Summary: The basic issue in worship is not, is the choir worthy, is the soloist worthy, is the organist or pianist worthy, is the pastor worthy-the issue is, is Jesus worthy?
Colonel John Howard was ordered to retreat in the
Revolutionary War. But as he did, the British started to
charge, and he decided to surprise them. He ordered his men
to attack. They did and won a smashing victory for which he
received great honor. But General Morgan reminded him,
had his plan failed he would have been shot for disobeying
orders. His decision could have led to disgrace rather than
honor. Opposites can be so close, and in the case of Jesus as
the Lamb of God, these opposites comes together as one. The
disgrace of the cross became the basis for Jesus to be
honored, not only for all history, but for all eternity. A song
we will never cease to sing is the song, Worthy Is The Lamb
Who Was Slain. Every joy and every pleasure of the eternal
kingdom will be ours because of his sacrifice for us.
After ten billion years we might forget every aspect of the
history of earth and time, but we will never forget this song.
Rev. 5 is the worthy chapter of the book. Out of 7 uses of the
word in Revelation, 4 of them are here in this chapter, and
they all refer to Jesus as the Lamb of God who died for the
salvation of a lost world. This song of heaven exalts Jesus in
a way no other does, for it is not just the redeemed humanity
that praises His worthiness, but the angels, and all the beings
of creation. We are focusing on verse 12 which is the angelic
chorus portion of this grand universal musical.
The whole creation joined in one,
To bless the sacred Name,
Of Him that sits upon the throne,
And to adore the Lamb.
I think the church has underestimated the roll of angels in
the whole plan of God. This text tells us they are together as a
multitude beyond number praising the worthiness of the
Lamb just as loud, if not louder, than the redeemed. I fear
we have underestimated the cosmic consequences of the
cross. We are told that angels cannot know what it is to be
redeemed by the Savior, and there is no doubt truth to this,
for they were never lost. But Christians have gone to far in
separating the angels from the joy of salvation. They know
and feel more than we realize. They are the ones who rejoice
over every sinner who repents. They are the ones who sing of
the Lamb being worthy of 7 things: Power, wealth, wisdom,
strength, honor, glory, and praise. Seven being used all
through the book for completeness and totality. In other
words, there is nothing imaginable for which Jesus is not
worthy of honor.
The angels actually know more about what Jesus deserved
and merits for His sacrifice than do the redeemed. We tend
to want to make salvation man-centered, but the fact is, the
Bible expands the picture to include all of creation, and the
angels are deeply affected by this. It is superficial, therefore,
to put the angels down as does Anna Grannis in her poem:
There's a song the angels can never share
While the endless ages roll;
The song of one who has been redeemed,
The song of a ransomed soul:
Shall we sing it together, thou and I,
With the wondering angels standing by?
Shall we sing it there in the courts above,
The heaven gained through redeeming love?
Our text tells us it is not so. The angels are not just
standing by. They are singing just as loud as the saints.
They understand that Jesus deserves every honor that
heaven is capable of bestowing. To be worthy is to deserve
what you get. We are not worthy of the least of His favors.
We are saved totally by His grace. But Jesus is exalted as
King of Kings and Lord of Lords because He earned that
honor. He deserves it, and every knee will bow to Jesus
because He is worthy. Aristotle said three hundred years
before Christ, "Dignity does not consist in possessing honors,
but in deserving them." The whole point of heaven's praise
is that the Lamb of God deserves all the honors He receives.
The greatest rewards in heaven will be given to Jesus, for He
alone deserves them. We can't consider all 7 of His honors
but I want to select three to focus on that all began with the
letter W. Worthy is the Lamb to receive Worship, Wealth,
and Wisdom. These represent all of which He is worthy.
The first is the word praise which is the same as worship.
I. HE IS WORTHY OF WORSHIP.
We need to grasp this basic truth that praise or worship is
not to be founded on the worthiness of our circumstances