Monday, April 19, 2010

Sermon Summary: Authenitc Worship vs. False Worship

In John 12:1-16, I see one expression of authentic, God-honoring worship and three forms of false worship.

Mary and Costly Worship

The first comes from Mary in verses 1-4. Mary brings a bottle of expensive (about a years wages worth) perfume. She breaks the bottle and then pours it out over Jesus as an act of loving devotion toward Him. Her act of worship is: 1) Physical, 2) Emotional, 3) Humble, 4) Spiritual, and 5) spiritual. All acts of true worship (presenting our lives to the Lord in loving devotion) will have these five marks. Mary’s worship was connected to the cross (v. 7), as will ours be. We worship Christ because he is the crucified, buried, and resurrected Lord and Savior.

Judas Iscariot and Contested Worship

In verses 4-8, we find Judas Iscariot objecting to such an extravagant display of worship. He suggests selling the perfume and giving the proceeds to the poor. He sounds pious, but he is really a thief. Beware of robbing from God.

The Religious Leaders and Corrupted Worship

In verses 8-11, the spiritual leaders of the people plan to kill not only Jesus but also Lazarus because Lazarus’s testimony is turning more people toward Christ. These leaders have a zeal (Romans 10:2), but it is ultimately not for God or for the truth. They are serving their own religious system and not the Lord.

The Crowds and Confused Worship

The crowds gather and celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (vv. 12-16). Although they say the right things (they are quoting from Psalm 118), and have the right outward actions, ultimately they are confused about Christ and in less than a week’s time, they will by crying out for Jesus’ crucifixion.


We are to give ourselves in worship to the Lord. However, we must worship rightly. May our worship be Christ-centered and Gospel-tethered, just like Mary’s was. Otherwise, our worship becomes false and an abomination before God.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Review: Five Who Changed the World

by Daniel L. Akin
published by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2008

This little book collects in print five biographical sermons preached by Dr. Akin in Chapel services at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Using the lives of five missionaries, he preaches/writes about five great texts to encourage us to give our lives to the cause of global missions.

The sermons are:

The Great Commission & William Carey: A Passionate Global Vision from Matthew 28:16-20

Marked for Death, Messengers of Life: Adoniram & Ann Judson from Romans 8:28-39

Jesus is Everything to Me!: Glorious Truth in the Life and Death of Bill Wallace from Philippians 1:21

The Power of a Consecrated Life: The Ministry of Lottie Moon from Romans 12:1

Let All the Nations Give God Glory!: A Passion in the Life & Martyrdom of Jim Elliot

Dr. Akin has done us a great service by publishing this little book in at least two ways. First, he models for us preachers an excellent way to blend church history and Christian biography with expositional preaching. He deals faithfully with the text and uses the life stories of these great missionaries to illustrate the Biblical points.

Secondly, and more importantly, he challenges us through the Biblical text and the lives of these five great missionaries to give our lives to the work of missions and global evangelization. A true child of God cannot read God's Word and the testimonies of great missionaries without being stirred to do more.

Great Quote:
"[These missionaries] are a reminder that God can take our little and do a lot. He can take our weakness and show Himself strong. He can take a short life and have it make an impact for all eternity. Jim Elliot said it so well: we are just a 'bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.' May God by His grace and for His glory multiply the 'nobodies,' who have as their life's passion a desire to exalt the 'Somebody' whose name is Jesus." (p. 100)

I recommend this book to every Christian to read.

Buy It
Call 919-761-2270 to order the book.