Summary: What does the Bible tell us about worship? This sermons summarizes the main New Testament teachings on this controversial subject.
1. Illus. of touring three churches
• Traditional church. Only songs they sing are great old hymns of the faith. They sing the doxology after they take the offering. The choir special is an anthem written in the 60’s. The only musical instruments are the piano and organ. The congregation is very reserved and dignified.
• Pentecostal church. They sing the moving, emotional songs of the Pentecostal tradition. Although they have a choir, special music is in the form of several solo specials. Instruments include a piano, keyboard, drums, and guitar. The congregation is very animated, often breaking into tongues or raising their hands.
• Contemporary church. They sing praise choruses projected onto the wall. They don’t even have a choir, but have a praise team. In addition to a piano and organ, they have a variety of musical instruments used at various times in the service. After a dramatic presentation by the drama team, the congregation breaks into spontaneous applause, sort of a praise offering unto the Lord.
2. Here is my question. In which of these churches did real, authentic worship take place? All of them? Some of them? None of them? Let me ask you another question. How often does real, authentic worship take place here at First Baptist? How often do we gather in this sanctuary, and when we leave God says, “I am pleased, for they have truly worshipped me today.” All of the time? Some of the time? None of the time?
3. In order to know the answers to these questions, we have to understand what the Bible teaches about worship. What is worship? When does it occur? What does the Bible say about the style of music, or the musical instruments used, or the format we are to follow?
4. Thesis: I want to summarize the teachings of the NT on worship into three statements.
5. What does the NT teach us about worship?
I. WORSHIP IS A NATURAL RESPONSE TO MEETING JESUS
1. Let me ask you to look at some examples in Matthew’s gospel:
• Matthew 2:11, the wise men
• 8:2, a healed leper
• 9:18 Jairus
• 14:33, the disciples
• 15:25, the Gentiles
2. Even more specifically, worship is our natural response when we meet Jesus in salvation. See Acts 2:46-47. Let me set this in context. They had heard Peter’ sermon at Pentecost. They had repented and believed. Immediately after that, they began to worship!
3. Being Jews, their first response was to go to the temple and worship. That’s why the text says, they continued daily with one accord in the temple…” As their worship began to be more specifically Christian in nature, they began to go from house to house to worship.
4. Whether you are worshipping in a tiny house church in first century Jerusalem, or in a magnificent building like ours, the point is the same: Worship is a natural response to God’s redemptive work in our lives!
5. Illus. of Steve
• Hated God, hated ministers, he hated the Bible, and especially hated the church. Had even told his wife that if he died, not to have his service in a church.
• Became a Christian. Started coming to every worship service we had. “When we come together to sing and teach about Jesus, it satisfies a hunger in me I didn’t have before I became a Christian.”
6. See Psalms 22: 13-18. As the Psalmist prophetically describes the Lord’s death upon the cross, what is his response? Vss 22-23. Worship!
7. If you are a believer, and you do not enjoy worship, then there is something amiss in your relationship with Christ. As inevitably as water runs down a hill, so a healthy believer will gravitate toward worship!
8. Worship is the natural response to salvation.
II. WORSHIP IS ADORATION AND PRAISE DIRECTED TOWARD GOD
1. See vs 46- ate their food with gladness…Word means filled with joy. What did they do with this joy? Vs 47- praising God…
2. Do you see the picture? Their hearts were filled with joy over what God was doing in them, so they expressed that joy by directing praise and adoration toward Him.
3. Even the word for worship in the New Testament teaches us this same truth. "Proskuneo" literally to bow toward or to kiss toward. It is a picture of a person bowing in humble adoration.
4. Worship is praise and adoration directed toward God!
5. Illus. of pastor’s dream
• Angel said, “I want to show you your congregation as God sees and hears it each Sunday.”
• Choir had lips moving, but no words. Saw the soloist lips move, but no words came out. Saw man get up to pray, but heard nothing.
• Man asked angel, “Why can I see lips move but hear no sound?” Angel replied, “I told you that I was going to show you these things as God sees and hears them. There is no sound because these people are not saying anything to God! The choir and soloist are singing to the people, trying to impress them with their talents and abilities. The man praying was not talking to God, but rather trying to show the people his spirituality and knowledge of the Bible.”