THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 12-12-10
LESSON TITLE: “BEHOLD ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW: A NEW WORSHIP”
Isn’t it great to know God and to have the privilege of gathering together and praising His name on this wondrous Lord’s Day? Thanks for joining us on this His special day. We are so happy to have you with us this morning for this time of offering to God. How blessed we are in this country to have the freedom to assemble this day and to give this time to our Creator. It is my hope and prayer that we will each do our part to make this time of worship acceptable in God’s sight and according to His Will!
Now as we begin to focus our thoughts on God, will you bow with me before His throne in prayer?
As always, it is our privilege on this program to praise God together in song! So let me encourage you to join in with the congregation at this time as we lift our voices up in the first song of the morning. The name of the hymn, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives!”
(SONG # 1)
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, we read, “pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Notice that the inspired writer tells us about the will of God in this passage! So what is God’s Will in relationship to prayer? We are commanded to “pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks!” Now is this possible? The answer is yes, for God would not ask something of us that was impossible to accomplish. However, we should not misunderstand the point which this writer is trying to make. It would not be possible to pray 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so this idea of “without ceasing,” can not mean that we pray every moment of every waking day. However, what a great lesson it does teach concerning our prayer life.
I think what is great about this message is that it gives us a clear perspective of what a Christian life must be like. We must be a servant of God, striving to be like our creator. And yes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The fact is Christianity is not something we can put on and take off. It is not something we can just use when we want it and discard when we don’t. It is not a fair weather or casual thing. Rather, it is a complete way of life which fills our every waking moment of every day. As Paul said in Romans 12:1, 2, it is a life of being “transformed” from this world. It is an opportunity to serve God with a daily sacrifice and commitment toward His throne.
So as we consider the idea of “praying without ceasing,” we need to put it in the context of the Christians way of life. We are to ever be focused on God and striving to do His will. We must always have a righteous, godly and prayerful attitude and spirit before the throne of God. And in the fact that we have given our lives completely over to God, we are then living a life of ceaseless praise, devotion and commitment to our God. And what a blessing it is to be a child of God who is focused completely on the Will of the Creator.
So how about your life? Are you committed to a daily walk with God and a continued service toward you Maker? If not, why not choose today to give your life more fully to God and to see that in all things He is placed as the first and greatest priority in your life.
Our study of the morning will again focus on the, “Behold All Things Have Become New”. As far as the specific message of the day, we will consider the idea of, “A New Worship.” So please stay with us and after our next song, I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
In Genesis chapter 4 beginning in verse 3 the Bible says, “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain offered a fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also offered of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat.”
We go all the way back to the very earliest times of God’s creation. What we find is worship being committed for God, those things of a sacrificial nature that individuals would do to show to God that they loved Him in order to accomplish His Will as they had been commanded by Him.
I also find it very interesting that after Noah had been on the ark for a year that we go there to the text found in Genesis once again but over in chapter 8 and we begin to find out there in verse 20 that as he comes off of the ark that Noah first thing builds an altar to the Lord and makes sacrifice of all the clean animals that he had taken on to the ark. That doesn’t mean that he sacrificed all of them. It means that he made sacrifices from all of those clean animals that were taken on to the ark. We go over and we also see Abraham, the man of promise that God spoke to. We find that he, after he had gone to the Land of Canaan and began to dwell there, first thing in chapter 12, goes there in verse 7 and 8 and builds an altar to where he also speaks with God and worships His God.
We can go on throughout the text and we can see even after the days of Moses establishing the Israelite nation with the help of God and we find there the Law of Moses being given. First, we find in the book of Exodus those commandments concerning the sacrifices that were to be made. But then even in the beginning of the book of Leviticus we find all of that information about how they were to offer sacrifice and worship God in the tabernacle which also later was the temple built in the days of the king. We find the same true in the days of the king by Saul, David and even Solomon the one who built the temple. Even during those periods they all still worshipped God in an ascribed manner. Ascribed by whom? God Almighty. Then we see that when they did it God’s way, God was pleased. But do you know what happens when they did it their own way? God was dissatisfied. In fact, many even lost their lives such as Nadab and Abihu when they tried to offer strange worship in the presence of Almighty God.
And so we know that God is the God, the Creator, a Giver, a Powerful Being of All who has designed for us a plan for worship. However, you might note that today we don’t go to the tabernacle or temple. We don’t lay our hands on the heads of animals and slaughter them and burn them on altars. We don’t do all of those things according to the altar. Why? Because as we have been learning in this series, “Behold all things have become new.” In Jesus Christ, all things are new, better and different including our worship to God.
Don’t you find it interesting that as we move to the New Testament that we also see in the early days there when Jesus is described to us in the accounts of the gospel? And then we find also those men like John the Baptist and others, we find they were still worshipping under the Old Law. They were still practicing those things of the temple, of the old tabernacle and they were still required to make such sacrifices, but something changed. What changed is what we began to see last week when Jesus died and shed His blood a new covenant was enacted. And we know that Jesus had also been speaking about a kingdom or church that He would establish there in Matthew 16 and we know that took place on the Day of Pentecost when according to prophecy in Acts chapter 2 that all those things God had prophesied about came true in relationship to establishing this kingdom that God desired for you and I under the New Law of Christ, under the New Covenant.
What I find really interesting on that day and as we look at Acts chapter 2, we find that 3,000 believed and followed the plan. They became Christians and in fact verse 47 says, “Because they obeyed they were added by the Lord to the church by obeying God.” God’s Will to do what? Repent and be baptized, verse 38. What is it though that they continued in, if you will notice with me in chapter 2 of Acts? Specifically though we want to notice verse 42, “And they…” Who? “…those who were baptized (verse 41, the believers, the obedient) continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” What? You mean they didn’t follow what Moses said? No! You mean they didn’t go back and do what the Patriarchs did or what Cain and Abel did? No! They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine that was sealed in the blood of Jesus that had been shed not even so many days or months before this day had occurred. You see there was a New Law, a New Way- Jesus Christ, and a new worship ascribed to those people.
In this same text we begin to learn what some of those doctrines of the apostles, and by the way if we go back to the verses of John, the gospel of John, we find in chapters 14, 15, 16 that the apostles were given the measure, the full measure as we even learn in Acts chapter 1 of the Holy Spirit and everything they did was really brought about through the remembrance or the help of or the power of the Holy Spirit that was in them specifically. So when we say, “apostle’s doctrine,” whose doctrine would the apostle’s doctrine be? God’s because the Holy Spirit was working through them as we even see on the Day of Pentecost to reveal not some things but in John we read, John 3:16, to reveal all things that God wanted through these apostles. So they continued in what the apostles revealed to them through the Holy Spirit. What were those things of worship? Well you begin to see there even in verse 42 the doctrine; it says, “Of fellowship,” the fellowship that we share. That is something that certainly would have been found under the Old Law, the need to fellowship. But now fellowship was not just for a nation, but for all creatures of all nations that were what? One through Jesus Christ. So fellowship had changed somewhat.
Then we see also the idea of the breaking of bread and we will come back to that in just a moment as well as in prayer. Before we go on to that, there is another example I would like to look at back in John chapter 4, a familiar text that we have looked at many times before. There we have this Samaritan woman at the well and she begins to talk to Jesus and of course Jesus talked to her to her surprise because He was a Jew and she was a Samaritan, and generally they didn’t mix. They didn’t have anything to do with one another. So now Jesus is speaking to her, is talking to her about spiritual matters. And guess what topic they’re discussing. Worship! They are actually talking about the issue of how the Samaritans are not able to go and worship as the fathers, in other words they can’t go to Jerusalem and the Jews would not allow them to come into the temple of God to worship. So what is it that Jesus says? “Oh well sorry. If you can’t worship like Moses said and you can’t go back to the temple, if you can’t do it the Old Way, you can’t be a follower of God.” Is that what He said? NO! Not at all! In fact, what He said is, “Woman believe Me,” verse 21 of John 4, “the hour is coming when you will neither worship on the mountain in Jerusalem or any place else.” Verse 22 says, “You worship what you do not know, but we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews.” But then verse 23 says, “But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in Truth.” He says that the day is coming when you no longer will need to go to the temple or the tabernacle that the time is now, that it is no longer a requirement to do things according to what the Jews would push upon people as something given to their specific nation. Now through Jesus Christ and the blood shed every creature of all nations have the opportunity to do what? As we read here, “Worship.” Worship how? On the mountain? In a specific temple or place? By specific people? No, that each worshipper be a true worshipper in what? In Spirit and in Truth! Well there we find such a wonderful design for the worship of God. First and foremost God being the only one worthy of worship, the same pattern that we find throughout all of the Bible.
But also now the way that we worship God in Spirit and in Truth. How interesting that is because spirit is my attitude and heart. You know I can go through all the motions all day long and do exactly what my God has said, but if my heart and mind are not focused and right with God then my worship is in vain. And vice versa. I might have all the sincerity I can muster and I might have all the love for God and I just say it doesn’t matter how I worship, and I will do it my own way and then I go out there and do anything I want to do, and my heart is right but the truth is wrong. True worshippers now worship God in spirit, attitude and heart as well as truth the right way.
Therefore that is why we find in Acts chapter 2 that it says, “They were then continuing not in the things of Old but in the things of the apostle’s doctrines of the Holy Spirit Himself.” Therefore what were they doing? Partaking of the Lord’s Supper, prayer is mentioned there, but we also note other things.
A few things we might look at to show us some of the aspects of worship in New Testament times for instance in Acts chapter 20 where Paul actually waited for many days to worship with the brethren on the first day of the week, that’s the Lord’s Day that the Lord resurrected. But if you will notice there in verse 7, it says, “On the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread…” There is that same idea in verse 41 of Acts 2 “when they came together to break bread,” it says that “Paul preached to them.”
So we see the element of preaching. We see again in Acts 2 the element of prayer. Certainly we can go to many other places to confirm that. We see the element here of breaking bread spiritually. What would that be? Well we can go to several of the gospels, but we can also go there to what the Corinthian church was doing in 1 Corinthians chapter 11. It says, “As Jesus had left the pattern in the upper room they all sat down and…” What did they do together? They broke bread. What does it mean? It says, “He took the bread, He blessed it and He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat, this is My Body. Remember that I shed it for you.’ Then He took the cup and He drank it and said, ‘Remember this is the blood of the New Covenant that has been shed for many.’” You see Jesus implemented the concept of the Lord’s Supper as a spiritual feast that we are able to enjoy in when we assemble as the church of our Lord. So we see the Lord’s Supper. We see preaching. We see prayers.
Well what about the concept of giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)? Paul there commanded them by and through the Holy Spirit that they lay by in store and give as they had been prospered on the first day of the week so there would be no reason for special gatherings for needs of the church so that they might be prepared to do the work of the Lord.” You see giving is a significant part of what God also requires.
Then what about singing? We can go to Ephesians 5:19 or Colossians 3:16 and we see there the church time and time again singing with their heart, making melody to the Lord and trying to praise God in proper worship. No longer like the worship of Old in David’s day, but the proper worship of the New Covenant simply lifting up their hearts and voices to God to lift Him up and praise Him as commanded by the Creator. They did that accordingly. According to what? There it says in 1 Corinthians the idea that they did so in spirit and in truth. They did with the spirit and understanding the song and prayer that all these aspects of worship might be proper in the eyes of God (1 Corinthians chapter 14). So I would encourage us all to just how significant it is to know how God wants us to worship today, to realize that it does make a difference because Jesus said in Matthew 15 that there were those who were worshipping God in a vain way when they talked or practiced the doctrines of men (verses 8 and 9 of Matthew 15).
So what is true worship? Well we read it already. Jesus said it in John chapter 4, “True worshippers worship God in spirit and in truth the right way.” So how will you worship God? Will you be so arrogant and bold against God to say, “Well I know as long as I do something towards Him and I love Him and it doesn’t matter how I do it. He doesn’t care how I do it.” Is that what it says in the scripture? Is God a God who says to just do whatever you want? Will we really submit to God? Will you be satisfied with a simple worship that He designs for us in and through the New Testament in and by command and example and will you submit not only that you might be blessed today and be faithful in His sight but encourage others to know Him so that not only you will be saved but all those who believe as well. Why not give God your best? Why not submit fully to Him today?
(SONG # 3 - “I Know Whom I Have Believed!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today? I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us 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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So what type of worship do you offer to your God? Worship according to what you want or like, or do you worship God as commanded – in spirit and truth. Choose today to do all things according to God’s perfect Plan!