THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 4-29-01
LESSON TITLE: WHO SHOULD BE WORSHIPPED?
Good morning and welcome to the Living Word Program. It is a great honor to have you with us this morning for this time of worship to God. Thanks for choosing to be with us!
As always, it will be our privilege today to sing songs of praise to our God and to study from His perfect Word! I hope each of us will do our part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let's begin our thoughts of the day with a prayer.
Let me take just a minute at this time to let you know about special seminar we have coming up at Kansas Expressway. In fact, it begins this coming weekend! How many have read from the book of Revelation and wondered what on earth it was talking about? How many have questioned whether it makes sense of not? Well, now you have the opportunity to have these questions answered in a very simple way. On May 4-6, we have invited Brother Donald Taylor to be with us to present a series of lessons on the book of Revelation! We will begin at 7:00, on Friday and Saturday evening and at 5:00 on Sunday evening. We hope you will be present for this time of learning and edification. We look forward to seeing you there.
The death of Christ is such an important event in all of our lives, especially to those who love Him. In fact, if it were not for this great event, none of us would have the opportunity to call our Lord: Savior, Master Or Friend! This morning, let's begin with a song which reflects on that most wonderful sacrifice of Jesus, as we sing together, "Low In The Grave He Lay!"
(SONG # 1)
I often think about the great abilities which the Apostle Paul had to accomplish the things which he had been commanded to by God. However, I am also reminded of just how human this great man was because of the fleshly trials and problems which he suffered on a regular basis.
Throughout his second letter to the Corinthians Paul continued to focus on the theme - "perfection comes from weakness," 2 Corinthians 12:9. In the next verse the Apostle goes on to say, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Oh, what a wonderful example we have in this committed man of God. It was this type of attitude which also confirmed that boasting could only come concerning the things we suffer or over our infirmities, chapter 11:30! So, let us each learn from this mighty example that, "God takes our weakness and uses it powerfully, when we offer ourselves to Him!
We have a guest speaker with us today who is the minister for the Rogersville Church of Christ. This congregation has supported our program for many, many years now. We are happy to have brother Nathan Adams with us this morning to lead us in our study of the day.
Our topic today will again focus on our new series concerning worship! Our specific study of the day is, "Who Should Be Worshipped?" So stay with us this morning and in a few minutes brother Adams will return to lead us in this study from God's Word. Now it's time to join in our second hymn of the day, the name of the song, "All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Nathan Adams
Good morning. I would like to commend you for your interest in the study of God's word this morning with us. Your interest will be a blessing to yourself and I'm certain to others as you share it with interest in God's word. I hope that you will join me and open up your Bible to God's will for our lives.
I have been asked to discuss one aspect of worship. Worship is at the very core of what we are and who we are as Christians. Worship is at the core of most all religions and it is a very important thing to discuss. But before we discuss the where and the how and the when of worship, we must always determine who. Who are we to worship? The word "worship" as we find it in the Bible is the Greek word, "proskanao" and it literally means to throw kisses toward or to kiss the feet of, to reverence oneself. You know if we are throwing a kiss towards something, what are we throwing that kiss toward? For kissing one's feet, or one's hand. Whose hand or foot is it? For reverencing ourselves before something. What is it or who is it? That must be answered to make the very definition of worship apply. We must first know who are what the object of worship is before worship can ever be possible for us in our lives, and if the object is truly worthy of worship, then there will be answers to the where, the when and the how of worship.
We hear discussions on those things many times, and we hear arguments over those things. But this morning, I want us to look at simply "Who are we to worship?" Who do we worship? Of course, the only answer is the only one that is worthy, that is the almighty God of heaven.
We do not have to search long to find this answer in very plain words from the mouth of God Himself in Exodus chapter 20 beginning in verse 3. God says, "Thou shall have no other gods before Me. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shall not bow down thyself to them nor serve them for I, the Lord God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."
We know that this is the beginning of the Ten Commandments. But God clearly says that you will worship no other god, but Me. I am the God to be worshipped. I am worthy of your worship and you shall worship nothing on earth, or above earth, or under the earth other than Me. The Bible in its entirety is telling us to worship God. The Bible in its entirety is telling us that God is truly worthy of our worship and it also is telling us the consequences if we fail to do the proper worship to God.
There are many reasons why God is worthy, but I want us to look at one particular text and see from this one particular text what the Bible has to say about the worthiness of God. It is Paul writing to the church at Colossae. Colossians chapter 1, verses 12 through 18, he says, "Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meek to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, who hath delivered us from the powers of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son in who we have redemption through His blood even the forgiveness of sins, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature for by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him and He is before all things and by Him all things consist and He is the head of the body of the church who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead that in all things He might have the pre-eminence."
Let's look at the things that Paul says here by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Make God worthy of our worship.
Number 1, he talks about that He is the provider of our salvation. He delivered us from the power of darkness into the kingdom, translated as into the kingdom of His dear son. It is by God's power that an individual is able to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed because of the love of God as John 3:16 tells us. So God is the provider of our salvation and that certainly all by itself would make Him worthy of all the worship that we could give in our lives.
But the text goes on to tell us that He is also our creator and that makes Him above us in all things, that we are His creation, that we are from Him. It says that "all things were created by Him and for Him." You know, people ask often in this world, "Why am I here?" Well the answer is there in that verse. You are there for God. You are there to worship Him. We are here to serve God. That is why we have been placed upon this earth. As Solomon faced the end of his life in Ecclesiastes chapter 12, he stated, "Now hear the conclusion of the whole matter. This is it. This is what life is all about, " Solomon was saying. "Fear God and keep His commandments." Solomon spent that entire book talking about all that he had and he was probably the richest man in the world at that time. And yet he said, "It's all vanity. It's all a waste. It's all chasing the wind. It's not accomplishing anything and I'm going to die and I'm going leave it and what good has it done me?" He said, "This is the one thing that is important and that is to fear God and keep His commandments." That's why we are here. We are His creation. We are created by Him and for Him. Genesis chapter 1 makes that very clear when it says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
He is also eternal and that makes Him worthy, as well. "He is before all things," Colossians tells us. In John chapter 8 and verse 58, Jesus Christ told the Pharisees that day, He said, "Before Abraham was, I am." One of the most powerful statements in the Bible of the eternalness of God, of His eternity, the fact that He exists in eternity and that He never dies, has no beginning, has no end. There is no past, present or future God, just always is. "Before Abraham was, I am."
Then, He is also the sustainer of all things. Everything that is around us, even ourselves, are sustained by God. The universe and all of it's wonders are sustained by God. I heard a preacher say one time that, "If God removed His presence from the universe for a billionth of a second, that it would all fly into nothing because it is by God's power that all of those forces of nature work together. It is by God's power that everything exists."
Then, it concludes there in Colossians chapter 1 with the fact that "He is pre-eminent." He is above all things. He is superior to all things. There is nothing that can even come close to the power of the almighty God.
Thus, He is worthy because He is creator. Thus, He is worthy because He sustains His creation and He is pre-eminent over it as any creator is pre-eminent over the creation that he makes. Then, He is worthy because He is the provider of our salvation, our hope, our faith, that which we live our very lives for.
While God is obviously worthy, man has often failed. Man has often failed to worship Him and has turned to worship other things. Man has worshipped the sun, the moon, the stars, angels, other men, animals, and the list could go on and on about what men have worshipped other than God. They have failed, and they have been lost because of it.
We look in the Old Testament and we see the consequences of serving or worshipping another being or another thing when Israel constantly worshipped Bael and other items. They constantly were punished and constantly found themselves in terrible situations because of their worship of these pagan idols.
Romans sums all of this up in chapter 1 as Paul tells the church at Rome, "Because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God. Neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened, professing themselves to be wise. They became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the image made like to corruptible man and birds and to four-footed beasts and creeping things. Wherefore, God gave them up to uncleanness to the lust of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves, who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed forever and ever. Amen. For this cause, God gave them up to vile affections."
Let's look at what Paul said here. Let's think about what he says as we see him describe men not worshipping the creator, but instead they are worshipping the creation, themselves even, four-footed animals, images of stone. First, it says that they did not glorify Him. They did not glorify Him as the almighty God. They did not give Him the glory that is due to the creator, that is due to the person that has given us the very existence that we know today. They were not thankful for all the many blessings that they had received from Him.
See, as we begin to go down the path of idolatry, and idolatry is not just bowing down before a little statue or an image. It can be the idolatry of self, that my own needs and my own desires come before anything else in this world including God. But as we go down that path, we begin to be a very selfish person. We begin to be a person who fails to give thanks not only to God, but also to others, and for all the things that others have done for us, as well. We will also turn on God because to worship self or worship something else means that we have to get God out of the picture. God cannot be there because He would crown out through His very presence, our desire to worship self.
In a word, they were selfish. Paul says that they became vain in their imaginations and because of that, their hearts were darkened with sin. They proclaimed themselves to be wise and they became fools because their wisdom lay only in their own eyes. Today, people say that there is no God and people say that God has nothing to do in this world and while they may say that they are wise and they are enlightened, they are as these in Romans chapter 1. They are fools. They have changed the truth of God into a lie. Many people today, in the name of God and in the name of Jesus Christ, have made their own religions and they have changed the truth of God into a lie to fit their particular belief or their particular desire and they have become their own idol. They are worshipping the created instead of the creator as they worship their own desires and their own wants and themselves. These things will immediately lead to all types of immorality and uncleanness which the remainder of chapter 1 mentions. It tells us at the end of that that God gave them up to do those vile things that come as a result of not worshipping the God of heaven.
I heard an old preacher one time say, "Do not go to worship to find God. You find God, and you will worship." That is so true. You can not worship what you do not know. Do not go to worship to find God. You find God in His word, the Bible, and you will worship when you truly find God and you truly seek Him and His word, you will come to a point that you will worship and you will want to worship and you will worship in the manner in which He has asked you to and you will know that He is worthy. You can not worship what you do not know. Many say they go to worship but their actions and statements show that they are going to worship the created instead of God, namely themselves and their own imaginations. People say that "I get nothing out of worship." That's often because they're too preoccupied with themselves instead of being preoccupied with God. How can you concentrate on a God who gave His only begotten son and feel nothing? How can you partake of the Lord's Supper and remember the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross and walk away and say, "I got nothing out of that?" How can you sing praises to God and fail to be uplifted? How can you give back to God in remembrance of all the blessings that He has given to you and walk away bored? How can you study from God's will and see the wonder of God and say, "I was bored?" I hope that that's not you and I hope that you've never said such things. Many of those that say these things do not want God, but entertainment. They want to be worshipping the created. They want to have an atmosphere created for them. They're not worshipping God. It's about their desires instead of the desires of the object of worship, which is God. These individuals need to be centered on giving to God instead of being preoccupied on what they want or what they may receive. It is not about that. It is always about God. Worship is not about my desires, but is about God's desires, because He is the object of the worship, because He is worthy of the worship. I am not worthy of the worship. I will never be worthy of worship, but God is, because He is creator, because He is sustainer, because He is provider of salvation. Worship is the greatest privilege given to man. May we give it with all of our hearts and our minds to the God that is worthy. Thank you.
(SONG # 3 - "Angels Are Singing!")
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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May we all grow and realize more every day, that we must worship the one, true, and Living God. Our only God and Savior, who is in Heaven.