Summary: Second in this series. This message is part two of the "first" benefit - we get to worship.
Blessings of Following Christ
#1 – We Get to Worship (Part 2)
October 21, 2007
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
We: Just a quick warning – you won’t be beating the Baptists to Steak and Buffet today, for two reasons: one, the message is a bit longer than normal, and two, Steak and Buffet closed up.
Last week we looked at the discussion Jesus had with the woman at the well and I said that Jesus tells us in that conversation about worship, and He says that because He has come, we gain three benefits pertaining to worship:
1. We can worship anywhere. He told the woman that worship wouldn’t be on that mountain or in this temple. And the Bible says that we are the temple of God now. All those who are believers and followers of Jesus are temples of God.
2. We can worship in knowledge instead of ignorance – because we worship what we know – the God of Scripture.
3. We can worship God the way He wants us to: in spirit and truth. Basically the idea here is that we’re not restricted to outward formalities, rites, rituals, and locations. We can worship Him with our spirits – our very lives and not just our lips. And we can worship in the truth of Scripture, opened to us by Christ and the Holy Spirit. We worship the God of the Bible – the God of truth.
While working on this message I tried to find a concise definition of worship. I went to Webster’s Dictionary, I went to Bible dictionaries and other such sources, but you know what?
The definitions of worship as a varied as the number of sources to look at. Because worship is an exercise of spiritual faith in the presence of God, it simply can’t be contained in a cut and dry definition. Ask 10 people in here what their definition of worship is, and you’ll get 10 different definitions.
That’s because we all look at worship through different lenses – lenses of experience, preference, and even conviction – whether it be a biblical conviction or not.
The different authors I’ve been reading all have different ideas of what should be involved in worship.
What I want to try and concentrate on today are some of the underlying issues that should form the foundation of worship, both in our private worship times and in our times of corporate worship.
I’m going to focus most of my comments on the area of worship that happens during this time that we call the “worship service,” or church service, because most people think of the service when they think of the word “worship,” although as we’ll see later, worship should not be confined to a Sunday morning in a church sanctuary.
And just to let you know up front, I’m not going to be discussing much about what kind of style is right and wrong for worship.
If you’re waiting for me to say “this style of worship is right and this one is wrong,” you’re going to be disappointed.
I’m going to address the issue of style later in the message, but not in the way you might expect.
God: There is no passage in Scripture that
says, “This is what you are supposed to do in a worship service. Here’s the order of service, here’s the music you should use, here’s where to put the organ and the piano, and here’s how to print the bulletin.”
But the Bible does give us guidelines regarding worship, and I’m only going to bring out a few of them.
Believe me, there is plenty to be said about this topic, and we’re certainly not going to exhaust the topic today, that’s for sure.
1. Worship should focus on and honor God.
I prefer the term “worship service” to “church service,” because the idea of getting together like this is to worship God.
We don’t get together to just waste an hour or so on Sundays, or to focus on our own glory.
We are here to focus on God and glorify Him in everything we do here.
The focus is not the building, the music, the preaching, or anything like that.
Those are fine things, but they are meant to help us take the focus off ourselves and focus on Him.
You see, the worship service is not about us at all – it’s all about Him.
Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
He is the focus – His glory, His splendor, His holiness.
All throughout the Scriptures, the focus of worship is God Almighty.