Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

People, There is Worship, and then there is Worship, by John

John 4:19-24

1. Jesus made The statement we just read in answer to the woman at the well question. It was just one of the significant things Jesus told her, but it is the only one I want us to consider today.
2. From denomination to denomination, and from church to church worship services vary.
3. Many consist of a number of exact rituals, some with incense, or other physical aids.
4. One group may think the other group does not know how to worship, and vice-versa.
5. Let’s think about worship, and what we can find in the Bible about it.
6. One thing is certain. Nowhere does God tell us to worship Him, and that leads us to the first point of this message...

I. Why do we worship if it is not commanded?

1. I think it is interesting to note, that all people do worship.
2. Some individuals may think they don’t worship, but a close inspection will show they do.
3. In the darkest, most uneducated colonies of people, the people worship.
(1) They probably do not worship God as we do because no one has acquainted them with our God.
(2) They may worship some part of creation, or all of it that they can experience.
i.e. The Sun, The Moon, various stars, The seasons, The earth, fire, water, and the list goes on and on.
(3) Others, aware of an empty place in their lives seem determined to fill it with something created by their own hands. Jeremiah 10:1-5, “Hear what the Lord says to you, O house of Israel. This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.’”
4. In the most educated circles, people worship even when they say they don’t.
(1) Some worship education.
(2) Some worship power.
(3) Some worship beauty.
(4) Almost all who do not worship God, worship self gratification.
5. Among the religious people, some have way-out ideas of God.
(1) I include deists, and I think many so-called Christians, fit into this category.
(2) We need to remember that we know Christians and lost people how? By their fruits Jesus said in Matthew 7:20.
6. We have said all of this to gain your agreement when we say, God created worshipers when He created mankind! It is in our nature to worship whether we are saved or lost!
7. Did you notice what the woman asked Jesus?

II. Where should you worship?

1. Jeroboam set up golden calves in .Bethel and Dan, and told Israel that was where they were to worship. (That’s what the woman at the well was referring to when she spoke to Jesus.
2. There are people today who think they must worship in a mosque, or an ornate temple.
3. There are others who think they have to worship out in the open air.
4. So, what does the Scripture say? God’s true worshipers must worship Him in Spirit and in truth! John 4:24.
(1) If a person is worshiping God in a mosque, that’s good.
(2) If a person is worshiping God in a temple, that’s good.
(3) If a person is worshiping God in a church building, that’s good!
(4) If a person is worshiping God outdoors, that’s good!
5. What is not good happens when a person does not worship God in Spirit and truth in any of those places! The physical location is not important.
6. So how do you know whether you are worshiping in Spirit and in truth? Can you be sure you are? The answer to both questions is, “YES!”
(1) First, a person must know Jesus in order to worship God in truth. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” John 14:6 says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
(2) Second, when a person comes to Jesus, he is immediately baptized in the Holy Spirit of God. John 1:33,34 says, “I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
7. I need to insert a note here. There are denominations that teach a person must have a baptism of the Spirit separate from salvation, or after salvation. John 3:34 says, For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.”
8. Anyone who trusts in Jesus is filled with His Spirit, and when he worships, it is in Spirit and in truth!
9. That leads us to the next point.

III. How, and when, should we worship?

1. Since the beginning the disciples of Christ have worshiped on the first day of the week.
(1) On the Sabbath, Jesus was in the grave.
(2) He arose from the grave on the first day of the week, and that was cause for celebration!
(3) We’ve been worshiping on the first day ever since!
2. It is my personal belief that Christians worship spontaneously. If you doubt that, read Revelation and note how often the inhabitants of heaven break out in song of praise to God!
(1) They don’t wait for the first day to come along.
(2) They don’t neglect Sundays either!
3. How we are to worship is a subject for a whole sermon by itself, but we will try to keep it short.
(1) We can worship in physical acts, bowing, closing our eyes, folding our hands, swinging incense, baptism, answering an altar call, turning our eyes to heaven, praying.
(2) Let me use myself to illustrate the danger involved in any and all of these. I like to kneel when I pray, but it hurts! The pain can, and does, get in the way of my turning completely to the Lord. It’s better for me not to kneel. I love the Lord’s prayer, but if I repeat it too often, it becomes mere words, and that is not worship.
a. If we are truly worshiping in something, that’s good.
b. If it becomes a habit, that’s bad!
4. In worship as a body of Christ, Songs should be sung to the Lord. The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit should join us together. Prayer should connect us directly with our Heavenly Father. We should meet the Lord knowing we are sinners, that we need to change to be like HIm, and we should expect to be changed when we worship!

conclusion:

1. I’ll return to this theme of worship from time to time, but for now, I hope you will remember these things.
2. Worship is a perfectly natural experience for every human being. God built the desire for worship into all of us.
3. We must worship in Spirit and in Truth, or our worship is vain unless we are seeking forgiveness of our sins and salvation.
4. We should be worshiping daily, momentarily as well as at special times in the Body of Christ.
5. Every method of worship is okay when Jesus is being worshiped in the Spirit.
6. The safest thing for us is to be sure we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior!
7. If you don’t, you can ask Him to become your Savior right now.

Emmanuel Community Church 11/`3/2005

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