Summary: As the Body of Christ we are to worship God because He, and He alone, is worthy of praise.
Our Purpose: Worship
Text: Jn. 4:24; Eph. 5:19-20; Heb. 10:25
1. Read Jn. 4:19-24
2. "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."
3. Last Sunday we began to look at the purpose of the church. We said the purpose of the church is:
4. Today we are going to look at worship as a part of our purpose.
Proposition: As the Body of Christ we are to worship God because He, and He alone, is worthy of praise.
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 Therefore the LORD said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me.
6. 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."
5. Our worship of the Father must be sincere and not for show.
6. 1 Sam. 16:7 For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
II. We Must Worship in Thanksgiving (Eph. 5:19-20)
A. Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
1. Here Paul tells the Ephesians "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."
2. When I read this text, the thing that sticks out the most to me is the variety.
a. Our worship on earth is to reflect how we will worship in heaven.
b. While it is true that it is only a shadow, but a shadow at least resembles the real thing.
c. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that heaven is going to be boring.
d. Well if heaven is not going to be boring, and our worship is to reflect what worship will be like in heaven, then our worship shouldn’t be boring either.
3. Notice the wonderful variety that Paul describes.