"God is Looking for a Different Kind of Worship"

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Once again today we have the wonderful honor to turn to God’s Word to see what it has to tell us about this life. Psalm 19 tells us this.
Psalm 19:7–8 ESV
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
God’s Word today can revive your soul, it can give you wisdom, it can help you to rejoice even as you go through difficult days. So, again we desperately need God’s Word to direct our paths.
Today we are going to see a sharp warning that the author of Hebrews gives to His audience. There are times in our lives where we all need warnings. This sharp warning is against the buy in to listen and obey the variety of strange teachings, or I would say false teachings. In order for us us to properly understand where the author of Hebrews is going with this warning, I want us to back up and look at Hebrews 13 and verses 7 and 8. This is where we left off last week.
Hebrews 13:7–8 ESV
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
The reason why we should listen to our Godly leaders, pastors, overseers is that they are to feed the flock the spiritual meal that God has given to them through the teaching and preaching of His Word. To teach the truth of God’s Word so we can be alert and discerning when some other false teaching doesn’t align. So, as we are going to see today the author is saying we must be alert of strange teachings because it is luring the Hebrew Christians away from the work or atonement of Christ and back to the Old Testament ways, the old sanctuary and the old sacrifices. So, let us remember again what the author of Hebrews has already stated about the new and old covenants.
Hebrews 8:13 ESV
13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 10:9 ESV
9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second.

1. Don’t be drawn away from the true means of grace!

Hebrews 13:9–10 ESV
9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.
Any teaching that is contrary to what God’s Word says is something that we need to be on the look out for. In fact, it is false teaching, and the New Testament gives us many warnings on false teaching and false teachers. Paul is speaking to the Ephesians Elders and says this in Acts.
Acts 20:29 ESV
29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
Also this is Galatians.
Galatians 1:6–9 ESV
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
It doesn’t matter which generation or part of history we are in, the church is always at risk at being led astray by false teaching. When we understand that salvation is in grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone, we realize everything hangs on this word alone. Though the world around us is constantly changing, the truth of salvation in Christ alone never changes. Many false religions we tell you this, and even cults like Mormonism and Jehovah Witness. Why? Because many religions and cults want to add things to our faith in Christ. They like to add the word and to faith or salvation.
-Faith in God and all my good works.
-In the Old Testament is was Faith in God and circumcision, and obeying food laws.
-Faith in God and attending church and giving.
-Faith in God and taking communion every week.
-Faith in God and water baptism.
-Faith in God and speaking in tongues.
-Faith in God and some hail Mary’s. Maybe that’s why is called a Hail Mary. One last effort to attain salvation. But this kind of belief is always adding to faith in Christ alone.
This is why the author of Hebrews talks about the grace that God bestows to us has nothing to do with food laws or keeping food laws, because there is nothing we can do or eat to save ourselves or not eat. That is just silly. Let’s go back to chapter 9 to see this.
Hebrews 9:9–10 ESV
9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
These old customs and traditions from the Old Testament are no longer appropriate for new covenant believers because Christ has come. The author of Hebrews call these practices strange, because there was no longer any need to keep on practicing them. They were now obsolete. To go back to the old way of things would be to go against God’s wonderful and redemptive plan in His Story.
The author of Hebrews here mentions in verse 9 that it is good for the heart to be established or strengthened by grace. God has changed our hearts and minds and lives through His Grace, and through faith we trust in Him. It is only because of what Christ has done that we can come to Him, and because of Christ we have an altar that sustains us and nourishes us. This altar here in verse 10 is symbolic of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross, which took place outside the gates of Jerusalem. To eat from this altar is to benefit from the sacrifice Christ made once and for all to sanctify His Children. And because of this we can come to him.
Hebrews 10:22 ESV
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Have you turned toward Christ today? Has there come a time in your life where you sincerely confessed your sin? God forgive me. Have you fully surrendered to Him? Those who have not trusted in Christ and His sacrifice cannot eat from this altar. This means you are not saved and have no relationship with the Father.

2. There will come times that Christ calls us as believers to share his reproach.

Hebrews 13:11–14 ESV
11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
The author of Hebrews now gives us, his readers this analogy of how we as believers identify with Christ in that He was rejected by the His own people the Jews.
So, let’s go back quickly to the beginning of Hebrews and really the Old Testament times. Remember that the bodies of the animals on the day of Atonement would be taken outside the camp and be burned. Only the blood would be taken and poured on the altar. In the same way, Jesus who is the ultimate atoning sacrifice was taken outside the gates of Jerusalem and crucified.
So, this is figuratively given to us to show us as believers that there will come times where we will join Christ outside the camp, because we no longer are part of the old systems and practices. We are to leave the Old system, the old camp or covenant of Israel and move into trusting in the complete and final sacrifice for our sins. Jesus accomplished what no animal could ever do or no amount of works that humans can achieve.
Because of the sacrifice of Christ we as His people can and should respond to His wonderful grace with thankful and reverent worship. We can now stand in God’s presence as His priests and offer pleasing sacrifices to Him
Romans 12:1 ESV
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
When Christ was led outside of Jerusalem by His own people, His own people forsook Him and nailed Him to a cross. He himself suffered reproach. We also know that Christ prepared His disciples to endure the same rejection that He himself faced, and they were indeed rejected by many. Most of them followed Christ and gave their lives for His sake. The author of Hebrews wants us to see this, and to understand that we must be prepared to share the reproach that Christ endured.
-This means you may be ridiculed and made fun of for what you stand for.
-This means that you may be mocked and treated unfairly by those who don’t know Christ.
-This means you may face persecution. I tell you this today because these are things that many believers have faced down through history. So, we must be prepared.

3. Our Worship must be given in such a way that pleases God.

Hebrews 13:15–16 ESV
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
This is what God is looking for. This is the different kid of worship that God desires and in fact, is truly pleasing to Him. The wonderful news and prospect here of life for all of eternity in God’s everlasting city (HEAVEN), calls each and every believer to offer sacrifices that are pleasing to Christ. Jesus came and gave his life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28) Because of what Christ has done for us, His sacrifice is complete, and no further sin offering is needed.
The original sacrifice of praise was coming to the temple and giving a slain animal for a sacrifice.
Leviticus 7:12–15 ESV
12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil. 13 With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread. 14 And from it he shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the Lord. It shall belong to the priest who throws the blood of the peace offerings. 15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.
But even then this term was being redefined because later on when King David was in power he writes that God wants our hearts and not slain animals.
Psalm 50:7–13 ESV
7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God. 8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me. 9 I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Does God have your heart this morning? God desires from us a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise. The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me. (Psalm 50:14)
The fruit of our lips here echos was Hosea tells us.
Hosea 14:2 ESV
2 Take with you words and return to the Lord; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips.
This phrase here refers to words that express a repentant heart and mind. It expresses a confession to God and an allegiance to Him. Here is how the author of Hebrews puts it in chapter 3.
Hebrews 3:1 ESV
1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,
God is pleased when His children worship Him in a right way and when they keep confessing their faith together. But, true worship is not just a verbal thing. God also requires from us to practically serve others. This is to be a lifestyle that we are called to live by. As believers there will come times where we help out in a practical and even in a financial sense. This is how we show are active support and stand side by side with fellow believers.
In describing thanksgiving, praise, and practical service as the sort of sacrifices that God our Father is pleased with, we see that this is acceptable worship. This is the kind of worship that God desires from His people. God is looking now for a different kind of worship.
Conclusion: In many ways our current culture is just like the one the first church was exposed too. We have crazy, diverse, false teachings that are adapting to our current culture and there are many churches who feel that they need to adapt the truth of God’s Word to the current culture. God forbid! These false teachings threaten everything that the Lord and His Word stand for. They threaten to sweep us away from the truth of God’s Word taught by the Lord himself.
Sound the siren, wake up church, watch out, get in your word. We have everything in this book that we need. Hebrews tells us that God and His word are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Christ has won for us at the cross and with the cost of His life our salvation. So, I want to encourage you today to Hold fast to your confession of faith and through Christ may we come to offer with grateful hearts our sincere praise, worship and thanksgiving. To Him be glory and honor forever and ever and ever.
(Pray and Lead into Communion)
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