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Summary: This is the 17th sermon in the series "Church On The Rocks". This sermon looks at the focus of worship.

Sunday Morning March 16, 2003 Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: ¡§Church On The Rocks¡¨ [#17]

FOCUS OF WORSHIP

1 Corinthians 14:1-15:11

Introduction:

1. Have you ever played baseball, softball, tennis, racquetball, ping pong, golf, or any other sport that requires hitting an object? Let¡¦s take golf as our example. If you just start swing the golf club as hard as you can will you the ball? You will sometimes, but most likely even when you hit the ball it will not go where you want it to go. If you want to hit a good golf shot you must focus on the ball as you swing the club.

2. When we come to worship God we often times are like that person that is swinging the golf club as hard as they can, but are not focused on what matters. The result of this type of worship is simply sometimes we can feel the Holy Spirit moving, but most of the time we don¡¦t.

3. This happens because we have lost our focus on why we are here. Often times we allow good things to distract us from the main focus of worship. Look with me this morning at two areas that can break the focus of worship and two areas that we should focus on during our Worship Services.

Focus Breakers

Focus Breaker #1: Tongues

1. The subject of speaking in tongues makes us very uncomfortable as good Southern Baptist. There are several different views concerning the speaking of tongues and all of these views exist within the Southern Baptist Convention and probably this congregation.

„« Cessation: This view believes that the gift of speaking in tongues was a gift that died out once the Apostles died. The main problem with this view can be found in 1 Corinthians 14:39. This verse simply says not to ban this gift from the Worship Service.

„« Alteration: This view believes that this gift exists still today but is manifested in a different way. This view believes that if there were 20 people in this service that all spoke a different language and I spoke in my native tongue (English) that they would all hear the message in their own language. Now we can find in Scripture that this exact situation has occurred. The Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon all of the believers, is a good example. The problem with saying that this is the only manifestation of the gift of speaking of tongues is the fact that an interpreter is required. If the entire message was translated as it was spoken, there would be no need for an interpreter; yet the Bible says there must be an interpreter.

„« Literal: This view teaches that there is a gift of speaking in unknown tongues and that there must be a translator and no more than 3 people doing this in a Worship Service. Baptist or not, this is what the Bible teaches and I believe it.

2. Although this is a gift from the Holy Spirit, it is better to use this gift during your private prayer time and not corporate worship. Why? This can become a focus breaker of what we are trying to do. If there is an unbeliever or a new believer in the service, this could scare them away.

3. Paul says it is better to speak 5 words that everyone will understand than 10,000 words that no one can understand. We are to use our gifts to build up the Body of Christ and lead the lost to Jesus Christ. Therefore, if this gift used in a Worship Service creates confusion or fear, than it is not to be used during the Worship Service.

Focus Breaker #2: Disorder

1. The misuse of the gift of tongues is not the only focus breaker of worship. Paul makes it very clear that believers are not to do anything that would be an attempt to be in the ¡§lime light¡¨. We are not to just ¡§jump in¡¨ and start talking while the preacher is preaching or singing your own song while everyone else is singing together, etc¡K

2. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 also tells us that women are to not take a role of leadership within the Worship Service. Now before you women form a ¡§hanging party¡¨, listen. We need to understand what was going on during this time and also understand what it means to us today. Women during this time were not free. They were considered to be less than men. But, in the Church they were told that they were equal in God¡¦s eyes; because Jesus Christ died for all people, not just men. These women had never experienced freedom and now while they were sitting in a Worship Service they were free so they took advantage of the situation. They began to try to take over the service and to lead out in what was happening. Therefore, Paul told them to be quiet in the Worship Service and if they had a question to ask their husband, (who is to be the Spiritual Leader of the household), when they got home. The important question we must ask ourselves today is, ¡§Does this still apply and if so, how does it apply?¡¨ The Bible teaches over and over again that the husband is to be the spiritual leader of his household. Popular or not, this is how God set it up. As far as participation in the Worship Service goes, Scripture teaches that neither men nor women should be disruptive. We are not to do anything in this service that would hinder someone growing stronger in Christ or accepting Him as Savior. As far as women being in leadership, I believe Scripture teaches that women should not teach adult men, should not be pastors, and should not be deacons. Does this mean that women are not needed in the Church? Absolutely not! Our churches would be in serious trouble if we did not have women serving God within our churches. Now you will find in Scripture one time where there was a female deacon. Does this mean that God changed His mind? No! What this means is if the men of the Church refuse to ¡§step up to the plate¡¨ that God will use women in those areas.

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