Summary: If we are to draw near to God in worship, we must do so in full assurance of faith.
Our church has adopted the following statement concerning our priorities, or core values: The HEART of FBC is to . . . Help others through ministry, our greatest privilege; Encourage one another through fellowship, our greatest pleasure; Adore Christ through worship, our greatest passion; Reach the lost through evangelism, our greatest priority; Train believers in discipleship, our greatest pursuit. Our core values are derived from two key passages of Scripture:
The Great Commandment:
“Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart...soul...and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” - Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
The Great Commission:
“Jesus said, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” - Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
• To “Love God with all your heart” is “WORSHIP”.
• To “Love your neighbor as yourself” is “MINISTRY”.
• To “Go...make disciples” is “EVANGELISM”.
• To “Baptize...” is to bring new believers into the “FELLOWSHIP”.
• To “Teach them...all things” is “DISCIPLESHIP”.
These priorities are seen in other passages as well, like Acts 2:41-47:
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:41-47 (NIV)
The early church sought God’s face together (worship) – “praising God” vs. 47; they studied God’s Word together (fellowship) – “to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship” v. 42; they shared God’s life together (discipleship) – “to the breaking of bread and to prayer” v. 42; they served God’s people together (ministry) – “They (gave) to anyone who had need” v. 45; and they showed God’s love together (evangelism) – “those who were being saved” v. 47.
These five core values, purposes, priorities, are seen as well in our passage for this series - Hebrews 10:19-25. (READ TEXT) The writer mentions worship in verse 22, evangelism in verse 23, discipleship in verse 24a, ministry in verse 24b, and fellowship in verse 25. Today and for the next two times together, I want us to ponder what we are told about the priority of worship in verse 22.
“What True Worship Says” - Hebrews 10:22 - “in full assurance of faith”
The writer of Hebrews tells us that true worship is a declaration of faith that is full of assurance. Specifically, the experience of true worship will require a faith-filled assurance of at least three things. If I am truly meet with God in worship, I must believe that . . .
1. God will meet with us when we gather for worship.
Jesus promised that this will always be the case.
“For where two or three come together in my name,there am I with them.” - Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
He is here among us now as we are gathered together in this place!
He is with us, but are we with Him? Are we gathered here with a conscious awareness of the fact that He is here among us? We need to approach our time of worship together with the awareness of the fact that the reason we are gathered here as a community of faith is for the purpose of communion with the Father! The writer of Hebrews understood the privilege and glory of worship.
“You have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.” - Hebrews 12:22-23 (NLT)
He did not say, “You shall come,” as though he were describing some future experience on the other side of death. He was emphasizing our experience of worship in the here and now. When we gather together as a community, we gather to commune with God, along with the saints and angels above!