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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - The Sacrifice of Worship

Creflo Dollar - The Sacrifice of Worship

Creflo Dollar - The Sacrifice of Worship
TOPICS: Worship

Now, what we're gonna talk about this morning is worshiping God in this dispensation of grace. Worshiping God in this dispensation of grace. In other words, I'm gonna talk to you about grace-based worship, how to worship change, or what was the adjustment to worship after Jesus was raised from the dead and turned on this New Covenant of grace, worship in the dispensation of grace or Grace-based worship. Now, you're gonna find out that a lot of things that we've been doing, we might have been doing it under the Old Covenant, and we are under grace, not under the law, amen?

And so let's begin in John 4:20 and 24, and the ministry of Jesus was twofold. First of all, he showed up to fulfill all of the law, all 613 of 'em, and then, secondly, he was making a way for this New Covenant to come, and here's one of the things you'll see here. Verse 20, this is Jesus. He's talkin' to the woman at the well, and he says, "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain". Now, put emphasis on he's saying that they worshiped in "this" mountain. I think Judges 9, in 7, tells you the specific mountain he's talkin' about. They worshiped in "this" mountain, "and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship".

So now the issue is, you know, you gotta go and worship at this particular mountain, or you gotta go worship in Jerusalem. He said, verse 21, "Jesus said unto them, 'Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.'" So he's talking about what is coming in this New Testament. In this New Testament, you know, "You're not gonna need to worship in this mountain. You're not gonna be able to...need to worship in Jerusalem". He says, "I assure you, the time is coming. The hour is coming, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father".

So he's saying, a time's coming, where you're not gonna have to worship the Father in that particular mountain or in that particular the tabernacle in Jerusalem. Verse 22, he says, "You worship, you know not what. We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh", so he's referring to this next dispensation, this time of grace. "But the hour cometh, and now is", oh, "when the true worshipers", somebody, say, "true worshipers". So if there could be true worshipers, hmm, there might be worship that's not in truth. "When the true worshipers shall worship the Father", he says, here is the characteristics of a true worship. "They're gonna worship the Father in spirit and in truth".

In the Old Testament, their spirits was dead, so they couldn't worship the Father in spirit and in truth. They could only worship the Father with their body. They couldn't worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Their spirit was dead. He says, "For the Father seeketh such to worship him". So God is seeking worshipers. God is seeking true worshipers that will worship him in spirit and in truth. "God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth".

Very interesting because what we're gonna find out today is that, if you're gonna worship the Father, you're gonna have to worship him like he's telling you to worship him, and he is saying, in this dispensation, you need to worship him. They worship him in spirit and in truth. Now, that's just a little peek into where we're gonna end up at, but I wanna take you through this journey. Now, if there's anything that characterizes heaven in the Bible, if there's anything that gives character or bring character to heaven, it's worship. Go to Revelations chapter 5:11 and 12. If there's anything that characterizes heaven, it's worship.

Revelations chapter 5, verse 11 and 12: "Then I looked," and he said, "and I heard," he says, "I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders, and the number of them was 10,000 times 10,000, and thousands of thousands," verse 12, "saying with a loud voice", watch what they were saying, "Worthy", underline that, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing". Now, let's look at that word, "worship". They were worshiping in heaven. This word, "worship," is derived from an older word, "worthship". "Worth". They say, "Worthy is the Lamb". "Worthship". And it means "to ascribe or to attribute worth to God". "Worthship". It means "to ascribe or to attribute worth to God". It means "to consider him as worthy of value".

Do you consider God worthy of value? It's the ultimate value of our lives as Christians and, in some way, to express to him our sense of his worth and value to us. So now that's a glimpse of the worship of heaven, but here's what we wanna deal with today. How should we worship God today here on earth? How should we worship God today here on earth in this dispensation? So the Bible is clear that, if we want our worship to be acceptable to God, we need to find out from him how he wants us to worship him. So we go to the Bible to find out "How do you want us to worship you"?

Now, Genesis 4, go there. Genesis chapter 4, verse 4 through 5, in the NLT. Genesis 4:4-5, now, why is this important for us to find out how he wants us to worship him? Because Cain discovered early on there is acceptable worship and unacceptable worship. Look what happened in verse 4 and 5, in the NLT: "Abel also brought a gift, the best portions of the firstborn lamb from his flocks. The Lord accepted Abel's and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift". Wow, "This made Cain very angry," and you know the story there, but Cain discovered that day that you just can't decide to do anything, and it'd be acceptable. And I think somehow, in church, we kind of decide to do what we wanna do, and we kind of expect God to accept it, but here's the thing: This is one place, this area of worship, this is one place where we do not write the rules.

We don't write the rules, and, yet we have, and so I'm attemptin' today to just show you where we've done it so we'll quit tryin' to write rules, and find out what is acceptable to God and what is not acceptable to God. So here's what we're gonna be focused on today. Romans chapter 12, verses 1. Romans 12, in 1. Let's read it in the King James and then the NLT. All right, watch what he says: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God", now, this mercy is, I'll show you in a moment, is the mercy in Romans 11, that he talked about, a specific mercy, "that you present your bodies", somebody, say, "bodies", "that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service," or "your worship".

Look at this in the NLT. So he says, NLT says, "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God", and so I'm like, "How do I give my body to God"? "Because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living, your bodies are living and a holy sacrifice, the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him". So, verse 1, "is truly the way to worship him," and what is verse 1? "Present your bodies to God as a living sacrifice". How do I do that? 'Cause he's saying that's how you truly worship him in this dispensation. Now, we've invented all kinds of ways of what that means "to present your body to God". We gotta get this one because this is the true worship that Jesus was talking about, and here he says, "Present your bodies, dude, your bodies to God".

You actually think, "Well, that means, you know, do right with your body, and then that'll be your sacrifice here. Your sacrifice is, when your body wanna do somethin' wrong, just do right with your body, and that's your reasonable service". And we keep makin' stuff up. Well, today, I wanna go line by line and see if we can see what he's talkin' about here. Paul writes here about our reasonable service. Now, this word, "service," you can do your own study here, but this word, "service," could just as well be translated "worship". You see the NLT usin' the word "worship" instead of "service". Sometimes you see people, on their signs, "Our service time," or "Our worship time," so those can be used interchangeably.

The same word, "service," is used several times in Hebrews chapter 9. Go to Hebrews chapter 9. It's used several times, but it means "worship". So where you see your service to God, he's also talkin' about your worship to God. Now look at verse 1, Hebrews chapter 9, verse 1. He says, "Then indeed, even the first covenant," that first covenant of the law, "had ordinances of divine service," or divine worship, "and the earthly sanctuary," which is the tabernacle, which I'mma show you in a moment. So here, Paul's word "service," in verse 1, is translated by a fuller phrase, "divine service". So the writer of Hebrews is describing the worship that God ordained. He uses the word the "ordinances" under the Law of Moses for the people of Israel.

So we're getting ready to dig into Israel's worship, worship before grace, worship before the dispensation of grace. So he begins in verse 1, writing about the earthly sanctuary, referring to the tabernacle in the wilderness. Let me, so you can see, just, some real things, this is, if you'll look at slide one, this is the tabernacle in the wilderness is what we're talkin' about here. Slide one and slide two, but this was in the wilderness, and this was a tent, and that was the tabernacle that he's talking about. And then, if you'll go to slide two, you'll see a little close-up shot. This is a real thing. This is the tabernacle that was located in the wilderness.

And so this had a lot to do with Israel's worship, referring to that tabernacle, and then, later on, after the tabernacle, it would later on talk about the temple that stood in the center of Jerusalem, where the worship of Israel was continually carried out. So he goes on to a detailed explanation of Israel's worship. Let's look at that, verse 2 through 5. So he's gettin' ready to give a detailed situation of Israel's worship. See, I've gotta show you Israel's worship before I can show you worship under grace so you can compare and contrast there.

So he says, "For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, the showbread, which is called the sanctuary, or the holy place, and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden altar of incense, the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were golden pots that had the manna. You had Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant," you know, the ones that got wrote on, "and above it, above you had cherubims of glory overshadowing the mercy seat". Put the drawing up just for a moment. They were overshadowing the mercy seat, so, basically, as the writer describes the worship that God commanded for Israel, he walks us through the tabernacle, describing the architecture.

Now listen to this carefully: If a person in Israel wanted to worship the Lord, he couldn't do it in just any way that he desired. He couldn't just do it wherever he wanted to do it any place that he desire. God had a prescribed way of worship that was acceptable to him, and the Israelites had to obey, or they would be guilty of breakin' the covenant. So to worship the Lord, he had to go to a particular city, Jerusalem, to a certain buildin', the temple, and then he would have to be concerned about certain furniture, certain relics that had to be present about a certain ritual, and the proper sacrifices and the manner of performing those sacrifices. He had to be concerned about a priesthood and the calendar and the yearly cycle of the feasts and the weekly Sabbaths.

And later, in the same passage, we read about in Hebrews 9 and 10, we read, later on, that they're not talkin' about the foods and the drinks, the various washings and the fleshly ordinance. Worship for Israel was a complex undertaking, but these were God's instructions about how he wanted them to worship him, that they just didn't show up and talkin' about, you know, "I ain't gon' serve a God I can't feel sometime and then start doin' cartwheels somewhere". You couldn't do that. Now let's go back to Romans 12, verse 1. I wish I could spend time on all the diagrams and stuff, but I just, enough for you to follow me. Is everybody with me? Everybody on the journey? Everybody still on the bus? All right?

Now, verse 1, let's read it again: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your", what? "Reasonable service". So the 12th chapter of Romans is full of instructions on practical aspects of living the Christian life, and so it's so important that you understand that Paul deals with this issue of worship in verse 1, so we need to notice somethin' about Romans chapter 1. We need to notice the dispensational emphasis that, when Paul writes, "I beseech you by the mercies of God," he's not referring to the mercy of the Lord in general, but he's talkin' about a specific mercy that he has just written about in chapter 11.

Let's go check it out, Romans 11:30-31. Context is king. Let's look exactly what "mercy" is he referring to. Romans chapter 11, verse 30 and 31, he says here, "For as you", and he's referring to you Gentiles, "were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their", referring to Israel's, "disobedience, even so these," referring to the Jews, "also now have been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy".

Now let me read it out of King James so you can kind of be with me here. Verse 30, go back, 30, "For as ye in times past have not believed God," talkin' about Gentiles, in times past, have not believed God, "yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief", through Israel's unbelief, the Gentile obtained mercy. When Israel didn't believe, mercy came on the Gentiles. Verse 31, "Even so have these," these Jews, referring to, "also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy".

So let me just make it real plain to you. Mercy came on the Gentiles because Jewish people didn't believe and receive Jesus, but when mercy came on the Gentiles, it now qualified the Jewish people to have mercy. Glory to God. Pray salvation for Israel, amen? Now, here, Paul describes the changing of dispensations. In times past, Israel had fellowship with God while the Gentiles were far off without God, without hope in this world, and, yet now because of Israel's disobedience, the Gentiles have obtained mercy.

The Messiah had come to Israel in fulfillment of the promises made to their Father, but the people of Israel had rejected him, and they crucified him, and, still, he prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". And so we read in the early chapters of the book of Acts how the Holy Spirit came, and the Holy Spirit began to preach forgiveness to Israel if they will repent and believe in their risen and ascended Messiah, but, again, Israel was disobedient, persecuting the apostles and finally stoning Stephen, a man filled with the Holy Spirit. All right, now watch this. We're almost there. Somebody said, "Dog, I feel like I'm in school". Good.

Now, because of Israel's disobedience, Romans chapter 11, in verse 15, says that God cast them away and raised up a new apostle, Paul, who was actually the leader of Israel's disobedience. So he took Paul, who was a Pharisee and who was the leader of Israel's disobedience, and what did he do with Paul? He saved Paul by pure grace, revealed to him a hitherto secret program. He revealed to Paul there's a new dispensation of the grace of God. In fact, I want you to see this.

Look at Ephesians 3:1-2. He revealed to Paul. He took the leader of Israel's rebellion, exposed him to pure grace on the road to Damascus. It's almost like how are you gonna argue with the guy who was the leader? It's like I'm tellin' people about grace now, and they're tellin' me about what I tell them. "I was one of the leaders. I was one of the leaders of living by the law". Glory to God. And so the grace of God comes over your life. You would think one of the leaders of the rebellion had to see somethin' that powerful. He was a zealot. You understand? He was zealous about the law. There must've been somethin' about this grace that he made his mind up: "I'm never goin' back there no more as long as I live".

And some of you understand, when you were operating under the law and condemnation and shame, and once you got ahold of the gospel of the grace of God, you made your mind up, "I'm never goin' back to that way of living no more as long as I live". Somebody say, "Why"? Because this way of grace is too good to be true. It's the too-good-to-be-true news about what Jesus has done for me. I ain't never goin' back. Glory to God. I have been set free from shame, set free from guilt, set free from condemnation. I've been set free from hell. I've been set free from all of that junk. Glory to God. And now I stand in him, not of my own, but it is Christ that lives in me, and what I could not do, he is now able to do it through me. Glory to God.
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