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Six Facts About Worship

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October 26, 2008

Sermon Title:  Six Facts about Worship
Text :  John 4:19-26

Model: A story to be told,

Theme:  Worship

1.       There is a Time for Worship                       v. 21a

2.       There is a Subject of Worship                    v. 21b

3.       There is a Reason for Worship                   v. 22

4.       There is a Danger in Worship                     v. 23a

5.       There are Requirements for Worship    v. 23b-24

6.       There is a Result of Worship                      v. 25-26

 


Introduction

Church family and visitors, I am not sure if you have heard the news today, but we are at War.  We are at war as individuals, and we are at war as a Christian people.

Our war is not with Iraq.  Our war is not with Afghanistan.   Our war is not with Iran, Korea, or Russia

Our war not with another country and it is not a civil war against our fellow countrymen

Our war is not against a political party nor is it against our newly elected American President.

No, our enemy is far greater than any man.  Our enemy is far greater than any country.  And, our enemy is far greater than any army on earth. 

God’s own Word says in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Our war is not a battled fought with diplomacy.  Neither is it fought with knives, guns, planes or bombs.

Our war is a war over our worship!    Yes I said it.  We are in a Worship War. 

The battle rages in the heavens, and God calls on his fiercest weapons,  He reaches into his arsenal and he sends to the frontlines of the battle his greatest weapons.   He calls upon the greatest weapons he has.  And when he does so, He calls upon you and me. 

There is a battle raging and the price of losing is not our civil liberties.  It is not abortion, gay marriage, it is not gun control.

Our great God is at war for your worship!  The prize of the battle, the trophy of victory, and the reward of His own crucifixion is nothing less than your worship.  God takes worship serious!

In the OT, the war between God and Satan was a war for the worship of a Saint.  One man named Job.  All that man went through, losing his wealth, losing his house, losing his family, and even losing his health, was a battle for his Worship

Pray 

God I know there are many hurting people here today.  I know there are some who are worried about their lives.  There are others worried about their jobs.  There are others worried about their health.  Some are feeling the pressure of guilt.  Some are feeling the pressure of living a lie. 

God, let us lay it at the cross.   Let us exchange our fear for your hope.  Let us exchange our guilt for your forgiveness.  Let us exchange our pride for your humility. 

God help us learn from this rejected women how to worship you.  (NO AMEN)

Recap

When we left off, Jesus had come to Samaria to meet this woman who was a half-bread living in a half-bred and rejected town. 

Jesus and the women began discussing water.  Jesus offered her living water and she thought he was referring to running water, but what Jesus was offering was spiritual fulfillment through salvation and a real relationship with God.

At this point this lady is blind to spiritual things, although Jesus keeps working with her to help her move from thinking only about physical things to spiritual things.

Jesus asks her about her husband and she confesses she is not married.  Jesus, seizing the moment and knowing she is being truthful reveals her true status.  He tells her that he knows she has been married five previous times and the fellow she is now with is not her husband.

Transition: That is where we pick up today in John 4:19

John 4:19-26 (NIV)
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”[1]

  • Just like the disciples of John the Baptist, Just like those old Pharisees, and just like you and me…there is something about the human heart that opposes conviction
  • As soon as the heat began to rise, this woman tries to take the attention off herself and her need for repentance,  off what she needs to do,  and starts turning the conversation towards Jesus and issues of religion
  • V. 19-20. The Jewish temple in Jerusalem was on Mt. Moriah.  So the Jews worship on Mt. Moriah and the Samaritans worshiped on Mt. Gerizim.
  •  The Samaritans had built themselves a temple on Mt. Gerizim because they were not accepted in Jerusalem.  Mt. Gerizim is the mountain she is talking about.
  • In the context of her conversation with Jesus her physical need was thirst and labor to quench that thirst.
  • But Jesus had just exposed a deeper need.  Jesus has exposed a sin problem.  This lady had some real issues with sin and her martial relationships.  
  • Look at how the woman tried to change the topic of conversation! Like us when we fall under the convicting power of God today, she began to argue about differences in religion! “Where should we worship?” “Which religion is right?”[2]

Transition: Jesus responds in verses 21-24 with 6 assertions about worship that have far reaching implications to our understanding of worship and our role in it.

21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

There is a Time for Worship  (all the time)

1.       V-21 , Jesus says a time is coming when the place of worship does not matter (‘The time’ begins when Jesus is crucified and resurrected)

  • Jesus was pointing to the hour of His death and resurrection.  He was pointing her to a future reality
  • We are living in that reality today. 
  • Why will the place of worship no longer matter after the death and resurrection of Christ? 
  • Because the Father is no longer housed in buildings?  He is no longer accessed through the earthly temple and a Levite priest. 
  • You no longer go to God.   He has come to you! 
  • We can worship him anywhere at anytime.

Principle – There is a time for worship. (All the Time)

Application

  • If you only worship God for an hour on Sunday mornings, you have missed the biggest blessing of being a Christian
  • Jesus made a way for you to stay in the presence of God.  Every day, every hour, every circumstance, and every emotion you are in the presence of God. 
  • When you feel mad, hurt, hurried, used, abused, frustrated, scared, or lonely, you are in the presence of God.

We will never experience the kind of corporate worship God wants us to if we do not experience the private worship God wants us too. 

·         You must figure out a way to realize you are always in God’s presence

·         You must figure out a way to realize God moments throughout your day. 

·         You must figure out ways to let go of self and crawl up into God’s arms. 

·         You have got to have personal times throughout your week that you take off your mask and get real with God!

If you do not get real with God when you two are alone together, you will never get real with him in the corporate church setting.

There is a Subject of Worship (The Father)

2.       V-21 , Also in verse 21 we seen that Worship is directed at the Father

·         The subject of worship is not self, it was not the woman,

·         The subject of worship is not a place, it was not either mountain. 

·         The Subject of worship is the Father

·         If what we do, takes more precedence than the one for which we do it, we are not really worshipping.

Principle – The Subject of our worship is God. 

Application

There is not just one specific way to worship God. 

 Roman Catholics say mass and reenact the sacrifice of Jesus each week. 

Quakers worship in silence and have no physical sacraments

Episcopalians follow a prayer book

Pentecostals speak in tongues

Seventh Day Adventists worship on Saturday

Baptists emphasize the preaching of the Bible and singing.

Different denominations have different forms and styles of worship. 

·         Not only do different denominations have different preferences when it comes to corporate church worship, each person also has their own preference about corporate worship style.   

·         Everybody has a certain style of worship they like best

·         Some want to sing songs they have sung before, while others want to sing new songs.

·         Some of prefer to dress up for worship while others of us want to dress down and be casual. 

·         Some want to worship in a traditional order that keeps worship in touch with our heritage, while others prefer a contemporary format that connects with our modern society. 

·         Some want to sing out of a hymnal, while others want to see the words displayed on a large screen

·         When we talk about these things we aren’t talking about worship we are talking about our preferences.  

·         These methods of worship are not a matter of right and wrong, they are a matter of preferences

·         They can become wrong if you become dogmatic about your preferences and try to present them to others as the only or even best way of worship.[3]

Transition:  The Time for Worship is always, the Subject of Worship is God not preferences, and the Reason for worship is Grace.                  

 

There is a Reason for Worship

3.       V-22, In verse 22 we see Jesus say, Salvation comes from the Jews (Not  Moses).

·         What does Jesus mean by this?  Why would he say that Samaritans do not know what they worship? 

·         Their worship was dependent upon their works not on the works of God.

·         They submitted themselves to the Law of Moses rather than to the promise and hope of Jesus Christ the Messiah.

·         Their worship was dependent upon the law not Grace.

·         Their worship was dependant upon ceremony and tradition not on freedom and forgiveness.

·         They worshipped because they thought they had too. 

·         You worship because God saved you!

Principle – The reason we worship is because we are saved!

Application:

·         You may have your own way of coming to God, but God will only accept one way of coming to him.   That is Jesus.  Jesus was a Jew and salvation is found only in him. 

·         The reason we worship is because God is worthy.  Worthy is the Lamb!

·         You were saved to worship God!

·         If you have accepted Jesus but fail to truly worship Him, you have taken the gift in Vain

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

There is a Danger in Worship

4.       V-23, Some worshippers are true worshippers while some are not. 

·         Everyone worships something

·         God has uniquely designed all of us with a desire…NO… a need to worship.

·         Some truly worship Him, everyone else, perverts worship and becomes idolaters.   

·         If God seeks those who are true worshipers, then that means he is not seeking those who are not true worshipers. 

·         There is a danger in holding back your worship from God. 

·         There is a danger in wearing a mask when we come to God. 

·         There is a danger when we place other things before God. 

·         The danger is if we allow other things to prevent our worship, in reality we are idolaters

·         God must be the priority and we must make him the priority.

·         If you cannot come to God when the wrong song is sung, how will you come to him when you lose your job?  How will you come to him when disaster comes? 

There are Requirements for Worship

5.       V-23-24, There are two requirements for worship.   

·         True worship has two elements.  Jesus repeats himself twice. 

·          It is spiritual and it is truthful. 

·         Spiritually, we must be emotionally aimed at, centered on, consumed by God.   Worship from your Heart!

·         Truthfully, we must be confessing our sins, being real with ourselves, and real with God.  

Application – The Requirement of Worship is that we must get past preferences and get to Presence. 

·         Worship is not about your performance, it is about your presence

·         When you stand before your Holy God who bought you with a great price and you realize it is only by His grace can you stand in his presence.  That is worship. 

·         Read Isaiah 6:1-9

·         Worship is realizing, Wow is me, I am ruined!

·         And Worship is realizing God has taken your guilt, and atoned for your sins.

·         Worship is not about performance or preference, it is about Presence!

·         But I never find anyone who is worshiping who says, well I could sing better, but I don’t want to. 

·         Isaiah’s response was to give all he hadHis very bestHis own Life!

·         Worship is an encounter with the Presence of God that says, God you have my all.  My gifts, my talents, my time,  my family, my sin, my success, my failures, my life God

·         Worship can be entertaining and it can be encouraging but that isn’t why God calls us to worship him. 

·         Worship is loving God, adoring God, praising God, and reverencing God. 

·         If you gave God your intellect he wouldn’t be any smarter. 

·         If you gave him your money he wouldn’t be any richer. 

·         If you gave him your strength he wouldn’t be any stronger. 

·         What God desires from you, deserves from you, and demands from you is your worship.

Transition:  And that brings us to the Result of Worship.  Look at verses 25 & 26.

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”[4]

There is a Result to Worship

6.       V-25-26, There is a two fold result to true worship.

·         When the requirements of worship are met, two wonderful things happen. 

·         Jesus is walking this girl from darkness to light. 

·         He is walking her from arguing about water and religion, to realizing her need for the Messiah. 

·         This woman has been on a journey that has brought her to a God encounter.

1)      The first result of worship is a True self realization

·         The woman realized her true need.  She realized she needed one greater than herself. 

·         She realized she needed a Savior.

·         She realized she needed a Liberator. 

·         Real worship exposes your real condition.

 

2)      The second result of worship is God reveals himself.  

·         Once she saw her real need she could see her savior. 

·         It was not until she recognized her need for the Messiah that he revealed himself. 

·         When we come before God confessing our sins, when we take off the masks we wear to church, when we get real before God in your quite place or in corporate church, He will show up.  Jesus tells us God is seeking us.

·         God wants to show up.  God wants you to encounter Him.  He wants to bless you with a God moment.

·         Real worship reveals God.

Principle – Real worship gives you a new perspective.  Real worship reveals who you really are and who God really is. 

Application

·         If you have not gotten real with God, He will not get real with you! 

·         If you want to have a God encounter, you must have a self encounter. 

·         If your need is to make it to lunch on time, do not pretend to have worshipped. 

·         If your need is to sing songs you like, do not pretend to have worshipped.

·         If you need is to have rhythms that you prefer, do not pretend to have worshipped.

Conclusion

Our invitation is this

So here we are in a Worship War. 

·         While you may have been distracted by Satan obstacles,

·         It is not a war over styles.  We will use many styles.

·         It is not over lyrics. We will use many lyrics.

·         It is not over instruments.  We will use all kinds of instruments.

·         It is not over rhythms, we will use as many as possible.

·         It is not over entertainment, we will use or best abilities

It is a War over your heart, will you use your heart?

God seeks your presence. 

You have been summoned to the throne room of Yahweh.  And dare we never reply, I can’t make it today God.  Sorry, but I didn’t like the music.  Sorry God,  Thanks for the invite, but I can’t make it today.  I am thinking about lunch.  Sorry God, the service was too long.  Maybe next time everything will be just the way I like it and I will show up, but, thanks for the invitation God.  Maybe next week… 

·         Have you stood before God today and said, here I am, broken tattered, and weary.  Here I am, Wow is me.  I am ruined. 

·         Has God touched you today and removed your guilt.  Has he given you a new glimpse of Himself? 

·         You may have seen your need for a savior today.  God is inviting you to himself.  Do not refuse him.  I will be down front to meet you show you how you can be saved today. 

·         You may need a church home, some place God can begin to use you and your gifts for his service.    

·         All of us have made worship to be about us, and not about God.  All of us are guilty.  Let’s pray together and ask God’s forgiveness. 


----

[1]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1992). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament (221). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

[3] Ron Stewart, The Power of Worship, Isaiah 6:1-8. 7/9/2002

[4]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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