Summary: PENTECOST 5 - The believers' true worship of the Lord God Almighty is more than mere obligation. True worship of our Lord God Almighty is witnessed in our shining and thankful lives.


July 17, 2011 -

Pentecost 5 -

ISAIAH 58:5-11

INTRO: Christian worship has taken on various forms since the creation of the world. Early believers built altars and worshipped at any place where God blessed them. Jacob worships God after his dream. Noah sacrifices after the flood. In the New Testament believers gathered daily in the temple. They also went to each other’s homes for fellowship. The Samaritan woman at the well wondered about worship. Jesus taught her. "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the

Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" (JOHN 14:23, 24). The worship of our loving Lord is not limited to a place or space or time-frame. Our verses show us worship is a way of life.

OUR LORD DEFINES TRUE WORSHIP. I. It is more than an obligation. II. It is our shining, thankful lives.


A. Verse 5. To fast is to go without food or water as a sign of sorrow and/or repentance.

1. Fasting became a sense of duty to fulfill worship requirements. Believers fasted as a show.

2. The people wanted to fast for a day and be done. Day of fasting referred to a day of worship.

B. Verse 6. There was injustice and oppression in the land. Believers were overlooking these people.

1. Verse 7. The believers were so concerned about their fasting they forget about the needy.

2. They were not to give up things for themselves. They were to give up themselves for others.

C. Verse 9b, 10a. Believers were not only to look to their love for others but also their actions + words.

D. Our lives are filled with obligations that we take seriously. We carry out our obligations with a Christian sense of duty to keep our commitments. This is a good thing, a very good thing. Sometimes the feeling of our sense of duty can become a snare. We may attend worship out of sense of duty to God. We come to worship and think: “Well, that is done for another week.” Or our daily Bible reading can very easily be done in a very wooden way. We want to get it out of the way so that we can get on with other “more important things”. Such is our sinful nature. "He replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: `These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"(MARK 7:6, 7). How hard it can be to pay close attention the entire worship service. The Bible is God’s teaching, not men’s.

E. Isaiah made quite a list of things that the believer is privileged to accomplish. Understand that all of these works of “fasting” are only done by and through faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Also understand that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. It is God alone who calls us to faith. It is the Holy Spirit alone who gives us the gift of faith in our hearts for our lives. It is Jesus alone who buys us back from the power of sin, death, and the devil. "God… has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time" (2 TIMOTHY 1:9). God has known us from before creation!

F. Our eternal salvation is always God’s gift to us not the other way around. Time and time again Scripture makes it crystal clear that we are saved by grace alone. All too many today emphasize what one must do to be saved. This is a false teaching. We cannot save ourselves. God freely, lovingly saves us by his mercy, love, grace. "(We are saved by grace) not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (EPHESIANS 2:9, 10). Today, tomorrow, and in our entire life God has prepared good things for us to do. What are they? Who will we help? How can we help? I do not know. But know this God will place someone or something in our paths to do as fruits of faith. May our eyes, ears, and lips always be open.

OUR LORD DEFINES TRUE WORSHIP. We worship as a fruit of faith not an obligation.

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