Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

11/27/2016 A.M.

 

Genuine Biblical Worship

John 4.9-26, 28-29 & 39-42

 

God created us to be Worshipful Beings.

 

William Jennings Bryan once said... “We are religious beings... Instinctively we seek God.”

 

Paul supports this idea in his sermon on Mars Hill... Saying that God has placed a mechanism in our hearts that causes us to...Seek And find Him.

 

So...God has placed in us... a desire... A longing... A Need... To worship.

And He has provided some benefits to genuine Biblical Worship.

 

Come... Let’s see what we can learn...

We began by defining Worship...

What CONSTITUTES GENUINE BIBLICAL WORSHIP

 

Webster says... “Worship is a service or rite demonstrating reverence for deity. Worship is an intense love and admiration for a divine being... Someone or something set apart as deity... Or some super natural power.”

 

Our English comes from the words WORTH–SHIP... Meaning to send to another.

Worship is something of value... Given Or sent... to another.

 

So...If our worship and service to God are not...giving Him... Sending Him... something of worth... Then perhaps it is not genuine worship. Or at least it doesn’t live up to the original meaning of the word.

 

The Standard Bible Encyclopedia says that “Worship is... Honor...Reverence...     Homage... in thought...Feeling... Or act... paid to man... Angels... or spiritual beings or entities... ideas... power... or qualities. But specifically and supremely to God.”

 

Perhaps our most useful definition comes from Scripture.

The Bible uses several words to describe worship... Both in the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament.

 

The most frequent Old Testament word translated worship in our English Bible is SHACHAH (SHAW–KHAW).

It means to bow down... To kneel... To humble oneself before God

This is where we get the idea of a bowed head... and kneeling in prayer.

 

Another Hebrew word is ABAD  (A-BED)...Meaning to serve.

In the Old Testament... Worship meant...to bow... To humble oneself before God... And to submit in service to Him.

 

We find similar meanings in the New Testament Greek... where the principle word for worship is PROSKUNEO (PROS-KOO-NEH-O)... Which literally means to kiss forward. In classical Greek... The word is used to speak of a dog that leans forward to kiss... To lick the hand of its owner.

The idea here is that we approach God in...

Awe... Reverence... Respect...

With humility and devotion.

• submitting our will to His commands.

 

Pros-koo-neh-o is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word shaw-khaw. This simply tells us that over two thousand years ago… The translators of the Septuagint understood that the two words had the same basic meaning.

 

The other Greek word for worship is LATREUO (LA-TRUE-O).

It is used some twenty times in the New Testament and means...

To serve...

To minister...

In religious service… Religious Activities.

 

Our King James translators render the word...

• Sometimes... Worship...

• Sometimes… service.

Latreuo has the same basic meaning as the Hebrew word abed... That being to worship God by serving Him... By obeying Him in every... word... Deed... And attitude.

 

So...What we learn from these two Hebrew and Greeks words... is that Genuine Biblical Worship has two distinct connotations...

 

First... Worship is PROSKUNEO...Coming before God in humility... Awe... Reverence and Respect... Honoring...Glorifying... Praising… Him in ceremony and ritual. It is formal corporate worship... such as we are involved in each Lord’s Day.

 

Now...Even through PROSKUNEO is to be done in ritual... We must do it in spirit... With proper thought and motive.

 

Jesus tells the Samaritan lady that God desires worship in Spirit and Truth.

 

The Hebrews’ writer admonishes the early Christians... not to stop doing this... Do not forsake the assemblies...Let us not give up meeting together... As some are in the habit of doing... But let us encourage one another... And all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

Secondly... Worship is LATREUO...It is serving God... Ministering to others daily... As if ministering to Him… Jesus said… As often as you do it to them… You’ve done it to Me.

 

Paul says in Romans 6... We are to become instrumentsof righteousness.

 

In Romans 12.1 he says... We must be living sacrifices.

 

Paul goes on to say... That this is our reasonable acts of worship and service to God.

 

Church...LATREUO... Is not just something we do once or twice a week... But daily! It’s not enough to come to church... And then go home to live as we want...We must worship God by life-style as well as in public assemblies.

 

I recently heard a preacher say… If all we do is worship… Then nothing is worship.

I gotta tell you church… This is not Bible… But only a flimsy cliché allowing us to live as we want… And this concept cannot be supported by Scripture.

 

In support of this concept... It’s significant to observe that Jesus used both these words to describe our worship in Matthew 4.10 and Luke 4.8... Where He answers Satan’s request to fall down and worship Him... Get behind Me Satan... For it is written... Thou shall worship (PROS-KOO-NEH-O)... The Lord thy God and Him only shall thou serve (LA- TRUE-O). Jesus is saying… We should worship God in two ways… Formally and by lifestyle… The way we live.

 

In Romans chapter twelve... Paul indicates that when we offer ourselves as God’s instrument of righteousness... As living sacrifices... We are worshiping Him...

 

In fact Paul uses the word Latreuo... I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship... Latreuo!

 

Solomon said... The whole duty of man…Fear God and keep His commandments.


This is the whole of worship…

• Fearing God is coming before Him in... Humility… Awe… Reverence… and Respect…

• While yielding in obedience to His will… His commands… in daily living.

 

Paul echoes this thought saying... Whatever you do... Whatever you do... In word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

God lives in us… We are to be His Temple and Tabernacle… Daily… Not just on Sundays... Not just in these assemblies... But in all we… think… Say… and do.

 

You see church... All we are... All we do... Either glorifies God or Satan.

When...Our words... our deeds... Our attitudes... Are within the word and will of God... We are worshiping Him.

 

I hope you don’t take offence at these arguments… But will consider them with prayer and searching of the Scriptures.

         

OK... Let’s set these thoughts aside as we consider some

God-given benefits of Genuine Biblical Worship?

 

First...Worship focuses our attention upon God

Go with me to Revelation chapters four and five... There the scene is of God’s Throne Room. Here… God has invited us to a special worship service... Worship as it is in Heaven.

 

As we step into this Heavenly Worship Scene...

• We suck in our breath...

• We shield our eyes from the dazzling light...

• We drop to our knees in awe and wonder.

There’s angelic and spiritual creatures everywhere… So vast in number… That we can’t even begin to count them... Thousands and thousands...Ten-thousand-times-ten-thousand... An innumerable host of spirit beings. Countless thundering voices so loud that it rumbles our lungs...  The sound of praise is so loud that we can’t hear ourselves think.

 

Note church... Every being in this heavenly host is focused on the Throne... There sits God!

 

In fact... The word Throne is the key word... It is used 14 times in this fourth chapter. In fact it might be the key word to the entire book... Appearing 46 times.

 

Church...Genuine Biblical Worship is seeing God as He is.

The bedrock of Christian theology is our seeing and sensing the Sovereignty of God.

 

John wanted these persecuted suffering saints... And we here this morning... To know that God is in control regardless of what is happening to us and around us.

Indeed...Our Father God reigns supremely.

 

A similar scene took place the day after President Lincoln was assassinated.

A crowd gathered on the streets of New York City.

• The news of the assassination had inflamed emotions...

• It had filled hearts with anger...

• Hate reigned supreme.

• There were cries for vengeance.

As the throng threatened to become a mob.... A man stepped forward... A Union Army General. His voice commanded attention... “Fellow citizens... Even though clouds and darkness are all about us... Justice and judgment are established by His throne... Mercy and truth will go before His face...” “Fellow citizens... God reigns and your Government in Washington still lives!”

 

The words immediately calmed the crowd...

The speaker was General James A. Garfield... Brotherhood preacher and future president of the United States. In the midst of crisis... Garfield knew that what people needed most to know was that God is still on His Throne!... Amen?

 

I don’t know what your crisis may be this morning...

• The death of a loved one....

• The loss of a job...

• A career collapse...

• Some ruptured relationship

• A personal failure...

• Another entanglement with our favorite sin.

Whatever it might be... Know this... God is on His Throne... And He is sovereign... AND… He is at work on our behalf.

 

It’s in Genuine Biblical Worship that God’s supremacy is impressed upon our minds.

• It recalibrates our thinking.

• Earthly fears assume their proper perspective.

• It removes us from the current crisis in life... Regardless of what it might be.

 

In light of God’s sovereign power...

• Our worries...

• Doubts...

• And fears... Become frail and finite...

• In Genuine Biblical Worship… Our entire outlook on life and the world changes.

 

So...The question this morning is... Do we see and sense God’s presence in this service? Do we see and sense that He is sovereign? It will change your life… It’ll change what we… Think about… Worry about… And work for.

 

Secondly...It’s in Genuine Biblical Worship that we are humbled & Forgiven.

Go with me to Isaiah chapter six.

Israel is in a crisis... King Uzziah has died... And Isaiah goes to the Temple to Worship. There... He sees the Lord... High and exalted... Seated on the Throne…The train of His robe filled the Temple.

 

Above God are spiritual beings... Seraphim... Flying about praising God... Saying... “Holy... Holy... Holy...Is the Lord God Almighty... For the whole earth is filled with His glory.”

 

The sound of their voices was so loud that it shook the doorpost and thresholds of the Temple... And God’s presence filled the Temple like a thick smoke.

What we’re seeing here resembles what we see in Revelation chapter four.

 

Witnessing this... Witnessing this… Isaiah is brought to his knees.

When He sees God for who He really is... He is humbled... He confesses his sins before God... “Woe is me... I am ruined!... I am a man of unclean lips... And I live among a people of the same character... But now my eyes haVE seen the Lord.”

 

Then something else happens... One of the seraphim takes a live coal from the alter...And touches Isaiah’s mouth saying... Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.

This reminds us of First John 1.9... If we confess... If we acknowledge... Our sins... He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

Here it is church... Genuine Biblical Worship allows us to sense God’s presence... Where two or more are gathered in My Name...I will be there with them.

 

When we see God for who He is...

• We will be humbled...

That humility should compel us to acknowledge our sins...

And enjoy His forgiveness...

• The removal of all our guilt.

It was Jesus who said... Blessed are the pure in heart... For they shall see God.

 

It’s beyond my imagination that we could come here to worship in the presence of God...And go home prideful… With sins unforgiven... Amen?

 

Thirdly...Genuine Biblical Worship impacts our future behavior.

Most of us have heard the saying... Enter to worship... Depart to serve.

After her encounter with Jesus... The Samaritan woman departed to serve... She shared Jesus with her neighbors in Sychar.

 

In Isaiah’s encounter... God asked the question... Who will go for Me?...

What could Isaiah say?... What can we say?...

Here am I Lord send me... Use me...

Let me be your instrument of righteousness... Your Living sacrifice.

 

Here it is church...

• If we have truly worshiped God... This morning…

• If we have sensed His sovereignty...This morning

• If we have sensed His presence in this service...

We too will leave saying... Here am I use me... Let me be your witness… Your instrument… Your living sacrifice.

 

We will be like Paul on the Damascus Road... When He saw Jesus for who He really was... He said... Lord... What would you have me do?

 

I believe Scripture to teach that we... Enter to Worship in praise... Depart to worship in service... Becoming His living sacrifice... Amen?

 

Now church... Listen to me closely… I want us to know that when we talk about genuine Biblical Worship...

 

• We’re not talking about... Just coming to church... To be seen of others... Preachers... Elders... Other Christians... Etc.

 

• We’re not talking about coming here and going through some ceremony and ritual without our hearts and minds engaged.

 

• We’re not talking about... Taking communion... Singing... Praying... Without attention to what we’re... thinking… doing… Or Saying.

 

• We’re not talking about listening to the sermon without any interest or intent of adjusting our lives to the Word and Will of God.

 

• We’re not talking about coming each Sunday out of some sense of duty.

 

• We’re not talking about what pleases us… but what pleases Him.

 

I have people tell me… I don’t like the sermons… The song service… I think we ought to change the way we do communion.

 

Let me tell you this morning… It’s not about us… What we want…What pleases us… It’s about God and what pleases Him.

 

When John went into that Throne Room… When Isaiah was in the Temple… When Paul saw Jesus for who He really was… It was not about them… But about who was on the Throne.

 

When we stand before God in Judgment… It will not be about worship that pleased us…. But Worship that honored and praised God…Both in our assemblies and in the way we live daily!

 

We’RE speaking of Genuine Biblical Worship.

• Worship where God’s Presence and sovereignty are sensed...

• Where we are humbled and forgiven...

• Where we are compelled to change our life...Becoming His instrument of righteousness... His living sacrifice.

 

Question... What do Youand I need to do this morning to indicate that we have genuinely worshiped God?...

 

• Do we need to become His child by... Faith... Repentance... Confession of Jesus... and be born again... Born from above… In New Testament baptism?

 

• Do we like Isaiah... Do we need to acknowledge and forsake some sin.

 

• Perhaps like Paul... We need to depart saying... Lord... What would you have me do?

 

God invitesand challenges as we stand and sing together.