Sermon:  How do you Respond?


Summary:  Worship begins with out Lord who suffered for us as an outsider so that we can be set apart to Him.  As set apart people, our response is to worship with excellence continually and authentically, not just through words but also through active service as well.


Text:  Heb 13:7-17


Scripture Reading:  Ps 146:1-2



1.  How do you respond?

            a.  When someone gives you a gift?  Does something big for you?

            b.  Pays your fine?  Takes a bullet for you?

            c.  Suffers a dies for your wrong doing and goes to Hades on your behalf?

2.  This is what Jesus did  (Heb 14:7-17)

            a.  Final chapter in Hebrews reminds us that Jesus suffered for us

            b.  Jesus offered himself in our place, suffered as a criminal, not a hero

            c.  He sanctified us to God, brought us together with God

            d.  Now has risen and gone to prepare a lasting place for us

3.  How do you respond?  One of the ways is through worship

            a.  (v.15-16) - This is about worship

            b.  From these verses, we have some principles for worship


I.  We worship continually

            A.  We are not limited to a time and place for worship

            B.  Text says - Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise

                        1.  Choice of words - Not a sacrifice of atonement, but of praise

                                    a.  Jesus gave himself once for all

                                    b.  His blood took away all of our sins

                                    c.  His blood is not like an air freshener

                                                - Air freshener covers up the stench, not take it away

                                                - Jesus blood took away all of our sins permanently

                                    d.  In Christ we are white as wool, clean, glorious, beautiful

                                                - Like Randy Travis song:

                                                - Felt like a newborn baby, cradled up in the arms of

                                                  the Lord

                        2.  Our response is to offer the fruit of our lips continually

                                    a.  We are always praising God in all things

                                    b.  We always have his song in our hearts

                                    c.  His song in our hearts will come out naturally . . .

                        3. (Eph 5:18-21) - How many commands in this passage?  Only two

                                    a.  Do not be drunk/filled with wine

                                                - Being filled with wine was typical of pagan worship

                                                - What happens when you are filled with wine?

                                                            = Slurred speech, senses are clouded

                                                            = Can't think clearly, do stupid things

                                                            = Don't get drunk

                                    b. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit

                                                - Being filled with the Spirit is part of Christian worship

                                                - What happens when you are filled with the Spirit?

                                                            = Instead of stupid things, do godly things

                                                            = Instead of unclear thinking, godly thinking

                                                            = Instead of slurred speech, spiritual speech

                                                - Text gives a list of participles, "ing" words

                                                            = Speaking

                                                            = Singing and making melody

                                                            = Giving thanks

                                                            = Being subject

                        4.  So, how are you to be filled with the Spirit?

                                    a.  Text says one way is through singing together

                                                - Helps you to think spiritual thoughts - Lyrics

                                                - Helps you to feel spiritual things - Power of music

                                    b.  Participating in singing together powerful way to do this

            C.  ILL:  I remember the little congregation I grew up in

                        1.  Every time we got together, always brought song books

                                    a.  Every time group of us together, chance to sing

                                    b.  Seemed we were always singing

                        2.  This helped us to be spirit filled people

                                    a.  It was uplifting, encouraging, strengthening

                                    b.  Allowed the Spirit to continued to work in us

                                    c.  We were a vibrant, active, faith filled people

                        3.  We had plenty to sing about

                                    a.  Jesus suffered, but rose from the grave

                                    b.  We were redeemed from sin and being transformed

                                    c.  We had Father God, Jesus savior, Spirit strengthen,

                                         Family of God

                                    d.  We had hope, joy, love

                        4.  27b - Song - Highest Place   /  509 - Paradise Valley

            D.  Our praise is the fruit of our lips which comes from the Spirit in us

                        1.  Listen to the song in your heart

                        2.  Then let it out

                        3.  Leads us to the second principle


II.  We worship authentically

            A.  Our worship is not about the physical acts in themselves

                        1.  We all agree with this

                        2.  But does this particular text teach this?

            B.  Notice text not say just to offer praise, but a "sacrifice" of praise

                        1.  Worship and sacrifice between Old and New Testament different

                                    a.  Worship in Old Testament regulated in minute detail

                                                - There was no question about what was to be done

                                                - Nothing was left to chance

                                                - Many instructions were repeated to eliminate


                                    b.  Sacrifice of thanksgiving from Lev. 7:11-34

                                                - Meticulous instructions for how to do the rituals

                                                - In some cases, doing it wrong means being cut off

                                                  from the people

                                                - Got to get all the details right

                                                - There were many details

                                    c.  In New Testament, no altar, sacrifice, or meticulous ritual

                                                - They all point to Christ

                                                - Jesus fulfilled these when offered himself

                                                - His offering was once for all, he paid it all

                        2.  BUT - Hebrews 13 not talking about atoning sacrifice

                                    a.  Heb 13 is talking about a sacrifice of thanksgiving

                                    b.  Notice, there is no meticulous ritual any more

                                                - No instructions on type of flour, how much oil, etc.

                                                - No instructions about an altar, stoking a fire, etc.

                                    c.  Very simple - Offer up a sacrifice --- of praise

                                    d.  There is no book of Leviticus in the New Testament

                        3.  In Old Testament, got details of rituals right, but displeased God

                                    a.  Their worship, though meticulous, was repugnant to God

                                                - Isa 1:13 - Your incense is an abomination, it stinks

                                                - Amos 5:21 - I hate your festivals

                                                - Amos 5:23 - Take away the noise of your songs

                                                - Isa 1 - I am weary of your worship

                                    b.  What was the problem?  (Hos 6:1-6)

                                                - v.1-3 - They performed ritual

                                                - v. 4 - Their loyalty like morning fog fades away

                                                - v.6 - God wants their heart, not their rituals

            C.  ILL:  There is a ritual I have seen people do

                        1.  Elementary school children

                                    a.  One child antagonize another with words, argue, yell, cry

                                    b.  Get the two face to face.  What supposed to say?  Sorry

                                    c.  What happens if it become a repeat problem?

                                                - They might say, "Why in trouble?  I said sorry!"

                                                - Is sorry a pass to continue to be mean?

                                    d. Sorry is not enough, need to stop being mean & be nice

                        2.  Adults do the same thing - Like the womanizing husband

                                    a.  He comes back and says sorry after an affair

                                                - He sings songs to his wife

                                                - He does some touching and meaningful things

                                                - He shows her how much she means to him

                                    b.  They get back together, and then he has another affair

                                    c.  So he says sorry and goes through all that again

                                    d.  The wife gets to the point that the songs make her sick

                        3.  The problem - Those are nothing but meaningless rituals

                        4.  God doesn't want meaningless rituals any more than we do

            D.  God got rid of meticulous rituals - There is no Leviticus in New


                        1.  This does not mean there is no possibility of meaningless ritual

                                    a.  Seems less likely today than in Old Testament

                                    b.  But we can turn anything we do into meaningless ritual

                        2.  Today, we still offer up sacrifice of thanksgiving

                                    a.  But it is not fruit of your harvest, produce, or paycheck

                                    b.  Instead, it is the fruit of our lips

                        3.  God says - Just let me hear the song in your heart

                                    a.  No elaborate ritual to offer thanks to God

                                    b.  Just sing your thanksgivings to God

                        4.  But worship does not stop there . . .


III.  We worship through ministry

            A.  The worship we do here in the assembly is only a small part of worship

            B.  In addition to sacrifice of praise, sacrifice by doing good and sharing

                        1.  Text says God is pleased with such sacrifices

                        2.  Does the mean God is not pleased with other sacrifices?

                                    a.  What have we seen so far?

                                    b.  If worship is nothing more than religious ritual, then yes

                        3.  (Isa 1:11-12) - Went to "church" regularly & multiplied sacrifices

                                    a.  God not impressed, he has had enough of it

                                    b.  (v.13-15) - Offerings were worthless, heart not in it

                                    c.  What does God want?  (v.16-17)

                                                 - God does not want sacrifice and ritual

                                                - God wants a changed heart

                                    d.  Changed heart means changed actions

                                                - Do good

                                                - Seek/pursue justice, what is right, fair, honest

                                                - Help the helpless

                        4.  (Jas 1:27) - Pure and undefiled religion

                                    a.  Religion, qrhskeia - Religious service, rituals, worship or

                                         service at the altar, service in sanctuary

                                    b.  Pure and undefiled religion goes outside sanctuary

                                                - It is not burning incense, lighting candles, or ritual

                                    c.  Pure religion involves helping those in distress

            C.  ILL:  Once knew a doctor who was a Christian

                        1.  Not able to do a lot of "church work" or "church activities"

                                    a.  Often worked after hours in free clinic for poor

                                    b.  Other than regular worship time, not see him in a lot of

                                         church activities

                                    c.  Some think he not very dedicated Christian

                        2.  But, according to what we read, he is worshipping

                        3.  In fact, he does medical missions in the summer

                                    a.  Organizes it and takes group of Christians with him

                                    b.  He does the trips at his own expense

                        4.  He also gives generously financially to help missions & needy

            D.  Worship not limited to church building

                        1.  What kind sacrifice God pleased with?  Doing good and sharing

                        2.  What is pure and undefiled religion?  Help those in distress

                        3.  True Christian worship involves ministry

                        4.  So, when you serve and minister to others, this is worship

                                    a.  Your donation to Joplin was worship

                                    b.  Your help to neighbor whose house burned is worship

                                    c.  Your encouragement, support, prayers is worship

                                    d.  Some have spoken of collecting school supplies for

                                         needy families, that would be worship

                                    e.  Sharing the Gospel with others is worship

                                    f.  Worship is not limited to the building



1.  Remember the question I began with?  How do you respond to Christ?

            a.  He suffered as an outsider for you

            b.  He died on the cross for your sins, he rose from the grave

            c.  How do you respond?

            d.  Obey the Gospel (inv)

2.  If you have already obeyed the Gospel, then you respond with worship

            a.  It is continual, authentic, and with ministry

            b.  If you are a Christian, then you worship even when you leave

            c.  As your worship, God will amplify the song in your heart

            d.  God will bless you, strengthen you inwardly, and will fill you with Spirit

3.  God is amazing!  God is good!  Listen to the song he puts in your heart