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Worship in the Church Age

Last week we opened up a brand new series called Deeper(Worship). We talked about worshiping God beyond just Wednesday night or when we are in church and I encouraged us to pursue a lifestyle of worshiping God. We talked about how true worship starts with repentance (Nehemiah 9:1-3) Then about how worship involves sacrifice (Romans 12:1) And finally we looked at how biblical worship is rooted in respect and reverence for God. (Deuteronomy 6:1 & Revelation 14:7) One thing I’ve discovered about myself is that I love to try and learn new things. I think it gets on Laurens nerves sometimes when I come home and say something like “Hey! I read this article about a vegan hamburger” or “My friend was telling me about the benefits of taking cold showers!” The truth is I love the freedoms that we have in this life and part of the joy of life is getting to experience new things. One of my biggest fears is getting to the end of my life and wishing I had done so much more. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable at first, but that’s part of the fun right?First we must understand when it comes to your walk with Jesus, the important thing is to establish your boundaries. As Christ-followers we find our source in the Bible. Thats one of our pillars here in Deeper, “The Bible is our Source” So that means that our boundaries must fall within scripture.

So then that leads us to our conversation for tonight, “What does biblical worship look like?”, and “how can I apply that to my everyday goal of a lifestyle of worship?” I remember as a kid I once heard a pastor, joyfully saying that he “couldn’t wait to spend all eternity worshiping Jesus”. That thought terrified me. I thought, “You mean we’re going to spend eternity in some kind of heavenly church building while a choir sings nonstop, I was really hoping that there would be some sort of sporting events going on in heaven, but I guess this is a better alternative than hell” Its funny to look back that thought, but the fear in that moment was real in my young mind. I want to share some things that I’ve learned over the years since then:1)Healthy worship starts at the beginning of each day. Obviously I don’t mean that we wake up every day and head to the church, I mean we wake up every day with the intentions of serving God. When we come to church on Wednesday nights and worship God, that should be a byproduct of a worshipful lifestyle. The error of our culture tells us that going to church is where we find salvation, just because you go to church doesn’t mean that you’ve got a strong relationship with Jesus. I can go to the gym, hang out for an hour, buy something in the vending machine and leave fatter than when I came in the first place. But if I show up at the gym, work hard, then go home, eat right and continue a healthy lifestyle, my workout at the gym is that much more enhanced.

2) We must worship God in “Spirit and in Truth” In John 4:23-24 we see the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, in verse 23 Jesus says,“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”There is a lot of commentaries, and plenty of solid biblical scholars have opinions about this text. So let’s break it down and see how we can apply Jesus’ instruction to our lives. A)Who was Jesus talking to? This Samaritan woman had different views than the Jewish people, Samaritans believed that there was a coming Messiah, but didn’t necessarily believe that He would be from the Davidic line, they rejected the Old Testament aside from the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 18:15-18) and they believed that a Moses-like figure would come and solve all of their problems. This explains her statement in verse 25, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” To which Jesus responded in verse 26,“I Am the Messiah!” B) Worship God in Spirit & Truth. During the church age, worship is no longer centered around the temple. It doesn’t mean that the church is now unnecessary, it means that worship is intended to be the lifestyle of the believer. 24For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” Jesus is referencing God’s spiritual nature and that He isn’t confined to one specific place.

As far as worshiping God in Truth, Jesus is the bridge to the Father, and when we worship God it must be through the Truth, in that Jesus is the Son of God. Therefore when you worship the Father it must be done through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah and our source of salvation. Build a lifestyle of worship, then expressions of worship will come naturally3) Confidence in Worship Confidence in a worship setting is one of the most freeing feelings. Like when you walk into a church setting fully aware that it doesn’t matter what anyone around you thinks. What does that confidence translate to? I believe it translates to a deep authentic worship of God our father. It means that you can pour your heart out before God your Father. It means you’re not there to impress anyone around you, nor are you there to please man, you’re there for one reason and one purpose, to worship God.

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