This is Part 4 of a 4-part series by Rex Terry, entitled “Why Worship Is Our Primary Responsibility”:
III. Worship Was The Practice Of The New Testament Saints And Believers
• They worshiped Christ at His birth. (Matt. 2:11)
• They worshiped Christ during His earthly ministry. (Matt. 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 28:17)
• They worship Christ in heaven now and we will continue to do so for all eternity. (Rev. 4:2-11; 5:6-14)
Worship and praise was not foreign or strange to the believers of the early church. In Acts 2:11, on the day of Pentecost we find Peter and the other disciples of Christ praising God openly and speaking of the “wonderful works of God” among the people in Jerusalem.
After Paul and Silas had been whipped and throne into prison for openly preaching about Jesus, we find them both singing and praising God at the midnight hour. (Acts 16:23-25) Why? Because inspite of their trials, their hardships or their physical condition and imprisonment, God was and is still worthy of praise, honor and glory and at no time and for no reason have God’s people ever been instructed or told to stop worshipping and praising God. It was not only a part of the Old Testament culture of God’s people in times past, it was a vital part of the life of the early New Testament believers and their new life in Christ and it should continue to be today. God’s people are to openly worship and praise His name.
Paul reminded the believers at Philippi that God had exalted our Lord and had given a name that was so great that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:10-11) If we will look closely at the context, Paul’s statement was in the present tense and it continues today. When the name of Jesus is mentioned in preaching, when it is sung about in song and when it is lifted up in testimony before others Paul says that every knee “should” bow now and every tongue “should” confess now. In other words when the Lord’s name is spoken or sung it deserves recognition and it should bring forth some kind of a verbal and bodily response. Worship is not a future attitude or position but is to be a present reality in the lives of New Testament believers.
We see this very truth played out and lived out in the lives of people all the time. At athletic events a star ball player’s name is called out and the people cheer, clap and stand. A movie star’s name is mentioned and people cheer, clap and wave their hands. There are people from many different walks of life that are greeted every where they go with crowds of people cheering them, applauding them and standing for them. No one has done more for the needy than Jesus has. No one has done more for children than Jesus has. No one has done more for the elderly than Jesus has. No one has done more for minorities than Jesus has. No one has sacrificed or given as much as Jesus. No athlete, military hero, politician, preacher, business person or humanitarian has done more for the human race than Jesus has. Who cheers when His name is mentioned? Who stands when His name is used? Who stands with tears streaming down their eyes when Jesus is talked about? We do it for others…but not our Lord.
We can fight it, we can deny it, and we can try to rationalize it away but the real truth is we don’t honor our Lord, we don’t worship Him and we don’t praise Him the way He deserves and the way that He desires for us to according to His Word.
Q. – Sunday, during the worship and praise time take a moment to listen and look around…is the King of
Kings really being praised, worshiped and glorified by all?
Q. – Sunday, watch and listen to how people respond when the name of the Lord is used or spoken…do
people really care?
• Listen and watch as the truth of God’s Word is preached.
• Politicians get more responses from their messages of half-truths and meaningless promises than preachers proclaiming the truth of God’s Holy word do. Which message is more life changing and important?
IV. Worship Is The Place Where God Is At Home
David Jeremiah writes: Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. He lives in the midst of our praise. When the Lord is worshipped, then we see Him in His natural environment; He is at home.
Perhaps you have experienced the wonderful presence of God during a special time of worship. As you were singing, praying, praising, worshipping the Lord, you felt His presence closer to you than ever before – that is what the psalmist is describing! Worship causes the presence of God to be felt and experienced by His people. If you really want God to be in your church meetings, praise Him as best you can.
Q. – What was the focus and deep desire of David (Psalm 27:4)?
Q. – What was the focus and deep desire of Paul (Philippians 3:10, 13)?
Q. – What was John’s desire and prayer for others (1 John 1:1-4)?
Q. – What was Jude’s desire and prayer (24-25)?
Do you see the common theme among all these men of the Bible? They all wanted to know God, they wanted to feel and experience God’s presence and fellowship, they wanted others to experience the joy of the Lord…they were all men of worship and praise.
Why Worship Is Our Primary Responsibility (4 -Part Series)
You may contact Rex Terry via Email: rexterry at decaturbaptist dot org.