The Other Side of Worship by James Merritt

The Other Side of Worship
Dr. James Merritt
1 John 1:1-4


INTRODUCTION

1. I want you to turn to the person sitting next to you and do something you may have already done before, but I want you to do it again. I want you to shake hands with them. I tell you why you did that, though you didn't realize it. The custom of handshaking originated in primitive times.

2. Men carried their weapons in their right hands, and when a man extended his empty right hand to take the hand of the other person, it meant he was coming in peace. Over the centuries the act of shaking hands, which prevents either man from holding his sword or weapon, evolved into a traditional greeting in western society. It shows that neither party wants to be enemies, but rather they desire friendship and fellowship.1

3. Everyday, by a simple gesture, we take for granted people are expressing a universal desire for friendship and fellowship, and it is more than just a want, it is a need. I want to tell you today that the best place to find both is in a New Testament church; even more specifically, in a small group within that church called Bible Study.

4. Now we all know that the primary purpose that we gather to church is to worship the Lord. But there is another side to worship. The other side of worship is fellowship. John says in this text that Jesus Christ came, He died, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead, not only to save us, but ''that you also may have fellowship with us.'' (v.3)

5. We are living today in not only a digitalized world, but a depersonalized world. It is an automated society where you have to remember your zip code, your area code, your social security number; where now when you call a number you no longer get a live voice, but you get voice mail, or an answering machine. There has never been a greater need for fellowship in the history of mankind than there is right now. Believe it or not, the key to real fellowship is the resurrection of Jesus ...


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