Summary: When it comes to worship, we must come on the right terms, with the right intercessor, in the right place, with the right clothing and we must come to God with the right perspective.
God’s Purposes for the Church - Worship
Chuck Brooks, Pastor-Teacher, GraceWay Church February 7th, 2016
One becomes a member of God's true church by trusting in Christ alone. You become a member of God's true church by believing that Jesus' death on the cross was sufficient payment for your sin.
One doesn't get into God's true church by walking in, talking in or sitting in; one gets into God's true church by giving in," that is, giving in to the fact that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life though Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Bible teaches that you become a member of God's true church there are some responsibilities that need to be carried out or fulfilled along with the other members of the church. These responsibilities are what we call the "Five Purposes for the Church." These purposes are:
How do we know these are the five purposes from the church? The church is called to do many things but these are the five main purposes that have been extracted from the words of Jesus Himself who said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).
These five purposes are taken from two passages of Scripture: Matthew 22:36-40, The great Commandment: "Jesus said, `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Then from the Great Commission Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
From the Great Commandment we take “Love God With All Your Heart” …that's worship. Also “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself” …that's ministry. From the Great Commission we take the words of Jesus, “Go and Make Disciples” that’s evangelism; The word “baptize” is how the church incorporates people who’ve trusted Christ into fellowship; Jesus’ words, “Teaching them to obey all I have commanded” is discipleship.
Today we are going to look at the first in our list of five purposes for the church: worship.
1. The Bible teaches us that God requires people to worship Him on His terms alone.
As early as Genesis 4:3 we find that God refused to accept Cain’s sacrifice because it was the fruit of the ground; it was the work of his own hands and not a blood sacrifice. Cain did not worship on God’s terms; he was doing his own thing.
So serious was God about people approaching Him on His terms, He applied the strictest judgment upon those who attempted to approach Him on their own. An example of this is found in 2 Samuel 6:
(2 Sam 6:6 NKJV) And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.
(2 Sam 6:7 NKJV) Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.
The Law strictly prohibited any Israelite's contact with the ark of God—God’s holy presence hovered over the ark (cf. Ex. 25:14; Num. 4:5, 15, 20).
Earlier the Philistines experienced the judgment of God that was associated with the ark they had captured from the Israelites and were stricken with nasty tumors (1 Sam. 5:1-6:18).
After that the Philistines were glad to get rid of the ark and put it on a cart. As the went through the territory of Beth-shemesh, the men of that region looked into the ark. The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel chapter six that the Lord God struck 50,070 of the people dead just because they looked into this ark.
Like the Philistines and the men of Beth Shemesh, Uzzah's error was disobedience to the Law of God, based upon an inadequate view of the holiness of God and the commands of God when it came to the worship that involved the ark of God (cf. 1 Chr. 15:12-15).
Under the New Covenant God is just as holy. He is just as concerned about us approaching Him properly as He was in the days of old. He requires His people to worship Him on His terms.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”