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What Should the Church's Worship Look Like?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2022 5:55 pm

What Should the Church's Worship Look Like?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 6, 2022 5:55 pm

Episode 1048 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. What does it mean to be “born again,” and how does that happen?

2. How physical can an unmarried Christian couple be?

3. What should the church’s worship look like? It seems like so many Christians don’t understand what worship is.

4. Why does God seem so harsh in the Old Testament

5. Why does the Roman Catholic church refer to Peter as the first pope?

6. Can God remove people he predestined from the Lamb’s Book of Life?

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What should the church's worship look like? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We pray that you had a wonderful three-day weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And we'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number.

It's 833-THE-CORE. 833-843-2673. We'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so, so jump on the phone right now. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites.

And of course, you can always email us your question at First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners. This is from Bill. All right, I guess we don't get our voicemails. How about an email? Adriel, would you like that? I'm okay with an email. Whatever we got, Bill.

Whatever we got. Here is one from Larry, and he says, How are you born again? And what does it mean to be born again? Excellent question, Larry. And I once saw a bumper sticker on a car that said, Instead of being born again, why can't we all just grow up?

And I thought that was ouch, but kind of funny. And what does it mean to be born again? The place to go, Larry, in Scripture in order to answer that question specifically is in John 3, because this is where Jesus gets into a discussion with a Pharisee, a guy who was very religious, who was a teacher of the law, and yet misunderstood something so fundamental to the faith. I'm thinking about Jesus' discussion with Nicodemus, beginning in verse 1 of John 3. There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him. And Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Now Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old?

Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? And Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh. That which is born of Spirit is Spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. When the wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes, so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. In other words, this born again experience is the work of the Holy Spirit. When you say, What do I have to do? Is there some sort of formula, the steps that I can take in order to make myself born again?

The answer is no. It is the work, the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit renewing our hearts, restoring us to life. It is the new heart that we are given at regeneration. That is the sort of technical word describing the new birth. And of course that is closely associated with faith, faith in Jesus Christ, the one who is born again believes and lays hold of all the promises that God gives to us in the Gospel. This is central to the Christian life and this highlights the fact that we are not just born into a good relationship with God. We are by nature, as the apostles said, children of wrath. We must be born again.

And so you wonder, Well, what do I need to do? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is what Paul told the Philippian jailer, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. And so that discussion, what is so interesting about the discussion there in John 3 with this Pharisee, it highlights the fact that it is not just enough to be religious.

And I love that some people have seen this in the text. It's not just enough to be religious or externally moral, if you will. No, there needs to be a transformation of the heart and that's only done through the Gospel and by the work of the Holy Spirit, Larry. And so appreciate your question. You just got to look to the Lord. And again, it's His work in our lives giving us that new birth. God bless.

Great explanation. Thank you so much for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you.

If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it, we would love to talk to you. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Tim, who's on the line from Edmond, Oklahoma. Tim, what's your question for Adriel?

Hey, good afternoon and thank you so much for the service you provide. It's just heartwarming. I'm widowed. I've recently met somebody who I really like and she's a Christian woman and she likes me. Is it okay to slow dance and kiss as long as the clothes stay on and it doesn't lead to the bedroom? Hey, Tim, thank you for that question. My answer to that question is yes, I think that that's okay. I'm sorry to hear about the fact that you're widowed. I'm grateful that you've met someone. Paul says so long as they're in the Lord, we can pursue them in terms of having a relationship pursuant in marriage. You're free to be married, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7, only in the Lord. With regard to some of these other questions, the boundaries in the dating relationship, this requires wisdom. I would say, yeah, I think that that's okay, but here's where you need to exercise wisdom, where you have to be careful that in the process of dating, being together before marriage, that we're not giving any provision to the flesh. You know that temptation is a very real thing and you want to honor the Lord in this relationship and you want to honor this person as well, respecting her. I would say, exercise biblical wisdom. Don't put yourself in compromising situations. Make sure that you're growing first and foremost together in the Lord.

Maybe going to church together, getting to know each other on that level, and then taking marriage very seriously. If this is something that the Lord has for you, again, I think clearly in scripture, the only warning would be to make sure that this person is in the Lord, but they are. I'm grateful that you found someone and that they are also interested in you and may the Lord bless you guys in this time and give you both wisdom and much grace as you continue in this relationship. Hey Tim, thanks so much for your call. We really appreciate you and may the Lord bless you in this new relationship.

Very exciting. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. If you've got a question for us, we'd love to hear from you. 833-THE-CORE is our number.

That's 1-833-843-2673. I want to tell you about a great book we have available for you this week. It's actually by one of my favorite authors, Dr. Tim Keller.

Yeah, I love Tim Keller as well. Just really helpful. Great stuff related to apologetics in the Christian life, the Gospel, but also work.

The book that we're offering is called Every Good Endeavor. It's about work. A lot of times people think that work was something that was a part of the fall. We weren't supposed to work in paradise, if you will. Because Adam and Eve fell, now all of a sudden our lives were forced to work.

But that's actually not the case. One of the things that Dr. Keller highlights in this book is that even before the fall, work was a part of what the people of God were called to do, glorifying the Lord. It wasn't until the fall that work became toilsome. But nevertheless, work is something that God has for all of us. It's so important that we have a good understanding of this and we think that this book will help you. It's yours for a donation of any amount over at Once again, it's called Every Good Endeavor, Connecting Your Work to God's Work. And by the way, this isn't just for those who are curious about the biblical teaching of work.

Whether you're about to retire, whether you're just entering the workforce, maybe you're not sure about what you want to do for a career, this is a book for you. Go to forward slash offers and look for that book by Tim Keller. Well, we do receive voicemails here at Core Christianity and you can leave us one 24 hours a day.

We do our best to check our voicemails each day. And here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Deanna. I have a question. What does worship look like today in the church and outside for Christians? I believe you've talked about worship before, but I find Christians do not truly understand what worship is. I refer to Psalms 27 for as a good worship verse.

Thank you. Hey Deanna, thank you for that question. I love talking about worship as a pastor. In one sense, I think we could say that all of our lives are meant to be lived under the authority of the Lord, following him, worshipping him, praying to him. So we live a life of worship as believers in Jesus Christ. But there is something distinct, I think is what you're asking about, there's something distinct about the gathered assembly when we come together as the people of God for corporate worship. I think, you know, sometimes we would say, well, you know, it's not so much, you know, what we do when we go to church on Sunday, it's the everyday life that we live. We can create this false dichotomy between sort of everyday life worship and the gathered assembly.

We shouldn't do that. We should honor the Lord all of the days of our lives. But we should also, I think, just think of the fourth commandment with regard to the Sabbath, we should also take very seriously the fact that God calls us to worship him.

And so what should that look like? Well, think of Hebrews chapter 12 where we're called to worship the Lord with reverence and awe. 1 Corinthians chapter 14, we're called to do all things decently and in order.

In other words, it's not just this free for all. You think of Acts chapter 2 where it talks about the disciples gathering around the apostles' teaching, the breaking of the bread, the prayers, the fellowship. And so it seems like worship for the believers is something that's focused on the word of God. The word of God is central. God is speaking to us through his word where we have this fellowship, this communion, the breaking of the bread, the Lord's Supper. And so it's centered around also those ordinances that Jesus gave to the church, baptism and the Lord's Supper as these perpetual ordinances that are supposed to continue in the life of the church.

So we have to be doing that. We also need to recognize, again, that reverence piece that God cares about how he's worshiped. Ask Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus chapter 10, God struck them down because they offered strange fire to him. And so worship is not something that we should just do willy-nilly, not under the new covenant. Sometimes people think, well, in the Old Testament, God took this very seriously, but in the New Testament, he doesn't.

No, again, think about Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts. God cares about how he's worshiped. Or Paul's exhortation in 1 Corinthians 10 and 11 where he talks about the Lord's Supper and he says this is why many of you are weak and sick. And some people have even died because you don't judge yourself when you come to the Lord's table. Instead, you're clinging to your sins, not repenting of them, and then coming in this sacrilegious way to the Lord's table. God cares about how he's worshiped. And so I think we need to recover that sense of reverence and awe, the centrality of God's Word, and the centrality of the Gospel, the message of forgiveness.

Maybe that's the most important thing. I mean, the Apostle Paul said, you know, when I was with you, I didn't know anything except Jesus Christ and him crucified. It's the message of the cross that is foolishness to the world. It's that message of the cross that was central to the preaching of the apostles. And so when we gather together for worship, it's that message of the cross that needs to be central, the message of the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ that we have. And you see that everywhere in Scripture.

If that's not what we're getting in church, then the main thing is missing. I appreciate your question, sister. Thank you for giving us a call. That's a great theology of worship. Thank you, Adriel, for that explanation. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We are taking your calls for the next 10 minutes or so at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, you can also send us a message through our YouTube channel. You can watch Adriel right now on our YouTube channel and shoot him a question that way.

So check that out if you want to. Let's go back to the phones and we have Julius on the line calling from the Midwest. Julius, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Mr. Sanchez. Can you hear me? Yeah, I can hear you, Julius.

Okay, thanks. So I was just kind of, I don't know, I guess you would say grappling, and I hesitate to use this word, but why is it that God kind of seems a little mean or very much more harsh in the Old Testament? Like he told Israel to wipe out just, I mean, scores and scores of people, but then in the New Testament it seems like it's suddenly, okay, he sends his son. I don't understand the change.

Got you. Yeah, so how come in the Old Testament it seems like God is, you know, commanding, well, you think of Canaan and the cleansing of Canaan, if you will, God calling his people to drive out the Canaanites, but then also just the heaviness of God's law, right? The prohibitions there in the Old Testament, God's civil law specifically for Israel as his political body. Then you get to the New Testament and Jesus shows up and he talks about forgiveness and grace and mercy. Was God really heavy-handed in the Old Testament with regard to his law? And then the New Testament is just no big deal, forgiveness. I think, Julius, just a sort of surface level reading, I could see how sometimes people can come to these ideas or conclusions, but we really, as we go deeper into the biblical text, it becomes very clear that there's no difference, if you will, right, in terms of the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament. We get with one God driving the course of history, redemptive history.

Now he's administered his rule over his people in various ways throughout history. So, for example, I mentioned, you know, Israel during the time of the theocracy in the Old Testament, the civil laws that were given to them, and then now under the New Covenant, God ruling over his church spread about throughout the whole world. But one God, and the gracious promise of the gospel, Julius, is there from the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis chapter 3 verse 15, where God promises that the seed of the woman is going to crush the head of the serpent. And so we have this great gospel promise from the very beginning, God's grace, and that promise is traced throughout Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, throughout the entire Old Testament.

The prophets pick it up and talk about it, calling Israel to repentance, and it's ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, who comes. And he brings a message of grace, but he also brings a message of judgment. You think about the strong words he had for the religious hypocrites, or Jesus turning over tables there in the temple, basically bringing judgment. I mean, Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Why? Because of this judgment that God was bringing. I'm currently preaching, Julius, through the book of Revelation, where Jesus in Revelation chapter 6 opens these seals that lead to desolation and judgment.

And so we have both. We have grace and mercy throughout the entire Bible, and we also have the reality of God's law. You see both law and gospel in redemptive revelation. And so we're all called to repent, to submit to the Lord, and to experience his grace, his forgiveness, his mercy. And especially in the Old Testament, that grace and forgiveness was exhibited through the types and shadows of the sacrificial system in the Old Testament, the sacrificial lamb, through the priesthood, through the kings of Israel.

We do see it all over the place. And so I would just say, brother, as we go deeper into the text of Scripture, and as we understand those promises and trace them throughout the Bible, we realize it's not that God had one view there in the Old Testament and he changed his mind in the New Testament. No, it's the same God who's promised his grace to his people and executed that promise in his Son, Jesus Christ, for our redemption. God bless you, Julius. Hey, Julius, thanks so much for your call and thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. Let's go to Jean, who's calling in from Indiana.

Jean, what's your question for Adriel? Hello, it's about Peter. How did his name get on things in the Catholic Church? Yeah, I mean, well, so if you're Roman Catholic, you know, you traced the sort of papal lineage all the way back to Peter the Rock, and the argument goes that in Matthew chapter 16, this is one of the places, I mean, there are many texts that they would go to, but there Jesus promised to build his church. I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

So that's part of the argument there, Jean, that they'll make. Now, what's interesting about this is that these keys of the kingdom are extended to all the disciples later on. Think of Matthew chapter 18, verse 18 specifically. And Peter himself, I mean, he was an elder in the church in the first letter that he wrote in 1 Peter chapter 5.

It's interesting how he speaks about himself, and think about this. He doesn't come to the church as, you know, the great pope of the Christian church. He says in 1 Peter chapter 5, verse 1, So I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed, shepherd of the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight. And so Peter was one of many elders there in the church, an apostle as well, and used mightily by the Lord. But the question is, is he really, was he really the head of the church in the same way that the Roman Catholic Church teaches?

And I think, well, no, I don't believe so. But those are some of the passages that they'll go to in order to make that case, Gene. God bless. And of course, one of the beautiful things about Peter is that we can relate to many of the mistakes, the stumbles that he made in his own life, and then how Jesus forgave him and restored him. And what a beautiful example for each one of us, right? Every single person in the Bible, you can't escape it. God loves to use people, imperfect people. I mean, that is every one of us, but it is an encouragement also, I think, as we read these stories of these men and women who were used mightily by God, and none of them are flawless. The only sinless one is Jesus Christ. And so Peter and the rest of the apostles, they're continually pointing to Christ.

I already said it. It's the message of the cross. They don't preach themselves, but Jesus Christ and him crucified, and so we need to do the same. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Let's go to Brian, who's calling in from Muskogee, Oklahoma. Brian, what's your question for Adrian? Yeah, I've got a question.

I've been kind of stumped with this one. You see repentance all the way through the Bible, you know? And I've been listening to kind of once saved, always saved, repent or were screwed kind of a deal. And he says that, well, he's seen your life from the end of the beginning. If you is to be saved, why would he write your name down in the book of life if he can blot your name out, is what I'm kind of trying to get to.

I don't know if I said it correctly, but that's kind of how I see it. Yeah, so in Scripture we have this language of a book of life. I'm thinking specifically of the book of Revelation, although you do see examples in the Old Testament, even Exodus. Moses is talking about a book of life in Exodus 32. But in Revelation chapter 3, Jesus promises the church in Sardis, the one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Now what's interesting is this book of life, as it's spoken of later in the book of Revelation, in places like Revelation chapter 13 verse 8, Revelation chapter 17 verse 8 as well, it talks about our names being written there from before the foundation of the world. And so I don't think it's helpful for us to think of this book as our names are there and then they're not, and God rewrites them in or erases them, and it's just sort of this back and forth. You know, when we're doing really well in the Christian life, he says, okay, I'm going to put your name back in there, Brian, and then all of a sudden we struggle with a bout of sin for a week or two, and it's like, okay, God takes the heavenly eraser and he erases the name out. No, what's being promised here to the church of Sardis is you're secure in me to the one who conquers.

I'm never going to blot his name out of the book of life. You're there with me by faith, and those names, again, are there from the foundation of the world. And so obviously this is visionary prophecy, and John is trying to communicate. Jesus here specifically is communicating something to the church, but I don't think it's I'm going to blot your name out, you're going to lose your salvation, that kind of a thing. I think he's giving them this assurance, this comfort to the one who conquers. And of course in Revelation, conquering is not something we do with a physical sort. It's what we do by faith.

They conquered by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony. That's what it means for us to conquer who is the one who is victorious, except for the one who believes that Jesus is the Christ. And so for those who truly have faith, Brian, we don't lose our salvation. God doesn't blot our name out of the book of life.

But you mentioned something. You said, you know, I've been listening to these people who were kind of, you know, once saved, always saved, that kind of a thing. I think people can have a bad understanding of salvation and assume that they're saved because they made a prayer, but they're not trusting in Jesus and they're actually not saved. And so we've got to be really careful here that we don't just think, oh, you know, I'm saved by this prayer that I said and it doesn't matter what I do or what I believe. No, we're saved by Jesus Christ, by what he accomplished on the cross, and we're called to trust in him. And those who trust in him are sealed with the Holy Spirit and God doesn't let them go.

He keeps them and causes them to persevere in the faith. God bless. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at 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 / 2023-03-01 06:33:34 / 2023-03-01 06:43:56 / 10

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