Friday, July 25, 2014

We Need the Church to Worship (Eph. 5.18-20)

Scripture: Ephesians 5.18-20
Translation: 5.18And don’t get drunk with wine, in which is recklessness. Instead, get filled with the Spirit, 19speaking among yourselves in Spiritual psalms and hymns (to praise or honor God) and songs, singing and playing with your heart to the Lord, 20thanking our God and Father always for everything in the Name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah!

1.      Structure:
a.       Larger Context
5.3-20: Godly Way of Life
            5.3-5: Ungodliness is banished
            5.6-14: Don’t Get Deceived, Expose Deceivers
            5.15-20: Living in Light of the End in the Light of Christ
                        5.15-17: Be Wise, Don’t Waste Time
                        5.18-20: Be Filled with the Holy Spirit, Worship God
5.21-6.9: Loving and Humble and Structured Relationships
b.      Passage
5.18And don’t get drunk with wine,
    in which is recklessness.
Instead, get filled with the Spirit,
speaking among yourselves in Spiritual
           and hymns
           and songs,
     singing and playing with your heart to the Lord,
  20thanking our God and Father
           for everything
           in the Name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah!
2.      Themes
a.       Full, filled
b.      Singing, songs, hymns, psalms
c.       Holy Spirit
d.      Worship directed towards God
3.      Doctrine
a.       We worship in Jesus’ Name
b.      While All Christians are given the Holy Spirit at conversion, there is available to all Christians a special experience of Holy Spirit, where He fills the believer in an especially powerful way
c.       Worship, while directed to God, is among other things for the benefit of the Body of Christ as well. As much as God deserves to hear genuine worship, Christians need to hear genuine worship
d.      The Holy Spirit is an integral part of the worship of the Body of Christ, He must be empowering and working through our psalms, hymns, and songs, through our singing and music making to the Lord, and through our thanksgiving in Jesus’ Name
4.      Notes
a.       Singing/songs
                                                              i.      Psalms = psalms specifically, or perhaps songs with the implication of musical accompaniment
                                                            ii.      Hymns = songs directed to God, to praise or honor Him, not necessarily joyful
                                                          iii.      Songs = perhaps more poetic, also in praise

1.      Outline
a.       We Need the Church: to fully benefit from worship
                                                              i.      Blessing from others
                                                            ii.      Blessing to others
                                                          iii.      To hear God’s Voice by the Spirit in Christ
1.      In our culture, drinking too much and getting buzzed and drunk is considered a fun, enjoyable thing to do, a lot of people look at getting drunk or high as a way to deal with their problems, our culture wants us to believe that getting drunk and high is a safe thing to do, that there is no danger in it at all. But the truth is far different, getting drunk and high are not good ways to cope with pain, to have fun, or whatever else our friends, family, or classmates may say, the Bible is clear, don’t get drunk. Getting drunk and high has actually the exact opposite tendency, it does not save you, it destroys you, it doesn't keep you safe, it puts you in danger, getting drunk or high doesn’t help you get closer to God, it pulls you farther away from Him. And if you want to know the real problem with getting drunk and/or high, that is where it lies, the fact that it pulls you away from living for God, the fact that it is what takes a controlling influence over your thoughts, emotions, and actions, and not the Holy Spirit.
2.      If you really want to deal with your problems and have a good time and draw closer to God, booze and drugs won’t do it for you, you need the Holy Spirit, you need a special filling of Your God Who Lives in You. See being full of the Holy Spirit is not similar to being drunk in that you trip and fall and slur your words. What being filled with the Holy Spirit means is that the Holy Spirit is especially present in you, filling you, empowering, guiding you in everything, what it has in common with being drunk is not the outward form, but instead that just like alcohol or drugs have a controlling and warping influence on you when you use them, the Holy Spirit needs to have a controlling and shaping influence in you all the time.
b.      We need the Church to worship by the Holy Spirit
                                                              i.      Now, what does it look like to have the Holy Spirit having a controlling and shaping influence in your life, well the first thing that Paul goes to is not what you would expect. It is not doing miracles, speaking in tongues, having a supernatural love or peace, instead it is corporate worship.
                                                            ii.      The truth is that we don’t just need the church, to worship together as the church to fully be blessed and be a blessing and hear from God clearly, we need it because the Holy Spirit in us wants it, is pushing us towards it—we need it because the Holy Spirit filling us will naturally result in it, we need it because otherwise we will be fighting the work and leadership of the Holy Spirit Who lives inside us
                                                          iii.      While it is true that we can and should genuinely worship God on our own, and sometimes it is even more important to be alone with God, it is not the only thing we need, we also need to worship God together, to have the Holy Spirit fill us as we sing to be empowered to genuinely worship God.
                                                          iv.      Hopefully all us have experienced what it is like to have the Holy Spirit especially present in a worship service. When He comes He makes our worship more natural, more genuine, more passionate. While He can and thankfully does come on us in that way on our own, He also comes on us in that way when we are together, filled with the Holy Spirit. The truth is being in a room worshipping with other people who are filled with the Holy Spirit makes us desire to be filled more and makes us more receptive to His movement and filling.
c.       We need the church to worship, because it is all about God
                                                              i.      The Holy Spirit will make everything all about God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ, because He is God. He is humble. He is not about to get up and start singing His Own praises, no, He is going to give most of the focus, credit, and glory to the Father and the Son
                                                            ii.      While we can and should worship and be all about God on our own, God wants to not just hear it coming from you alone somewhere all the time, He wants that, but He also wants to hear genuine worship coming from the people He has saved as a group, He loves to hear worship come from different people from different places and cultures joined in Jesus’ Name to glorify Him through singing, through worshipping, through growing, through blessing and being blessed by one another
                                                          iii.      The truth is that ultimately the reason why we need the Church is because our lives and our worship are not about us, they are about the Holy Trinity! We exist for God’s glory and pleasure, not our own. Is worshipping together in the Holy Spirit a huge blessing? Yes. do we hear God’s voice especially clearly in corporate worship? Yes? Is worshipping together something that the Holy Spirit is driving us to do? Yes. Are we more likely to get full of the Holy Spirit in a group setting? Yes. But at the end of the day, what do we care, if we are not really feeling the driving force of the Holy Spirit pushing us towards worshipping God?
1.      If coming to church is not about God, what do you think it’s about? Yeah, you can and should come to church because you need it to grow and worship and live fully by the Holy Spirit, because often you need it to get filled with the Holy Spirit. But none of that matters, if it’s not ultimately about worshipping God.
2.      You need to worship at church and be a part of our group worship, because that is what God wants, it is how God is glorified,
                                                          iv.      Note that it talks about praising God, singing to God, thanking God, thanking Him for everything all the time. now obviously that means you have to do this outside of the group setting, but how can you thank God for everything that He is and does, if you don’t know all that He is and does and is doing. You can’t thank God for how He is working in so-an-so’s life, if you are not at church that Sunday to see. You can’t thank God for growing through the Bible study on Friday, if you are not at Bible Study on Friday. You can’t thank God for getting to church safely and on time, if you don’t come. You can’t thank God for encouraging you through the songs if you are not singing or not here to hear them.
                                                            v.      And you know what, the truth is, sometimes we need the help of other Christians to see new aspects of how AWESOME GOD IS! or to trust and thank Him for all the stress or pain in our lives.
                                                          vi.      A lot of times we sit and think, “man, what am I going to get out of this today.” And what we usually mean when we think something like that is, “man, I’m not going to get anything out of this today.” Well, we’ve already talked a bit about what you should expect to get out of it if you are open and receptive and if the other people here are open and receptive to the Holy Spirit, and in fact for the next few weeks we will continue to think about what we can expect to get out of worshipping and being together as a community of faith. But have you ever stopped to think about whether God ever asks that same question about our church and worship and services. I wonder what God thinks when He asks that question. We always wonder about what we can get out of it, but what does God get out of it. Does He need anything? no, but He does want something out of it. So, the question for us every Sunday and every Friday and any other time we get together is not just what am I going to get out of this, but what is God going to get out of it? Is He going to get genuine worship that comes from our hearts? Is He going to get a group of people filled with the Holy Spirit? Is He going to get a family that has blessed one another as they sang songs filled with the Holy Spirit? Is He going to get any honor, credit, or thanks for anything else He has done, does, or will do? Is He going to get transformed life? Is He going to get a heart more fully committed to and trusting in Him?
2.      Questions
a.       How big a temptation is drinking and/or drugs in your life?
b.      Is the Holy Spirit the controlling influence in your life? How so?
c.       Does worshipping God feel natural or forced? Why?
d.      What do you think you should get out of a worship service based on this passage? What do you feel like you actually get out of it?
e.       What about God, what should He get out of one of our worship services? What do you think He actually gets out of it?

1.      Church in persecuted country, singing in their heads

2.      Wind and  a sail boat 

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