Summary: Part THREE of a three part series on worship answering the question of WHERE we worship.
Worship: In Spirit & in Truth
Part Three: Where to Worship? - Our ALTAR
- Who & Why do we worship?
1. The Lord our God: This is the #1 command, He is a jealous God
2. Worship God for who He is
- His Essence: He is . . .
1. Spirit 2. Self Existent 3. Immense 4. Eternal
- His Attributes: quality or characteristic
1. Omnipresent 2. Omniscience 3. Omnipotent 4. Sovereign 5. Unchanging 6. Holy 7. Righteous & Just 8. Good 9. Loving 10. Mercy & Grace 11. Truth 12. Faithful 13. Patient
3. Worship God for what He has done
- He formed you - He forgave you - He freed you
Text: Hebrews 13:10-16
Many people have the misconception that worship takes place only in a church setting, and then only when the music is playing and we are singing. We couldn’t be further from the truth of worship. Worship is our responding to the presence of God regardless of location. Worship is any activity showing God His worth, not just in music or signing.
1. We have a heavenly altar.
A. It’s not the place or the location that’s important. Acts 17:24 tells us "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands” (NIV).
The children of Israel had to worship in the temple because that’s where the presence of God dwelt at that time. The priests would go the Golden Altar to burn incense as a fragrant offering. We no longer have to wait until the appointed day and time to go to the temple and have someone help us to worship. We can do it anytime, anywhere.
B. There is no more shedding of blood. There was another altar in the temple where they would take the live sacrifice, kill it, and burn it. This was called the Brazen Altar.
Because of Jesus giving His life on the cross, He shed His blood once and for all! He was the ultimate heavenly sacrifice. There is no longer a need for the shedding of blood. His blood covers all the sins of the world.
Where is your favorite place to worship? In the shower? In your car driving down the road?
2. We have a relational altar.
A. Religion is dead! There is nothing worse than seeing people go to church out of ritual and habit. They feel like they are performing their “Christian” duty thereby giving them the rights and privileges of abundant life in Christ. NOT! It doesn’t work that way. Christianity is a relationship that should grow deeper and deeper everyday. Christianity isn’t about going to church. Christianity is about an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
B. It’s our relationship with Christ that makes worship alive and meaningful. This is where we separate ourselves from dead religious form and identify with Christ.
3. We have a sacrificial altar.
A. Something must be offered to God in our worship. Worship will cost you something. That is why it is a sacrifice. Something of value and worth must be given to show God His value and worth to us.
Ps 141:2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. (NIV)
1 Pet 2:5 You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (NIV)
B. True worship will lead to persecution. Remember what true worship is! There are numerous accounts of persecuted men and women of God in the Bible. Our church history has been built by such people. Even today people are beaten, jailed, and even killed for their lifestyle worship.
- David: chased by Saul
- Daniel: thrown into the den of lions
- Steven: stoned by church leaders
- Jesus: crucified on a cross
- Cassie Burnall: Clumbine High School
- Anila & Perveen (Jesus Freaks, dc Talk & The Voice of the Martyrs; Albury Publishing, Tulsa Oklahoma, ©1999)
The author of Hebrews tells us that true worship consists of two elements (13:15-16).
1. Continual praise to God.
“The words of praise from our lips, coming from our hearts, is like beautiful fruit laid on the altar. How easy it is for suffering saints to complain, but how important it is for them to give thanks to God” – W. Wiersbe (The Bible Exposition Commentary, Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, ©1989)
Praise can include many outward expressions such as with music (playing an instrument or singing), lifting our hands, bowing down, clapping, praying etc.
2. Good Works.
These acts of goodness could include your tithes and offerings, witnessing, sharing your lunch, visiting someone in the hospital, etc.