Tag Archives: worship

Lessons we can learn from Old Testament Sacrifices (audio sermon)

An audio sermon by Dan Chaney on lessons we can learn from Old Testament sacrifices.

Dan shares thoughts from books like Leviticus (particularly chapters 1-11), Exodus and Hebrews. He points out that with few exceptions, like the story of Cain and Abel, we don’t learn much about the act of sacrifices until we get to the Law of Moses.

One of his points that I found most memorable was the idea that “sacrifice is the act of giving up something you want [or value]for something you want more.”

Other lessons we can learn from the Old Testament sacrificial system include:

  1. When someone sinned, something had to die. The wages of sin are death (Romans 6:3)
  2. Christ is our sacrifice; our sins were placed upon him (Isaiah 53)
  3. Christ’s blood is powerful (Hebrews 10:1-4)
  4. God pays attention to detail (Leviticus 4:20, 19:1-3)
  5. Atonement is conditional (Col. 1:21-23
  6. Be careful not to become bored and desensitized to sacrifice and its benefits (Isaiah 1:10-15)
  7. What does this say about our attitude towards attending worship, or even during worship?

Giving is Worship – PowerPoint sermon with audio

Giving is Worship is Dan’s am sermon for September 4, 2011.
■PowerPoint. Download, or view online at Google Docs (Remember the first slide is usually blank.)
MP3
Podcast Archive
iTunes

Cleanse The Temple of Modernism

Cleanse The Temple of Modernism by Bill Blue

Is Christ pleased with all the works and forms of worship performed in His name today?

One Lino Lakes, Minnesota congregation has movie-theater style seats with cup holders (the cup holders are designed to hold the designer coffee that will be sold at the building).

Another congregation in nearby Eden Prairie, Minnesota has swelled to such large numbers that it has two buildings miles apart. The smaller building features videotaped sermons and a ten-piece band.

In Essex County, New Jersey, a congregation held a football service. Women played cheerleaders and the choir and preacher dressed in jerseys. In Peoria, Illinois, a congregation decorates its building with golf balls and footballs, and the men huddle up at the beginning and the end of each service.

A St. Paul congregation used to be the attendance champion because it operated a non-alcoholic nightclub, and boasted that its slogan was “Definitely not church as usual.”

Many Christians would oppose nightclubs and videotaped sermons, but what about daycare centers, ten-piece bands, softball teams, Wednesday night dinners, or three-dollar coffees?

What would Jesus say about efforts to modernize or liberalize worship?

Jesus is not pleased by every form of worship performed in His name (Matt. 7:21-23).

With respect to common meals, Jesus demonstrated in His own ministry that He was more concerned with fulfilling spiritual needs than one’s appetite. On the day after Jesus fed the 5,000, many of the Jews who had been fed the day before traveled across the Sea of Galilee to be fed again (John 6:24, 26). Jesus did not feed them again, but said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27). Over and over again Jesus stressed that it was more important to believe that He was the Christ, than to be preoccupied with their own bellies (John 6:29, 32-33, 35-40). Paul similarly says to churches who assemble to eat common meals, “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? … But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment” (1 Cor. 11:22, 34). Common meals can cause divisions within the church, and cause brethren to forget why they are assembling in the first place (1 Cor. 11:17-34). Jesus would prefer us to come together to be nourished with words of faith and good doctrine (1 Tim. 4:6) instead of $3 coffees or spaghetti dinners.

With respect to nightclubs, gyms, daycare centers and the like, either all are authorized or none are authorized. What would Jesus say about these social outreach institutions? On two occasions, Jesus cleansed the temple of the moneychangers. On the second occasion Jesus said that the offenders had made the Lord’s house “a den of thieves” (Matt. 21:13). On the first occasion, however, Jesus did not accuse anyone of stealing, but said, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:16). The moneychangers were guilty of doing something God did not authorize. Likewise, where is the authority for a church to spend the Lord’s treasury on daycare centers, gymnasiums, schools, or nightclubs? Where does the Bible say that these activities are the work of the assembly? Biblical silence is not permission (Heb. 7:14).

Which would Jesus find more offensive – selling animals necessary for sacrifice, or selling $3 coffees at worship? The moneychangers could at least argue that they were selling items necessary for worship. After all, everyone under the Law of Moses had to offer an animal for sacrifice as part of his or her worship to God, but God requires no one today to have daycare or coffee in order to worship Him.

The problem with modern worship is that the breadth of permitted activities grows over time because they are not confined by God’s word which never changes (Mal. 3:6). The organ or piano introduced into some denominations in the 19th century has given way to ten-piece bands and choirs that sing while the congregation sits quiet (but see Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). In the 20th Century, women and homosexuals began filling pulpits once reserved to righteous men (1 Cor. 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). How far has modernism gone? In one of the congregations referenced above, worship includes comedy sketches and rock music, but no Bibles and no hymnals. How well can one be filled with “words of faith and good doctrine” without Bibles (1 Tim. 4:6)? It is time to cleanse our houses of worship of the moneychangers of daycare and gyms before our Bibles disappear and we starve from a lack of God’s word.

Next week we will print our final article in this series.