Archive for April 8th, 2021

The Choke to Vertical Worship

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

The Choke to Vertical Worship

Pastor Don Carpenter

Worship: What’s Stopping You? / Psalm 66:18; Matthew 15:7–9; Isaiah 29:13; Psalm 32:5–6; Isaiah 59:2; Isaiah 64:7; James 4:3

When Lawrence of Arabia was in Paris with some of his Arab friends after World War I, he took them to see the sights of the city. His friends showed little interest in the Louvre, the Arch of Triumph, or Napoleon’s tomb. The thing that really interested them was the faucet in their bathtub. They spent much time turning it on and off; they thought it was wonderful. All they had to do was turn the handle and they could get all the water they wanted.

When they were leaving Paris, Lawrence found them in the bathroom with wrenches, trying to get the faucet off so they could take it with them. You see, they said, it is very dry in Arabia. What we need are faucets. If we have them, we will have all the water we want. Lawrence had to explain to them that the effectiveness of the faucet depended on the water system to which it was attached.

Our study of worship reminds us that the effectiveness of all that we do in the church is not to be found in outward activity or service, but in the One who stands behind it.

2021 is the year of Worship for Evangelical Baptist Church. We are going to study it, understand it, practice it, and develop it within our church culture and church body. On New Year’s Eve we were introduced to the concept of worship as described by our Savior.

John 4:23 KJV

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

We saw that there are two essential elements to true and effective, intimate worship. We must worship in spirit, that is emotional passion, and in truth… both doctrinal truth and genuine expression.  

Since that introduction we have learned about the role of singing in the life of a believer. We have also started to learn about intimate prayer. We saw that Jesus gave us a very basic model of how to pray in what we know as “The Lord’s Prayer”.

Worship goes two ways, vertical and horizontal. Our vertical worship goes up to God and receives input from God down to us. On the horizontal level, when we worship God vertically, we are ministering to our brothers and sisters within the congregation – horizontally.

Tonight as we continue to learn about worship in 2021 we are launching a series called “Worship: What’s Stopping You?”

Since true worship is done in spirit and in truth, there are things that can choke the passion and the truth of worship and cause the exercise to be empty. Worship is largely relational. It feeds on our relationship to God (vertical) and on our relationship to each other in brotherly love ( horizontal).

This week and next we will take a journey through scriptures and discover what could choke out genuine spiritual worship. Tonight we will focus on things that will cause a Vertical Choke to Worship.

Unresolved Sin

Creates a Distance Between Us and God

Isaiah 59:2 KJV

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, And your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Creates a Barrier to Answered Prayer

Psalm 66:18 KJV

If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:

A Handbook on the Book of Psalms Psalm 66:18–19

In verse 18 the Hebrew reads “If I had seen iniquity in my heart,” by which the psalmist means that if he had been aware of his sin yet done nothing about it

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words To See, Perceive

ra?ah (?????, 7200), “to see, observe, perceive, get acquainted with, gain understanding, examine, look after (see to), choose, discover.” This verb occurs only in Moabite and all periods of Hebrew. It appears in the Bible about 1,300 times.

Basically ra?ah connotes seeing with one’s eyes: Isaac’s “eyes were dim, so that he could not see” (Gen. 27:1). This is its meaning in Gen. 1:4, its first biblical appearance. The word can be used in the sense of seeing only what is obvious:

Proverbs 28:9 KJV

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer shall be abomination.

Hypocrisy – Worship For Show

Isaiah 29:13 KJV

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, And with their lips do honour me, But have removed their heart far from me, And their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

A Handbook on Isaiah, Volumes 1 & 2 29:13

And their fear of me is a commandment of men learned by rote: The Hebrew noun rendered fear can refer to physical fear, but here it refers to reverence or awe for God, or even worship. For their fear of me, NJB and NAB have “their reverence for me,” while GNB and REB say “Their religion.” It may also be rendered “when they worship me.” Their worship is described first as a commandment of men, which means their religious leaders, not God, have required them to do it. It is also learned by rote. The English expression “to learn by rote” means to memorize something through repetition, without necessarily understanding it fully. The Hebrew text is simply “a learned thing.” NJB has “a lesson memorised,” and NAB says “routine observance.” GNB renders this whole line well with “Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized.”

Isaiah, Volume 1 Chapter 29

And their fear toward me. The worship of God is often represented as fear (Job 28:28; Ps. 19:9; 34:11; Prov. 1:7).

Is taught by the precept of men. That is, their views, instead of having been derived from the Scriptures, were drawn from the doctrines of men. Our Saviour referred to this passage, and applied it to the hypocrites of his own time (Matt. 15:8, 9). The latter part of it is, however, not quoted literally from the Hebrew, nor from the LXX., but retains the sense: ‘But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ He quoted it as strikingly descriptive of the people when he lived, not as saying that Isaiah referred directly to his times.

Elevate Tradition Over Scripture

Matthew 15:7–9 KJV

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

 • Making Up Extra biblical rules of worship.

 • Disregarding Biblical precedent and practice because of perceived cultural norms.

1 Timothy 2:8 KJV

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Selfishness

James 4:3 KJV

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Apathy/ Laziness

Isaiah 64:7 KJV

And there is none that calleth upon thy name, That stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: For thou hast hid thy face from us, And hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

That stirreth up himself. The word here used (??????????) refers to the effort which is requisite to rouse one’s self when oppressed by a spirit of heavy slumber; and the idea here is, that the nation was sunk in spiritual torpor, and that the same effort was needful to excite it which was requisite to rouse one who had sunk down to deep sleep. How aptly this describes the state of a sinful world! How much disposed is that world to give itself to spiritual slumber! How indisposed to rouse itself to call upon God! No man rises to God without effort; and unless men make an effort for this, they fall into the stupidity of sin, just as certainly as a drowsy man sinks back into deep sleep.

Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Isaiah, vol. 2 (London: Blackie & Son, 1851), 404–405.

1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

I think George Reeves was the first actor to be Superman on TV.

Back in the 50’s, TV actors were not quite as “elite” as some seem to be now. They would throw out the first pitch at a Los Angeles little league game. They would fire the starting pistol for a soap box derby race in Oklahoma City. They would be at the dedication of a statue in a city park in Boise. People could meet them, shake their hand, and, of course, get an autograph.

George Reeves was popular for guest appearances, but his fame included risks. Kids might kick him in the shins or throw rocks to find out if he was the “real” Superman or a “pretend” Superman, the same way kids pull on Santa beards to find out if they are real. It seemed like every time he appeared in public as Superman, someone wanted to put him to the test.

In 1953, he may have faced real-life danger appearing at a department store opening. A young fan, who wanted to see bullets bounce off Superman’s chest, brought his dad’s Army Colt, his dad’s loaded… .45 caliber… Army Colt. Reeves talked him into putting it down. He told the boy that Superman could survive the shot without being hurt, but “when bullets bounce off my chest, they might hurt you and others around here.”

He continued to make public appearances, but never again in the Superman costume.

I said, “he may have faced real-life danger.” I tried to find more details about the incident. I could not find a first hand account, a specific date, or a department store name. Apparently, neither can anyone else.

Some believe Reeves made up the story so he would not have to wear the costume when he appeared in public. It’s understandable. I would not want kids kicking me in the shins or throwing rocks every time I showed up. That story was the only way he could stop the agents and producers from scheduling Superman appearances.

When he appeared in public, children wanted to know. “Is he real or is he pretend?”

God doesn’t have to kick us in the shins or throw rocks at us to know if our devotion is real or pretend. When God sent Samuel to anoint the next king, he was impressed with some of Jesse’s sons, but God said, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” He still does.

God is looking for us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Tonight we have identified some barriers to true vertical worship. Let us identify and confess unresolved sin, hypocrisy, the elevation of tradition over scripture, selfishness and apathy. These are the things that can create a vertical choke to worship.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:20 PM April 8, 2021.

Love That Conquered Death

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

Love That Conquered Death

Pastor Don Carpenter

***This is Love / 1 Corinthians 15:20–26

 One of the great preachers of the Puritan era captured the real meaning of the resurrection in his sermon entitled, “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.” The title is more than a play on words. It contains profound truth.

—Gospel Herald

Nothing demonstrates the Love God has for us more than the Easter story.  

Romans 5:8 KJV

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Last week we saw that this great love compelled Jesus to be nailed on the cross, buried, and raise from the grave is a love that forgives sins. Not only did resurrection facilitate the applying of Christ’s Blood on the Heavenly Mercy Seat, it also broke the grip of death and all of its ramifications. For a few minutes let us consider the love demonstrated that conquered death.

Love Conquered The Sentence of Death.

Sin Brings Death

Romans 3:23 KJV

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23 KJV

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:12 KJV

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

John 3:18 KJV

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:36 KJV

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

The Second Death Awaits The Condemned

Revelation 20:12–14 KJV

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 21:8 KJV

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Through Jesus We Overcome the Sentence of the Second Death

Revelation 2:11 KJV

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

1 John 5:4–5 KJV

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Revelation 20:6 KJV

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Love Conquers the Sting of Death

Christ’s Resurrection Gives Us Hope

1 Corinthians 15:20–22 KJV

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Christ’s Resurrection Proves the Enemy of Death is Defeated.

1 Corinthians 15:23–26 KJV

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Christ’s Resurrection Takes The Stinger or Hurt Out of Death.

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 KJV

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 20.69 ???????, ??

20.69 ???????c, ?? n: (a figurative extension of meaning of ???????a ‘sting,’ 8.45) the power or ability to kill or destroy—‘power to kill, power to destroy.

The Resurrection Heals the Hurt of Death

Revelation 21:3–6 KJV

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Love Conquers the Corruption of Death.

Not Revived, but Resurrected to Die No More

Acts 13:32–37 KJV

And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 

God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 

And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 

Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 

For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 

But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.

Raised Incorruptible

1 Corinthians 15:51–54 KJV

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

1 John 3:1–2 KJV

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 KJV

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Raised to New Life and Abundant Love

Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic who was paralyzed in a diving accident as a teenager, talks about her wedding day. She says, “I felt awkward as my girlfriends strained to shift my paralyzed body into a cumbersome wedding gown. No amount of corseting and binding my body gave me a perfect shape. The dress just didn’t fit well. Then, as I was wheeling into the church, I glanced down and noticed that I’d accidentally run over the hem of my dress, leaving a greasy tire mark. My paralyzed hands couldn’t hold the bouquet of daisies that lay off-center on my lap. And my chair, though decorated for the wedding, was still a big, clunky gray machine with belts, gears, and ball bearings. I certainly didn’t feel like the picture-perfect bride in a bridal magazine. I inched my chair closer to the last pew to catch a glimpse of Ken in front. There he was, standing tall and stately in his formal attire. I saw him looking for me, craning his neck to look up the aisle. My face flushed, and I suddenly couldn’t wait to be with him. I had seen my beloved. The love in Ken’s face had washed away all my feelings of unworthiness. I was his pure and perfect bride. How easy it is for us to think that we’re utterly unlovely — especially to someone as lovely as Christ. But he loves us with the bright eyes of a Bridegroom’s love and cannot wait for the day we are united with him forever.”

And we, unattractive, frightened, paralyzed and imperfect, yet wild with hope, come to the wedding feast of the Lamb. We feel inadequate and unworthy, yet our eyes are fixed on Christ. We are overwhelmed with emotion as we know that we are loved and accepted just as we are, and that the wedding will bring about a transformation. The blood and water that flowed from his side has released us from our bondage, healed our brokenness and cleansed us from our sin. We become the Bride of Christ, not just in theory or potentially, but in reality. And there, together with him and all the redeemed, we will taste the new wine of the kingdom.

The writer of Revelation proclaimed:

Revelation 21:2–5 KJV

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Conclusion:

The Easter Story is a Love Story!

Romans 5:8 KJV

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

You are loved so much Christ died and rose again to forgive your sins and to conquer death. We no longer need to fear the undertaker, and we look for the Upper- Taker… this is Love that Conquered Death.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:16 AM April 8, 2021.