Summary: Four insights on receiving more from the Word in worship.
WHY DID THEY PUBLICLY READ THE SCRIPTURE? Because most of the church could not read.
- Why does Paul command for the Word to be read in worship? During that era (and the majority of the eras since), most of the church was illiterate, as was most of the population in general. We fail to consider how unusual historically our time is, when illiteracy is the exception rather than the rule (at least here in America).
- They read it in worship because the Scripture needs to be central to what we do as a church. It is not the core of our faith (the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is), but it is our resource for daily living.
- Too many churches use the Bible only as peripheral thing – sometimes even including during the sermon.
- It’s important that our people be steeped in the truth of the Scripture.
DOES THAT MEAN THEY COULDN'T LEARN SCRIPTURE? They could learn because the Bible is not meant to be complicated.
- The fact that they couldn’t read they couldn’t read doesn’t mean that they couldn’t learn the Scripture. The Bible is not meant to be complicated. It’s the basic truths that we need the most, then going to the Scripture for clarification on how to live those basic truths out.
- After all, Jesus boiled it all down to two commands.
- Which is the greater tragedy:
a. The Christian who wants the Word but can’t read
b. The Christian who can read but doesn’t want the Word.
- The second is the greater tragedy. The first can receive all that is read to him.
- It’s more important to be spiritually hungry than to be literate.
- So much of growing in Christ is our attentiveness. That’s true whether we’re readers or hearers.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR ME AS A LITERATE AMERICAN?
1. APPRECIATE THE PRIVILEGE OF OWNING A BIBLE YOU CAN READ.
- Drama: Have a rocking chair and a blanket thrown over it; tell the story from Antiques Roadshow of the Navajo blanket that had been on the guy’s rocking chair that was actually worth a half-million.
- Point: Sometimes we have things lying around and don’t appreciate their value.
- Down through the centuries, so many believers would have loved to have owned a Bible but didn’t.
- Maybe have a stack of all the Bibles I have?
2. CONSIDER THE RESPONSIBILITY OF OWNING A BIBLE YOU CAN READ.
- The corollary truth to the privilege is the responsibility.
- What do I mean by responsibility? I mean spiritual responsibility. We will stand before God someday as people who had greater and easier access to Bibles than the vast majority of believers throughout history. There is a responsibility that comes with the opportunity.
- We have a greater opportunity to know Jesus’ words. We have greater resources to study God’s Word. We have greater chances to hear the Bible proclaimed in worship.
HEARING THE WORD MORE CLEARLY IN WORSHIP:
1. Am I expectant to hear God’s voice as I come into worship?
2. Am I willing to accept words of rebuke and challenge from the Word?
3. Am I eager to change my behavior?
4. Name the last time a Sunday sermon changed a Monday action.