THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 2-25-07
LESSON TITLE: "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH: THE CHURCH HAS A PATTERN FOR WORSHIP"
Paul told the Galatian Churches, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
We welcome you to our program this Lord's day morning. What a privilege we have this morning to join together in the study of God's Living Word. We are happy you have chosen to be with us today and are excited about this opportunity we have together to glorify our creator. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Will. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.
Think for a moment about all of the wondrous promises of God. How wonderful it is to be a child of God so that we are recipients of all of these promises. This morning we want to begin with a song that reminds us just how blessed we are. So, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing the first song of the day, it's called, "Standing On The Promises!"
(SONG # 1)
When was the last time you thanked God for all He has done for you? More specifically, when was the last time you thanked Him for your brethren in Christ? I often think we forget just how blessed we are to not only have an earthly family but to also have an earthly church family. In fact, many of us are as close to our church family as we are our literal families in this life!
I love what Paul said along these lines as he was writing to the Thessalonian brethren in 2 Thessalonians 1:3! There we read, "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other." We find here that Paul was thankful for his brethren, but why? He went on to say that the reason he was thankful was because of their great faith. Also notice here what Paul said was demonstrating their faith - "Love for one another!"
You see, we are well blessed when we show the proper love and care for one another as Christians. Because it will benefit us now in this life with relationships that will last forever, but even more so it will benefit us in the eyes of God. This is how He and others know we are truly of Him. Isn't that what Jesus said in John 13:35? There we read, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Even Christ Himself said that we are truly known as God's followers by how we treat one another as brethren.
On the other hand, have you ever heard of someone saying they don't like or hate a fellow brother in Christ? I have! Notice what John said in 1 John 4:20 concerning this statement. There we read, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" We must love our brethren!
So, let's all remember the great need we have to love one another in Jesus Christ. Remembering that this is how we are encouraged and helped in this life, as well as this being a way that God and others see our true faith. Are you loving your brothers and sisters as God commands?
Today we will continue with our series of study concerning the Lord's Church. Our specific study this morning will focus on worship, as we discuss, "The Church Has A Pattern For Worship." This is our next lesson in our series entitled, "I Will Build My Church."
This morning we have a guest speaker with us who you will recognize. We are again happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us. Brother Jerry is the director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. So stay with us this morning and in a few minutes brother Sullins will return and lead us in our thoughts of the Day. Now it's time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "an Empty Mansion."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Jerry Sullins
It's a pleasure to have you with us this morning on "The Living Word" broadcast. We're so thankful always every Sunday morning for your presence and we hope and pray that what is said today may bring you closer to God and to a better understanding of His Word.
This morning we would like to consider the subject of worship. Now it seems to be a very simple subject, but yet it seems like that there still seems to be a lot of confusion in the religious world today about worship itself. Not that I want to deal with controversial issues, but I would like to just speak to you from God's Word concerning the Word itself and hopefully we can grasp the meaning of that Word before our time is up this hour. The word "worship" is a very meaningful word. In fact, it is a very special word. What does it actually mean to you? Unfortunately, it means very little to many people today because not much teaching is done on this subject. Most of what people understand and know about worship is basically what they observe whereas not really having a heartfelt understanding of the word itself and its meaning. To some it has little or no meaning at all. In fact, it's just a mechanical thing that happens when they go somewhere on Sunday morning or maybe throughout the week and they enter in together in what they call a period of worship before their God. Most have never had instructions on the subject. Parents have failed to teach their children about worship, and seldom is there a concentrated study on such an important subject as this subject is in our lives.
As we consider worship, people fail to understand that it involves body, soul, mind and spirit. It involves the whole of man. In fact, I would like this morning to read to you just a few definitions of this all important term. Worship is said to be "the adoring reverence of the human spirit for the divine." What a wonderful definition.
Another has said, "Worship is the outgoing of the human spirit toward God recognizing in Him the source of all life and love and goodness and holiness and righteousness."
When we break down the word in its original meaning, it comes from a word that means "worthship" which is a word ascribing work to God and from Him drawing worth into independent souls. So it is something that goes on between God and man. We ascribe worth to God and God gives us something that is worth very much to us as we enter into worship towards Him. So basically as we try to describe this in English terms, it means "to revere, to serve, to wait on, to do obedience, to venerate.
In fact, in the ancient times, the word worship also carried with it the concept of service, that is to serve God. Now when we look in the Old Testament, we see this readily because it seemed like that the service of the Israelites had a lot to do with how they worshipped God and how they worshipped God seemed to have a lot to do with how they served God. For it seems that their whole life was dependent upon their sacrifices sometimes that were made throughout the week and on special occasions also. So we see that worship has a great and wonderful meaning.
Our Lord spoke of worship in John 4 verses 23-24. I'd like to read this this morning. Would you read with me? Jesus said, "But the hour is coming and now is when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." So God is spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him... It's not something that we can choose to do or not to do. That's what is so perplexing to me today among many people who call themselves Christians, who claim to believe in the true and the living God. Whereas they seem to think that it is not necessary that they ever worship their God, and they believe that worship is only when one comes to the public assembly and goes through certain acts, and they are not even willing to do that. Whereas we know that worship is much more. There are times throughout the week when we worship God. When we pray to God, do we not worship Him? Surely we do. When we sing songs of praise in maybe groups together in our homes with our families, when we sing private sings of praise and honor and glory to Him, are we not worshipping Him? Well certainly we are. So it is the spirit in which one lives that causes us to understand many times as we do even some of these acts that we call the acts of worship that we do in formal worship. When we do them throughout the week, we feel a closeness to God. We feel a reverence toward God. We feel a spirit of adoration toward God, an obedience toward God, that is willing to obey His Will whatever it is. This indeed, my brothers and sisters and friends, is also worship in a private setting.
Remember what the Hebrew writer said in Hebrews chapter 13 verse 15? He said, "By Him therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.
Peter also said in 1 Peter 2 verse 5. He said, "You also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
So there are times when we worship God privately. There are times when we worship God in a family setting and then there are times that are designated by God specifically that we are to come together to worship Him. One such time is on the Lord's Day, that is on the first day of the week as we see ample example in the New Testament where Christians came together to worship God as God directed. So we do so today if we honor His Word and we desire to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. In fact, when we worship God in truth, it simply means to stay within the bounds and directions of the Lord not to add to or take away or substitute in any way. Is that how your worship is to God on the first day of the week? I challenge you to look and to observe and to investigate whether your worship, the worship that you engage in on the Lord's Day or any other day is as God ascribes, is as God directs according to His eternal Word.
How did people of the New Testament worship God on the Lord's Day? Well we see them praying. No one would refute that. Certainly. We see them assembling together in places like Acts chapter 20 and other places where they would pray together. In fact, it says in Acts 2:42, "The very first Christians were continuing steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine in prayer, in the breaking of bread, and in fellowship." So they were praying together and certainly no one would say that prayer is not a part of worship to God. They gave of their means. In fact, the apostle Paul instructed them when they came together, which was their habitual way of worshipping God on the first day, it was something they did every first day of the week as was directed by the apostle. He directed them in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 to "give to the Lord." We see them also partaking of the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 11, Acts 20 verse 7, verses that deal with how we ought to observe the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week as honor and respect for God and thankfulness for what Jesus did when He died and shed His blood on the cross of Calvary and gave His own body for us. Then we see singing as a part of New Testament worship, stated in Ephesians 5 verse 19. And we see also preaching as a part of New Testament worship.
So, my friend, we can look throughout the scripture and we can see readily how people, that is God's people were to worship Him in the New Testament. Then I ask you: Is this what you're doing to show honor and respect? Is this how you're showing your adoring reverence to God, bowing down in humble submissiveness to His Will. So worship is so important in our lives.
Some people might wonder, "Well, why should I worship? What is the purpose behind my worship?" I want to give you two purposes this morning. And one basic purpose in worshipping God is to glorify His name. Otherwise, why would we worship Him? Some people call it adoration. We actually praise the name of God. Isn't that the highest purpose that we have in our lives? As we look at the New Testament in Ephesians chapter 1, I want to show you what the apostle Paul is saying here concerning worship. It is so important and I believe it is a fundamental concept that we all must understand if we are to understand what worship is. Now listen closely to what is being said here. "Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ Himself (this is God the Father) according to His good pleasure or the good pleasure of His Will." For what reason? "To the praise of the glory of His grace which He made us accepted in the beloved." So what is our purpose? Of being adopted as the children of God, to the praise of whom? Of the glory of His grace. So we are adopted to the children of God to the praise and the glory of His grace. Glorification of God is one of the major purposes for our worshipping God and is one of the fundamental purposes.
So as we see also in Revelation 4 in that great scene of the heavenly throne where all the saints were gathered before Him and praising Him forever and ever saying, "Holy, holy, holy,. Lord God Almighty." That's the reason we come together. Not to be entertained, but to worship God, to adore Him, to praise Him, to honor Him, to glorify Him not ourselves. Also we see another purpose in worship is so the needs of man might be met. We worship on the Lord's Day and we worship privately so that our own needs might be met. It is within our needs that we identify ourselves with someone greater than we are. We need to know who our maker is and after we know who our maker is, it is only natural for us as human beings to want to honor and to glorify Him and to show ways of respect toward Him. We have a desire to express our gratitude and love for those who have meant so much to us even on an earthly basis, but also spiritually. For that reason, there needs to be a time when we come together and when we lift up our voices together in praise to God and in prayer to God and to honor Him as our God because it is because of Him that we are able to live in this life and we are sustained in this life.
We desire for something to calm our troubled spirits, and there's nowhere we can go for greater comfort, or greater help in times of need than to go before the throne together and to go before Him and worship Him in spirit and in truth. We go because we desire eternal security. So worship is such a wonderful thing where we can express ourselves and our feelings toward our wonderful God and Father above.
I might ask you this morning to go and to worship the Lord your God among those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. It's so important. Why would we refuse to do such a thing? Is it not worth our time? Certainly it is. I plead with you today to show the honor and respect that you need to have toward your God, to go and to worship Him as He so desires. All of us need that in our lives to supply the spiritual needs that we have and we need that in our lives to show our true and living God that we truly love, respect, honor and praise Him forever.
(SONG # 3 - "Anywhere With Jesus!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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Thanks be to God that He has given us a clear pattern for Worship. Thus, may we all be willing to accept His Will and simply do things His Way!