Summary: There may be different styles of music, but according to God there is only one style of worship.Taken from an essay written for Kentucky Christian College on Isa.5-7:25.
July 21 2002
Central Christian Church
St. Petersburg, Fl 33711
Genesis 22:5, Rm. 12:1-2, Rev 19:5-6
1. The Sermon topic today is worship. The questions for us to answer today are: what is worship? What does it look like in the Christian’s life? How many styles of worship are there?
Worship- in the Hebrew shachah - (shaw-chah) the word literally meant to bow down before God, prostrate and that is consistent with one of the Greek words proskuneo- (pros-koo-neh-o) denoting the worthiness of the individual to be worshipped. Not just a physical bowing down like a performer would take at the end of a recital, but more we have a posture that is face down reflecting a recognition that God is Lord and Master. It has this connotation about it that our lives do not belong to us, but they belong to God. and although proskuneo is the most common translation found in the NT for worship occurring some 71 times another word I like to describe this act of worshipping God is found in Romans 12:1 and in 10 other NT passages. The word is Latreia (lat- ri- ah) it describes worshipping God by the Spirit of God, using the Spirit of God to do it. Through service to God-that includes sacrifice for others. Those literally are the ones who are worshipping Him .
2. I believe what the words mean when combined is that we worship God, bow down to God, through the humility that is in our hearts when we live obedient sacrificial lives that glorify Him.
3. However, I believe there is one major problem that STOPS us from being the kind of worshippers, about which Jesus and the Bible speak!
4. The problem is:
5. It is these bodies we live in. You see because we live in the flesh, because we are actually trapped in these bodies of death, because the flesh battles against the spirit, we struggle to be true worshippers. We struggle in these bodies, but the fact remains and must be dealt with is that we live in these bodies.
6. I like you when I am hungry I want to eat and when thirsty, I want something to drink. When my heartburn kicks in I want an antacid to take away the pain. Now I have to admit, I did not eat one antacid last week but remember Stan is on vacation!
7. But because we live in the body we become influenced by externalities. Because we live in the flesh and have to satisfy our flesh to live. Before too long our flesh and its desires becomes our ruler. We actually begin to believe that because our flesh is satisfied by what we like and that is pleasing, therefore we should always get what we like because it feels right for us.
8. Satisfying the desires of our flesh- (what we like and want) turns into a habit and a way of life very quickly. Before long we grow up with our flesh as our ruler and as Christians soon we start to believe that church should be like Burger King and we “can have it our way.”
9. We develop these taste & preferences of what we want, what satisfies us and what we like. Before too very long as we continue to satisfy the flesh-life becomes all about me.
10. So it is our flesh that STOPS us from being true worshippers!
11. As I look at the instruments over here, I see drums, guitars, keyboard and piano. They are externalities certainly they are not Jesus. But because I have developed certain likes and dislikes over the past 50 years in this process of satisfying my flesh, I may love the piano or the organ, but hate the drums and guitar.
12. Worse yet I may love the drummer, but dislike the music leader.
13. The problem is if my focus is on externalities, if my focus is on the drums or the guitar, the worship leader, the preacher’s tie or his clothes, I can actually miss Jesus. I can actually be in the presence of God and not even know it.
14. If my primary focus is to have it my way, I am living in the flesh and I am not in the spirit.
15. I cannot be a true worshipper, the kind the Father seeks.
16. If you will open your Bibles to John Chapter 4: (in verses 4-21) P. 1052 you can read for yourself the encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well. She was there with Jesus, but look at the things on which she focused.
17. I want you to know also, that Jesus knew she was trapped in her flesh, just like He knows that we are trapped in ours, but He loves her enough to show her a better way.