Summary: In our churches today we no longer build altars for sacrifice but our altars still are used for some of the same purposes found in the Bible.

The Broken Altar I KINGS 18:21-46

Note Here in Vs 30, “And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.”

Elijah found the altar was broken and in need of repair.


The altar was a sacred place.

Throughout the Old Testament we often read where a person would build an altar and offers a sacrifice, that is, a burnt offering to God.

What does this mean? What was the person doing?

In the simplest of terms, he was either approaching and worshiping God or else seeking something from God.

This became the place where man could approach

to worship God

to thank and praise God

to ask forgiveness for sins

to recommit or rededicate his life

to petition God, that is, ask God for something

In our churches today we no longer build altars for sacrifice but our altars still are used for some of the same purposes found in the Bible.

A. The Altar Is A Place Of Worship

The soul of a mankind has a built in desire for the worship of God.

Without worship the soul of man will never be satisfied.

Psalm 42:1-3 (KJV) As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

Genesis 8:20 (KJV) 20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

When you look at the scripture we read notice that...

Noah's first concern was not to build a house.

Noah's first concern was not to celebrate with a party.

Noah's first concern was not to map out plans for survival in a

devastated and barren world.

But Noah's first act was to set up a place for worship.

He establish a place for worship: he built an altar!

By the way, this is the very first time the word altar is ever mentioned in the Bible. But this was not the first time that an offering was made.

Offerings began with Adam and Eve, also Cain and Able. From the very beginning of human history offerings were made to God.

Abram also made a decision for God, he made a commitment to continue following after God and His promises. Here in Genesis 12:7, he built an altar to the Lord who had appeared to him.

When you study the life of Abraham, the altar had at least seven purposes:

To offer sacrifices to God, asking forgiveness for unbelief and sins.

To make a rededication to God, renewing his commitment to God.

To seek God's continued presence and guidance.

To worship the Lord: to worship the very Person who had met his need.

To acknowledge the Lord, that the Lord alone could fulfill so great a promise, that he was totally dependent upon the Lord.

To praise the Lord, to praise Him for giving so wonderful a promise.

To testify to the Lord, to bear witness to the Lord's glorious goodness in meeting his need and in giving so great a promise.

Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible - Commentary - The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible

Everywhere Abram moved to or went, he built an altar to the Lord (Genesis 12:8-9).

The idea is that Abram was now committed to God, to seeking after God and His promises.

B. The Altar Was A Place Of Thanksgiving.

My dad, a long time ago taught me that if somebody gives you something, you just don’t receive it, walk away, and act like they owed you something.

The proper response you are supposed to say is, “Thank you!”

There are believers that wake up every morning, and don’t say a word.

God puts clothes on your back, and we don’t say a word.

God puts food on your table, and we don’t say a word.

God puts a roof over our head, and we don’t say a word.

And on and on it goes.

But I have made up my mind that every time I get a chance, every time I get an opportunity, to say thank you to God, I am going to open up my mouth, I am going to raise my hands, and I am going to tell God, “thank you!”

Thanks to Calvary. All I am, have or ever will have or be I owe to Him.

Thanks to Calvary: I'm Not The Man I Used To Be.

I’m thankful for my salvation, our church, and the blessings that God showers upon me each and every day.

With Jesus we have so much for which to be thankful for!

His Love, His Mercy & Grace, His Death & Resurrection

Example: Noah in Genesis 8:20

Abraham in Genesis 12:7

C. The Altar Was A Place Of Confession.

It starts with taking a spiritual inventory of our lives at the altar!

In Isaiah 6:5 (KJV), Isaiah saw himself and he said, 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Most Christians never see themselves as Isaiah did!

Our flesh responds,

“I am not that bad!”

“After all, I am still a sinner!”

“I am not the only one!”

The flesh refuses to admit wrong.

I believe the more time we spend at the altar, the more we will see ourselves as Isaiah did : unclean, undone, and in need of forgiveness.

1 John 1:8-10 (KJV) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

(vs. 9 “If we confess our sins…”) Here we find Humility.


If we confess our sins. . . not if we hide our sins.

If we confess our sins. . . not if we pretend we have none.

If we confess our sins. . . not if we insist that no one can tell us what to do.

If we confess our sins. . . not if we are blind to them.

If we confess our sins. . . that is when we find forgiveness, and not until.

Observe: In order to understand the purpose of confession we must first understand what John means by the term confession, if we look at our text we will see many clues to help us understand what John is teaching…

• The word, “If,” Suggests that it is up to you. What is your decision, will you confess or not? You see confession is an act of free will and is not forced upon us by God or man. God does not force you to confess.

• The two words, “We and Our,” Means that Confession is for everyone; for all have sinned and are responsible for their own sin.

•Then the word, “Sins,” This is the root of confession which is about our transgression against God.

• So “Confess,” Admit your wrong doing; take personal responsibility for your sin.

So we have seen the definition of “confession” but what is its purpose?

What John is trying to show us, is that we are sinners.

Think of it like this!

• Confession will humble us: It shows us who we are and who God is.

• Confession will allow God to change us.

• Confession will allow God’s grace to be activated in our lives: We are never closer to God than when we are on our knees confessing our weakness and His strength.

• Confession will allow us to be set free. Free from the power that was over us.

D. The Altar Was A Place of Sacrifice.

Example: Abraham and Issac in Genesis 22

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The believer is to present his body as a living sacrifice to God.

The believer is to present his body to God as a living sacrifice. Note the believer's offering of his body is to be sacrificial. This is the picture of Old Testament believers taking animals and offering them to God as sacrifices.

The believer is to make the same kind of sacrificial offering to God, but note the profound difference. The believer's offering is not to be the sacrifice of an animal's flesh and blood.

The offering and sacrifice of the believer is to be his body: he is to offer his body as a living sacrifice.

A living sacrifice means at least four things.

• A living sacrifice means a constant, continuous sacrifice, not just an occasional dedication of one's body. A person does not sacrifice his body to God today, and then take his body back into his own hands and do his own thing tomorrow. A living sacrifice means that a person dedicates his body to live for God and to keep on living for God.

• A living sacrifice means a sacrifice of a person's body wherever the body is. A particular place is not needed. The sacrifice of the body is a living sacrifice; it can be made while the body is living right where it is. And the offering of a living sacrifice is to be made right now while the body is living.

• A living sacrifice means that the body sacrifices its own desires and lives for God. The body lives a holy, righteous, pure, clean, and moral life for God. The body does not pollute, dirty, nor contaminate itself with the sins and corruptions of the world: neither the lust of the flesh, nor the lust of the eyes, nor the pride of life. The believer's body is sacrificed for God and dedicated to live as He commands.

• A living sacrifice means that the body lives for God by serving God. It means that the body sacrifices and gives up its own ambitions and desires, and it serves God while upon this earth. The body gives itself to the work of proclaiming the love of God and of ministering to a world reeling in desperate needs. The body sacrifices itself to serve God and Him alone. The body is dedicated to God as a living sacrifice.

Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible - Commentary - The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – Romans.

E. The Altar Was A Place of Death.

During the days of the old testament millions upon millions of lambs were put to death and used for a sacrifice.

Then one day the final sacrifice was made and through the death of Christ our sins were paid once and for all.

Galatians 2:20 (KJV) 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

1 Peter 3:18 (KJV) 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

F. The Altar Was A Place of Consecration.

Christians in today’s day and age have a great many admirable characteristics! They attend worship services, they attend Bible Study, they sing in the choir, they hold offices in the local church; however, many lack consecration!

The word CONSENCRATE conveys several meanings.

It sometimes conveys a meaning of separation from the tings considered unclean in the Old Testament.

It also conveys the reality of a believer being set apart or dedicated to purity and holiness.

Sanctification is another word for it.

G. The Altar Was A Place Of Communion.

It is there where men would call on the name of the Lord.

Are we in communion and fellowship with Him.

H. The altar was a place of Power.

Thing can happen at the altar.

We need to see some Fire from Heaven today!

1 Corinthians 2:5 (KJV) 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV) 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Here in this Passage of 2 Kings 18:30-41, is one of the greatest out pouring of the power of God that you will ever find in the word of God!

God does not just give his power out to just anyone.

The purpose of his power is for the saving of souls and the glorification of His Son!

Elijah called upon the Lord!


Invitation Hymn: Is Your All Upon The Altar?