THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 8-1-10
LESSON TITLE: “THE GLORIOUS CHURCH: WHAT IS GOD’S DESIGN FOR THE WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH?”
In 1 Chronicles 16:11, we read, “Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” How about each of us, are we seekers of the Lord on this His Day? We certainly hope so, and that’s why we are thankful that you have joined us this day to commit this time to the Almighty! How blessed we all are to be able to enjoy such opportunities and freedoms, that allow all to offer such times of sacrifice before His wondrous throne. I hope we all do our part this Lord’s day, in participating in this worship toward God and in doing all things in accordance to His Perfect Will!
So, at this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Now let’s begin praising our God through song. Won’t you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less?”
(SONG # 1)
We have already mentioned our need to seek God this morning, but the question we want to consider now is why should we seek Him?
If we return to the same passage of Chronicles, the next verse goes on to tell us why we should seek our God and why He is worthy of such. There we read, “Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,” 1 Chr.16:12. Notice the reasons given as to why our God is worthy to be sought? First we read of His marvelous works and wonders! Have we forgotten why we are here? How about why the world or this universe exists. It is only because of and through the complete power of God that we exist on this earth today. Furthermore, our God cares for us, provides for us and protects us, that we might be able to survive in this world which He has made. Truly our God is Great and all-powerful. The second reason given here to seek God is that He has given us His judgments by His mouth! God has shown all men of every age exactly who He is, what He requires, and what people must do to be found acceptable in His sight. Again, we seek the Lord for He has provided us His Word that we might know his precepts and obey.
Finally, notice what Ezra the author, goes on to clarify in verse 13. There he confirms that God’s followers are His chosen ones, that they are His own children. How wonderful it is to know that as a follower of God, we have been chosen by Him to be a child and thus to have Him as a Father. What greater Father could we seek in this life than one who is so wondrous, powerful and mighty, who has provided for us His will in order that we might obey Him and be saved. So again I ask, are you seeking your God this day? If not, choose this day as the first day of the rest of your life - that you might begin your service toward your creator, according to His Precious Will!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study will again focus on, “The Glorious Church.” Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, “What Is God’s Design For The Worship Of The Church?”
As far as our speaker, we are happy to have brother Brent Green with us today. Brother Brent is the minister for the Carthage Church of Christ in Carthage, Missouri. We are excited to have him with us today and we look forward to him leading us in our main study of the day at the appropriate time.
But now it’s time to join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Mansion Over The Hilltop.”
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
What a great day it is to talk about the Lord’s glorious church. Ephesians chapter 5 verses 26-27 remind us of just how glorious that is. Paul says there, “That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word that He might present her to Himself a glorious church.” So think about this great body of Christ that has been sanctified, washed and cleansed of their sins to become what? A glorious body, a glorious church which of course then has a great opportunity as a glorious church to glorify the name of God Himself and to lift praises to His name, to worship Him as we see in John 4:24 both “in spirits and in truth.” God does demand both the right action which is the truth element there and the right attitude which is the spirit element (John 4:24). “God is spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him both in spirit and in truth.”
So to be the glorious body of Christ and to think about that true worship of the glorious church with a purpose of glorifying His name. Well how do we do that? How do we know what is right to do? Can we just do anything we want? Can we do everything we want? Well what we have got to think about again is doing it God’s way according to the scripture. God has not left us without a way to do it, without giving us or hasn’t left us without the answers as to how we’re supposed to worship Him.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tell us that, “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God.” God has given us everything that we need as His glorious church to know how to glorify Him appropriately.
Also we’ve been told there in Matthew 28 verse 18 that, “All authority has been given to Jesus in Heaven and on earth.” And by His Word and by inspiration we’ve been given all those things that we need in order to know how to glorify Him here on this earth.
Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
So to do those things as His glorious church to bring glory and honor to His name, to offer true worship and to glorify the name of our God in Heaven.
I want us to think, as we begin to begin thinking about worship and how we do it or what we should do for God, about the Old Testament first. God gave a pattern for certain things in the Old Testament. Think about Noah there as God has commanded Him to build the ark there in Genesis chapter 6. He told him the length He wanted it, 300 cubits. He told him the height and the width. He even told him the type of wood, gopher wood. God gave Noah the specifics and Noah was supposed to follow those things.
Later on we see also that God gave a pattern to Moses, as Moses was to bring forth water for the children of Israel. On the second occasion, God told Moses to speak to the rock and He gave him specific instructions and gave him a pattern to follow. On that occasion, Moses didn’t actually follow that pattern.
But Moses was also given a pattern by God by which he was supposed to build the tabernacle, and told him how to build all the dimensions and the height and all the ornamentation that was supposed to go with it. God gave a pattern to build that tabernacle.
Well why would we talk about a pattern? Well just as God gave a pattern to Noah and to Moses, even the tabernacle that was supposed to be used for worship, God has given a pattern also for his worship, one of the things that we’re supposed to do for Him now. What pattern has He given to us? What steps are we supposed to follow in order now under the New Law to worship God as He commands?
Well first again we need to think about John chapter 4 and verse 24. That is a verse that we quoted earlier about how we are to “worship God both in spirit and in truth.” The first thing that we have got to acknowledge and remember is the fact that God is the one to whom our worship is directed. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s not about any person or other entity on this earth. Worship is about God! Our Creator, the One who actually made us and formed us with His hands, and made Adam and Eve all the way back in the beginning of creation. As we look around also and consider the great wonders of this world and think that God spoke lives into existence.
Who else deserves that glory? Who else deserves the praise of our worship except our Creator? He’s the object of our worship. It again does have to be done in the right spirit and in the right truth to do it God’s way with the right action and attitude, but to remember first and foremost that God deserves our worship. Our glorious body should be a body that glorifies Him in all that they do and specifically as He has given us again a pattern in the New Testament of how we can worship Him according to those actions that He has given us. God’s people! His glorious church who glorifies His name in worship by their (inaudible).
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians chapter 16. As Paul would write to the brethren here reminding them about an element reminding them about an element that we would now consider to be an element of our worship to God in Heaven. He says there in chapter 16 of 1 Corinthians verse 1. “Now concerning the collection for the saints as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also. On the first day of the week, let each one of you lay something aside storing up as he may prosper that there may be no collections when I come.” God commanded His people here to lay by in store as they prospered, and what were they supposed to do? Give part of that back to God, that His work might continue, that the church might continue to function to give to the needy, to help the poor, to help out the saints, to do those things that are required of them to do, and that takes financial assistance to do such. So God is glorified by His people when they give as they should. So giving is an aspect by which we worship God in today’s world by which we as His glorious body can offer Him that glory by giving back to Him.
Another form, another aspect of that worship is partaking of the Lord’s Supper. We can also look there in the book of Corinthians going back to chapter 11. 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verse 23, speaking of the Lord’s Supper, Paul reminding the brethren here of its significance said, “For I receive from the Lord that which I also delivered to you which the Lord Jesus, on the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread. When He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take heed this is My body which is broken for you, do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper saying, ‘This is the cup of the New Covenant in My blood, this do as often as you drink it in remembrance of Me.’” The institution of what we know to be the Lord’s Supper, the partaking of the bread which represents Christ’s body and the fruit there which represents the blood that He shed, something that is supposed to be done every first day of the week. Every week has a first day so every Lord’s Day, every Sunday doing these actions, remembering the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Another aspect of worship by which we can glorify our God.
We also present worship and glorify the name of God when we preach and teach His Word, something that can be done every day to those lost souls that need to get that message, but specifically something we’re all supposed to do every Lord’s Day. Paul said to Timothy, “Preach the Word. Be ready in season, and out of season,” 2 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 2.
But we also find in Acts chapter 20:7 that Paul had gathered there with the disciples as he was ready to depart for a trip to go back later on to go somewhere else, so it says that they were gathered there to break bread. Guess what he did. He preached to them on the first day of the week. He presented God’s Word to them. Preaching or teaching His Word is another way we bring glory ultimately to the name of God.
But we also bring glory to God by the avenue of prayer. If we would look in the book of James and we could see much about prayer. Towards the end of that book, James chapter 5, we’re reminded just how powerful prayer is and just how much of a necessity it is in our lives to continue to talk to God through the mediator Jesus Christ. James chapter 5 verse 13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering?” Let him do what? “Let him pray.” Verse 16, just a few verses later says, “Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of every righteous man avails much.” So we know that every day we can go to God in prayer, but also one of those elements of worship that we can do on the Lord’s Day to bring glory to His name as we thank Him for what He has done for us, as we thank Him for who He is and how He is our God and how He takes care of us.
Another avenue by which we can praise the name of our God. His glorious body bringing offering glory to His name, praising His name, glorifying it. Lastly, another element of how we can do that is how we can do that in song. To think about again what God has given to us, a great voice by which we can use words and what we can use that voice for. The second half of James 5:13 says, “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing songs.” To think about using our voices to praise our God. So not only think about the fact that God gave a pattern in the Old Testament, and He has also given us a pattern in the New Testament to direct our worship to Him ultimately, to partake of the Lord’s Supper, to give as we should, to proclaim His Word and even to pray, but beyond that the five acts of worship now as we think about singing. Well God has also given a pattern to sing. Many will come along and say, “God has given this. God has given that, but we can kind of change and tweak a few things.”
I want us to again go back to the Bible and to think about God’s pattern for us that we might offer appropriate and complete worship to Him. Singing is exactly what God has commanded in His New Testament. Hebrews chapter 13 towards the end of that book, we see there in that book in verse 15 a command. “Therefore by Him (that is by God), let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” Not only using words in our prayers and in our speech to thank God for who He is and what He has done for us, but to let us do what with our lips? Praise God! Well entailing there the lifting of our voices ultimately that we might sing His praises, as we might read also in Ephesians chapter 5. Ephesians chapter 5 verse 19, as the writer there encourages us, if we actually went back to verse 18, “not to be drunk with wine in which is dissipation but rather be filled with the spirit.” And why should we be such? Verse 19 says to, “Speak to one another in psalms, in hymns, in spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Well what has God told us to do there? Ephesians 5:19. To sing his praises, to sing his spiritual songs, singing in our hearts to the Lord, lifting our voices and using our voices to praise His name.
Well not only as the New Testament commanded specifically there in word, we also see the examples. We can look at Acts chapter 16 where Paul and Silas find themselves in prison and guess what they were doing there. Well at one point in time they were singing praises and lifting up their voices and glorifying His name. You might say, “Well, it doesn’t say they weren’t using instruments.” Well yeah it doesn’t say that, but it does tell us what they were doing. It doesn’t say they were banging on the walls or banging on the floor. In Acts 16:25, it simply says that, “They were singing unto the Lord.”
Well think about not only what God has commanded, but the example that we see there in Acts chapter 16. But beyond that there are more scriptures that show us the necessity of God’s pattern to simply be raising our voices in song.
1 Corinthians again, if we would go back to that book in chapter 14 and think further about what God’s Word says to us in relationship to this pattern of singing as His glorious church. He says, “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit and I will also sing with the understanding.” Well the understanding part means that it can’t just be some random noise. It can’t just be something that is devoid of meaning. There’s an understanding there. Well think about that understanding as we might also consider what is told to us there in Colossians chapter 3 what the inspired writer there encourages the brethren there to think about in relationship to their singing unto Him. Colossians chapter 3 verse 16, as the writer here says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” So that we might not only sing and lift our voices to praise God, but a part of that is the teaching of one to another.
Well how do we teach? We teach with words. Well here from these verses we can see that it is the words that we lift and praise God from our mouth that gives Him the glory, not an instrument made with the hands of man, but using the instruments that God has given to us, the strings of the heart as we raise our voices and praise His name.
We’ve got to think this morning about how great it is to be a part of this glorious church, His body and to think about doing things God’s way because that’s the way that He commanded it. He has shown us in His Word in the New Testament that He commands these things, that we might glorify and lift up the name of our great and glorious God, our Creator.
So I ask you to think about this. Are you doing things God’s way, the way that He wants it? Are you completely and entirely worshipping Him in spirit and in truth because that’s what He commands to glorify His name?
(SONG # 3 - “Fairest Lord Jesus!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. No doubt our time spent together has been uplifting and acceptable to our God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of offering before God!
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Have you considered and submitted to God’s design for worship? Why would we want to do it any other way than God’s Perfect way? Won’t you give yourself fully to God today?