Christian Worship: Community
Acts 2:42-47 (NASB95)
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
This morning we bring to a close our series on Christian Worship. What have we learned so far?
§ Worship is relational, not ritual
§ Worshipping God is what we were created to do
§ It is God alone who determines great worship, by knowing the heart of the worshipper
Today we are going to look at where worship occurs. Worship does not occur within the confines of a building, but within community.
I. Christian worship requires devotion to the community
A. Education and edification played an important role in the lives of the early believers
1. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching
2. Fellowship and breaking of bread were also important
B. A believer’s education is important to their spiritual growth
1. One must be devoted to the Word of God, as well as the words of men
2. Knowledge and fellowship with others are of a great benefit to the believer
C. Your education is important to the growth of this church
1. It is important to devote your time to studying God’s Word
2. It is important to find time to fellowship with other believers and with God - not in the shallow sense
II. Christian worship requires agreement within the community
A. Person preferences, although different, seemed to take a back seat to the greater cause of the church
1. There was thought of individual rights or privileges that took precedence of the needs of others - they held to a Godly fear of reverence [awe]
2. They gathered and gave to those who had need
B. A believer’s personal desires and comforts may not always fall in line with the will of God
1. There is a sacrifice the believer must make
2. “The blood of the martyr was the seed of the church” - Tertullian
C. Your personal desires and comforts will need to be set aside for the greater cause that God is working in the lives of others around you
1. If you are going to experience the power of God in your life, you must put self aside
2. It is important to go beyond a simple greeting and be willing to develop relationships
III. God blesses worship when these things are present
A. Their concern for others was their act of worship, and it became a witness to many
1. They enjoyed the favor of the people
2. They enjoyed to blessing of God, as He added to their numbers daily
B. The believer’s selfless worship can form a lifestyle and attitude of evangelism
1. A giving spirit is accepted readily be the world
2. The church will grow as needs are met
C. Your life of worship can be a lamp to someone in need, if that worship is selfless
1. Others will accept you as a minister of the gospel is you are sincere in your concern
2. God will bless you and the church with something greater than riches; souls
Christian worship is not founded in power and might; but in servanthood and humility.
As others look to the world for their man-made idols to worship, God has called each of us to worship the Man-Maker, the Creator of all humankind.
When used as a verb, worship means: to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power; to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.
Worship is not what we do in our creeds and our rituals; it is what we do in our honor to God. That honor is fulfilled when we live a life of Christian worship.