The way we answer these questions will tell us how to function as a church. If we do not answer these questions, we will just stumble around with no true purpose of what we do. I want to use Acts 2:42-47 for the main text for these next five lessons In this passage, we can find the essential purposes of the church.
Acts 2:42 NET They were devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles.
46 Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, 47 praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.
From G4314 and probably a derivative of G2965 (meaning to kiss , like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to , that is, (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage ( do reverence to, adore ): - worship.
With this definition in mind let’s notice a woman worshiping Jesus.
Luke 7:36 NET Now one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. 37 Then when a woman of that town, who was a sinner, learned that Jesus was dining at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfumed oil.
38 As she stood behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfumed oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner."
Jesus proceeds to tell a parable of a creditor who forgave two debtors. One owing 500 coins
and the other 50 coins.
Luke 7:44 NET Then, turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house. You gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
45 You gave me no kiss of greeting, but from the time I entered she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfumed oil. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little."
to kiss , like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to , that is, (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage ( do reverence to, adore ): - worship. “ weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfumed oil.” This woman fulfilled every aspect we find in Strong’s definition of Worship.
29 Jesus answered, "The most important is: ' Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength .'
This passage catches the essence of what it means to worship. We can do all the right things, but if we do not do this first, then what we are doing is not worship. Sunday morning is the time that people who love the Lord Jesus come together to express that love as a group.
Exodus 20:3 NET "You shall have no other gods before me.
True worship happens when we put God first in our lives.
Romans 12:1 GW Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God's compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you.
Worship is not something that we can make people do, it is something that is a natural outflow of a life lived for Jesus. Whatever is outward in worship must come as a direct result of what is inward-otherwise, it will be form without power.
God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. . . . The very stones would praise him if the need arose and a thousand legions of angels would leap to do his will.
Matthew 15:1 NET Then Pharisees and experts in the law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and said, 2 "Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat." 3 He answered them, "And why do you disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition?
4 For God said, ' Honor your father and mother ' and ' Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death .' 5 But you say, 'If someone tells his father or mother, "Whatever help you would have received from me is given to God," 6 he does not need to honor his father.'
' You have nullified the word of God on account of your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said, 8 ' This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, 9 and they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. ' "
Worship happens when we surrender ourselves to God. When Jesus is worth enough to us to be put first in our lives, then we will be able to come together and praise Him together. Our lives will be a fragrant aroma to God.
Isaiah 6:1 NET In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the sovereign master seated on a high, elevated throne. The hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs stood over him; each one had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and they used the remaining two to fly.
3 They called out to one another, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord who commands armies! His majestic splendor fills the entire earth!" 4 The sound of their voices shook the door frames, and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 I said, "Too bad for me! I am destroyed, for my lips are contaminated by sin, and I live among people whose lips are contaminated by sin.
My eyes have seen the king, the LORD who commands armies." 6 But then one of the seraphs flew toward me. In his hand was a hot coal he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, "Look, this coal has touched your lips.
The things that we do in a “worship” service are intended to magnify God. The music, communion, prayer, preaching. Jesus told us that when we partake, we are to remember Him. The actions that come from one who has not surrendered their lives to Jesus are not worship.
When the T.V.A. system created Watauga Lake in 1948, it buried the old community of Butler, Tennessee. In 1983, the water had to be lowered to repair the dam. Thousands of people waded through the mud to see where their homes once stood and to relive memories of the past.
Worship lets us relive memories of the past—not only our own personal past, but the collective past of all the believers who have gone before us. But worship is more than sentiment or nostalgia. Worship looks to the future to inspire us to better deeds and better lives. Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows,
And when you worship, you are fulfilled! Think about this: why did Jesus Christ come? He came to make worshipers out of rebels. We who were once self-centered have to be completely changed so that we can shift our attention outside of ourselves and become able to worship him. (Raymond C. Ortlund)
Are you here today to worship? Does your worship seem empty to you? Are you looking for more? Many times it is not that we need to find something new to excite us, but we need to surrender ourselves to Jesus. If you find that you cannot worship,
maybe you need to surrender more of yourself to Jesus. Today we give you that opportunity.