Worship: A Framework for Being A Living Sacrifice
1) Worship is communion with God 2) in which believers, 3) by grace, 4) center their mind’s attention and their 5) heart’s affection on the Lord, 6) humbly 7) glorifying God 8) in response to the revelation of his glory and his word.
Remember, we have majored on worship as a life we live as a living sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 Life Has A Flow
Life as a living sacrifice has a liturgy to it, a pattern to follow, a flow.
The Service Should Have A Flow Because The People Are Living In A Flow
As a consequence, and we’ll address this at the end, a worship service made up of a host of living sacrifices, has a liturgy, pattern and flow because it’s attendees are living in a liturgy, pattern and flow…the worship service should never be foreign to the Christin regarding pattern.
The worship gathering should be an imitation of the lives of the worshipers gathered not necessarily in the exact order but in the pattern and flow of interaction with God.
Isaiah 6:1-ll gives us this pattern and flow in the personal example of God’s interaction with Isaiah. If God interacts with Isaiah like this before the indwelling Spirit is given at Pentecost, how much more can we affirm that God wants to meet with us as his children daily in Christ?
NOTE: This pattern is not necessarily to be followed sequentially and, in the order of actions, as it happens in the text, but the overall pattern of REVELATION and RESPONSE is how we live with God as he communicates with us and we respond to him. This is a “with God life”.
NOTE: This pattern is fluid and should be walked up and down and out throughout our day.
Pattern: Revelation and Response
Revelation and response is how we interact with God. God is initiator and creatures are responders.
“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you.” – Aslan, “The Silver Chair”
God reveals himself and we respond.
Background: Israel is in the shadow of Assyria’s oncoming power. Uzziah, in pride, has entered the temple to perform the role of priest and God has struck him with leprosy. Now, Uzziah’s death awaits, and with it a vulnerable Israel will emerge.
So God shows Isaiah who the real king is and gives him a message that he is to deliver and even lets Isaiah know how his ministry is going to go before it even starts.
(GOD REVEALS) Revelation (continuous) v. 1
God reveals his presence.
God reveals his person.
God reveals his power.
God reveals his purposes.
God reveals his plan for us.
Isaiah sees a glimpse of what reality is. The continual rule of God regardless of who is king.
How does God continuously reveal himself?
¬ God reveals himself through his word and through ordinary means of grace built into creation and special means of grace through the church (body of Christ)
⎫ Scripture (can lead people to Jesus for salvation): 2 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
⎫ Created order (Can point people to their need for Jesus): Psalms 19:1-2 (ESV) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
⎫ Greeting someone at the door or as a worker in Radical Kids: Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
(WE RESPOND) Adoration v. 2-4
¬ Seraphim – fiery ones
¬ The seraphim “called” – proclaimed, cried out, preach, invite
¬ Holy, Holy, Holy – Only here is one of God’s attributes repeated 3 times.
(WE RESPOND) Confession v. 5
¬ Woe is me – unfortunate
¬ I am lost – to be cut off, to cease to live, to perish
ϖ For a creature that sins to look into the face of God, its proper and fitting to see one’s sin and confess.
(WE RESPOND) Atonement Realized v. 6-7
¬ From the alter where sacrifice for sin is made, God sends his messenger to make it known that Isaiah’s repentance is met with the gracious act of God to remove all guilt.
This, however, was fire from the altar, the place where holiness accepted, and was satisfied by, the death of a substitutionary sacrifice (Lev. 17:11).
(GOD REVEALS) Proclamation v. 8
¬ God preaches a short sermon, and yet a most effective sermon
¬ God asks a rhetorical question as his sermon because there is no one else in the room.
¬ Have you ever felt that you were the only person in the room that was being spoken to although the room was full? That is an “Isaiah moment”.
(WE RESPOND) Dedication v. 8
¬ Our response is always a “yes” to God.
(GOD REVEALS) Commission v. 9-10
¬ God sends Isaiah with a “go” and a commission to speak a specific message.
(WE RESPOND) Supplication v. 11
¬ Isaiah’s mission is hard, so he prays and asks the Lord his question.
How does our gathered service reflect this pattern and flow?
1. You are welcomed by an under-shepherd of Jesus as an act of revelation.
God welcomes his people all through Scripture to come to him.
2. Call to worship as an act of revelation and response.
We sing a song that is loaded with truth from God’s word that calls us to Jesus and we do so as a song of praise to God.
3. Greeting one another as a response of God to love each other and be in unity with each other.
We greet each other with a statement about the peace of the Lord to each other as a response to God to love each other and to pronounce his truth to each other.
4. We sing a song in response to God’s good grace to us in each other and in his peace to us in Christ.
5. We receive the Lord’s Supper as an act of revelation and response.
We have the good news revealed to us in the elements, and we respond by taking them and receiving God’s grace in reminder of what he has done for us in Christ.
6. We sing a song as a response to God in thanks for the gospel.
7. We hear a sermon from God’s word as an act of revelation in which we trust that the Spirit of God speaks from his word through a pastor to his people.
8. We respond in songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.
9. We send you off as an act of dedication in response to God’s command that we go and make disciples.
That is a worship service constructed on the revelation and response pattern of Isaiah 6.
¬ So, when we gather, it’s not just some service to entertain you, it’s a time patterned after a life of living sacrifice for us to meet with God as his church.
¬ Don’t live life like it’s your own. It’s not. Live it as worship as a living sacrifice.
¬ Don’t treat corporate worship like leftovers, rather come as a living sacrifice prepared to give Jesus something of worth together with others giving Jesus something of worth.
¬ Give him your absolute best.