From Ritual to Reality (2 of 5) by Jeff Ginn

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From Ritual to Reality (2 of 5)
Series: From Good to Great
Dr. Jeffery B. Ginn
John 4:19-26
May 4, 2003


1. INTRODUCTION
a. If you are visiting today, it is only fair that I warn you about some of the men in this church. They are a crafty and sometimes ruthless bunch!
b. Fishing trip. I stated publicly that I wanted to catch a shark. I stopped fishing to go around and check on all the men. While I was ministering to the men, someone reeled in my line and put a fake shark on my line. I came back and began to reel it in. I noticed that there was an extra weight on the line. As it neared the surface I made out that it was a shark! I fought 'em in and landed that beast. Only to find out it was a fake fish.
c. What a disappointment. What I had hoped for I thought I had. It had the look, it had the feel, but it was fake.
d. God comes looking for worship. Looks like worship. Feels like worship. But too often a close-up look reveals that it is a cheap imitation of the real thing.
e. How often is it artificial instead of authentic? How often is our worship more ritual than reality? We sing the songs, read the Scripture, hear the sermon, take the offering, pray the prayer, but there is an artificial hollowness to it all.
f. John 4:19-26. Here Jesus contrasts "true worshipers" with those who are false worshipers.
g. Just to prove that I'm not ritualistic, my sermon today will not have three points.

2. CHARACTERISTICS OF ARTIFICIAL WORSHIP (4:19)
a. Sidesteps sin
1. Real worship reveals our wickedness. Isaiah 6:5, "'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.'"
2. Repentance is the precursor to real worship. Isaiah 1:10-18
3. Neither flattery nor diversion works with Jesus.
4. "There can be no conversion without conviction" (Wiersbe, p. 300).
5. A little boy in the hills of East Tennessee asked his p ...


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