Focusing on the Worship

Bible Book: Selected Passages 
Subject: Worship; Church Life; Church, Worship in
Series: Sharpening the Focus of the Church

Genesis 22, John 4, Revelation 4

The last time that I was with you, in that Sunday morning service, I mentioned a book written by Dr. Gene Getz called called Sharpening the Focus of the Church. And I have borrowed Dr. Getz’s title, and I’m using it as an over-arching theme for a series of sermons on…

“Sharpening the Focus of the Church”

I think it’s fair to say that many churches and believers in today’s world have lost or mis-directed their focus.

Dr. Thom Rainer, LifeWay Christian Resources, wrote a blog post on May 31, 2014 where he said…

The most common factor in declining churches is an inward focus.

The ministries are only for the members. The budgetary funds are used almost exclusively to meet the needs of the members. … Conflict takes place when members don’t get things their way.

I began to see clearly this pattern … (and) to recognize symptoms of an inward focus.

· There are very few attempts to minister to those in the community.

· Church business meetings become arguments over preferences and desires.

· Numbers of members in the congregation are openly critical of the pastor, other church staff, and lay leaders in the church.

· Any change necessary to become a Great Commission church is met with anger and resistance.

· The past becomes the hero.

· Culture is seen as the enemy instead of an opportunity for believers to become salt and light.

· Pastors and other leaders in the church become discouraged and withdraw from effective leadership.

Now we should be inwardly focused in the sense that we need to examine ourselves and ask God to search our hearts and cleanse us from sin. We should be inwardly focused with regard to evaluating our church ministries to determine that they are still Biblical and Christ-honoring and useful.

But we also need to be outwardly focused in that…

We should be Focused on our WARMTH / WELCOME (Cultivating a genuine fellowship among the body as well as welcoming guests who come in)
We should be Focused on our WITNESS (Through Outreach)
We should be Focused on our WORLD (Through Missions)
We should be Focused on our WILLINGNESS (To Serve, Give, etc.)

We also need to be upwardly focused!

A couple of weeks ago, I reminded you that we should be Focused on The WORD of God.

This morning, it’s on my heart to magnify the truth that we need to be…

Focusing on WORSHIP

Most of our Baptist churches today don’t normally memorize a catechism in order to teach our children and new converts in matters of doctrine and Christian faith. (It might be good if we did.)

Some churches do teach a catechism and have for many years. One of the well-known catechisms is the Westminster Shorter Catechism. This catechism is composed of 107 questions and answers dealing with various aspects of theology, the Ten Commandments, church ordinances, and the Lord’s Prayer.

The most famous of the questions is the first which says…

Q. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

The story is told of one little boy who was the son of good Presbyterian parents, and he was learning the catechism. And he was asked the question: “What is the chief end of man?” And he said: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and ANNOY Him forever.”


Well, I suspect that some of what is done in the name of WORSHIP in many churches does annoy God.

A lot of people think that “worship” only involves the music or singing part of a church service. What is WORSHIP anyway?

Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines the noun form of WORSHIP as …

The homage paid to idols or false gods by pagans. (It is defined as) Honor; respect, (or) civil deference. [It can refer to a servile or submissive respect.] (But) Chiefly and eminently, (it is defined as) the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; or the reverence and homage paid to Him in religious exercises, consisting in adoration, confession, prayer, thanksgiving and the like.

The verb form of WORSHIP means …

To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission. (To WORSHIP is) “To perform acts of adoration (or) perform religious service.”

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines WORSHIP as a …

Reverent devotion and allegiance pledged to God; the rituals or ceremonies by which this reverence is expressed. The English word worship comes from the Old English word worth-ship, a word which denotes the worthiness of the one receiving the special honor or devotion.

Worship is a response. It is the venerable response of the worshipper to the one they deem to be worthy. It has been said that when we worship, we are saying that God has worth, that He is worthy. Worship means to declare worth or to attribute worth. When we praise God or sing songs about Him or preach about Him or testify about Him or bow before Him or give thanks to Him or present an offering to Him, we are responding to His worthiness. Those would all be acts of worship.

(By the way, while worship should take place in our corporate gatherings and we should gather for worship, worship is not confined to the church building nor is it confined to Sundays. I believe we can worship anywhere, anytime.)

Throughout the scripture, the word “WORSHIP” is translated from a few different Hebrew and Greek words. And when we see the word “worship” in the scripture, it may convey the idea of bowing oneself down or prostrating oneself upon the ground. One of the New Testament terms even has the idea of a dog licking its master’s hand. Worship may convey the idea of a reverential act of service or sacrifice. It may involve the idea of veneration and fear and awe, or an offering of gifts or service. In its full scope, worship would involve both the action and the attitude that motivates the action.

When the word “worship” is used, the object of worship may be another person or a thing (an idol) or a false deity, and the worshipper in those contexts might be a righteous person or it might be a pagan or an unbeliever.

But a genuine manifestation of true “worship” would involve the proper response to a Holy God by someone who has a personal relationship of faith with God.

Normally, I like to stay within a single passage when I preach. But there are so many passages and verses in the Bible that refer to worship.

So this morning, I want to expand my scope and look at three different passages that pertain to the subject of worship.

I want to begin in Genesis 22, and I want to point out …

I. The HISTORY of Worship

(Genesis 22:5) And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

When I was a student at Tabernacle Baptist Bible College in Greenville, SC in the late 80’s, I had a class called Hermeneutics which was the science of Bible interpretation. In that class we learned several principles that helped us in studying the scripture and “rightly dividing” the Word of God. One of those principles was the First Mention Principle which teaches that the first time a thing is mentioned in scripture it shows a meaning and method of manifestation that will be carried all the way through the Word of God. Here in Genesis 22:5, we find the first mention of the word “worship.” This doesn’t mean that worship had not taken place before this, but this is the first time it is mentioned.

The word “worship” in verse 5 means…

worship – Hebrew 7812. shachah, shaw-khaw'; a prim. root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (espec. reflex. in homage to royalty or God):--bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.

As we look at the history and the first mention of worship here in this passage, it is evident that…

A. COMMITMENT Was Involved in Worship

1. There Was A Commitment of TRUST

When God gave him instruction in verse 2, Abraham responded by faith to what God had told him to do. There is no argumentation or hesitation seen in the text, but verse 3 says that he went to Moriah. The writer of Hebrews adds…

(Hebrews 11:17-19) By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. {18} Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: {19} Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

He Had To Follow God’s Heart Above His Own

(Genesis 22:2) And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

He Had To Follow God’s Heading Above His Own

(Genesis 22:2) And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

He Was Trusting God In Spite Of the Impossible

(Genesis 22:5) And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

He Was Trusting God In Spite Of the Interrogations

(Genesis 22:7-8) And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? {8} And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

It’s not just the trust of Abraham, but there is a trust seen in Isaac too. The Bible says that Abraham “laid” Isaac upon the wood in Genesis 22:9. Isaac was old enough to fight against his father if he had resisted this action. But it seems that he willingly surrendered to his fate. As John Butler said…

Like Isaac, the greatest evidence of Christ’s submission had to do with His being sacrificed. He was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8); “when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23).

In other words, the son trusted the father. Isaac was laying his life down.

2. There Was Also a Commitment of TIME

In this worship experience, it took time to prepare.

(Genesis 22:3) And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says…

Abraham rose up early ... That there might be no appearance of delay or reluctance on his part, he made every preparation for the sacrifice before setting out – the cleft wood, the knife, the donkey that was to convey the materials, and the servants that were to take charge of them on the journey to Moriah.

In this worship experience, it took time to pursue.

(Genesis 22:4) Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

Not only is Commitment involved in Worship, but…

B. CHRIST Was Involved in Worship

In the Old Testament, the plan was for Isaac was to be sacrificed, and that act would prove the father’s love (man’s love for God). In the New Testament, the plan was for Jesus to be sacrificed, and that act would prove the Father’s love (God’s love for man). So in Isaac, we get a glimpse of Jesus in His redemptive role dying in obedience to the Father’s wishes.

1. We See Jesus in This Worship Environment in the PLACES that are Mentioned

John Butler further wrote that…

The name “Moriah” is found only one other time in Scripture besides our text. But this other reference is very significant, for it confirms the location of Moriah as being in the Jerusalem area (cf. 2 Chronicles 3:1).

Being in the Jerusalem area, the significant feature of the location for the sacrificing of Isaac is its obvious relationship with Calvary and Christ; for this location is where Christ was crucified. The Bible tells us that Christ was crucified just outside of Jerusalem (Hebrews 13:12). We have no difficulty believing that the crucifixion of Christ occurred not only in the general area but also right at the very place Abraham offered Isaac.

The great theologian and commentator, Charles Simeon said…

Mount Calvary was one of the mountains in the small tract of country called the land of Moriah: and from verse 2 [Genesis 22:2] it can scarcely be doubted, but that it was the very spot pointed out by God. It could not possibly be far from the spot; and, therefore, when the place for the sacrifice of Isaac was so accurately marked, it can scarcely be thought to be any other, than the very place where Jesus was offered two thousand years afterward.

2. We See Jesus in This Worship Environment in the PARTICULARS that are Mentioned

From the peak of Mount Moriah we can see Mount Calvary. Isaac’s crisis points us to Jesus’ CROSS.

(Genesis 22:6) And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

(Genesis 22:9) And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

And we are told in the New Testament…

(John 19:16-17) Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. {17} And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:

As they saddled the DONKEY in verse 3, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on another donkey on Palm Sunday. As Isaac speaks to the father about the consternations of his heart in Genesis 22:7, it makes me mindful of Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane in Luke 22…

(Luke 22:42) Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

L. H. Grant wrote…

We read of no resistance on Isaac’s part, yet of course terror must have gripped his heart, and we know that Abraham’s heart must have been affected to its depths. But Isaac’s evident SUBMISSION reminds us of the more marvelous submission of the Lord Jesus when He was hung on the cross of Calvary. “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (Isaiah 53: 7). … In Isaac we are reminded of the Lord Jesus bearing His cross before His actual sacrifice took place. In verse 6 and verse 8 we are told, “They went both of them together.” How much more wonderful to think of God the Father and His well beloved Son going together to the cross of Calvary.

(From his book on Genesis on Shiloh – Disk 3)

Spurgeon said…

The younger man, perhaps five-and-twenty — so Josephus thinks — possibly THIRTY-THREE YEARS OF AGE, and, if so, very manifestly the type of Christ, who was about that age when he came to die; the young man comes toiling up the side of the hill, bearing a load of wood upon his back. … His son, his only, Son, whom he loveth; his Isaac, who hath filled his heart with gladness … bears upon his back the load of wood — the cross; nay, heavier than the cross is the load which the antitype of Isaac, our blessed Jesus, bears — the sin of all his people lay heavy upon his shoulders. He turns upwards to the hill of Calvary; and there, in that thick darkness, through which no human eye could peer, however much it might desire it, God the eternal Father binds his Son. He cheerfully submits himself to be fastened to the tree. The Omnipotent hand unsheathes the knife to slay his Son, and draws not back, but in sovereign vengeance slays him. That picture of Abraham the knife in his hand, about to execute Isaac, presents to you a picture of the God of gods about to smite his only-begotten Son upon Mount Calvary.

Adam Clarke said…

In sundry particulars he resembled our Lord: … Isaac carried the wood for the burnt-offering, Genesis 22:6, so Christ carried the tree whereon he died, John 19:17; THE BINDING of Isaac, Genesis 22:9, was also typical, so Christ was bound, Matthew 27:2.

(Matthew 27:2) And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

John Butler wrote…

How significant that just TWO OTHERS besides his father went along with Isaac on this trip to Moriah. The two servants, therefore, foreshadow the two malefactors who were associated with Christ in His crucifixion. Some may argue that the two servants did not go to the place of sacrifice as did the two malefactors. True, the two servants did not go to the place of the altar; but types do not necessarily foreshadow in every detail. However, being separated from Isaac as a result of Abraham’s command helps the two servants to foreshadow the two malefactors in their seclusion from the scene on the cross by the darkness during the crucifixion.

… The next chapter says Sarah died at 127 years of age, which would make Isaac 37 then. Thus, for Isaac to be the age of 33 (the age of Christ at His crucifixion) when he was laid on the altar in Moriah, Sarah’s death would have to be four years later—a most acceptable time span between the events.

In Genesis 22, there is the History of Worship. But then in John chapter 4, there is …

II. The HEART of Worship

(John 4:24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

A. TRUTH Was Displayed in this Passage

1. Notice the Truth of her CONDITION

I’ve heard people talk about having a “come to Jesus” meeting. But here in this passage there was a “Jesus coming to you” meeting with the Samaritan woman. For … “He must needs go through Samaria.” (John 4:4)

And as we see this Samaritan woman, we notice…


(John 4:7-9) There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. {8} (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) {9} Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Warren Wiersbe explains that…

The Samaritans were a mixed race, part Jew and part Gentile, that grew out of the Assyrian captivity of the ten northern tribes in 727 B.C. Rejected by the Jews because they could not prove their genealogy, the Samaritans established their own temple and religious services on Mt. Gerizim. This only fanned the fires of prejudice. So intense was their dislike of the Samaritans that some of the Pharisees prayed that no Samaritan would be raised in the resurrection! When His enemies wanted to call Jesus an insulting name, they called Him a Samaritan (John 8:48).

… In that day, it was not considered proper for any man, especially a rabbi, to speak in public to a strange woman (John 4:27). But our Lord set social customs aside because a soul’s eternal salvation was at stake. It certainly surprised her when He asked for a drink of water. … The information in John’s parenthesis at the end of John 4:9 was for the benefit of his Gentile readers. Since the disciples had gone into the city to purchase food, it is obvious that the Jews did have some “dealings” with the Samaritans; so John was not trying to exaggerate. The phrase can be translated “ask no favors from the Samaritans” or “use no vessels in common with the Samaritans.” Why would Jesus, a Jew, want to use her “Polluted” vessel to get a drink of water?

We Also See That There Were RELATIONAL FAILURES In Her Life

(John 4:15-18) The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. {16} Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. {17} The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: {18} For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

Some think that the “sixth hour” in verse 6 refers to the noon hour, which would have been a strange time for an unaccompanied woman to come draw water. But perhaps she had been shunned by the other women of Sychar so that she had to come alone to draw water. It’s interesting in verse 28 that she brought word back about Jesus to “the men.” Because of her tainted background, this woman has sometimes been called “The Bad Samaritan.”

Arthur Pink pointed out some interesting contrasts between John 3 and John 4…

First, in John 3 we have “a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus:” in John 4 it is an unnamed woman that is before us.
Second, the former was a man of rank, a “Master of Israel:” the latter was a woman of the lower ranks, for she came “to draw water.”
Third, the one was a favored Jew: the other was a despised Samaritan.
Fourth, Nicodemus was a man of high reputation, a member of the Sanhedrin: the one with whom Christ dealt in John 4 was a woman of dissolute habits.
Fifth, Nicodemus sought out Christ: here Christ seeks out the woman.
Sixth, Nicodemus came to Christ “by night:” Christ speaks to the woman at mid-day.
Seventh, to the self-righteous Pharisee Christ said, “Ye must be born again:” to this sinner of the Gentiles He tells of “the gift of God.”

2. Notice the Truth in their CONVERSATION

a. They Talked About WATER

Living Water

(John 4:10) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary says…

“Living water” simply meant “fresh” or “flowing” as opposed to stagnant or well water, but given John’s propensity for double meanings (see 3:5), here the term may also mean “water of life.”

Lasting Water

(John 4:13-15) Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: {14} But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. {15} The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

b. They Talked About WORSHIP

She Had an INTEREST in Worship

(John 4:19-20) The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. {20} Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

Arthur Pink said…

There is little doubt that this woman raised the subject of worship at this stage for the purpose of diverting a theme of conversation which was far from agreeable or creditable to her.

The mountain of which she speaks is Mount Gerizim close to Sychar where the Samaritans had built their own temple in defiance of the one at Jerusalem.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary says…

Mount Gerizim, the Samaritans’ holy site equivalent to Judaism’s Jerusalem, was in full view of Jacob’s well. She uses the past tense for “worship” precisely because of her continuing consciousness of Jews’ and Samaritans’ racial separation: roughly two centuries before, the Jewish king had obliterated the Samaritan temple on that mountain, and it had remained in ruins ever since. Samaritans mocked the Jewish holy site and once, under cover of night, even sought to defile the Jerusalem temple. Jews similarly ridiculed Mount Gerizim.

She Had An IGNORANCE Of Worship

(John 4:21-24) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. {22} Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. {23} 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. {24} God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

It’s as if Jesus was undeterred by the change of subject. ‘You want to talk about worship. Okay, let’s talk about worship.’ He was getting right into the heart of worship, and He was getting right into the heart of this woman.

Arthur Pink goes on to say…

The Lord, in a very brief word, settled the disputed point — the Samaritans were wrong, the Jews right; the former were ignorant, the latter well instructed. Christ then added a reason to what He had just said — “for salvation is of the Jews.” We take it that “salvation” here is equivalent to “the Savior,” that is, the Messiah.

… To “worship in spirit,” is to worship spiritually; to “worship in truth,” is to worship truly. They are not two different kinds of worship, but two aspects of the same worship. To worship spiritually (“in spirit”) is the opposite of mere external rites which pertained to the flesh; instead, it is to give to God the homage of an enlightened mind and an affectionate heart. To worship Him truly (“in truth”) is to worship Him according to the Truth, in a manner suited to the revelation He has made of Himself; and, no doubt, it also carries with it the force of worshipping truly, not in pretense, but sincerely.

Not only was Truth displayed here, but…

B. TRANSFORMATION Was Displayed in this Passage

1. SHE Was Changed

(John 4:21) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

Albert Barnes said…

[When … neither in this mountain …] Hitherto the public solemn worship of God has been confined to one place. It has been a matter of dispute whether that place should be Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim. That controversy is to be of much less importance than you have supposed. The old dispensation is about to pass away. The special rites of the Jews are to cease. The worship of God, so long confined to a single place, is soon to be celebrated everywhere, and with as much acceptance in one place as in another. He does not say that there would be NO worship of God in that place or in Jerusalem, but that the worship of God would not be “confined” there. He would be worshipped in other places as well as there.

[God is a spirit] This is the second reason why men should worship him in spirit and in truth. By this is meant that God is without a body; that He is not material or composed of parts; that He is invisible, in every place, pure and holy. This is one of the first truths of religion, and one of the sublimest ever presented to the mind of man. Almost all nations have had some idea of God as gross or material, but the Bible declares that He is a pure spirit. As He is such a spirit, He dwells not in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48), neither is worshipped with men’s hands as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, Acts 17:25. A pure, a holy, a spiritual worship, therefore, is such as He seeks – the offering of the soul rather than the formal offering of the body – the homage of the HEART rather than that of the LIPS.

[I know that Messias cometh – vs. 25] As the Samaritans acknowledged the five books of Moses, so they expected, also, the coming of the Messiah.

[Will tell us all things] Jesus had decided the question proposed to him (John 4:20) in favor of the Jews. The woman does not seem to have been satisfied with this answer, and said that the Messiah would tell them all about this question. Probably she was expecting that he would soon appear.

Arthur Pink said…

At last this poor soul has been driven from every false refuge, and now she is ready for a revealed Savior. She is through with her prevarication and procrastinations. She had asked “How?”, and Christ had graciously answered her. She had inquired “Whence?”, and had received a kindly reply. She had said, “Where?”, and this difficulty had been disposed of too. And now her questions ceased. She speaks with greater confidence and assurance — ‘I know that Messias cometh.” This was tantamount to saying, “I want Christ.”

And then Jesus brings it home! He winds it up, and brings the conversation to a sudden point of resolution. And He said… “I that speak unto thee am He.” (John 4:26) She didn’t need to go looking for another Messiah to answer her questions or give her hope. The search was over! It was all about JESUS! The answer to all of her questions was Christ! For her water, for her woes, for her worship … there was JESUS!

She now sees Him not just as “a prophet” but as “the prophet.” She left her waterpot and walked away with the well. She was changed, and then…

2. SYCHAR Was Changed vs. 35-42

They Had A Harvest Of Souls At Sychar

(John 4:35) Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

I am of the persuasion that Jesus made this statement right about the time the men of the city were coming out to Him. If that was the case, He is possibly directing the attention of the disciples to the souls of Sychar as He mentions the “harvest.”

They Had A Heart For The Savior At Sychar

(John 4:39-42) And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. {40} So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. {41} And many more believed because of his own word; {42} And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

In Genesis 22, there is the History of Worship. And in John chapter 4, there is the Heart of Worship. But if you’ll go with me now to Revelation chapter 5, I want us to think about …

III. The HEADING of Worship

(Revelation 5:14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.

Where is this thing of worship headed? It is not confined to earth and time. But just as worship had a first mention in Genesis 22, just as worship had a favorable manifestation in John 4, worship has a future meeting in Revelation 5.

A. The LORD JESUS is Seen in a Central Way in that Worship Environment

1. He is the WINNING LION

(Revelation 5:5) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

prevailed – Greek 3528. nikao, nik-ah'-o; from G3529; to subdue (lit. or fig.):--conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.

He is the “nike”! He is the victorious one!

John Phillips said…

As John stood there choked with sobs, one of the elders stepped down from his throne, walked over to where the weeping seer stood, and gently wiped away all tears from his eyes. “Weep not,” he said. “Behold!” What a chord the mention of the Lion must have struck in John’s soul, for that was the kind of Messiah the Jews had always wanted and expected. They had crucified Jesus because He was too tame for them. They had wanted a king who would smash the power of Rome and make Jerusalem capital of a new world empire. The last thing they wanted was One meek and lowly, gentle and kind. At last that longed-for militant Messiah is to be unveiled, David’s Son and David’s Lord.

2. He is the WORTHY LAMB

As John looked to see the Lion, he saw instead a Lamb.

(Revelation 5:6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

(Revelation 5:9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

(Revelation 5:12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Not only is the Lord Jesus seen in a Central way in that future worship environment. But …

B. The LOUD JOY is Seen in a Clear Way in that Worship Environment

(Revelation 5:12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

loud – Greek 3173. megas, meg'-as; big (lit. or fig., in a very wide application):--(+ fear) exceedingly, great (-est), high, large, loud, mighty, + (be) sore (afraid), strong, X to years.

voice – Greek 5456. phone, fo-nay'; prob. akin to G5316 through the idea of disclosure; a tone (articulate, bestial or artificial); by impl. an address (for any purpose), saying or language:--noise, sound, voice.

1. The WORSHIPPERS are Many

(Revelation 5:11) And 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 ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

“Ten thousand times ten thousand” is 100 billion plus thousands of thousands.

Hebrews 12:22 refers to “an innumerable company of angels.” Add to that the saints of God from every age. Add to that the souls of all the babies that have been aborted, which according to some statistics is over 54 million since 1973 in the US alone.

(Revelation 5:13) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

creature – Greek 2938. ktisma, ktis'-mah; from G2936; an original formation (concr.), i.e. product (created thing):--creature.

Adam Clarke said that there were “Myriads of myriads and chiliads of chiliads.” (Multitudes and thousands)

2. The WORDS are Magnificent

The Congregation was…

(Revelation 5:12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Adam Clarke said, “Here are seven different species of praise.”

He is worthy of authority (power), abundance (riches), acumen (wisdom), ability (strength), admiration (honour), amazement (glory), and adoration (blessing).

As for the Creatures...

(Revelation 5:13) And every creature (created thing) which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

W. M. Johnston said…

The sky vibrates with praise as the great stars stand out in their places. “Earth, with its thousand voices,” said Coleridge, “praises God.” And while these call to man, whatever his tongue or his worship, man the world round feels that he must respond. He cannot help worshipping. (From The Biblical Illustrator)

As far as worship is concerned, it all comes down to this: It’s all about Jesus!


The song “The Heart of Worship” written by Matt Redman dates back to the late 1990s, born from a period of apathy within Matt’s home church in Watford, England. Despite the country’s overall contribution to the current worship revival, Redman’s congregation was struggling to find meaning in its musical outpouring at the time.

“There was a dynamic missing, so the pastor did a pretty brave thing,” he recalls. “He decided to get rid of the sound system and band for a season, and we gathered together with just our voices. His point was that we’d lost our way in worship, and the way to get back to the heart would be to strip everything away.” Reminding his church family to be producers in worship, not just consumers, the pastor, Mike Pilavachi, asked, “When you come through the doors on a Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God?” Matt says the question initially led to some embarrassing silence, but eventually people broke into acappella songs and heartfelt prayers, encountering God in a fresh way.

“Before long, we reintroduced the musicians and sound system, as we’d gained a new perspective that worship is all about Jesus, and He commands a response in the depths of our souls no matter what the circumstance and setting. ‘The Heart of Worship’ simply describes what occurred.”

Redman remembers writing the song quickly in his bedroom soon after the church’s journey together, with no grand intentions, by any means, for it to become an international anthem. He viewed the words simply as his personal, subjective response to what he was learning about worship.

The song says…

When the music fades and all is stripped away and I simply come.

Longing just to bring something that's of worth that will bless Your heart.

I'll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what You have required.

You search much deeper within, through the way things appear, You're looking into my heart.

King of endless worth, no one could express how much you deserve.

Though I'm weak and poor, all I have is Yours, every single breath!

I'll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what You have required.

You search much deeper within, through the way things appear, You're looking into my heart.

I'm coming back to the heart of worship and it's all about You, it's all about You, Jesus.

I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it when it's all about You, it's all about You, Jesus.


Church, we need to focus on WORSHIP! I’m not talking about music styles or methodologies. I’m talking about responding from our hearts to who HE is and what HE has done.

Would you respond this morning and commit yourself to being a worshipper?