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Worship

Purpose of the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro

We are going to start a short series this morning on the purpose of the church. We need to be reminded why we are here as a church. We don’t have to look very far to find churches who have forgotten why God placed them where he did. It’s more than a simple reminder, it is a call for us to be doing what God has called us to do. Our purpose as a church is like an anchor that keeps us from drifting. We need to make sure our anchor is secure and be clear on why God has placed us here. This is not the only reason to be clear on and embrace our purpose.
Knowing our purpose also serves as compass, it sets the direction for us. We need to ask ourselves, are we being faithful to God’s purpose in the context God has placed us? Are we being faithful in our worship of God, our evangelizing of the lost and our discipling of the church? When we’ve answered these questions then we are better equipped to know where to move as a church. This guides us as we consider our future and the many ministry possibilities ahead such as building a gym, or hiring a new staff, or starting new programs.
Therefore we need to ask ourselves, are we being faithful to God’s purpose in the context God has placed us? When we know God’s purpose for us and know the current state of our ministries then we are better equipped to know where to move as a church. This guides us as we consider our future and the many ministry possibilities ahead such as building a gym, or hiring a new staff, or starting new programs.
We want to develop a ministry plan for reaching our community, building one another up and glorifying God. This requires knowing how we are currently doing in those areas and that requires us to be clear on what God has called us to be and do.
in order to be faithful to the purpose God has given us we must ask what does this look like for us here at Lighthouse and are we being faithful to what God has called us to? Are our ministries, events and services seeking to fulfill what God has called. It is very easy to get in a rut, to do what were doing because … well that’s just they way we do it. It isn’t just our current ministries or activities but plans and ideas for the future as well. We want to build and gym, but before we ever put a shovel in the ground we need to be really clear on how having a gym will further help us fulfill God’s purpose for us. Therefore being clear on God’s purpose for us helps us to make decisions and
So what am I asking from you as we go through this series?
Commit to be here for each message (or listen online if you can’t be)
Be willing to be a part of the future ministry plan of Lighthouse, both in the planning and in the carrying it out (serving).
Be willing to be a part of the future ministry plan of Lighthouse, both in the planning and in the carrying it out (serving).
Pray! For me as I speak and share with you. For one another that we will experience unity. For God to be glorified in Lighthouse Fellowship Baptist Church.
Pray
Pastor Rob and I believe any ministry plan for our church must be based on God’s purpose for us as a church. Therefore, we begin with God’s purpose for the church. We believe we are mandated by God as a church to focus on worship, evangelism, and discipleship. We don’t find any one verse in scripture that gives God’s full mind on the purpose of His church. But when we look at scripture as a whole we believe these three things are very clear and also broad enough to capture all the facets of ministry.
This morning we are going to look at Worship. This could easily be a series, in fact each point of my message could be a series. But we don’t want to preach a series on each point at this time. We want to see the big picture.
We will be looking at several passages of scripture
I will not be giving references to everything I say or explaining each point as fully as I could

Created to Worship

Genesis 1:26–27 ESV
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
The word worship is not used here but the concept of what worship is, is front and centre. God created man to “be His visible representation” on earth. Not just so that people would know there is a God but they would even know what that God was like. Therefore, man was created to represent God in His entire being - emotions, will, mind, choices, body…
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Gen 1:
1 Peter 4:11 ESV
11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
We were not created just to know God. The point of having a relationship with God is to bring glory to Him. We were created to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and give Him glory in all we do!!
This is the purpose Paul holds unbelievers accountable to in .
This is the purpose Paul holds unbelievers accountable to in .
Romans 1:21–23 ESV
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
this is what man has been created to do!! It is the focus of both evangelism and discipleship and is the only one of the three that we will do for eternity.
God does something in - calls out Abraham, to make a nation, a people from him.
Why did God call Abraham out and make a nation from him?
God’s purpose for man does not change, every man is still accountable to glorify His maker. But God calls out a people to glorify him and be a witness for Him together.
This begins a theme that God carries through right to the church and into eternity. There is individual responsibility to worship God and now there is a corporate or community context to worship as well.
Why did God start the church?

Created to Worship in Community

God does something in - calls out Abraham, to make a nation, a people from him.
Why did God call Abraham out and make a nation from him?
God’s purpose for man does not change, every man is still accountable to glorify His maker. But God calls out a people to glorify him and be a witness for Him together.
This begins a theme that God carries through right to the church and into eternity. There is individual responsibility to worship God and now there is a corporate or community context to worship as well.
God is not content to just have individuals worshiping Him
God is continually calling people out and together to worship Him. We were created to worship and worship in community.
God is not content to just have individuals worshiping Him

The Barrier to Worship - Sin

Adam and Eve sin and are thus separated from God. Sin affects every part of their body - emotions, will, mind, choices, body… Their ability to fulfill God’s purpose for them is drastically affected because their relationship with God is destroyed.
We don’t really see the full effect of sin on man’s ability to worship God until God starts instructing Israel on how to worship Him
Leviticus teaches us it is a great privilege to worship God but also that it won’t be easy.
God is holy and people must be holy in order to worship Him. The book of Leviticus is full of laws and sacrifices instructing the people how to live holy lives and thus bring glory to God.
Although there are instructions on the specifics of the how and the what of sacrifices and offerings the repeated emphasis is on the heart condition of the giver. - yet Israel (and us) continually forget this very important point.
1 Samuel 15:22 ESV
22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
1 Sam 15:
Psalm 51:16–17 ESV
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Ps 51:
Leviticus doesn’t just instruct them in holiness rather it shows them they simply don’t measure up. - they simply cannot be holy.
The problem is not simply that they cannot uphold all the commandments, but the sacrifices, offerings and commandments cannot make them holy.
Hebrews 10:11 ESV
11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
God is holy, therefore He can only accept worship that is holy. Holy worship can only come from holy people. Thus man is unable to to fulfill the purpose for which God created him.
Galatians 4:4–5 ESV
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Jesus was born under the Levitical system to fulfill that system and thus bring out from under it all who would trust in God.
,
Hebrews 10:12–14 ESV
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Hebrews 10:12 ESV
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,

The Heart of Worship - Jesus

The focus of worship becomes Jesus because Jesus does what no one else could do. He does what the law or sacrifices could never do. Jesus brings Life!!!!!
Jesus fulfills the O.T. requirements to worship God. He doesn’t just make them obsolete but He makes them complete. How does He do that? He lives a perfect sinless life and dies on the cross as a sacrifice for man’s sin. His perfect life and sacrificial death are what fulfill God’s righteous and just demands. A perfect, holy sacrifice has been made. - There is still a problem!!
As sinners we are not just unholy we are dead. (). The cross of Christ makes us holy but does not give us life. It is the resurrection of Jesus that gives us life.
Ezekiel 11:19 ESV
19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,
Therefore, there is a radical and yet logical shift in the N.T. We shift away from the priests and sacrifices and laws and focus on Jesus Christ.
We cannot worship God apart from Jesus. Our highest praise and greatest deeds far eternally short without the blood of Christ and the power of His resurrection in our lives. - And Jesus gives His blood and resurrection power liberally to all who will receive it.
And Jesus gives His blood and resurrection power liberally to all who will receive it.
There is no sin Jesus cannot forgive, there is no past Jesus cannot redeem, there is no bondage that Jesus cannot break, there is no fear that Jesus cannot calm.
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus your sins are forgiven
Psalm 103:12 ESV
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Saparated as far as teh east is from the West
Isaiah 1:18 ESV
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
We are adopted into God’s family, we are given an eternal inheritance that our minds cannot even imagine, we are given purpose, joy and peace in this life and the glorious hope of eternal life when our life on this earth is over.
Jesus is not only the focus of our worship and the means of our worship but He is also the motivation for our worship.
Jesus is not a distraction - look to Jesus and you’ll forget all your troubles - no look to Jesus and you will see all your troubles in a different light
The OT is filled with what man had to do - The NT is filled with what the Son of man, Jesus did for us.
As sinners we are not just unholy we are dead. ()
Hebrews 10:14 ESV
14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Application

What does it look like to Worship God through Christ?

1. Be made right with God through Christ
The first act of worship anyone makes is the one where they receive Jesus as their Saviour!!
Are you there yet? If not we are praying you will.
2. Walk in light of the right relationship with Christ
“Worship is any expression of our love to God – for WHO He is, WHAT He has said and WHAT He has done, is doing and will yet do.” - Dr. Don Ellsworth
Worship is always a response. I worship God when I see him, when I read in His word and He opens my eyes to the truth of who He is.
Therefore the question becomes not “how can I do better in my walk with Jesus” but “how can I keep Jesus before me
Reading and studying God’s word - personal devos - responding appropriately (confession, petition, praise, witnessing)
Prayer
Books or music
Mutual encouragement
Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Context is the blood of Jesus

What does it look like to Worship God through Christ Together?

Our personal worship of God and our corporate worship (community) work together, they affect each other both positively and negatively.
The beauty of corporate worship is that it is not many voices that are heard by God but one voice united together in Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful testimony to the unity of the body of Christ.
How do we keep Jesus before us as a body?
Preaching of God’s word - Christ being exalted from the Scriptures and the body together submitting to it
Giving - the body giving together in response to God’s generosity
Prayer - the body coming together to the throne of grace to receive help in our needs
Music - the body responding to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in song
Baptisms - the body witnessing and responding to a new member of the family
Communion - few things we do as a church help us to place our focus on Christ like communion does. In communion we are reminding ourselves what our religion, our faith is all about.

Matthew 26:26–29 ESV
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
The institution of it shows the transition of focus to Jesus - Jesus fulfills the Passover. Jesus directs the disciples attention not to the Lamb but to Himself for He is the Lamb. Jesus is their hope and salvation!!
“…the form of this memorial is fitted to recall the actual life and death of the Lord. It is His body and blood we are invited by the symbols to remember. By them we are brought into the presence of an actual living Person. Our religion is not a theory; it is not a speculation, a system of philosophy putting us in possession of a true scheme of the universe and guiding us to a sound code of morals; it is, above all, a personal matter. We are saved by being brought into right personal relations. And in this Sacrament we are reminded of this and are helped to recognize Christ as an actual living Person, who by His body and blood, by His actual humanity, saved us. The body and blood of Christ remind us that His humanity was as substantial as our own, and His life as real.” (Allen P. Ross, Recalling the Hope of Glory, Pg. 398-399)
“…the form of this memorial is fitted to recall the actual life and death of the Lord. It is His body and blood we are invited by the symbols to remember. By them we are brought into the presence of an actual living Person. Our religion is not a theory; it is not a speculation, a system of philosophy putting us in possession of a true scheme of the universe and guiding us to a sound code of morals; it is, above all, a personal matter. We are saved by being brought into right personal relations. And in this Sacrament we are reminded of this and are helped to recognize Christ as an actual living Person, who by His body and blood, by His actual humanity, saved us. The body and blood of Christ remind us that His humanity was as substantial as our own, and His life as real.” (Allen P. Ross, Recalling the Hope of Glory, Pg. 398-399)
“These symbols were appointed to be for a remembrance of Christ in order that, remembering Him, we might renew our fellowship with Him. In the Sacrament there is not a mere representation of Christ or a bare commemoration of events in which we are interested; but there is also an actual, present communion between Christ and the soul.” (Allen P. Ross, Recalling the Hope of Glory, Pg. 399)
“These symbols were appointed to be for a remembrance of Christ in order that, remembering Him, we might renew our fellowship with Him. In the Sacrament there is not a mere representation of Christ or a bare commemoration of events in which we are interested; but there is also an actual, present communion between Christ and the soul.” (Allen P. Ross, Recalling the Hope of Glory, Pg. 399)
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