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

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Sunday Morning March 16, 2003 Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: ¡§Church On The Rocks¡¨ [#17]


1 Corinthians 14:1-15:11


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.

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