Summary: We were created to worship our creator in spirit and in truth.
New Life On Purpose: Worship
Text: Jn. 4:23-24; Eph. 5:19-20; Heb. 10:25
1. Every organization, whether it is a business, civic group, or church, has to know its purpose in order to be successful.
a. A business has to know what its product is and whom it plans to sell it to.
b. A civic group has to understand who its constituency is and what its function is.
c. A church needs to understand why it exists and what it is supposed to do.
2. Today we are going to look at worship as a part of our purpose.
3. "Most people think of the church as a drama," Dr. James Kennedy said, "with the minister as the chief actor, God as the prompter, and the laity as the critic. What is actually the case is that the congregation is the chief actor, the minister is the prompter, and God is the critic."
Proposition: We were created to worship our creator in spirit and in truth.
I. We Must Worship in Truth (Jn. 4:23-24)
A. In Spirit
1. What does Jesus mean that "the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit..."
2. To worship God in spirit means to worship God...
a. With the spiritual drive and ability of one's soul, seeking the most intimate communion and fellowship with God.
b. Worship was meant to be intimate; to usher us into the very presence of God.
c. God created us from the beginning in order to have fellowship with us.
3. Notice that Jesus does not say that we are to worship the Father in "The Spirit."
a. What Jesus is referring to here is the human spirit.
b. When we worship we are to "see ourselves in the child-father relationship with all of the aspirations and emotions that a child has toward his father" (Tourville, 93).
4. We have a tendency to think of worship as singing, but singing is not necessarily worship.
a. People sing in bars and "honky-talks" but that is not worship.
b. You can sing until you are blue in the face, but if you are not connecting with God you are not worshipping.
c. Worship is to talk us to the throne of Grace.
5. Isaiah 29:13 (NLT)
And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
6. Illustration: Arthur Pink wrote about how some people do not worship:
They bring their bodies to the house of prayer but not their souls. They worship with their mouths but not in spirit and in truth.
They are sticklers for early morning communion with God but they take no thought about keeping their hearts with all diligence.
They boast of their orthodoxy but disregard the precepts of Christ.
Multitudes of professing Christians abstain from external acts of violence, yet hesitate not to rob their neighbors of a good name by spreading evil reports against them.
They contribute regularly to the church but shrink not from misrepresenting their goods and cheating their customers persuading themselves that business is business.
They have more regard for the laws of man than those of God for his fear is not before their eyes.
7. True worship doesn't come from a song book, slide show, or sound system; it comes from inside.
B. In Truth
1. Jesus also says we must worship Him in truth.
2. Truth is what Jesus is and what He came to reveal to the world.
3. Nearly every human being worships, but many are not worshipping according to truth (Tourville, 94).
A man was carried in a dream to a church. In his vision he saw the organist vigorously playing the organ, but no sound was heard. The choir and congregation began to sing, but their voices were not heard. Then the minister began, energetically, to pray, but no tones came from his lips.
The man turned in wonder to his angel guide. "You hear nothing," said the angel, "because there is nothing to hear. These people are not engaged in worship, but only in the form of worship. Their hearts are not touched, and this silence is the silence that is yet unbroken in the presence of God. But listen now."
And, listening, the man heard a child's voice, clear and distinct in all that silence, while the minister seemed to pray, and the people seemed to join. Only the child's voice was heard, because only the child's heart was touched. "That," said the guide, "is the only true worship in all this great church today: all the others are concerned with but the appearance of worship." Our worship of the Father must be sincere and not for show.