THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 5-6-12
LESSON TITLE: “THE FATHER IS SEEKING SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM: TRUE WORSHIPPERS ARE TRUE CHRISTIANS”
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them,” Good morning and 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 our songs of praise by singing a song which gives great encouragement to the faithful Child of God. So, at this time, won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing together, “Amazing Grace!”
(SONG # 1)
One of the hardest things which we must all learn as Christians is how we need to treat others. This is so important because the way we treat others is to be the same way Christ would treat them. In fact, isn’t that why we are called Christians - we are to be Christ-like!
The Bible says we are to be imitators of God, as His dear Children, Ephesians 5:1. Furthermore, as we quoted earlier, Christ told us in the Golden rule to treat others as we want to be treated, Matthew 7:12.
Learning how to treat others is especially hard when it comes to those who we really don’t like or who don’t like us, or possibly even those who have done things against us. The wise man Solomon even understood this as he said, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,” Proverbs 25:21. This is also the same idea which Jesus presented in Matthew 5:44, when He said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” You might say but why, well verse 45 goes on to say, “in order to be sons of God,” we must do this.
I think the best verses on our discussion are found in Matthew 25. Here again our Lord is talking when He told His followers to do good unto all men - no matter who they are. He even mentions those in prison in His discussion. However, He really drives the point home when He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” When we do good to anyone or treat them properly we must consider that we have done the same to Jesus. However, if we do bad or don’t help those which we need to, we must also consider that we have not done it to Christ. So I ask, are you treating others as Christ would in your daily lives? If not choose today to begin treating others as God commands!
Our guest speaker this morning will be brother Brent Green. Brother Brent is a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We are glad to have him with us today to lead our main thoughts from God’s Word.
As far as our study this morning, we will be considering our final lesson in our series, “The Father Is Seeking Such To Worship Him.” Today’s discussion is entitled, “True Worshippers Are True Christians.” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together we will return with this study from God’s Word. The name of our next hymn is, “Be With Me Lord!”
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
What a privilege it is to always open the word of God and study from it and again we will do that here in just a moment as we again talk about worship and as we actually conclude this series of sermons on worship this morning. But, before we start we would like to extend also a greeting and a welcome to you to hear more lessons about worship at an upcoming lectureship at the Bible Institute of Missouri (BIM). It will actually begin May 13 and will run through the 16, a Sunday to Wednesday. So, those lessons there will also be on the subject of worship taken from John 4:24 as the theme. God is seeking such to worship Him, that is, those who would worship in spirit and truth. So, if you are looking forward to that, we hope that you would, and you would come join us for those lessons. So, the regular Sunday times for worship and also the Monday through Wednesday starting at seven o’clock every evening. If you would like more information you can contact the program concerning the information that will be given at the end of this program there at the screen.
As we continue our series on worship I want you to consider with me what we find the words of Jesus there in John 4. We have talked a lot in this series of worship answering questions and answering those from the Biblical prospective, straight from the word of God. Questions like; What is worship? What is true worship? What is the standard of worship? Is everything worship in this life? When do we worship? There are a lot of questions you have been seeking to answer even the purpose of worship, who must worship, and indeed who is to even lead in worship? You have answered all of those from the Bible. Well, we again want to turn to the word of God this morning to answer another question concerning worship. The question is this, “Who are true worshipers?” True worshipers are true Christians. How do we understand that from the scripture? It is easy to give a statement and answer that question with words but as always we want to go to the word and see what that says. Let’s look to the Bible again this time, as we have to study, in John 4. Basically, that is the question that is being asked of Jesus by the woman at the well. Now, she doesn’t ask that question specifically but it is implied there. I want you to see what Jesus says and his response and her words also there in John 4:19, it says, “The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’” Well she is asking about the place of worship. If you remember from history you remember the Samaritans there who lived in that center part of the land of Canaan. Well, they were concerned about worship but what they were concerned with was the place of worship. Now, they only held to the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, and so they felt like the place of true worship was there on Mount Gerizim. So, that is where they worshiped God but according to the Old Law that wasn’t the proper place of worship. The Jews understood because they also not only followed the Pentateuch but they followed the rest of the law given there in the Old Testament. They understood from books like 1Kings and also 2Chronicles 3, that the place of worship under the law of Moses was then established to be there on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem where that final Temple was built. Well, they worshiped Jesus or worshiped God rather properly there in the Old Testament.
But, we want to think about our worship today as we worship God in spirit and truth. Where is that true place of worship? Well, as she is asking about the place of worship there is an implied question, who are these true worshipers, because if you worship in the right place you thus would be a true worshiper? So, to understand, not only from how she is asking Jesus and His response, what is that true place of worship today and who are those true worshipers? Well, let’s continue on with Jesus’ response to here there in John 4:21, “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not; know; we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’” Jesus’ response indicates that there is going to be a change. No longer would it be on Mount Gerizim where the Samaritans felt like it was a place of true worship. No longer would they be the true worshipers who would worship there on that mountain. Also, there would be another change, no longer would it be the Old Law where the Jews worshiped there on Mount Moriah, in Jerusalem, in the temple. There was going to be a change and Jesus spoke of that change. He taught this woman at the well in Samaria about what was going to happen he says, “‘the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship…’” (John 4:23). Not on Mount Gerizim and not on the Mountain there in Jerusalem. Where would that place of worship be? Who would those true worshipers be? To what is Jesus referring?
Well, let’s now look at the book of Acts, Acts 2. We find the account there, of those who were worshiping, here at the end of this chapter Acts 2. Acts 2:41 it says, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Here we find those who were breaking bread, in fellowship, and in praising God. They were worshiping. Well, who were these people? Who were these people who were now worshiping that true worship as God demanded there, that Jesus spoke of there back in John 4 while He was still alive? “‘You see the hour is coming and now is”, Jesus was speaking about what we read about here in Acts 2. True worshipers as true Christians offering worship to God. Later there in the book of Acts, Acts 11:26, these individuals are identified as Christians. True Christians are true worshipers, but how do we bridge the gap from what we found there in John 4 to what we just read about there in Acts 2? How do we see those who become true Christians? How do we understand that these indeed are those true worshipers because they are true Christians?
Well, that change we spoke of, that Jesus spoke of there in John 4, and we read about that also in the book of Hebrews. Chapters like Hebrews 8 and Hebrews 9 where we read that there indeed was a change of covenant from the Old Covenant, the Old Law, which designated that place of worship to be Jerusalem to the New Covenant, to the New Law. How was that law put into effect? By the very blood of Jesus Christ! When he died on the cross, when that testator died the New Testament was put into effect thus the changes that we see. The book of Hebrews, talks about that better covenant that has better promises. All of that hinges on the fact that Jesus Christ died and shed His blood as that better, that most excellent sacrifice. Well, if we think about that change we are able to bridge the gap between what Jesus said in John 4 and what took place there in Acts 2. Who were these true worshipers? They were Christians!
Well, the question then becomes, how do I become a true worshiper? What must I do to be saved? How to I become a part of the church that we read about there in Acts 2? Well, the reality is that all of those questions are one in the same. Those who the Lord added to His Church were the saved, Acts 2:47. Those who are the saved are the church. Those true worshipers that we read about there in Acts 2 they made up the church, Christians make up the Church. It is not a building of brick, mortar, wood, and metal it is made up of people. Those people who are the church, who are identified as Christians in the book of Acts, are the true worshipers. If you want to be a true worshiper then you have to be a true Christian. The question then that follows is, how do I become a Christian? What must I do to be saved? How do I become one of these who are a part of this church, the place of worship? Well, let’s answer that question also from a scripture so that you may understand what you need to do to become one of these true worshipers. One of the things that you have to understand is some basic facts. While you have sin in your life you are separated from God. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.” That sin separates you from God. It keeps you from being a true worshiper because you are no longer, or are not one of his children. Does God want you to perish? No, 2Peter 3:9, “The lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” God wants you to come to Him. He wants you to be a part of the saved a part of His church and He wants you to be a true worshiper as a true Christian. The only way you can do that is to follow the plan given by Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6, “‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” Jesus also said there in John 8:32, “‘And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’”
These are the basic facts you have to understand, to follow Jesus’ way is the only way that will lead you to the Father. The way that will lead you to become a part of the church, the body, the saved, and those who are indeed true worshipers. It begins by hearing the word of God, there in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Without hearing God’s word, without hearing what he has given to us as that plan you can never be saved. That is where it all begins there as you go back to that word that God has given to us. Well, it doesn’t stop there and many people will hear that word but not many will take action upon that. The next step is to believe what you have heard which is what we might also call conviction. It is necessary unto salvation, it is not all there is but it is necessary. Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” You must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That is what Peter said in John 6:69, and is what is also said there in John 20:30-31. When we read the very word of God, the miracles that Jesus did, and all the things that he did what does that produce in us? A belief that Jesus is indeed that Son of God! But belief isn’t all there is and after you believe you must make that change in your life, what we call repentance from the scripture. That change that takes you away from that lifestyle of sin where you turn away from that and you turn to God the Father. We see this in 2Corinthians 7, a very important passage as you hear the word as you believe it. Well, understanding what God’s word says should lead you to make that change. 2Corinthians 7:10 it says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” Many will be sorry that they have sinned but they won’t change there lives and thus they won’t end up and those who are part of the saved. But when you hear the word and when you believe it that should stir within you that Godly sorrow that leads you to repent and make that change that leads to salvation. That is what is necessary to make that change to turn to God and to turn away from that lifestyle of sin. Upon repentance one then must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. “…and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10) Jesus said there in Matthew 10:32-33, “‘If you will confess Me before men I also will confess you before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.’” You see confession is also a vital part of the plan of salvation. Understand also that after you confess there is still another step. So, you have heard the word, you believed it, you have repented and turned away from sin, and you have confessed the name of Christ but your sins have not yet been washed away. What then do you need to do? Well, let’s consider what is said there in the book of 1Peter 3, if we think about what Peter wrote concerning what it is that saves us and what washes away our sins. 1Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” Christ died. What is it that saves us there in verse 21 it says, “There is also and antitype which now saves us–baptism…” Acts 2:38, “‘Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.’” It’s only in the waters of baptism that you die to this world, that you are buried with Christ to baptism (Romans 6), that you rise out of those waters a new creature and new man to walk the newness of life. That is God’s plan to hear, believe, repent, confess, and to be baptized and if you will live faithfully unto the end you will have that crown of life, Revelation 2:10.
If you want to be a true worshiper you have to be a true Christian. We have given the plan from God’s word. May we always worship God in spirit and truth as his true worshipers in his sight.
(SONG # 3 - “Anywhere Is Home!”)
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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How wonderful it is to be a part of God’s Kingdom and to know that when we obey His Will, we are truly children of God. As Children of God how blessed we are to know that our God hears, receives and accepts are worship to Him. Are you a true child of God today?