Reading of Psalm 95
· What motivations & warnings does this Psalm associate with worship?
To understand these big ideas of Mission & Worship
The Church’s expression of Worship:
· What link do these passages make between our worship of God and our participation in his mission?
Mission & worship is an expression of the Christian Identity
The world says that we should be like this:
In other words
“Put your faith in”
“Worship before God”
We might place materialism, family, friends, sex, and power above worship of our God. I could keep going but it would probably open up a can of worms.
Bolt Video –
A dog who believes he has super powers really has no idea who he really is and what he can do with his limitations
WHO CHRIST SAYS WE ARE
In spite of who the world thinks you are… Who you believe you are… You’ve got to know who Christ says you are…. Let’s look at what God says…
Let me ask you this question this evening, “Who do you think you are?”
In the passage today the writer mentions five characteristics of what you are if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ.
“You are a chosen people…”
“You are a people belonging to God…”
“You are living stones…”
“You are a royal priesthood and holy nation…”
“Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
In verse 9 we find that all of the old titles of God’s people from the Old Testament now belong to us as Christians.
Just for today I want you to simply notice that our text is saying four things about God’s people.
We are Part of God’s people…
1. Most of us spend our entire lives trying to earn acceptance. We want to earn it from our parents, peers, co-workers, family, etc…
2. Would you agree that people do crazy things to be accepted? Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to fit in? When the “cool” kids dared you to do something that was stupid or dangerous you would do it anyway because you desperately wanted to fit in.
3. We love that feeling, the feeling that “I’m important. Someone has chosen me and accepted me.” When you are chosen that does tremendous things for your self-esteem.
4. Well our text here says, “You are a chosen people. You have been chosen by God.”
5. Christ has accepted you and there’s no condition listed there. It’s not based on your performance, on something that you earned. We will never deserve it. We can never earn it. God simply says, “I chose you.”
Therefore because we are chosen by God these are the kind of people we are to be – opposite to the world.
1 Peter 2:1-3
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
1 Peter 2:13-17
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
We are worth something
1. Our text says not only are you important, but also you’re worth something. How much do you think you’re worth? I’m not talking about your net worth. I’m talking about self worth. Don’t ever confuse your valuables with your value as a person. You can be rich or poor but it has nothing to do with your value as a person.
2. What determines value? There are two things that determine value in life: 1) It depends on what somebody is willing to pay for something and 2) It depends on who has owned it in the past.
3. Based on these two things, what’s your value? Ask yourself “Who owns me?” and “What was paid for me?” You’ve been bought and paid for by Christ. You belong to Him. How much are your worth? Jesus paid for you with His life; He bought you back from the devil. God exchanged His own Son for you! The cross proves your value. God says I love you so much that I gave Jesus’ life for you. That means that we must be mighty valuable.
4. Our text uses an illustration to show us our value. God is having this building project and you are part of it. He’s building this stone building that represents the church, the family of God, and you’re one of the stones. God is building His church. The foundation and cornerstone of this spiritual building is Jesus Christ.
5. By the way, what are you building your life on? Make sure it’s on a solid foundation. Jesus is the Rock of our salvation. Jesus is the Chief cornerstone. He is the One who fits everything together in the building. You are worth something. God gave His son for you.
1. Verse 9 also says that we are a royal priesthood. God says I’m a priest. This is telling us that the two benefits that priests have are now available to everyone who is a believer.
2. In the Old Testament, priests did two things: 1) They had the right, privilege, and responsibility to go directly to God. They could pray to God, talk to God, worship, and fellowship. Everybody else had to go through a priest. 2) The priest had the privilege and responsibility of representing God to the people and ministering (serving) to the needs of other people.
3. Those are the very two things that are true of you when you become a believer. 1) You have a right now to go directly to God.
2) God says you have been gifted for ministry to serve other people. Every Christian is a minister. Anytime you’re using your talents and gifts to serve others you are ministering.
4. Why does God save us and then not just take us to Heaven? Because we are saved to serve Him. A non-serving Christian is a contradiction. God saved us for His holy work.
5. You say, “How do I know what my ministry is?” You look at your talents, your gifts, and your abilities. You look at how God is shaping you and you use those talents and gifts to help other people. Every time you do that, that’s called ministry. Please understand that each person is necessary to the body of Christ. Each one of us is a stone in this building. Think of a healthy, functioning human being, if the heart doesn’t work with the lungs, or conflicts with the kidneys, or kicks out the pancreas, or confuses the eyes & the ears. You will have a very ill person on your hands. If you take out just one stone, you have a problem. If I don’t use my talents and spiritual gifts, you get cheated. If you don’t use your talents and spiritual gifts, everybody else gets cheated. We are all necessary and important to the body of Christ.
We are Forgivable
1. The text also says that you have received mercy. Some of you believe that whenever you’re having problems that God’s getting even with you.
2. God doesn’t hold grudges.
3. We are told that we have been made holy in the eyes of God. We are called to be holy –
1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
4. That means that when we stand before God, we are holy and clean. We are pure. Is anyone in here holy and pure? Of course not! Jesus died for our sins so that through His sacrifice we could be washed clean and be able to stand before God.
Are you one of God’s people? Do you identify yourself with Christ?
Fellow brothers & sisters, as we seek to understand worship in whole terms we must understand who we are and who we belong to. On our own, we are worthless and sorry; but through Jesus Christ we are important, worth something, useful, and forgivable.
Are you one of God’s people? If you are, you have no excuses. God has equipped you for all that He has called you to be and to become. You are part of God’s family. It’s time to start acting like it!
Don Carson in his book, “worship by the book” p39
“We cannot give to the Lord all the glory due his name if we are consumed by loving ourselves or intoxicated by pitiful visions of our own greatness or independence. Still less are we properly worshipping the Lord if we formally stick to the religious stuff when our hearts are far from him (Mal 1:10-13). To put the matter positively, worship is not just a formal time of praise to God: it emerges from my whole being, or whole life to this whole God, and therefore worship reflects not only my understanding of God but my love for him”