Worship That Pleases God, Part 2

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
March 20, 2016

Worship That Pleases God, Part 2
Congregational Worship – Selected Scriptures

Introduction

This morning I want to continue on with the topic of Worship That Pleases God. I have already presented to you the marks of true worship, both for the individual and the congregation. True worship by the individual should be marked by Fear of God, Confession of Sin, An Active Faith in God, Confident Prayer to God, The Fruit of Righteousness in the manner of life, Verbal Praise to God, A Content Heart, A willingness to Suffer for Righteousness without complaint, and A Clear Witness to others of God’s mercy, grace and love. True worship by the congregation will result in God being glorified, Believers being purified, the Church being edified and Unbelievers being evangelized.

These marks are good to know about for they set the standard for which we should be striving. However, if we do not know how to bring about these marks in our life, then knowing them will only bring about an increasing frustration. That is why the focus of my last sermon was about what is needed in the life of the individual in order to develop such true worship which is pleasing to God. Let me very briefly review those elements and their relationship with each other.

Review

It begins my making sure that God is first in every aspect of your life. There must be a craving within you for God just as David expressed it in Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” This craving for God starts by recognizing that God is your creator and you are His creature which He brought into existence for His own purposes and not your own. There is no meaning and purpose to your life apart from God. The various cravings of your flesh, your eyes and your pride as well as all the things upon which society places importance are in the end just vanity, a futile chasing after the wind. Solomon makes this very clear in Ecclesiastes.

Recognizing that God is your Creator and you are His creature will produce a craving for God, however, this will also quickly cause you to realize your own sinfulness. Man has developed all sorts of ways to deal with this guilt including the many false religions and cults. All of them fail because ultimately each of them relies on human effort to cover the sin and achieve God’s acceptance, but that is impossible. That is like trying to clean a stained white sheet with muddy water. In the more recent past, man has developed philosophical and psychological excuses for guilt. But that is like proclaiming a stained white sheet is still good because you have convinced the person to either ignore the stains or to believe the sheet is more beautiful with the stains because they add color to it.

The only way to successful way to deal with sin and its guilt is through the forgiveness and cleansing of those sins by God’s grace through faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ which creates a love for Christ and desire to live for Him. This begins a chain that spirals upward, for the more you love Christ and walk with Him, the closer you want to be to Him which causes you to see more clearly your own sinfulness and need of Him and His daily cleansing to walk in greater holiness which increases your love for Him resulting in a closer walk with Him which reveals more of your sinfulness and need for Him resulting in a greater love and desire to walk with Him which results in . . . This process just keeps cycling upon itself increasing the desire to know and walk with God that is analogous the craving of a deer panting for water.

When the individuals in the congregation desire God in this manner, then their individual worship will be true worship because they have placed God at the center of their lives. They make no distinction between secular and sacred for everything they do, say, and think is then done for the Lord. Everything is sacred. When such individuals come together for corporate worship, then it to will be true worship because it will all be centered on God. They have gathered together to actively glorify Him instead of passively be entertained.

For the rest of this morning I want to talk about our efforts to have services here that are God centered and therefore is true worship. I will be discussing how the various elements in our corporate worship fit with that desire. It may seem very basic that worship is to be centered on God, but there is a very large movement within Christianity, even including church that would call themselves fundamental or evangelical, that is moving the church away from the true worship of God to what really amounts to at best, thought provoking religious entertainment of men. Let me speak about this movement first because I think it will help you also understand why we do what we do here at Grace Bible.

Church Growth Movement Pro & Con

Many churches have become involved in what is often referred to as the Church Growth Movement and those things have arisen from it. Its key component is what is often called seeker sensitive or seeker friendly services. A seeker is defined as someone that is not a Christian, but might be interested. That sounds good on the surface because no one would want to present themselves as having seeker unfriendly services in which non-Christians are not welcome. True Christians have a desire for those that do not know the Lord Jesus Christ to come to know Him, and we would not want to place unnecessary obstacles in the way of that. One of the purposes of the Church is evangelism, so certainly we do not want to be a hindrance to one of our purposes.

PRO

With that in mind, let me begin with some positive things about the Church Growth Movement, for some of their ideas can make us aware of things that can unnecessarily hinder someone from coming back if they visited. For example, church growth material will point out that a church nursery is very important to young couples. New parents have a heightened concern about the facilities in which they leave their children and the workers that will care for them. If they do not feel comfortable leaving their baby in the nursery, then they will not and may not even come back. Parents want to know that you care about their baby, so it is important for us to make sure the nursery is clean, bright and staffed with competent, cheerful people who like children.

Church Growth studies have also shown that a quirk in the current generation is that they like some space and do not want to be crowded in. Taking this into consideration, we know that when the seats in here are consistently 80% full, then we have to find a way to reduce the space stress or new people tend not to come back. That is a reason that since we have to fix the front of the church because it is sinking, then it is wise to spend the extra money to expand the building in that direction. We are often too short of space.

There are also some good ideas that arise from the so called “seeker sensitive services.” First, they tend to be well planned, and our God is worthy of thoughtfulness before we gather to worship Him. Second, there is a sensitivity in trying to clearly communicate to those who come so that they will understand and be able to join in the worship. That will influence not only musical styles, but also printed material and use of multi-media for presentations and the sermon.

Certainly there are cautions that must be taken, which I will talk about in a moment, but our purpose is to stimulate those present in the true worship of God. That means we must know something about those who are attending and help them to worship God. The focus of our effort in this is believers, but we also want non-believers present to gain an understanding of what we are doing. This church is diverse, so we do many diverse things in the effort to have as many people as possible joining in the worship of our God for He is worthy of it. The issue in worship is not style for any style of worship including traditional, conservative services using only hymn books, piano and organ for music and without any screens for powerpoint or multi-media can be very, very far from true worship. The issue in worship is heart and mind and we must be thoughtful that our service will reach the hearts and minds of those present. That is why we want to communicate and proclaim as clearly as we can to them our great and majestic God so that they will truly worship Him.

CONThe primary problem with “seeker friendly” services is the same problem that occurs in many traditional, conservative services. They are designed for man, not for God. They are planned to please people and not to move the people to please God. True worship is God centered. “Seeker services” are man centered. A service designed for true worship desires to move the heart and mind of man to God that God may be glorified as He deserves by both the vocal praise of the people and their changed lives as they gain a greater understanding of God and His will. Seeker services are designed to make Christianity palatable to the non-Christian. The emergent church is even worse by catering to the unbeliever and making what is sinful tolerable, acceptable or even celebrated.

This problem of worship services that are in reality man centered has existed from ancient times. Isaiah 29:13 records God’s condemnation of the Jews for this, “Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned [by rote,].” This was a traditional worship service, but the people were just going through the motions of their religious rituals and doing what they had been taught by rote without thought of actually pleasing and glorifying God. Their daily lives reflected their selfish sinfulness for which they were also condemned.

In Matthew 15:7-9 Jesus quotes this section of Isaiah and adds, “But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” This same condemnation will still fall on anyone that comes to worship God with traditions that have replaced the doctrine of God. Many of you come from church backgrounds in which the liturgy has replaced true worship. This occurs not only in Roman Catholicism and mainline Protestant denominations, but also in evangelical churches. While we have a general order of service that we follow most Sundays, we will change that around periodically simply because we do not want our worship services to become rote. We want both your mind and heart to be engaged in the worship of God.

Worship that is not actually centered on the Lord is not true worship for it is not done in spirit and truth (John 4). It is worship of something other than the true God. It is worship of the unknown. This is another problem with “seeker services” for even that designation given by those who promote them reveals their focus and design is on man and not the glory of God.

Let me again quickly say that many things done in a “seeker sensitive” church service can be good and helpful. The problem lies in the reason for their use. Because such services are purposely designed to be attractive to non-Christians they will inevitably and invariably degenerate from true worship into false worship. They will become increasingly man centered and less God centered. The message will change as certain issues will be avoided so as not to cause offense to non-Christians and visitors. It does not take long for that mindset to end up with sin itself being played down and ignored. The gospel is distorted and the message becomes focused on man. The Emergent Church is the result of this mind set seeking to cater to the Millennial generation which has been taught there are no absolute truths. They no longer believe the Scriptures and worship a false God and false Christ.

Some years ago we had two families from our church move to another state where they both got involved for a short time with a church that was in the process of going the direction of being “seeker friendly.” Over the course of a year the messages became increasingly watered down until sin was rarely mentioned. Their outreach activities became more controlled by this mindset. One of the women involved in their young mother’s group developed a rapidly spreading cancer and died a few months after she had started coming. Soon after the funeral for this woman, a meeting was held in which the young mothers of this group were praising the Lord because they had so many opportunities to help her and her family during this difficult time. However, the tragic fact came out that none of them knew whether this lady’s soul had gone to heaven or hell because none of them had asked her about her personal relationship to Jesus Christ or had told her the gospel. They had become so “seeker friendly” that unbelievers could come and be able to comfortably continue happily on the road to hell. Woe to those that will neglect the message of salvation because they do not want to offend unbelievers.

Jesus said to the Pharisees in John 5:44, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the [one and] only God?” There cannot be true worship when the approval of men is sought instead of the approval of God.

The Goal of Grace Bible Church

Let me say it to you as plainly as possible. Our concern here is the worship of God and not how people feel. Whether you like or dislike the service here is of very little interest to me. This church does not exist nor do I preach to gain your approval. This church exists and I preach for one goal and that is the glory of God. That singular goal drives us in every area of our purpose statement.

The means of doing this is discipleship which has four aspects to it. First, we communicate new life in Christ through evangelism because the salvation of sinners brings glory to God. We are told in Luke 15:10 that there is even “joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” We cultivate new life in Christ through edification (building up one another in Christ) because lives lived in holiness and service to the Lord bring glory to Him. We care for one another in Christ through true fellowship because such demonstration of true love gives visible expression to the nature of the body of Christ and that glorifies God. As Jesus told us in John 13:35, “By this all men will know you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” We celebrate our new life in Christ through corporate worship because that allows us to jointly glorify God. That has always been the practice of God’s people throughout human history.

Does this mean that we are insensitive to people? Of course not. We welcome all people here both believer and unbelievers alike; members, regular attenders and visitors. We desire to assist you as much as possible to enter in our worship of God, but again, our concern is His glory, not your comfort. While I have little concern if you liked the service or not, I am keenly concerned that while you were here you were moved in your relationship with God. I will use every method I can think of and am capable of doing to accomplish that goal. I will seek to encourage, inspire, stimulate and as needed prod and provoke too. While I do not seek to personally offend anyone, I am not afraid to offend anyone with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ because the preaching of it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16), though it is offensive to those who do not believe and will not obey it (1 Peter 2:8).

While we do not want to unnecessarily offend anyone, we would much rather offend you than risk offending God. I must preach the whole truth of God regardless of what anyone thinks or feels about it, for that is honoring to Him. Frankly, if you are not a Christian, or if you are a Christian who is hiding some sin, then you should be offended by our worship service for your life is not God centered and you have unresolved sin in your life and you need to deal with it. We can help you with that if you are willing. Talk with me or one of our church leaders after the service or call me at the office this week and take a step forward to get right with God and walk with Him. If you are not a Christian or are a Christian who is hiding some sin and you are not offended, then there is a serious problem. Either we are somehow failing to communicate to you or you are failing to pay attention to what is being proclaimed. In either case, you need to get that corrected quickly lest you enter eternity under God’s condemnation or fall under His chastening hand.

How serious is the gospel to us? We give every visitor who comes to a worship service a CD with two messages on it. One explains a little about this church, what we believe and what we are striving to do. The others is a very direct message on what it means to be a Christian. We give those out knowing that it may be very offensive to an unbeliever and to a professing believer who is not walking with God and that they may never come back as a result. However, we also know that we may only get one opportunity, so we must make the most of it. We would much rather offend a person with the truth than offend God by failing to proclaim the truth of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the nearly twenty-five years I have been pastor of this church, I have seen a lot of people come through our doors never to return again because they reject the message of the gospel.

I have also seen many come for awhile, and then finally leave because they either do not like the truth and are unwilling to deal with their sin in a Biblical way, or their true interest in is gaining something for themselves instead of the true worship of God. They are man centered instead of God centered and so they seek experiences that fill their own selfish desires instead of humbly submitting their desires to will and glory of God. Let me state this plainly. All who desire to know and worship our great God and Creator and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ are welcome here even if that desire at present is more curiosity than commitment. All who want to play church, are seeking a spiritual experience instead of walking by the Spirit of God, act as theater critics of those who lead worship or require others to cater to their personal desires are cordially invited to go elsewhere and find some other group with whom they will be like minded and cease to plague us with their presence. We have gathered to worship God and our concern is pleasing our Lord. Whether you are pleased or not is irrelevant.

How We Strive to Corporately Worship God

It is our quest to make sure that God is central in our worship services and we desire for you to enter into true worship of Him with all that you are. That includes emotion, intellect and body. How do we strive to do that? Let me go over some of our elements of worship that occur in most of our services.

First, we recognize that life can be very hectic and many of you rush here to church and may not have prepared as you might have desired. Because we want you to enter into worship, we try to move you both emotionally and intellectually to prepare for such worship. That is why we start off with singing and project the words on the screen. This not only lets you know that we are beginning our worship service but also helps you to turn from what you have been doing and start to focus on God.

Next, we usually have our time of family business. I realize that announcements may seem like they have nothing to do with worship, but if they are done right, they are part of worship for they either proclaim the current things God is doing in our midst, or they make you aware of coming opportunities to serve Him or to participate in a ministry and grow. The particular announcement may or may not affect you directly, but God can be glorified by us when we know what He is doing among us.

Family business is usually followed by a call to worship. This follows the pattern set forth in the Psalms. Some were specifically calls to worship like Psalm 100 & 117, and others contain an element of invitation to come worship the Lord, like Psalm 118:1-4, before proclaiming some truth about Him. We may use a simple scripture reading or some sort of responsive reading, but we seek to call your attention to the God we have come to worship. This is usually followed by an invocation, which is asking God to be present with us and graciously accept our efforts to worship Him.

Another element in our worship is congregational singing. Many people think that the musical portion of the service is the worship time, but in reality it is only one aspect of it. This is probably the most widespread misconception about worship that exists. Music can be a powerful force in true worship, or it can be its biggest obstacle. I remember reading an article in a magazine for worship leaders in which the editorial writer repeated some of the cautions Zwingli gave during the Swiss reformation of the mid-1500’s. Zwingli, among the three major reformers (he, Luther and Calvin), was the most musically inclined and had been a professional musician. He feared so much the power that music has to move our emotions that at times he banned musical instruments from use in worship.

I will talk more about music in the coming weeks because that subject can easily take up a whole sermon. It is enough to say this morning that the Bible records the lyrics of many songs used in the worship of God. That is actually what the book of Psalms contains. It is the lyrics to the songs sung by God’s people in ancient times.

We will use different types and styles of music with three main purposes in mind. Ephesians 5:19 speaks of Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. We use choruses and songs with simple lyrics to enable people to quickly join in our corporate praise of God. Hymns, with their more complex lyrics, are used to teach and reinforce truths about God’s character and actions. The particular song used is chosen for how well it matches the theme of our service and its place in the service. Lighter songs are often used in the beginning of the service as a call to worship. Before the sermon a hymn with thoughtful lyrics on the same topic as the sermon will call us to begin to think on that topic. The hymn following the sermon may cause us to reflect on what was just preached or to make personal commitment to following the Biblical truths that have been explained.

Special music may be included in the service that we might be encouraged, edified, or even admonished. Such special music is not a performance of entertainment. It is a musical ministry done to cause you to think and reflect about God. That is why we ask you not to applaud for a musical piece regardless of how well it was done. Such applause is easily confused as appreciation for what a human has done, but we want the glory to go to God. If the music moved you emotionally, then give out a hearty “amen” or “praise the Lord” or even a robust “hallelujah.” These responses glorify God and will also let the person ministering in music know that they have been effective in moving you to true worship. That is the greatest compliment you can give a godly musician.

We usually use a musical set to prepare you mentally and emotionally for a time of personal prayer. That is an element of worship that I find is tragically missing from most church worship services. We give you this opportunity for three main reasons. The first is that true worship requires a clean heart (Psalm 66:18), and we want to make sure that you have been able to take care of any unconfessed sins. Second, this helps you to make sure the focus of your attention is on the Lord. Third, it gives you opportunity for personal praise to the Lord for what He has done in your life this past week. There may or may not be a quiet song played during this time. Some of you find that beneficial and some of you do not, so by mixing it up, everyone will periodically have it the way most helpful to them.

The pastoral prayer allows all of us to join in together in seeking the Lord as a congregation. The purpose is not so you can hear what I pray for, but so that all of us together can join in praise for God’s character, thanksgiving for what He has done, and petitions for God’s actions on particular issues important to this congregation. God is glorified by our seeking Him out on the issues of life. We find examples of such congregational prayers throughout the Bible.

Other elements of worship may include people giving their testimony of either salvation or of what God is currently doing in their life. We often have a report about our missionaries and find out what God is doing in other places. We may include some sort of ceremony such as the setting apart of our leaders for ministry; a baby dedication (which is actually the public declaration of the parents to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord), or the induction of individuals as members of this congregation. All these things are done so that you may see and hear what God is doing, for all those things bring Him glory.

The central aspect of our worship service is the clear exposition of God’s message to us in the Scriptures. Seeking to know and understand God is the focal point of our worship with half or more of our time together in a worship service given over to proclamation of God’s word. You cannot truly worship what you do not know, and God has chosen what Paul calls in 1 Corinthians 1:21 “the foolishness of the message preached” to be the means by which He would make Himself known. The declaration of God’s word is seen throughout the Old & New Testament as central in both knowing Him and in the worship of Him. I will expand on this point in the near future as well.

One part of our service that we do not do publicly is give our offerings. Many churches do take up a public collection, and we do not object to them doing so as an act of worship. We have simply chosen to let your giving be something that you do privately because of the principles we find in 2 Corinthians 9. We want to avoid putting you in a position in which you would give grudgingly or under compulsion (vs. 7). We would rather that you give cheerfully without outside pressure. You decide before the Lord what you will give as you purpose in your own heart knowing that He supplies for your every need. We have a “Faith Box” at the back of the church in which you can place your offerings as your own act of worship.

Another element I want to point out in our effort to worship God is our keeping of the ordinances of baptism and communion that God has commanded us to observe. These are religious rituals commanded by God and they bring Him glory in special ways.

Baptism glorifies God through the voluntary identification of the individual believer with Jesus Christ (Romans 6). As the believer goes under the water they identify with Jesus’ death and burial signifying that the person they used to be has been crucified with Christ and no longer lives (Galatians 2:20). As the believer is raised out of the water, they identify with Jesus’ resurrection and that they have been raised to walk in newness of life. Contrary to the doctrine of Roman Catholicism and other church denominations, baptism is not a sacrament that removes Adam’s sin, saves you, or gives you any kind of extra grace. However, it is a very important and serious command that Jesus gave to us in Matthew 28:19. If you have not been baptized since you have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ, then you need to be, for you are in direct disobedience to Him until you do. Pick up the information sheet at the literature rack and then talk with me so that you can glorify God through this ordinance.

The second ordinance is the Lord’s table which is also called the Lord’s Supper or Communion. In it we share in a special fellowship with Jesus Christ as we reflect back on what God has done for us in redeeming us from our sins through the His atoning sacrifice. As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” It is a special time as we personally remember and thank the Lord for dying in our place and look forward to His promised return. It is only for believers for it is also a proclamation to all who are around of our belief and trust in Jesus for our salvation.

The final element of corporate worship I want to mention today is obedience. A life lived in obedience to God is a holy life and living such a life is the greatest worship that we can bring to Him for such a life reflects being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. When we meet together, we are to encourage other toward obedience to God. That includes obeying His commands on how to worship Him corporately. God is truly worshiped when we obey Him together.

Conclusion

Worship takes place when the congregation meets together, but how good and true it is will be dependent on the individuals that make up that congregation. The best worship you can offer the Lord is not what you do here, but how you live your life for the Lord on a daily basis. If Jesus Christ is the central figure in your life, and every aspect of your life is controlled by Him and lived for His glory, then you will be a true worshiper of God, and you will bring that with you when you meet with other believers. The result is an enhancement to the true worship by all.

May God receive greater glory for Himself as we become better at worshiping Him both individually and corporately.

Sermon Notes: Worship That Pleases God, Part 2
Selected Scriptures

Introduction

Knowing the marks of true worship is important, but you also need to know how to _____________them

Psalm 42:1-2 – the craving for God begins by recognizing He is your creator and you exist for His ________

There is __________meaning and purpose to your life apart from God

Recognizing your sinfulness produces a quest to deal with the _______- man’s self efforts all ultimately fail

Sin & guilt can only successfully be removed by God’s _____through faith in the person and work of Christ

Forgiveness love for Christ holiness recognize sin Forgiveness love for Christ holiness

With God at the center at life, everything is _____________, and true worship takes place in everything

When individuals who truly worship God gather together, there is true ____________worship of God

Church Growth Movement (CGM) Pro & Con

No one tries to be seeker ______________, for we want unbelievers to become Christians

A  CGM positive is ______________of things that could be unnecessarily hindrances to ministry

A CGM positive is sensitivity to ____________communicate to all who come

The focus is stimulating _______to worship God, but we want unbelievers to understand what we are doing

A CGM negative is that they design their service to focus on ___________, not God

Isaiah 29:13 – man centered worship services have been a problem since ____________times

Matthew 15:7-9 – the _______________of men replace the doctrine of God, and so it is not true worship

A CGM negative is their inevitable ________________into marginal and even false worship

John 5:44 – There cannot be true worship when you seek the approval of __________instead of God

The Goal of Grace Bible Church

This church exists and I preach for one goal – the glory of __________

We evangelize because the ______________of sinners brings glory to God

We edify one another because lives lived in increasing _____________brings glory to God

We fellowship with one another because expressing Christian ___________brings glory to God

We conduct corporate worship because hearts and voices lifted in __________of belief bring glory to God

We welcome everyone, but our concern is the ____________of God and not trying to please people

Whether you like the service is irrelevant, our concern is your _______in the knowledge and service of God

We will not risk offending _____in the effort to not offend you – and those practicing sin should be offended

We proclaim the gospel without compromise knowing its ____________will cause some never to return

We welcome all who _____________to know and serve our Lord

Those who want to play church, act as theater critics or want personal desires filled are invited ___________

We gather to worship and please God, ________________

How We Strive to Corporately Worship God

We want to transition you from your hectic life to _____________on God

Family business lets us know what God is doing and what __________________are coming up

The Call to Worship directs your ______________to the God we have come to worship

Music is only a ____________of worship

Congregational singing uses Psalm, Hymns and Spiritual Songs to teach, encourage and give ____________

Special music is a ministry that seeks to cause you to think and ____________about God and His work

Music is used to prepare you mentally and _______________to pray, praise and hear God’s word

The Pastoral prayer joins us in praise to God for what He has done and _______Him for His grace & mercy

Testimonies and missions reports declare God’s glory in His past and current __________in individual lives

______________God’s word is our focal point for proper worship is dependent on knowing God & His will

Putting your offerings in the “Faith Box” is a ______________act of worship of thanksgiving and trust

Baptism proclaims your conversion and __________identification with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection

In Communion you proclaim the Lord’s _______________until He comes – 1 Corinthians 11:26

Living in obedience to God is worship for that reflects Jesus Christ ____________in you

Conclusion

The best worship you can offer is living your life _____________________day by day, moment by moment

Those who truly worship God as individuals ________________the worship of all when they join together

KIDS KORNER
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times God is referenced. Talk with your parents about the importance making God the center of your life.

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What are the marks of true worship by an individual and by a congregation? What is needed for you to be able to develop the marks of true worship? Why can’t man solve his problem with sin and guilt by his own means? How does being forgiven in Christ begin an ever increasing spiral of love and desire for God and personal holiness? What is good within the “Church Growth Movement” ? What is the primary problem with the Church Growth Movement? Why is man centered worship an ancient problem? What are some the ways this is expressed in various churches today? Why does the effort to be “seeker sensitive” inevitably degenerate into marginal and even false worship? Can worship that is done to gain the approval of men gain the approval of God? Why or why not? How are evangelism, edification and fellowship all related to worship? What should be the primary purpose of a worship service? What should be the goal for the people in such a service? What consideration should be made in a proper worship service for those who come that are not Christians? Explain. How can announcement be a part of the worship of God? What is a Call to Worship and what is its purpose? How can music and singing be used to enhance worship? How could they be detrimental? What priority should be placed on prayer? Why? What priority should be placed on exposition of the Scriptures? Why? How is giving an offering worship? What is the importance of baptism and communion as part of worship? What is the relationship of obedience to God and worship?


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