THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 5-6-01
LESSON TITLE: WHO MUST WORSHIP?
Thank you for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. We are excited to have you with us for this time of offering and encouragement, as we participate in the things of God. We are glad that you have joined us for this worship to our Savior.
Our commitment this morning is to give glory to the Creator through the singing of songs of praise and through the study of His Word. I hope and pray that each of us will do our part to make this service acceptable in His sight. Now will you bow with me in prayer.
This morning we want to begin with a song which was written by a very special man, who was well known throughout this area. This man also holds a special place in the hearts of many because he is responsible in a large way for the conception of this program. This fine brother's name was Ray Hendrix, and although he has gone on to be with God we have wonderful thoughts and memories which help us remember the many accomplishments he left behind. So, at this time, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together this beautiful song - called, "Savior From Old Galilee."
(SONG # 1)
In Psalms 51:10, we find some of the most beautiful and thought provoking words every written by David. There he said, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me."
What a wonderful spirit we see in this child of God as he prostrated himself before the almighty to confess his need for help. In this passage we find that David clearly implied the problem of sin in his life, because of his request for a clean heart.
How many of us struggle with the sin and temptations of this life? How often do we find ourselves slipping of falling into things which are not approved of by God? You see, David was there also, he suffered as we do, and he also fell short at times as we do!
This request for a clean heart also would imply that David wanted to be more like his Creator. Remember the cries by God throughout the Old Testament as He pleaded with His people to, "Be Holy, for I am Holy," Leviticus 11:45. It is from this knowledge that you and I must also plead with God to give us a clean heart. Furthermore, keeping in mind that today because of Christ we have the ability for complete forgiveness of these sins - if we will but ask and follow His will.
Finally, notice the second part of David's request, when he said, "And renew a steadfast spirit within me." Here we find another plea from this great servant of God, that the Lord gave Him a renewed strength and the ability to do as the Savior had asked Him to. Oh, what a wonderful church we would have today if we all would rely on God and make similar requests for His Help.
Our Lord can help us to have a clean heart. Our God can help us to have a renewed Spirit, and our Savior can help us to have the strength to do His will. The question is, "are we willing to do our part?" Are you committed to following God and to a complete obedience of His Will? Why not choose today to recommit yourself to the most important service on this earth - that is, being a faithful Child of God! Will you accept the challenge?
Today, our specific topic will be considering the question, "Who Must Worship?" This is our next lesson in our series on Worship. So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn is, "God Be With You!"
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Thank you for continuing with us this morning. So far, we've been having a good discussion on worship and we do appreciate you tuning in for our series that we have started. Appreciate the fine comments that we have received so far from it and I hope we are all able to continue to benefit from these studies from God's word.
As we've already seen together in our previous studies, we've considered "What is worship?" and trying to really look at what not only the word itself is defined as in both the Old and the New Testaments, as well as what it is understood to be today. But we've also had the opportunity to understand who we must worship. Again, that being God. Last week, we looked at that together and were able to really understand clearly that God is the only one that we as those who are followers or really anyone has the right to worship and to be proper before the Creator.
Now today, we want to look at who must worship. We kind of want to go into the next realm, the next question. And all this really will continue to build from where we've been considering already because we have seen so clearly the great importance of worship and that's why this topic and this series is of the utmost importance, because we know under every age that was designed by God, under every different law, we find clearly that worship was a very primary aspect. In fact, if we go back again and we're reminded of the Patriarchal times, even with the sons of Adam and Eve, that is Cain and Abel, we find even they worshipped God in a certain way. Under the law of Moses, clearly the people were commanded to worship God on a regular basis and it was specified how they should worship God. And then now even the Christian Age, we find over and over in the New Testament not only references that we need to worship and how we must worship and who we must worship, but we find references as to how the New Testament church did worship. So through example we find the great importance again that we have in those who love God as being those also who worship.
But again, we need to ask the question, "Who then must worship today?" Well, the simplest answer that we might come up with is someone who wants to be obedient to Him. Anyone who wants to do what God says is going to worship Him. And again, that's from our studies that we've had thus far. If we want God's pleasure in us, if we want Him to be satisfied in the life that we live and in the things that we offer to Him as followers, then a great part of that again is this worship to Him. If we truly love Him, if we want to follow Him, if we want to do His commands, again worship is a part. Commandments are clearly given to us in the Old Testament as well as today in the New Testament about the need to worship God. In fact, I recall a verse there that's very familiar to our study in John chapter 4 in verses about 23 through 24 where there again it reiterates the concept of true worshippers. Again, the idea that there is a need to worship and if we do worship, that it must be true. It must be right, and that we also as those who are followers of God must be right also.
On the other hand you might ask, "But who can worship God?" I think that's another very good question. After we've understood the idea, the clear concept that yes, we must worship, that we as those who love God need to worship. Really, who should worship God? Again, who is included in this concept? Obviously again, that idea would be presented very clearly throughout the word of God. One verse we might look at is found in 2 Peter, chapter 3 and verse 9 where it tells us there that "the Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." Here we see a God, a Lord that is mentioned here, one that can be counted on, depended on in relationship to His promises and it says this Lord is one who here wants all men to repent. Who does it say? He says that all should repent. Now is anyone left out of the word all? From my understanding, there would be no one left out because everyone, everyone has a place before God under the new law as we also will find represented in other scriptures.
Probably one of the most familiar verses that we could look at would be found in John 3:16 where there of course it tells us that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life." Who here is mentioned as being one that must believe and follow God and worship God? Well, here it says "whoever." The King James says "whosoever believeth in Him." So again, the ball game is wide open. Whoever is willing to play, whoever is willing to do the will of God, that is the one again who must be a worshipper in order to be pleasing before Him. And anyone, on the other hand as we are saying, is acceptable.
I think another very clear example of this can be found over in the book of Galatians if you'll turn there with me in your Bibles because in Galatians chapter 3, we find here again the references being made to those who are children of Christ, children of God, but then again this concept that as children of God, you and I must realize that we are a part of Him and that we are again to do what He has asked us to according to His will. Read with me if you will beginning in verse 26 through 29 there in Galatians chapter 3. "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither slave nor free. There is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus and if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." Now if you think back to what we read a moment ago in the book of Peter, he mentioned there that the Lord's promises are sure. We can count on those promises. Here again, he says that we have a promise. We are receiving today the promise through the seed of Abraham. What is that promise? It is here mentioned again so clearly in verse 28, "Jesus Christ." But what we really wanted to draw out of this passage is the idea that there is no difference in Christ or before Christ. Anyone who is a man who has a soul needs to put Christ on. In fact, the idea is presented here that it doesn't matter whether you are a slave or whether you are a free individual. It doesn't matter whether you are a man or a woman. Even here as it says it doesn't matter whether you are a Jew or a Gentile. Here again, the idea whether you are of the Old law, a follower of the Father, or whether you were a heretic or a heathen, a pagan, outside today, whoever believes in His son, belief being the concept that they respond by belief and do something to prove that belief. Then again, we find here clearly that this individual is received by God. So as we ask simply, "Who then should worship God?" Everyone who has that opportunity. Again, anyone who will do what God has said.
In fact, if you might recall, under the Old law, this was still the case. You might remember that under the Old law they were bound by the Law of Moses, but yet a stranger or a sojourner could come in among them and actually become a part of them by once again adhering to the law of God. Who then could be saved according to the Old law during that period of time? Well, we find that anyone who would adhere to the law. It was mainly for the Jews but even a stranger could adhere, become circumcised and be considered as a Jew or one who was of God. So again, God has always given the opportunity and especially today under the New Law, Christ died so that all men might have the ability to respond and do what God had told them. Again, anyone is welcomed to do so.
Another thing that might help us with this concept is something that you've probably no doubt heard before, but if you go anywhere in the world and I've had the great privilege of traveling quite a bit throughout the world and seeing many different peoples and nations and cultures, and when you do that it is very, very interesting to find out that no matter where you go there always has been a desire to follow a god. Maybe it's not the God that we serve, but there seems to be something in man, an innate desire that is placed there. I wonder why. Well, obviously it is because God made us all and God has put the desire there that we want to serve something greater. We know that it took something to make us and the world. Therefore when you go to maybe Africa and you find some even Bushmen today that still worship different types of gods, different types of gods because it is in them. What about here in America, the native American Indian? They have their gods which they worship. What about in the earlier days back in Rome or even before that, the Greeks who again had so many gods that they worshipped? Why was it that man had such a desire to worship God? Because it was placed in him by God and they had a desire to serve something that was higher, something that was greater. So again, this makes great sense with our topic today. When we say, "Who must worship God?" Anyone and everyone and anyone will want to because that is inside of them. Everyone wants to serve a god and hopefully serve something which is greater. No doubt there are some who do reject God. When they do this, we find that they put other things in the place of God, maybe worldliness or earthly things, but yet everybody tries to serve something. They try to give in and serve something that is to be over them.
Now a final concept I might present this morning is the idea that we also consider some additional reasons that really we as mankind should focus on knowing that we must worship God. In other words, what's it all for? Why should someone who is in Africa, a Bushman, why should someone who does not know God or who does not follow God, why should anyone respond to the call of God? Why should they hear Him? Why should they want to follow Him? Well, we want to look at a few reasons that again we should respond to because it has been placed in us by that God and then what should motivate us and not only ourselves but to motivate others so they might also see the need to be one of those who do respond, because again they know that they can as a human being. Well, some of those ideas are presented then now.
The first would be salvation is only found through Christ. We all want to be saved. How many here would love to live forever, who are watching the program? How many would like to find that fountain of youth where you never grow old? Well, we all want those types of things. Well, it's offered to us in Jesus Christ in eternal life in heaven with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and all those faithful who have gone on before. We have that promise and in fact in Acts chapter 4, in verses 10 through 12, we find there that "salvation is found in no other name than Jesus Christ. " What a great encouragement to know that you and I no matter who we are or where we're from, no matter what color we are, no matter what type of a background we have or culture, no matter where we live on this earth, we all are accepted by Christ and we all have the ability to know Him and to respond to the love that He has shown us by giving His own life on the cross. In fact, if you will turn with me there to the book of Acts because that is such a beautiful verse that reminds us again of who Jesus is and it also reminds us of the fact of how we must place our faith in Him. Notice there beginning with me if you will in verse 10 where it says, "Let it be known to you all and to all the people of Israel that by the name Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this man standing before you that He is the stone which the builders rejected, the chief cornerstone, and now there is salvation in no other and no other name under heaven given among men by which you must be saved." Here again, salvation is found in Jesus. Why follow Him? Why worship Him? Why respond? Because salvation is found there.
Another idea might be because the only way we can reach the Father is through the Son. Sometimes we forget that. Sometimes we say, "Well, I believe in God the Father," and we say, "Well, in the Old Testament they believed in the Father, but I'm not so sure about Jesus. I'm not so sure about that Son that is mentioned, the Son of God that we've already mentioned in John 3:16." Well, the Bible tells us we can't believe in one without the other. In fact, in the book of John chapter 14, we find here that if we reject one, we reject the other. We have to be those who are consistent according to the will of God in chapter 14 and verse 6 of John. We have to be those who know Jesus because it is through Jesus that we know the Father. Why would this be so? Well, because Jesus is the mediator. He is the one sent by God to die for us in order to give His life to shed His blood, in order that we might know more perfectly the Father. IN fact, in the book of Hebrews chapter 3, as well as chapter 4, we find there that He is our High Priest. He is that one who is only between us and God. He is the one that mediates as we find in 1 Timothy 2 and verse 5. So again, we follow Christ. We follow God because He is the Son of God. We respond to Him and we worship Him and we want to know Him because He is God and because salvation is found in Him and in no other.
Finally, let me remind you of heaven. Another great reason that we want to worship and follow our God, as anyone or any individual on this earth, from any background, again it is because God has offered us something better at the end. That is, eternal life, heaven. We've all heard of heaven. We've all heard of the idea of hell, the opposite. We've read many verses such as Matthew 19:28-30 where it talks about the wonderful place that we will live. Or in the book of Revelation that talks about the opportunity to be in place where there are mansions and streets in gold and greater things and pearly gates. We all want that. We don't want the destruction. So again a motivation to know God, to worship God, to be among those who do respond, who love Him and give our lives to Him. A motivation is again heaven.
So think about these things that we have talked about today. Consider them very carefully because salvation is found in Jesus Christ and eternal life is only through His name.
(SONG # 3 - "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah!")
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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May we do our part to make sure that all mankind has the opportunity to respond to and to worship God. Furthermore, may we help each person to realize their obligation to Worship the Creator.