT REALLY ARE IMPORTANT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL TO UNDERSTAND. BECAUSE WHEN WE BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD WE ARE A PART OF THAT CHURCH - THAT INSTITUTION, THAT BLOOD-BOUGHT INSTITUTION. AND THEREFORE, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS TO US. THE ROLE THAT WE PLAY, WHAT'S REQUIRED. IF WE ARE IN A GROUP AND THERE ARE LAWS AND REALLY PATTERNS THAT ARE ATTRIBUTED TO THAT GROUP, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THOSE THINGS ARE AS THEY APPLY TO US. SO TODAY WE TALK ABOUT WORSHIP - THE WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH.

WORSHIP HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE FOLLOWER OF GOD IN RELATIONSHIP TO SHOWING HIS COMMITMENT TO HIS CREATOR. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AS WELL WE FIND THE TABERNACLE - THE TEMPLE BEING BUILT. WHY? THAT THEY MIGHT WORSHIP GOD. THAT THEY MIGHT COME TO A SPECIFIC PLACE AND GO THROUGH SPECIFIC ACTIONS TO SHOW COMMITMENT TO A SPECIFIC GOD AND THEREFORE PROPERLY WORSHIP HIM. AND AS WE GO TO THE NEW TESTAMENT WE FIND THE VERY SAME THING. AS SO IT'S SIGNIFICANT IN JOHN CHAPTER 4 WE LEARN THE FACT THAT GOD IS A SPIRIT. THAT ARE SOME THINGS MADE MENTION OF IN RELATIONSHIP TO WHAT TRUE WORSHIP IS. IN FACT, THERE IN VERSE 23 OF JOHN CHAPTER 4, IT SAY THE HOUR IS COMING AND NOW IS WHEN TRUE WORSHIPERS - TRUE WORSHIPERS WILL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH. AND THEN IN VERSE 24 IT SAYS, “GOD IS SPIRIT AND THOSE THAT WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH.” WE NOT ONLY LEARN THAT THERE IS A TYPE OF TRUE WORSHIPER. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE'S SOMETHING REQUIRED THAT THE WORSHIPER BE RIGHT OR TRUE, BUT WE ALSO SEE IN THE FACT THAT THERE IS A SPECIFIED WORSHIP. THAT THERE IS A TRUE WORSHIP. IN OTHER WORDS IN THE FACT THAT ONE MUST WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH. THAT SHOWS US THERE'S A REQUIREMENT FOR TRUE WORSHIP BY THE TRUE WORSHIPER. NO WONDER THAT'S WHY THE BIBLE TALKS SOMETIMES ABOUT IGNORANT WORSHIP. OR IN MATTHEW 15, VAIN WORSHIP. AND THEY WORSHIP VAINLY. WHY? THEY WERE TEACHING AS DOCTRINE THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN. YOU SEE, WHEN WE KNOW WHAT GOD WANTS AND WE HAVE FROM HIS WORD WHAT IS REQUIRED TO PROPERLY WORSHIP WE ARE TO FOLLOW THAT IN ORDER THAT OUR WORSHIP BE TRUE AND THEN WE ARE OURSELVES TO FOLLOW THAT IN THE RIGHT WAY AS WELL AS THE RIGHT SPIRIT TO BE TRUE WORSHIPERS. THEREFORE, WORSHIPING IN TRUTH RIGHTLY THAT IS ACCORDING TO PATTERN. BUT ALSO WORSHIPING IN SPIRIT OR ATTITUDE. WHICH IS AGAIN THAT CHARACTER WHICH WE BRING BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD. AND SO TODAY WE TALK ABOUT SPECIFICALLY WHAT IS INVOLVED IN TRUE WORSHIP. BECAUSE I WANT TO HAVE THE RIGHT HEART AND I WANT TO HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE BUT I ALSO WANTS TO DO IT THE RIGHT WAY BECAUSE SPIRIT AND TRUTH ARE REQUIRED FOR TRUE WORSHIP.

NOW, I'M AFRAID THAT SOMETIMES IN OUR RELIGIOUS WORLD - ESPECIALLY THE DENOMINATIONAL WORLD - WE FIND MANY PEOPLE LIKE WELL, THE SPIRIT TRUMPS THE TRUTH. AND SO THEREFORE, BECAUSE I AM REALLY EMOTIONAL AND I REALLY COME AND I WORSHIP GOD WITH ALL OF MY HEART WITH ALL OF MY BEING - IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT WE DO OR HOW WE DO IT. WELL, YOU AND I KNOW THAT WOULD BE JUST AS WRONG AS ME SAYING WELL, HERE'S THE SPECIFIC WAY BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER MY ATTITUDE. IT DOESN'T MATTER MY SPIRIT OR IF IT'S FROM THE HEART. YOU WOULD SAY THAT'S SILLY! IT'S SILLY TO SAY THAT I MUST SING PRAISES TO GOD BUT IF I REALLY DON'T DO IT FROM MY HEART OR THAT I REALLY DON'T MEAN IT, THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. GOD JUST WANTS TO HEAR ME SING. OH HOW RIDICULOUS WE WOULD SAY THAT WAS. BUT THEN SOME OF THE VERY SAME PEOPLE WOULD TURN AROUND AND SAY OH, IT DOESN'T MATTER THE THINGS WE DO TO WORSHIP, HOW WE SING OR IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW WE PRAY OR IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT WE PREACH AS LONG AS WE DO IT WITH SPIRIT AND ENERGY AND EXCITEMENT. WELL, DO YOU SEE AGAIN EITHER IS WRONG BECAUSE TRUE WORSHIPERS WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. AND SO WHAT IS THE WORSHIP THAT THOSE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OFFERED TO GOD? AS WE GO TO THE BIBLE WE FIND, NOT ONLY BY COMMAND, BUT EVEN IN DIVINLEY APPROVED EXAMPLES WHAT IT WAS THAT NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANS - BLOOD-BOUGHT CHRISTIAN ADDED TO THE CHURCH BY GOD BECAUSE OF THEIR OBEDIENCE - WE FIND OUT WHAT IT IS THAT THEY DID TO WORSHIP THEIR GOD.

LET'S TURN OVER TO ACTS CHAPTER 2. WE PROBABLY CAN'T GO TO MUCH OF A BETTER PLACE THAN THE DAY THE CHURCH BEGAN TO SEE WHAT THEY WERE DOING TO WHAT? WORSHIP GOD. WHAT WERE THEY DOING HERE? WHAT WERE THEY ACCOMPLISHING? LOOK WITH ME SPECIFICALLY AT VERSE 42, “AND THEY CONTINUED STEADFASTLY IN THE APOSTLE'S DOCTRINE AND IN FELLOWSHIP IN BREAKING OF BREAD AND IN PRAYERS.” NOW, WE HAVE QUITE A FEW THINGS THAT ARE MENTIONED HERE SPECIFICALLY THAT ARE ABOUT THE DOCTRINE. THE WORD DOCTRINE ACTUALLY COMES FROM THE WORD TEACH OR TEACHING IN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE. BUT THERE'S AN ARTICLE ON THE FRONT SO IT MEANS NOT JUST ANY TEACHING BUT IT MEANS THE TEACHINGS. SO THEY CONTINUED IN THE TEACHINGS WHICH WERE THE SYSTEM OF DOCTRINE - THE PLAN GIVEN THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT AS BY THE MOUTH OF THE APOSTLES THAT MEN SHOULD FOLLOW IN ORDER TO DO WHAT? WORSHIP GOD CORRECTLY. BUT THEY ALSO CONTINUED IF YOU'LL NOTICE IN PRAYERS. CERTAINLY ANYONE WOULD CONCLUDE THAT IN THE FACT THAT PRAYER IS THE WAY THAT WE DIRECTLY SPEAK WITH GOD THAT PRAYER IS DONE BY NOT ONLY CHRISTIANS BUT WAS DONE BY THE EARLY CHURCH. AND WE CAN FIND EXAMPLES OF THE EARLY CHURCH PRAYING TO GOD - COMING TOGETHER AND PRAYING TO GOD - CERTAINLY AN ASPECT OF WORSHIP IS PRAYER. BECAUSE THEY CONTINUED STEADFASTLY IN ONE OF THE TEACHINGS WHICH WAS PRAYER, PRAYING TO GOD - COMMUNICATING TO GOD WITH THE FRUIT OF OUR LIPS IN A PUBLIC SETTING - A COLLECTIVE GATHERING - AS EVEN THE CHURCH WOULD GATHER TO PRAY FOR THE NEEDS OF THE BRETHERN. TO MAKE SUPPLICATION TO MAKE THANKSGIVING.

WE ALSO SEE HERE WITHIN THE SAME TEXT THE IDEA OF THE BREAKING OF BREAD. NOW, THIS IS IN CONTRAST TO LATER WHAT WE SEE IN VERSE 46 WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY REFERRING TO THE BREAKING OF BREAD IN RELATIONSHIP TO NOURISHMENT. THAT THEY WERE EATING TOGETHER DAILY HOUSE TO HOUSE AND EATING TOGETHER. HE SAYS THERE'S A TEACHING, A DOCTRINE, THE TEACHING OF GOD THAT PERTAINS TO THE BREAKING OF BREAD. WHAT WOULD THAT BE? WELL, AGAIN THAT'S NOT DIFFICULT IS IT? THE BREAKING OF BREAD WOULD OBVIOUSLY BE THE IDEA OF THE PARTAKING OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. AND AS WE GO TO THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHAT DO WE FIND? WE FIND THAT JESUS SAT DOWN WITH HIS DISCIPLES AND HE DID WHAT? HE TOOK THE BREAD. HE TOOK THE CUP. NO LONGER THE PASSOVER CONCEPT OF THE OLDEN DAYS IN EGYPT BUT NOW HE SAYS THIS IS MY BODY. TAKE HEED BECAUSE IT REPRESENTS THE FLESH THAT I WILL GIVE IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER FOR YOUR SAVES. HE THEN SAYS TAKE HEED THIS IS THE FRUIT OF VINE WHICH REPRESENTS MY BLOOD. NOW WE SEE THAT TAKING PLACE BUT THEN WE FIND IT IN APPLICATION IN FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 11. BECAUSE GUESS WHAT THE CHURCH AT CORINTH WAS DOING? THEY WERE PARTAKING OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. THE BREAD REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BODY AND THE FRUIT OF THE VINE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BLOOD. AGAIN, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO FIND MUCH ARGUMENT IN RELIGIOUS GROUPS THAT WE ARE TO PRAY AND WE ARE TO PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. BUT WHAT YOU WILL FIND IN ARGUMENT IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE LORD'S SUPPER ABOUT IS WHEN THEY DID IT. IT'S QUITE SIGNIFICANT THAT WHEN PAUL WENT TO TROAS IN ACTS CHAPTER 20 THAT IT CLEARLY TELLS US THAT HE WAITED FOR SIX DAYS IN ORDER THAT HE MIGHT DO WHAT? STAY FOR THE SEVENTH AND WORSHIP WITH THE BRETHREN. AND I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WHAT HAPPENS IN VERSE SEVEN ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK WHEN THE CHURCH WAS, EVIDENTLY THE TEXT INDICATES, WAS GATHERING TOGETHER TO WORSHIP GOD. AND THAT'S OBVIOUS BECAUSE THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK - THE LORD'S DAY SUNDAY - IS THE DAY OF RESURRECTION. IT'S THE DAY THAT CERTAINLY THE CHURCH WAS IDENTIFIED THROUGH APOSTOLATE DOCTRINE TO GATHER AND WORSHIP THE SAVIOR JESUS. VERSE SEVEN SAYS THIS, ACTS 20, NOW ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK WHEN AS THEY WERE IS THE CONCEPT HERE THE DISCIPLES CAME TOGETHER TO WHAT? BREAK BREAD. PAUL PREACHED TO THEM. WELL, NOT ONLY WERE THEY GATHERING TO PRAY THEY WERE GATHERING ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. TO DO WHAT? BREAK BREAD. HOW OFTEN DOES THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK COME? EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. IT DOESN'T SAY WELL, THIS WAS THE YEARLY PARTAKEING....IT DOESN'T SAY THIS WAS....BRETHREN, FRIENDS - I CELEBRATE THE DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION OF MY LORD AND SAVIOR AND THE SACRIFICE MADE ON THE CROSS EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. AND YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE THAT'S THE PATTERN OF DIVINELY APPROVED EXAMPLE GIVEN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. THAT WE PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER AS WE GATHER AS THE CHURCH - AS SURE AS WE PRAY - AS SURE AS WE TEACH OR PREACH - WE PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. AND DID YOU NOT NOTICE THAT ALSO IN THE VERY SAME TEXT? IT MENTIONS THAT HE PREACHED TO THEM. NOW IF THEY CONTINUED - ACTS 2:42 IN THE APOSTLES DOCTRINE - THE APOSTLES TEACHING. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? THEY WERE BEING TAUGHT. WELL, CERTAINLY WE READ THE BIBLE, WE READ THE SCRIPTURE, WE STUDY GOD'S WORD AS A PART OF WORSHIP - WHAT GREATER THING THAN AS WE COME TOGETHER TO READ AND TO STUDY WHAT IT IS THAT GOD WOULD HAVE US TO DO; TO BE CHALLENGED TO BE BETTER CHRISTIANS AND WORKERS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. YOU SEE AGAIN, PEOPLE AREN'T GOING TO HAVE MUCH DIFFICULTY WITH THE CONCEPT OF PRAYER OR THE LORD'S SUPPER OR EVEN THE IDEA OF TEACHING OR PREACHING AS WE ASSEMBLE TO WORSHIP AS GOD'S CHURCH.

BUT NOW I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF GIVING. AGAIN, I ALWAYS FIND IT ALMOST HUMOROUS BECAUSE A LOT OF CONGREGATIONS STILL MAYBE REFUSE TO PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER AND THEY ALSO REFUSE TO WORRY ABOUT MAYBE SILLY THINGS ON THE CONCEPT OF HOW WE MIGHT SING OR WHAT WE DO IN OUR SINGING. OR THE VERY SAME CONGREGATION WHO SAYS BUT BUDDY, WE'RE GONNA GIVE EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. DO YOU KNOW IN FIRST CORINTHIANS 16 THE VERY SAME WORDING THAT PAUL USES THAT ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK HE COMMANDED THEM TO LAY BY AND STORE THAT THEY MIGHT GIVE AS THEY HAD PURPOSED SO THERE WOULD BE NO GATHERINGS WHEN HE CAME. THE CONGREGATION OR THE RELIGION YOU GO TO PROBABLY USES FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 16 TO TELL YOU THAT YOU'VE GOT TO TITHE OR GIVE EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. AND YOU KNOW WHAT THEY WANT? THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO MISS YOUR GIVING, DO THEY? BECAUSE THAT'S GONNA PAY SALARY. THAT'S GONNA PAY FOR THE BUILDING. THAT'S GONNA PAY FOR A LOT OF THINGS THEY WANT TO DO. THAT'S WHAT YOUR LEADERS WANT. HEY, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU A WEEK OFF OF GIVING. BUT THEN THEY'LL USE THE VERY SAME CONCEPT TO SAY OH, BUT WE DON'T HAVE TO PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. DO YOU KNOW IT'S THE SAME CONCEPT OR PRECEDENCE IN THE IDEA AS THEY GATHERED ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK AND AS THEY GAVE OF THEIR MEANS ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK - THERE IN FIRST CORINTHIANS 16 - THAT WE JUST SAW IN ACTS CHAPTER 20 AND VERSE SEVEN WHEN IT SAYS WHEN THEY CAME TOGETHER TO BREAK BREAD.

BRETHREN, FRIENDS, LEADERS - IF WE ARE TO SAY THAT WE'RE REQUIRED TO GIVE ON THE FIRST DAY OF EVERY WEEK AS A PART OF WORSHIP - WE ARE AS EQUALLY REQUIRED TO PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK AS WORSHIP. AND WE EQUALLY ARE REQUIRED TO WHAT? PARTAKE OF PRAYER AS WE SPEAK TO GOD AND WE EQUALLY ARE REQUIRED TO PARTAKE OF THE PROCLAMATION, THE HERALDING OF GOD'S WORD, BECAUSE WE SEE ALL THESE THINGS COMMANDED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND GIVEN BY DIVINELY APPROVED AUTHORITATIVE EXAMPLES THAT THROUGH APOSTOLATE DOCTRINE THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH DID THESE THINGS EVERY SUNDAY WHEN THEY GATHERED AS GOD'S PEOPLE.

BUT NOW I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT SINGING. BECAUSE CERTAINLY IN EPHESIANS CHAPTER 5 VERSE 19...IN COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 3 VERSE 16 THERE WAS A WAY TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. THERE WAS A WAY TO FIND EXCITEMENT AND TO TEACH AND TO ADMONISH - AND IN COLOSSIANS 3:16, “TO LET THE WORD OF GOD DWELL IN YOU RICHLY WITH ALL WISDOM.” AND GUESS HOW THAT WAS? SINGING SONGS OF PRAISE. BOTH TEXTS USE WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS IN THE GREEK. THAT THEY WERE WHAT? SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER. THAT THEY WERE SPEAKING AT THE SAME TIME - ONE SPEAKING TO ANOTHER AND THEN THEY WERE REFLECTING AT THE SAME TIME THE VERY SAME THING. EVEN MANY CHURCH FATHERS WHO STARTED THEIR OWN DENOMINATIONS AFTER THEIR OWN NAMES DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS AUTHORITY FOR INSTRUMENTS OR CHOIRS. THEY CONCEDED AND STOOD FIRMLY ON THE FACT THAT CONGREGATIONAL SINGING ALL WITH ONE VOICE LIFTING UP THEIR PRAISES TO GOD WAS THE PLAN OF GOD AND THE PATTERN OF NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY. CHECK THAT OUT! THOSE OF YOU WHO FOLLOW LUTHER, THOSE OF YOU WHO FOLLOW WESLEY, THOSE OF YOU WHO FOLLOW MANY OF THESE LEADERS OF DENOMINATIONS - THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THERE WAS SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY FOR SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE BEING DONE IN SONG TODAY. WHY? BECAUSE THE DIVINELY APPROVED EXAMPLE IS CLEAR. THEY WERE CHALLENGED TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT WITH THEIR HEART AND THE FRUIT OF THEIR LIPS PRAISING GOD IN SONGS, HYMNS, AND SPIRITUAL SONGS THAT THEY MIGHT ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER AND TEACH ONE ANOTHER AND GROW IN THE WORD OF GOD AND BE ABLE TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT AS THEY COLLECTIVELY CAME TOGETHER TO PRAISE THEIR MIGHTY GOD.

YOU SEE, IT'S NOT HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WORSHIP WAS AND WHAT THEY DID IN NEW TESTAMENT TIMES. IT'S NOT DIFFICULT! WHAT MAKES IT DIFFICULT IS MAN, AND WHAT REALLY MAKES IT DIFFICULT - SAD TO SAY - ARE THE DESIRES OF MEN. OH, BUT BROTHER RAY - IT FEELS SO GOOD. OH, BUT BROTHER RAY - I LIKE IT SO MUCH. OR IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY! I DIDN'T KNOW WORSHIP WAS REALLY ABOUT ME. I THOUGHT WORSHIP WAS ABOUT GOD. I THOUGHT TRUE WORSHIP WAS ABOUT LOOKING TO THE CREATOR TO PRAISE HIM AND IN SPIRIT THE RIGHT ATTITUDE IN THE RIGHT TRUTH DOING WHAT HE COMMANDS. CAN WE REALLY IMPROVE ON GOD'S PLAN? CAN WE REALLY IMPROVE ON GOD'S PATTERN? CAN WE REALLY SAY THAT BECAUSE IT FEELS BETTER TO US OR BECAUSE WE LIKE IT, THAT MAYBE GOD JUST DIDN'T REALIZE HOW MUCH HE WOULD REALLY LIKE IT IF WE WOULD JUST ADD THIS OR TAKE THIS AWAY? WHY NOT JUST DO WHAT THEY DID - BY HISTORICAL EXAMPLE, BY BIBLICAL EXAMPLE, BY DOCTRINAL TEACHING...WHY NOT JUST DO WHAT GOD REQUIRES THAT WE MIGHT WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH THAT WE MIGHT BE TRUE WORSHIPERS SO THAT WE MIGHT PLEASE GOD? WORSHIP IS NOT ABOUT PLEASING ME OR PLEASING OTHERS. CERTAINLY JOY AND HAPPINESS COMES FROM WORSHIP. WE SURELY ARE GOING TO BE EDIFIED AND BUILT UP IN WORSHIP. BUT THAT'S NOT THE PURPOSE. WORSHIP, BRETHREN AND FRIENDS, IS ABOUT GOD. MAKE GOD THE CENTER OF YOUR WORSHIP! MAKE GOD'S WILL THE CENTER OF YOUR WORSHIP! MAKE GOD'S WAY THE CENTER OF YOUR WORSHIP! NEVER BE SATISFIED WITH PLEASING YOURSELF OR MAN. BUT KNOW THAT ONLY WHEN WE PLEASE GOD ARE WE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PLEASURES AND WHEN WE ACCOMPLISH GOD'S PLEASURES ALL OF HIS WONDROUS PROMISES ARE OURS.

CLOSING COMMENTS

AGAIN, LET ME THANK YOU FOR PUTTING GOD FIRST AND CHOOSING TO GIVE THIS TIME TO HIM. IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU WITH US. WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO WORSHIPING GOD IN HIS WAY!

NOW, LET ME ASK YOU IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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MAY WE ALWAYS BE SATISFIED WITH WORSHIPING GOD IN HIS WAY, FOR GOD’S WAYS ARE ALWAYS BEST AND HIS PRECEPTS ARE ALWAYS PERFECT!

ARE YOU SUBMITTING TO GOD’S PLAN FOR WORSHIP IN YOUR LIFE?