Summary: Reflecting on worshiping God in truth (preceeded the week before by a sermon on worshiping in spirit).
WORSHIPING IN TRUTH
One more worship Top Ten List for you. These are the Top Ten Indications That Your Worship Service Might Be a Bit Too Relaxed. Top Ten Indications That Your Worship Service Might Be a Bit Too Relaxed:
10. The choir wears bath robes and bunny slippers!
9. Every prayer ends with "Yeah, God, You be the Man!"
8. The church just replaced their old pew bibles with the ABV (Authorized Barney Version)!
7. The last time the word "sin" was heard in the sanctuary, it was in reference to the hardness of the pews!
6. The most conservative member of the congregation is the Youth Minister!
5. The Preacher refuses to preach without his pipe and slippers!
4. The last time an Altar Call was made, the congregation was encouraged to use their cell phones!
3. The baptistery was replaced with a Jacuzzi!
2. 60% of the mission budget was funneled into purchasing reclining pews!
And the number one indication that your worship service may be a bit too relaxed is:
1. No one in the congregation has ever heard these words of Jesus, "Pick up your cross and follow me!"
Well, we are continuing our look at worship today, looking at Worshiping in Truth. You can follow along with the outline on the back of your worship folder as we examine what the Word of God has to say about Worshiping in Truth.
You will remember last week that we talked about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, and the contrast between Samaritan worship, and Jewish worship in that day. You may remember that the Jewish worship held to a strong cultural belief in what they saw as truth revealed by God, but it completely lacked any emotional element. It had become routine, and sterile.
On the other hand were the Samaritans. Very passionate worshipers. Very emotional worshipers. But worshipers that were missing the other half of the equation. Do you remember the equation for Biblical, authentic worship?
John 4:21 (read through 24). Spirit and truth. So while the Samaritans had the spirit thing going, they were missing the other vital element . . .truth. In fact, in many ways you could describe the Samaritan worship as false worship.
Let’s look at three characteristics of Samaritan worship that could very well result in it being labeled False Worship.
A. It selected what they wanted to know and understand about God, and omitted the rest.
Basically the Samaritans chose the part of scripture which they wanted to perceive as truth, and just threw out the rest. In fact, they only accepted the Pentateuch, which is the first five books of the Old Testament. They rejected all of the rest of the Old Testament. They rejected all the messages of the prophets, all the devotions of Psalms, all the wisdom of Proverbs, and narrowed what they believed to be truth, and what they expressed in their worship down to simply the first five books of the Old Testament.
You have probably encountered people that do something like this. There are Christians living totally in the New Covenant. If it appears before the book of Matthew, they want nothing to do with it. And anything you read them from before the book of Matthew they will quickly discount as being “Old Covenant” material.
A worship that just picks and chooses what we want to believe or accept about God, a worship which only acknowledges the parts of His Word that we are comfortable with, a worship which rejects Biblical knowledge and wisdom that is available to us. . .is a false worship. It is not a worship grounded in truth.
What do people say when they take the stand, “I swear to tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth.” The whole truth. . .is this whole book.
A second way in which the Samaritan’s worship was false was that. . .
B. It was an ignorant worship.
The Samaritan’s only got part of the command. They thought they were loving the Lord with all their heart and with all their soul. . .worshiping in spirit. . .but they weren’t loving the Lord with all their minds.
Remember in week one of this series we looked at Romans 12:1 which tells us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. Well, we aren’t supposed to remove our brains before we offer that sacrifice. If we are to offer our entire being in worship to God as a living sacrifice, that includes our minds.
This was the accusation against the Samaritans by the Jewish Rabbis. They said that the Samaritans simply worshiped not out of love and knowledge, but out of ignorance and fear.
Just listen to this story from the settling of Samaria back in II Kings 17:24 (read through 29). Now, follow what is happening here. People are being sent to settle into Samaria, but because they are not acknowledging God, He is sending lions out to destroy them. So rather than convert to God, rather than walking in devotion and obedience to God, they simply decide they need to send up a priest who knows how to appease this particular God of the land.