Our Worship and Our Part In ItBro. David Chancellor
1/13/2002 6:00 PM
Consider this picture: Christ read from the scripture, closed it and then sat down. Christ did most of his teaching sitting down. You don't have to stand up to preach the gospel. The speaker's speaking ability isn't what makes the difference, but the message and the Spirit of God. Christ read the words that spoke of the Messiah. His message was simple: This prophesy is fulfilled; the Messiah is come. The people at first looked on with wonder, and then discounted the message that was delivered to them. They did so because they knew him. Our worship might be short-circuited because we know the one bringing the message. Jesus was presenting to them the word of God. They missed out because they couldn't believe. When we come into the service, our part is important. If we aren't careful our relationship to one another could hinder our getting from the service what he wants us to.
Paul, while he traveled as a missionary, always went to the synagogue first. He came and just sat down. He didn't come looking to preach. The ruler of the synagogue invited them to speak. Paul laid the groundwork to tell them about Jesus. The people that came to the services participated in the worship. God would still have this element in worship. We are here to be involved in what is being done. We all participate in singing; this is the first introduction of the word of God into the service. It beings to write the words of God in the heart. Paul came in and sat down. He wasn't pushing to get to the front. In an open participation service, this is how it should be. We aren't here to make a show, but to worship God. Anytime there is a spirit that would seek to be on display, it will be a hindrance to our enjoyment of the service.
After the service dismissed, there were those that came to them and encouraged them to speak again the next week. Almost the whole city turned out to hear Paul. The Jews became jealous. They weren't opposed to the message, but to the results. We would hate for the people of God to feel this way. Envy will destroy any good worship of God. When someone wants to be recognized and noticed, it will be a hindrance to God's work. We should be glad to see the work being done. We should desire to work for God. If someone gets out of line with God, they will be inclined to cause problems.
1 Corinthians 14:29-35, 40
Their meetings were more like our Bible study meetings. One can bring out a point and the others listen. Take turns speaking. It is confusion if more than one speaks at once. "The spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophet..." The Spirit of God keeps order, inspiring so that it all flows together. He pictures a coming together that has everyone participating. If thoughts come to mind, during a sermon, write them down to share later. We want to share and give worship to God in an orderly and saintly fashion. "Let all things be done decently and in order." The explanation for Paul advising the women to keep silent is this: In this time period, the men and women didn't sit together in religious services. In many cases, the women were not educated in religious matters. If they had a question to ask their husband during the service, it would have caused confusion if they had asked it across the church. For this reason Paul advised them as he did. The context of the message here was dealing with confusion and disruption in services. The goal is participation that helps every soul. Paul wasn't trying to shut the sisters out and make it where they had no part in the service. His advise is applicable today in that if people are trying to have a conversation while the message is being given, neither of those persons are likely to get much out of the message because they aren't listening. Verse 40 sums up the message of this chapter - have things decent and in order. It is in order to participate if God has given you something to benefit the church.
There are those that would try to affect you by doctrines and teachings. Men sometimes do use doctrines to pull people after themselves. Doctrine should be used to help make things clear. Each of us should desire to grow in Christ and to have victory in battle. We should share so that we can help one another be closer to God. Everyone is drawing from Christ. "...every joint supplieth..." If we would come together as God would have us to, each of us needs to put in. There should be something given to help one another grow. The church should be compacted, not be trying to get our heads together, but by the love of God. It should be joined so tight that it is hard to take apart. Teams are built by having a closeness. God has to work on each one to give the love. God's Spirit needs to be working in every heart. Our coming together needs to be preceded by prayer. We should desire to come and get into the service. Bear one another's burdens. When we have prayer meeting, we really need to pray. Bear the burdens up in prayer. This is what prayer meeting is all about. We are here to edify one another. We are here for the benefit of each one.
1 Corinthians 14:23-25
He tells us how to have an effective service. It should be decent and orderly, each one speaking so all can understand. If our service is chaotic, people will see us as crazy. If we come with a desire to enter in and participate, and someone comes in that hasn't learned what the Bible says, "is convinced of all." The preacher doesn't do all the convincing. The agreement in each heart will convince. Our part in the service is important. Unbelievers coming in can carry the message out: "I went there and felt God." If we don't come and participate in worshipping God, how do we expect the one coming in to see God and worship him? The convincing part should be done before the invitation or altar call is made. We need an altar service, not an altar call. We want souls convinced that God is here, that he is real, and that he can meet their need. We want souls to cry out to him for help. We need a congregation "hitting on all cylinders." We need to do the work of God to see souls saved and built up in truth. We don't want to be charging to the front, but all should be involved in the service. An open service is built on respect, truth and confidence. A child of God won't try to turn the service into something it ought not to be. Such services are dependent on people with the same spiritual goal. Without prayer on the part of each one it just will not work. It won't happen without prayer. This is part of the common goal. Each of us has a part. How effective we are in our part determines the effectiveness of the congregation.