True Biblical Worship - Characteristics or Expressions
   True Biblical Worship
   Characteristics or Expressions

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for ... they ... testify of me." --- Jesus
   
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"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:"   (Prov. 17:22)
"... the joy of the LORD is your strength."   (Neh. 8:10)


Psa. 119:164, "Seven times a day do I praise thee
because of thy righteous judgments."

(The Body Language of Praise & Worship)

Introduction:

A. Man was Not created by God to be just a Spirit and Soul --- He was created a Spirit, Soul and Body.

1. We are Not Either Body or Spirit --- one or the other --- we are Both and God Intends for us to worship Him as a Complete Person.

2. If we Love God In Our Spirit --- it will be Reflected In Our Body!

B. We Already worship God with our Bodies --- Baptism --- Lordís Supper --- even our Church Attendance, we prepared our body and bring it to the Lordís House.

C. Does God really want us to Worship Him with the Entire Man?

1 Thess. 5:16-23, "Rejoice evermore --- Pray without ceasing --- Quench not the Spirit --- Despise not prophesyings --- And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I. Worship Is Expressed Unto God By --- Singing.

A. Of All of Godís Creation, Only Man Expresses Himself Through Music.

1. Music is a Gift given By God and For God.

2. Music is a Vehicle by which we Communicate with God --- the Psalms .....

B. The Danger is when we allow Music to become the Focus rather than Merely A Vehicle.

1. Our Response should Never be to Magnify or Encourage The Performer --- They Are Not The Focus, God Is!

2. We Are All Performer --- God Is The Audience.

3. Our hearts should Join With The Performer In Magnifying The Lord.

(What If the performer is not magnifying the Lord but rather is promoting their own talents and desires for recognition? --- Then, get another performer and do so quickly.)

C. Through Music, Our Hearts Are Prepared To Hear Godís Word And Worship Him.

1. The Book of Psalms is the songbook of the Bible.

2. Jesus sang songs of praise after the Last Supper.

Matt. 26:30, "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives."

3. Paul & Silas sang songs of Praise while in Prison.

Acts 16:25, "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them."

4. Scriptures says a lot about Singing.

James 5:13, "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms."

Eph. 5:19, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"

Col. 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

D. Singing Will Tell You A Lot About A Church.

1. You can read a congregation by How They Sing.

2. An Old Hymn --- "Come, We That Love The Lord"

"Come, we that that love the Lord, And let our joys be known;

Join in a song with sweet accord, And thus surround the throne.

Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God,

but children of the Heavenly King will speak their joys abroad."

3. Do we sing with Joy and Praise in our Hearts to the Heavenly King.

II. Worship Is Expressed Unto God By --- Praise And Shouting.

A. Worship in the Bible is often Enhanced with Shouts of Joy.

There are two Words of Worship mentioned over and over again in the Scriptures --- "Amen" --- "Hallelujah" or "Allelujah"

B. The meaning of "Amen"

1. We use to have an "Amen Corner" in the church I grew up in.

2. "Amen" is a Hebrew word that means, "So Be It" or "This Is True."

3. The Old Testament:

1 Chron. 16:36, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD."

Neh. 5:13, "Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise."

Neh. 8:6, "And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground."

Psa. 106:48, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD."

4. The New Testament:

2 Cor. 1:20, "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."

Rev. 3:14, "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;"

Rev. 7:11-12, "... worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen."

Rev. 19:4, "... worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia."

C. The meaning of "Hallelujah" --- This word is Pronounced The Same In Every Language of The World.

1. "Hallelujah" is also a Transliterated Hebrew word --- it means, "Praise The Lord."

2. The Bible Know Nothing of Silent or Passive Worship.

III. Worship Is Expressed Unto God By --- The Clapping of And The Raising of The Hands.

A. The sign for Praise in Sign Language is the Lifting of The Hands or the Clap of The Hands.

B. In the O.T. people often Clapped their hands in Praise Unto God.

Psa. 47:1, "O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph."

Psa. 98:8, "Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together"

Isa. 55:12, "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

C. It is well and good for us to Express our Love and Joy and Appreciation To God by Clapping as well as Many Other Ways.

Different people express themselves Different Ways but --- Everyone Must Have A Release For Their Praise To God.

D. Is Clapping Appropriate In Our Worship Services Today?

1. Yes and No --- It depends upon the Focus of the clapping.

a. Yes, we are Appreciative of those who have lifted us in worship, but --- Our Praise Is Going To The Lord!

b. Our Response should Never be to Magnify or Encourage The Performer --- They Are Not The Focus, God Is!

(1) We Are All Performer --- God Is The Audience.

(2) Our hearts should Join With The Performer In Magnifying The Lord.

(What If the performer is not magnifying the Lord but rather is promoting their own talents and desires for recognition? --- Then, get another performer and do so quickly.)

2. There are Times when Clapping Is Very Appropriate and other times when Clapping Is Not Appropriate At All.

a. When a Musical Special is Magnificently presented and has a Very Majestic Ending --- your feel as though you have been Lifted Up To Heavenly Places In Christ Jesus --- there is no way that you can just sit there and quietly say "amen" --- you will Blow A Fuse.

b. There are other times when a special in song is very Contemplating --- we know in our hearts that Clapping Is Not The Correct Response --- but rather we take the Message to our Hearts in Quietness.

c. Most of the time you have Great Sensitivity and Spiritual Discernment in this regard --- We donít always get it right --- sometimes we make Mistakes --- but not that often.

E. William Hendrickson did a study of Bodily Praise or Worship in the O.T. and found:

4 references to Bowing the head,

6 references to Standing with reverence,

9 references to Lifting The Eyes toward God,

12 references of Kneeling in adoration and humility,

14 references to the Lifting of The Hands toward God,

28 references to Laying Prostrate before the Lord.

The Second Most Common Expression of Worship In The O.T. Is Lifting Our Hands To God --- Yet, Most Christians Have Never Done That.

Coy Wylie Writes, "For Someone To Deny That We Should Raise Our Hands In Praise To God Is To Deny The Very Heart of O.T. Worship."

F. Notice some Scriptures:

Psa. 134:1-2, "Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD. 2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD."

Psa. 141:2, "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."

Psa. 28:2, "Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle."

Notice Four Expressions of Worship In:

Neh. 8:6, "And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground."

G. What About The New Testament:

1 Tim. 2:8, "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."

The last act of Jesus.

Luke 24:50-51, "And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven."

The Last Image the disciples had of Jesus was that of Him Lifting Up His Hand In Blessing them just before He ascended into Heaven.

H. What is the Purpose of the Lifting of The Hands?

1. The lifting of the hands is a symbol of Surrender.

a. If I pointed a Gun at you --- the First Thing you would do would be to Lift Your Hands.

(The raising of the hands is the International Sign of Surrender)

b. The Closed Fist is a sign of Defiance --- (Example --- Olympics ...)

c. The Open Hand is a universal symbol of Surrender.

2. The lifting of the hands is a symbol of Openness and Trust.

a. If you stand talking to me with your Arms Folded or your hands behind your back --- you will Not win my trust --- such a position is Defensive In Nature.

b. If you come to me with an Open or Extended hand --- you win my Trust.

3. The lifting of the hands is a symbol of Affection or Love.

a. Your Child will lift his/her hands to you --- wanting you to Pick Them Up and them Closer to you.

b. When I Lift My Hands To God --- I Am His Child Longing To Be Drawn Closer To Him.

I. Does this mean that we Must Lift Our Hands in order to worship God? --- Of Course Not!

1. It does mean that you have the Option to do so Without Others Judging you for it.

2. It does mean that 2 Cor. 3:17 is still True:

2 Cor. 3:17, "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

We need this Liberty or Freedom to Worship and Praise God without being judged by others.

IV. Worship Is Expressed Unto God By --- Dance.

Exo. 15:18-21, "The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. 19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. 20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea."

2 Sam. 6:1-3, "Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims." --- V. 12, "... So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom (Obed Edom) into the city of David with gladness. 13 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saulís daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart." --- V. 20, "Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! 21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play (his harp Ė music) before the LORD. 22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour. 23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death."

A. Davidís Wife thought that he was a Vile, Contemptible, Despicable, Base, Crude, and Foul person because of the way in which he Worshiped Unto God.

1. Listen to her Sarcasm:

a. V. 21, "And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!"

b. She openly accused David of Flaunting himself before the young girls of the city.

c. She Maintained Her Dignity and was Deeply Offended at Davidís actions.

2. Davidís Answer:

"Hun, you havenít seen anything yet. I will be even more undignified than this and will even be humble in my own sight. Frankly my dear, ----I donít care what your fatherís family may think. I will praise God anyway."

B. What About You, Christian Friend?

Have You Discovered True Biblical Praise In Your Worship of God?

C. True Biblical Praise And Worship Is Very Serious To God.

1. Many times we come to Godís House in a very Flippant Manner where we do Not Take Seriously the Worship of God.

2. Uzzah was had good intentions and was sincere when he reach out and touched the Ark to keep it from falling --- God Killed Him Instantly.

3. Michal mocked her husband for his worship of God --- God Closed Here Womb, She Died Childless.

D. True Biblical Worship Is Spontaneous --- Not Programmed.

1. We need to be organized --- we also need to pray:

"Lord, please do something that is not listed in the Worship Bulletin today."

2. David did not plan nor take dance lessons before we see him --- leaping and dancing before the Lord with all his might --- it was Spontaneous.

E. True Biblical Worship will always Offend some people.

1. Davidís wife, Michal Despised him in her heart and Put Him Down.

2. Jesus Healed a man with a Withered Hand.

Luke 6:7-11, "And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. 9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? 10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus."

F. True Biblical Worship must flow from a Heart of Humility.

1. David said, "And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight."

2. We must Humble Ourselves and Not Judge Others:

a. Just because a person may Raise Their Hands in worship does Not mean that they Speak In Tongues.

b. Just because a person Sits Quietly does Not mean he is Not Worshiping.

V. Worship Is Expressed Unto God By --- Bowing of The Knee.

A. The primary O.T. Word for Worship means --- "To Bow Down"

1. Psa. 95:6, "O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."

2. Eph. 3:14, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,"

B. Kneeling is a Symbol of Humility and Submission.

1. Many of us bow or prostrate ourselves before God in Private Prayer --- but it is Difficult to do so in Public Worship on Sunday morning.

2. Bowing of The Knees before God is designed to be an Outward Symbol of an Inward Attitude of Gratitude, Submission, and Humility before God.

C. It is Much Easier To Criticize those who Sincerely Love and want to Worship God --- as being "Show-Offs" than it is to Admit Your Desperate Condition & Need For God.

1. Personally, I Am Sick And Tired of The Negative Attitude of Plastic, Hypocritical And Judgmental Christians Who Know Little or Nothing of True Worship --- Have No Concern For Lost Souls --- No Love For God And The Cause of Christ --- And Is Negative Toward Anything That They Canít Control.

By Their Negative, Unconstructive, Pessimistic, Disapproving Attitude --- They Discourage Those Who Would Love To Worship And Praise God And Develop A More Intimate Relationship With Him.

2. It Is A Disgrace If A Person Can Come To This Church And Grow Away From The Lord Rather Than Closer To The Lord --- Because of The Negative Disapproving Attitudes of A Few.

Sit Close To The Front --- Move Toward The Back .....

Come To The Altar For Prayer --- Stops Coming To The Altar .....

Says "Amen" During The Preaching --- Gets Quite And Says Nothing .....

3. They Have Now Fallen In Line With The Rest of The Laodiceans (Lukewarm) Crowd.

Lord, Help Us To Understand And

Submit To The Teaching of Your Word:

2 Chron. 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Or, Will We Continue To Live In:

Isa. 59:1-2, (KJV) "Behold, the LORDíS hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."

Isa. 59:1-2, (NLT) "Listen! The Lord is not too weak to save you, and he is not becoming deaf. He can hear you when you call. 2 But there is a problemóyour sins have cut you off from God. Because of your sin, he has turned away and will not listen anymore."




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