Worship: Are You Connected?
Ezekiel 37:1-10 (the valley of dry bones)
We talked about our individual freedoms in Christ in chapters 8-10 of 1Cor.
Paul affirmed our freedom but exhorted us to use our freedoms responsibly and even sacrificially, in order to keep unity in the church for the glory of God.
Various divisions were coming perilously close to the undoing of the Corinthian church such as conflicting leadership, lawsuits and uncontested sin.
Shifting from individual freedom to relational responsibility, Paul moves on to the subject of worship in chapter 11. He addressed gender divisions in verses 1-16.
We learned in the passage last week that the solution to gender division was the appropriate understanding and expression of headship in worship, and that men and women are mutually dependent.
The title of that message was, “Worship: Are You Covered?”
Paul was trying to correct the independent spirit of the Corinthians.
American commander in Mosul, Iraq, dividing the waiting line for fuel between men and women.
Paul continues addressing the subject of divisions affecting our worship as we discuss the rest of 1Cor. 11 today.
We will look at verses 17-34, and the title of this message is, “Worship: Are You Connected?”
In this message we will discover the solution to the status divisions in the church.
Spiritual connection in order to get saved: Arthur – at Prayer Station on Sat. (he thought he could save himself).
Electrical connections in order to get light: not just any connection will work.
Connections are also necessary in order for acceptable worship to take place in church services.
Without connections, the body is just a loose connection of dry bones without life – an ineffective army.
What things must we understand about Christian connectedness for our worship to be acceptable and effective in bringing glory to God?
“7 ¶ When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." 12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."” (Luke 14:7-14 NIVUS)
“32 ¶ They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." 35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask." 36 "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. 37 They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." 38 "You don’t know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?" 39 "We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared." 41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."” (Mark 10:32-45 NIVUS)
“He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.” (Acts 12:2 NIVUS)
“20 ¶ Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?") 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" 22 Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"” (John 21:20-23 NIVUS)
“1 ¶ My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here’s a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?” (James 2:1-7 NIVUS)
“7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:7-9 NIVUS)
“When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?” (Galatians 2:14 NIVUS)
“19 holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:19-20 NIVUS)
“9 ¶ I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. 10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.” (3 John 1:9-10 NIVUS)
“For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 1:4 NIVUS)
“Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3 NIVUS)
“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” (Colossians 1:18 NIVUS)
“9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10 NIVUS)
“He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” (Colossians 2:19 NIVUS)
“to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment— to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:10 NIVUS)
“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,” (Ephesians 1:22 NIVUS)
“15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:15-16 NIVUS)