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May 14, 2023

Worship Part 02

Worship Part 02

Speaker: James Gallaher

Category: Sunday Morning

There comesĀ a new understanding as we become a temple of God.

There is value in worship as our words are sung. As we studied Chronicles last week, Jehoshaphat was a king who faced a battle. His response was to worship the Lord and he led others to worship before, during, and at the end of the battle. Worship can be a weapon to use in a difficulty to gain victory. 

The act of abandonment is to give up control or influence to another person. We relinquish our desires to someone else. In true worship, we look to the Father and give Him reign over our lives. This abandonment is how we look at worship - surrendering our desires and preferences in favor of the Lord's desires and preferences.

  • I Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 
  • I Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
  • 1 Peter 2:4-5 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by people, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nationa people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
  • Revelation 1:6 and He made us into a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen

Throughout scripture there is an understanding of priests and temples. The intention of God's temple is found at the beginning in the Garden of Eden in Genesis. Adam and God walked together - no separation - no sin. All of the garden offered glory to God. After sin entered, God needed a separate, consecrated place and described His temple and dwelling place. He so desired to be amongst His people. (To know more about the temple, read I Kings 6 and 7.)

In Jesus time, the Jews knew the temple as the place where the Spirit of God dwelt. The priests would go in and hear from God - a place where Heaven and Earth overlapped. The Jews would know God's presence in the temple by fire and by a cloud that covered the temple. It was a place to worship God.

But there comes a new understanding as the person becomes the temple of God. Paul is telling the church that they are the temple of the Most High God. It was clear to them what he was talking about - that they were to become the new dwelling place and that God would fill their lives and they would be consecrated. Consecration has to come willingly. To consecrate is to surrender all rights to another. To be a temple of the Holy Spirit required a consecration - a giving up of control. Then they would be the meeting place where God's presence is and the world needs. 

They would now be free of idols - nothing in their lives to compete with the worship of Almighty God - full surrender. "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?"

And a royal priesthood. The priesthood for the Jews was not just a calling but you had to be born into it. Priests were very significant in the Old Testament. A royal priesthood had a strong understanding as Paul spoke these words.

Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it. Adam's job was to cultivate and to keep the garden of God's presence. The role of the priest was the same, to maintain the temple and keep it sanctified. The priests had to keep the idol worship out as they were prone to bring them in. 

We are called to assist people around us to worship God rightly. There is a right way to worship God. Sometimes we worship with our own desires, convenience and comfort.

Priests teach us:

  • To Worship God through praise and thanksgiving. Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courtyards with praise. Praise and thanksgiving set the tone for entering the presence of God. Thanksgiving acknowledges the life He has given to each of us. No matter our difficulties, we acknowledge God's goodness to us. Be thankful for salvation. Have an attitude of gratitude. Praise is an acknowledgment of who He is. He is good, merciful, just, gracious, kind, loving... 
  • To Worship God through sacrifice and confession. The brazen altar was a place of lay down sacrifice for forgiveness. The priests offered these sacrifices for the people. The early church gave up their possessions and distributed to those in need - no longer giving animals but became living sacrifices. Hebrews 13:15-16 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 
  • To Intercede on behalf of others. Priests would represent and advocate for the needs of people before God. He would also represent God to the people, offering blessings to the people. For us, intercession should be two-fold: going to God on behalf of other people and also coming back with a Word from the Lord. Taking time in His presence to hear His Words and know His heart and to understand His intent for the world. 

We have been called, chosen, and anointed by God to minister before Him for His glory and on behalf of those that we encounter. Paul says to the church we are to be a meeting place between God and the world around us.

What is Heaven? It's where God in His fullness dwells. Eden was Heaven as nothing was in opposition to God. Then the earthly temple was built for God to dwell. Then God's dwelling was in Jesus yet was torn down and rebuilt speaking of His own death and resurrection. Jesus then leaves Earth and sends His Holy Spirit to dwell in us - living stones. Then we become priests in our temples to represent God to others. 

Begin by consecrating our own lives, removing idols that we worship, and becoming a place for others to encounter the living God.

What hinders your worship? idols?
What does it mean that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit?
How does that change the way you view yourself?
Knowing that you are a priest to God, how should that affect your relationship with others?