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Does the Bible Tell Us What a Worship Service Should Look Like?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2022 6:30 am

Does the Bible Tell Us What a Worship Service Should Look Like?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 5, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 874 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Why don’t I hear pastors preach on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John? Can Christians go to heaven if they are described as being prejudice?

2. Is there a pattern for worship or a set of laws for how we should carry out our worship services?

3. I’ve never been attracted to fasting, but I want to be obedient to God’s Word. Does the Bible explain to us how to execute a fast?

4. In Genesis 1, it says that God makes man, male and female, in “our” image. Who is “our”?

5. I’m reading through the Old Testament. Numbers 15:27 speaks of unintentional sin. Between intentional and unintentional sin, I can’t imagine how many times I would be at the altar with another goat to sacrifice. Is the sacrificial system a massive burden that we just can’t fathom today?

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Does the Bible tell us what a worship service should look like? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. As always, you can post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. You can watch Adriel live right now on YouTube, on our YouTube channel, and send us a question that way. And you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, first up today, let's go to Carla in St. Louis, Missouri. Carla, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi, I was wondering why I don't hear a lot of sermons on love or why pastors don't preach on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. And then I had another quick question. Do Christians still get to go to heaven when they're mean and just not being fruitful? And that's all.

Hey, Carla. Well, one, thank you for that question. Just to follow up to your second question, when you say when they're being mean, can you give me just some specific examples?

I mean, are you seeing something in pastors or in the Christians that are around you? Yeah, like, a little bit of, I don't want to say racism, but a little, you know, what's the other word? Prejudice. Prejudice. Okay. Yeah, there you go. Yeah, in my church a little bit, but, you know, I think it's harmless, though.

It's just, you know. Well, Carla, I think the Bible has strong words against things like racism and prejudice. You see this in the book of James. You also see, I mean, you're talking about love and 1st John. I can't tell you why other pastors don't preach through particular books of the Bible. I know, speaking for myself, I not too long ago preached through the entire book of 1st John, and one of the themes in 1st John, as you know, is the fact that Christians, those who have been born of the Spirit, ought to exhibit love, that this is one of the characteristics, one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, that it is and should be a part of our lives.

I think it's one of the primary indicators of the fact that the Lord is at work in us, that He's caused us to be born of the Spirit. And so when you look at a text like 1st John, chapter 3, beginning in verse 11, we read, For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil, and his brothers were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. And so this is something that we are called to as Christians. It's one of the, as I said, the defining marks of a Spirit-led life. It's love for the brothers, love for the body of Christ. And so there's no place in the Church for hating one another, for racism, for prejudice, for those kinds of things, and they need to be called out.

And I'll just say, I mean, you said sometimes it's harmless or it seems harmless. It really isn't. It divides the body of Christ. It minimizes or downplays the fact that we're made in God's image, called to love one another.

And so it's something that really should be addressed. And I would say if it's happening around you, if it's something that you're seeing in your Church, there needs to be a discussion, maybe speaking with the leadership, maybe having a conversation with the pastor, the elders of the Church, and say, hey, this is something that I'm seeing, and it's affecting me, and I think it needs to be addressed. That's a part of what we do in the body of Christ, and that's part of how we encourage each other. And so I pray that the Lord blesses you and that God cultivates in you that love that He says should be a part of our lives by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and He does the same thing in your Church as well, Karla. Thanks for your question. Hey, Karla, thanks so much for listening to Core Christianity.

We really appreciate you. We'll be praying for you in that situation at your Church. Well, we want to mention we have something really special here at Core Christianity this week. If you are new to the Bible, maybe you just picked up a Bible and started reading it for the very first time and you thought, I want to get a Bible reading plan so I can stick with this this year, and maybe you've looked at a few of them and they just seem kind of complicated and overwhelming. Well, here at Core Christianity, we have developed a really simple and clear Bible reading plan just for you. Yeah, it's not too late to start reading through the Bible. We want to encourage you to make this a part of your life.

We need to grow in our understanding of the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and the primary way that that happens is through being a part of the body of Christ and saturating ourselves with the Scriptures. So we want to encourage you to do that. Get a hold of this resource. It's a Bible reading plan that'll take you through the whole year. You're not going to go through the entire Bible, but you are going to get a lot of the Scriptures. We just want to help you get started reading the Scripture on a consistent basis. So get a hold of this resource. It's our Bible reading plan here at Core Christianity. You can find it over at our website. It's absolutely free. You can get that download by going to corechristianity.com forward slash reading plan again corechristianity.com forward slash reading plan.

It'll really introduce you to the big narrative and the grand themes of the Bible, which is something we often talk about here at Core Christianity. Well, one of the things we do here is we allow you to leave voicemails and you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your message. Leave your question at 833-843-2673, which is 833 the core. We received this message from one of our listeners yesterday.

Hi, this is Laura. I was wondering, is there a pattern for worship or a set of laws for how we should carry out our worship services? Thank you.

Bye. Hey, sister, thank you for that question, a question that is actually near and dear to my heart because I love thinking about worship. I think it's something that we have minimized, downplayed, a topic that we've neglected in a lot of evangelical churches in the United States. We sort of just have this consumeristic mindset with regard to worship. What works, what's going to draw people in, and that's how we're going to organize our worship services. We're not thinking about what does the Bible say worship is and how can we communicate that to the people who are coming to worship.

How can we help them to experience what the scripture says they should be experiencing in the gathered assembly? Now, under the Old Covenant, throughout the book of Leviticus and other places, you have these very specific protocols for worship, these prescriptions. God wanted to be worshiped and he cared about how he was worshiped, so much so that if you worshiped God the wrong way, you were under God's judgment. Leviticus chapter 10, Nadab and Abihu are an example of this.

They offered strange fire to the Lord and the Lord consumed them. He judged them because of this. God doesn't just care that we worship him. He also cares about how he's worshiped, and I think that that's something that a lot of people lose sight of today. We just think, whatever you want to do, so long as you're sincere and it's from the heart and you can just sort of make it up as you go, God doesn't care about the how. He just cares that you're doing it and that you're sincere.

Well, no, it's both. We need to be sincere from the heart. We're not just giving God lip service, but God also cares about what's taking place in worship. Now, you don't have a book of Leviticus in the New Testament and under the New Covenant, so we don't have those prescriptions for ceremonies like they did in the temple.

Jesus Christ has fulfilled all of that. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, but when you look at the New Testament, you do get a sense of these elements of worship that were a part of the early services, and you see this in places like Acts chapter 2. We read in verse 42, they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Now, the breaking of bread there could also be translated the breaking of the bread.

There's a definite article there in front of the word bread signifying this is something specific, probably a reference to the Lord's Supper. So the early church in their services, they were devoted to the apostles' teaching, that is preaching, preaching the Word of God. The ordinances or sacraments of the church that Jesus left, baptism and the Lord's Supper, the breaking of the bread, fellowship, the prayers, they were praying together. Early Christian services, a lot of scholars who study liturgy and worship, they say, well, it sort of came out of what you had in the synagogue services where there would be scripture readings and singing of the Psalms and teaching, and that's what you see I think in a lot of these early services, and the focus is on those elements of worship. So there needs to be preaching, the preaching of God's Word, prayer, singing. You have examples in places like 1 Corinthians 16 and elsewhere of an offering that was being taken. When they would gather together, they would take an offering to care for the needs of the saints and the needs of the poor. So these are the elements of worship, and those are the things that we need to make sure are part of our worship service, and I don't think we just sort of make it up as we go. It has to be centered on God's Word and what He's revealed in His Word, and so I really think this is something we need to take more seriously as Christians in our churches. Instead of asking ourselves the question when it comes to worship, what do people want, we need to ask ourselves the question, what does the Bible say worship is, and what should we be getting in worship, out of worship? It's this experience of God's presence, it's this experience of God's grace through the Word, the preached Word, through the ordinances, baptism in the Lord's Supper. That's what's taking place, and so that's what we need to focus on.

Appreciate the question. Amen. You know, there's this church in San Diego called North Park Presbyterian, and if you go there, one of the cool things is sometimes the pastor will actually sing like he's like a cantor, and it's so beautiful.

Yeah, you're talking about me, Bill. I don't know that my congregation would say it's so beautiful. I think that they endure it when I sing the benediction, that kind of a thing, but yeah, appreciate that. No, I've heard him sing.

He's got a great voice, so we do appreciate that about you, Adriel. This is Core Christianity, and we would love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, pick up your phone right now and call us 833-843-2673.

That's 833, the Core. We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so. One of the ways you can also communicate with us is through our YouTube channel, and Carol is watching on YouTube right now, and she has this question. She says, I've never been attracted to fasting, but I want to be obedient to God's word. Does the Bible explain how to execute a fast? Carol, thank you for this question.

I love it because it's a question about just practical Christian piety. What should we be doing in our lives to draw near to the Lord? What should our prayer lives look like? Of course, Jesus in Matthew chapter 6, he talked about fasting. He said, when you fast, don't do it like the hypocrites. Don't put on a frown on your face and let everybody know, oh, I'm fasting. I'm just drawing near to the Lord. Everybody thinks you're so holy, that kind of a thing.

No, he says, this is something between you and your Heavenly Father. Fasting typically in the Bible was something that was done in response to a need. In other words, that maybe there was the threat of famine, the threat of persecution, the threat of an invading army, for example. The people of God would call a fast and say, we need to set our face to seek the Lord, to call out to him, to pray for his mercy. We're going to set aside food for a period of time. We're just going to beg God for his mercy that he would intervene. I think that there are times in our lives today as Christians where we do want to take a step back and say, hey, maybe this isn't a good time to fast and pray for God's mercy upon our family or upon our church or even upon this nation where we're in to just seek the face of the Lord and pray that he would pour out his Spirit and his mercy upon us, drawing us to the word to be faithful to him. We don't want to be legalistic about it.

We don't want to just sort of go through the motions. I had a friend some years ago, he told me this story, I just thought it was so funny. He said, look, I felt like I really needed to fast and I didn't know what to do so I just said, I'm not going to eat any food. I'm just going to drink water for a few days, which is a bad idea probably for getting started. Then he switched over to, I can drink milkshakes and that kind of a thing or smoothies. He got so hungry that he blended lasagna and drink, blended after. It was sort of like a cheat in the middle of his fast.

That's probably not the right way to go about it. We don't want to be legalistic. One passage, I mentioned Matthew chapter 6, but another passage of scripture that talks about fasting and fasting that pleases the Lord. Maybe this is a text, Carol, that you'll want to meditate on, is Isaiah 58 where God is rebuking his people for the way in which they were fasting. He says in verse 6, is not this the fast that I choose, to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house when you see the naked to cover him and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn and your healing shall spring up speedily. In other words, he's saying, look, you guys are fasting and going through these religious ceremonies, going through the motions, but you're not actually trying to be faithful to my word, caring for those who are in need, caring for the oppressed, caring for the homeless poor. That's what God wants from us, is that obedience, obedience better than sacrifice.

That's what he calls us to. That's a great text to meditate on and as you pray, just ask that the Lord would guide you. There will be times in your life where you feel like, I want to just set aside food for a period, or maybe not all food, but maybe a meal or a particular kind of food and just say, I'm going to devote this time where I would be eating to praying and to seeking the face of Jesus and to asking Him to pour out His Spirit for this particular need that I have.

I think that that's the right way to go about it. Carol, God bless you in your walk with the Lord and thank you for that question. Thanks for that great counsel, Adriel, we appreciate that. This is Core Christianity and just a reminder, we have this free Bible reading plan to help you kick off the New Year right and start getting into God's word on a daily basis. You can go to our website to find it, corechristianity.com forward slash reading plan and look for that again, corechristianity.com forward slash reading plan.

If you start reading, let us know how it goes. We'd love to hear from you. Let's go back to the phones. Anita is on the line from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Anita, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes.

Hi and Happy New Year. My question is, in Genesis 1, verse 26, God said, Let us make human beings in our image to be like us. My question is, who is he speaking to? Is he speaking to the author of Genesis later and that's how it was interpreted? Or who is he speaking to at that time?

Yeah, great question. So who is the us? Let us make man in our image. Some people have pointed, well, this is a clear reference to the Trinity there in Genesis 1. It's the persons of the Holy Trinity and there are a number of people throughout the history of the church who have taken that view.

Others have said, well, this is just sort of a royal we, the plural of royalty. Let us, God speaking as the divine king, make man in our image. So not really a reference to the Trinity per se. Others have said the us here is a reference to God's heavenly divine counsel. That is the angels who are around him.

God is speaking as the great king in the heavenly counsel with the angels there. Let us make man in our image. So there are a number of different ways in which this has been taken. None of those I would say also, Anita, are heretical or would lead you down into false teaching. I just think there have been different ways of looking at this. You do have this idea of the divine counsel throughout the pages of scripture. By divine counsel I mean that the heavenly hosts surround God in his throne room. You see this in other places like in the book of Psalms, in Psalm chapter 8, verses 5 and following, this idea of these royal rulers that are there in the presence of the Lord. In Isaiah chapter 6 also you think about God there in his throne room with the angels and saying, who will go for us as he's calling Isaiah into the prophetic ministry. And so there again I think there's some corroboration with these other passages that indicate that the third view that I mentioned where it's God speaking in the context of his heavenly counsel, the divine counsel, is probably the one that I think fits the context of scripture the best. But as I said, there are others who will say, this is a reference to the holy trinity.

And so those are some of the views. That's the view that I take and I appreciate your question. God bless. Anita, thanks for being one of our listeners, regular listeners here at Core Christianity. We really do appreciate you and the fact that you are digging into God's word and asking questions like that. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. And today we're going to be recording a second program after we go off the air. So if you've got a question, you can still call us for the next 40 minutes or so. At this number, it's 833-THE-CORE, which is 1-833-843-2673. So bear in mind for the next 40 minutes, we'll be taking your calls on the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology.

Pick up the phone and give us a call. You can also post your question on our Facebook page and Laurie posted this. She said, you recently said we should not be taking communion at home away from church, but what about shut-ins? I work in a convalescent hospital and we've taken communion to the patients before who have been thrilled to do so. Yeah, I appreciate this question.

So a couple of things. I think if the pastor, some of the elders, some of the members of the church go and visit someone who's shut-in, which by the way, I think is a really good thing. This is something we were doing at various points in the pandemic where we would go with a team of people on the Lord's day to take the Lord's supper, to get together with those who were shut-in, to open the scriptures, to have a sort of small worship service, if you will, and to administer the Lord's supper. So I do think that that's something that you've seen in the history of the church, especially from even the earliest days. There are examples of this taking place just during the time of the apostles, actually.

So I'm favorable with that. I do think what we have to be careful with is this sort of idea of having private communion. And again, we received the question yesterday about this, and I know we've been getting some follow-up about it because there have been all sorts of people wondering, with the pandemic and people being at home and watching church services online, what's the proper way to go about participating in the ordinances still taking the Lord's supper? And I just emphasize, this is something that needs to be happening in the context of the gathered assembly, the church coming together. That's what you see in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 10 and 11. It's as the church gathered together to do these things, and part of it was the bread, the broken bread, was a sign of the unity that we have in Christ as the body of Christ.

We are one body, even though we're many different members. Paul highlights that in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 as well. And so it's something that's absolutely clear, but I do realize that, especially in times of difficulty or with individuals who cannot come to church because they're just shut in, they're sick, maybe they're battling with some disease, maybe they just can't get around anymore. Well, it's really important for us to be sensitive to that, to be creative and to think about how can we continue to encourage them and incorporate them into the life of the church. And sometimes that does look like these visitations that I think are good for them and for the body of Christ as a whole.

And so I appreciate that question. And brothers and sisters, be praying for your pastors in these times where there are decisions that need to be made related to the coronavirus pandemic and thinking about how to care for people well and how to keep people safe and how to continue to do the things that God calls us to do. There is a lot of disagreement, there's a lot of division, and what we need is a lot of prayer. We need a lot of prayer for the grace of God to be on us and on our pastors as they think about these things and as they seek to minister to us faithfully. So be an encouragement to your pastor, to the leadership in your church, and I just pray that the Lord blesses you. And so thank you for that question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Here's an email we received from one of our listeners named Cody. He said, I'm reading through the Old Testament and Numbers 15, 27 speaks of unintentional sin. Did the people of ancient Israel sin less or just have a lot of goats? Between intentional and unintentional sin, I can't imagine how many times I would be at the altar with another goat. Is the sacrificial system a massive burden that we just can't fathom today? Yeah.

I mean, in many ways it is. In fact, this is something that comes out, or was, this is something that comes out in the book of Hebrews. There's just this constant reminder of sin day after day, year after year. The blood of bulls and goats could never cleanse the conscience of the worshiper perfectly because there was that constant reminder, that constant need for another sacrifice. The text you're referring to, Numbers 15, 27, if one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. I don't think that they sinned more than we do.

It's just a different administration of God's kingdom at that time, and this is what they were doing. When they would sin, they would bring forward these offerings, and it was this constant reminder of the need for a perfect offering. Friends, that's what we have in Jesus Christ, the once for all sacrifice for sin. That's why we don't have animal sacrifices in the church is because to do so would be to deny the sufficiency of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who by his once for all offering, sacrifice, has forever perfected those who are drawing near to God.

So what we see is just how heavy a burden the sacrificial system was, and so I think you're right on as far as that's concerned, but reminded of how great God's grace is, and the work of Jesus being sufficient to do away with all those sacrifices and our sins. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-01 13:32:19 / 2023-07-01 13:43:53 / 12

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