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Advent III: Saved to Worship

Advent 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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One of the key aspects of our salvation is that God delivers us to worship Him without fear, so that we can be like Him inside and out.

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Advent III: Saved to Worship

Proposition: One chief aspect of the nature of our salvation is that God delivers us to worship Him without fear, so that we can be like Him inside and out, as His children.

Introduction:

The season of Advent is significant to the life of the believer. AS disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, advent is the time that has been set aside for us to think about and be formed by the remembrance of the birth of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. It is an opportunity for us to keep Jesus on our hearts and minds. This flies in the face of social convention.

Social convention: How society looks at and expects us to understand certain things.
Social convention teaches us that advent is about trinkets.
Social convention teaches us that advent is about trees.
Social convention teaches us that advent is about gifts, giving and getting.
Social convention teaches us that advent is about us
Social convention teaches us that advent is about gifts, giving and getting. Advent, for the Church- the baptized, Spirit filled believer, is about Jesus. And about the great salvation that we have recieved from God, through Jesus and applied to us, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Advent is the time of year where we are renewed, reformed, and transformed by the fact that God loves us so much that He is willing to save us.
Last week we started discussing the nature of our salvation. That the nature of our salvation is that God is willing to save us from our enemies. And that God is willing to save us from ourselves. From our own selfishness, and sinful dispositions that keep us enslaved to pettiness and foolishness.
But that is not all that we are saved from. We are also saved so that we can worship. We forget that we are created to worship. As Human beings we are going to serve somebody.
Paul tells us in (NLT)
“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.”
We were created to serve and to worship. And whatever we choose to worship is that which we will serve, and that ultimately become! And in saving God, God has also saved us so that we can not just worship Him, but worship Him in an particular way- that is for our good! Our salvation is not just about us, but about our worship.

I. We are saved so that we can worship as God’s children

The first thing that we discover is that when God saves us to worship, He saves us so that we can worship with a particular relationship. In , God swears an oath to Abraham to bless Abraham and Abraham’s children because of Abraham’s obedience. That despite the trouble, God would be with them-not because of Abraham but because of the presence of God. Abraham is given an oath- and we are given a promise. Not because of Abraham’s relationship with God, but because of God’s relationship with Abraham. It was God’s steadfast love, that provides the roots of the oath. The oath is not simply about protection or provision, but God’s presence.
In this oath, Abraham and his children are recipients- but they are not the source of the oath. God is. God swears the oath by His own person. He wraps His own person in the oath. God has put Himself on the line! This is important because Zechariah’s song, tells us that God has granted something to the children of Abraham. but that grant-that gift, is God’s self. In response to Abraham’s sacrificial worship, God has given himself, not just to Abraham but also Abraham’s children. Abraham was willing to give His son, but God spared Isaac, but in response, God has given and not spared His own son, Jesus- and through Jesus, we become children of God. We are saved because of Who God gives, and Who God gives empowers us to be God’s children. We are told in the Gospel of John that Jesus, the Word and God’s gift-and loving response to Abraham’s obedience, “...came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” NLT
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
When we are able to worship God as God’s children, we discover that God’s promise is also a curse. God’s promise curses those that would seek to hinder our worship, as God’s children- that includes our own selfishness. God will move to counteract our false worship and idolatry, because what we worship is what we become. And the problem with some of us is we are too much like ourselves and not like God! We are saved by God through Christ, but we are saved so that we can not just have grace, but be empowered to truly worship and in true worship, become like the very Christ who saves us! If our worship does not make us more like Jesus- it is a false worship- because to worship Jesus will move you to be like the Word made flesh!
To truly worship God, requires that we worship Him the way He desires. When we worship God, we cannot say we are truly worshipping Him, if we are directing the worship then the worship is idolatrous. The danger is that we assume that because we are doing the worship, we get to control the worship. But our God has a certain expectation of worship and He expects worship to be done a certain way. And for a certain outcome- His glory. When we do worship His way, we cultivate a deeper relationship. And what is amazing is that as a disciple of the Lord Jesus, our worship is more than just Sunday Morning- that is an important ingredient, but our lives should be acts of worship. Why- when we serve/worship God without fear- we can be used as conduits of God's power and energies in the world. We begin to reflect God's power and personality. The point of our worship is to empower us to be more like the One we worship. What we worship we become. But if there is anything that short-circuits our worship, we become lopsided ikons, representations of the Triune God.

II. We are saved so that we can worship God without phobia

But the more we are removed from worship, the more of Christ we lose! that is a shocking thought, that we can lose Christ. But what about being preserved. We are preserved in as much as we appropriate Christ. And the more we walk away from Christ, the more of Christ we lose. I’m not of the ilk that say that we cannot lose what God has given. It is not in our power to give it. But we participate with God to keep it! And we participate in keeping it by our worship! We must remember that God’s salvation is not just salvation from enemies but defense from falling back into the patterns of behavior, thinking, and being that enslaved us to begin with. Because it was our being, thinking, and behavior that enslaves us-we do it to ourselves. We enslave ourselves to our enemies by our fear/phobia. Fear shorts out our worship.
Phobias are rooted in trusting how we see. Not in what we see. Phobias are internal. They are connected to our idiosyncratic yet foundational understanding of the world and ourselves. Saints, phobias are when we are blinded by how we see, not just what we see. And when we worship, God adjusts how we see. So that we can see from God’s vantage point. The more we see from a human and limited perspective, the more afraid we will become. the more we will worry, the more we will try to help God out, instead of being faithful to God’s will. the more we will mess up, the more bad decisions we will make, the more we will seek our comfort in the wisdom of the world, and not the foolishness of God. the more we will suffer, struggle, and continue the cycle. But when we see from God’s vantage point, we will be able to see what God is doing, what God is pulling out of us. How God is molding us, shaping us. The more love we will have, the more of God’s love we will imitate. the more our Love will be perfected- and become in line with God’s plan, purpose and presence- and perfect love, casts out fear! says it better, “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear...”
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.
Phobias are rooted in trusting how we see. Not in what we see. Phobias are internal. They are connected to our idiosyncratic yet foundational understanding of the world and ourselves. Saints, phobias are when we are blinded by how we see, not just what we see. And when we worship, God adjusts how we see. So that we can see from God’s vantage point.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Fear needs to be cast out! And the only way you can cast out fear is with perfect love! Some of the stuff we are dealing with, troubles us because we want to do everything else but love! There was a time in the Church, where the love of the believer transformed those around them. Where are the Christians who are filled with so much love that the world cannot compete? Where are the Christians that are so filled with love, that demons can’t stay in the same room! Where are the Christians so filled with Love that Satan tries to pull all the stops, because when you come into the room chains are broken- not because of who you are but because of Who You look like!
Phobias are rooted in trusting how we see too much, and this hinders our worship.
and this hinders our worship.
But we often don’t see that because we have made salvation so cheap that there is no power in it. We have zeal but not according to knowledge. Dangerous. We have a form of godliness- but deny its power. dangerous. the power of our worship is rooted in the identifying marks of holiness and righteousness. Holiness and righteousness are aspects of our salvation. When we are saved, we enter into worship to make us more holy-like the Lord Jesus. Holiness and righteousness are interconnected. Holiness is found in the heart, righteousness is found in behavior. We need both to reflect the Lord Jesus and imitate our God and Father. We act like God (righteousness) when we have the heart/mind of God (holiness). Holiness is not simply being set aside, but being set aside to be more like God. Its not simply about being used, but about being just like God. That is when God gets His best use from us, when we are most like Him. Our salvation is rooted in us living righteously and from an internal disposition of holiness and righteousness rooted in love. like God.

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Our salvation is rooted in us living righteously and from an internal disposition of holiness. like God.
ii.

Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them.

iii.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.

iv.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners

v.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Celebration

When we love like God, we will live out of an ethic of holiness and righteousness! When we love like God, we will seek to imitate God. We will not simply imitate God in judgment- we good that- but also in His grace and mercy! We will be more like Christ Jesus, in whom righteousness and mercy meet! the more like Jesus we become, the more we will be empowered to worship! And the more we worship, the more like our Lord we become! The more kind we become, the more gracious we become, the more long-suffering we become, the more peaceful we become, the more loving we become. the more we look like Jesus, the more we appropriate His nature- the more our love will be perfected- and perfect love always casts out fear! Because in the end, perfect love casts its cares on the one who cares for us. And thus we can stand on God’s promises-rooted in the presence of God, given by an oath God swore, by Himself, on Himself in response to Abraham’s sacrificial worship!
Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God.
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