Saturday, November 25, 2006

Biblical Priorities for a Healthy Church (3)

How in the world should the church worship?
Biblical Priorities for the Life of Our Church (3) Biblical Worship
Psalm 29:2; Jonah 1:9 and Romans 12:1-2; Psalm 100:2 and Hebrews 10:25

Introduction (review):
1. On October 22, we began a new series of topical-expository messages on Biblical Priorities for the Life of Our Church.
2. In our first message in this series, "Where in the world in the Church?," we considered the context in which we live and minister, and we agreed that the Bible teaches us that it is important for us to be aware of our contemporary context, to understand our times (see, e.g. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 1 Chronicles 12:32 and Matthew 16:3/ Luke 12:56). We also argued that there at least three huge factors impacting the church in our day: individualism, relativism, and consumerism. We also said that these cultural myths and assumptions have a massive influence on the church, and often unhelpfully impact the way we view what the church is, should be, does and believes, as well as the way we participate in the life of the church and the way we engage the culture.
3. So how do we compete with this? How do we resist the siren song of the culture? How do we keep from caving in and copying the world? The Bible’s answer is primarily that we do so by having our hearts and minds captured by the word of God. And this has to work it’s way out primarily in the faithful exposition of God’s word - biblical preaching. So that was the focus of our second message in this series.
4. As we studied 2 Timothy 4:1-4 and noted Paul’s emphasis on the importance of preaching, we also suggested five ways that we as hearers of the word can better profit from the message preached. 1. Listen as if your life depended on it (Matthew 4:4). 2. Recognize the seriousness of your life situation (Ephesians 6:12). 3. Realize that it is God’s word you need in such a circumstance (Psalm 119:105). 4. Understand that it is God’s help that you need (Psalm 40:17). 5. Appreciate that communion with God is your goal (Psalm 27:4; 42:1)
5. This leads us naturally to today’s focus: worship. True believers all have a passion for worship. Worship takes place in two arenas, all-of-life and the gathered congregation, and flows from a heart that has received God’s grace and desires God.
6. We will see the emphasis on all-of-life worship Psalm 29:2 and Romans 12:1-2. We’ll see the emphasis on gathered praise in Psalm 100:2 and Hebrews 10:25.

A healthy church is filled with believers who by God’s grace have a passion for biblical worship. They live to glorify God in all of life and they love to gather with the saints to meet with him.

This passion will manifest itself in at least four ways:

I. Glorifying God (Worship in all of life)
*Psalm 15

II. Desiring God (God as the object of our worship)
*Psalm 63:1-5

III. Following the Bible (God-directed worship, in form and content)
John 4:24

IV. Loving the Lord’s Day (God-centered view of Sunday)
*Revelation 1:10

M’Cheyne "A well-spent sabbath we feel to be a day of heaven upon earth . . . we love to rise early on that morning, and to sit up late, that we may have a long day with God"

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