Worship

Acceptable Worship - 1 Peter 2:4-10

This outline continues a series preached in 2002. For my own edification (and hopefully yours), I’ve restudied the passage and made some improvements to the outline.

Introduction

Worship has  been a controversial topic in recent years. In some ways, the degree of controversy is a good thing: much of it arises from people genuinely striving to do what they believe to be God’s desire—that is, to properly honor God’s name and, at the same time, properly involve and engage God’s people in that activity.

Clearly, much of the controversy has also arisen from philosophies of ministry or outreach that, among other errors, improperly relate the interests and desires of the lost or immature to the worship life of the local church.

Peter’s teaching in this portion of 1 Peter is an excellent corrective. It helps us frame the question of acceptable worship correctly, understand the bigger picture, and ask the right questions to evaluate our present-day options.

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Does the “Meet & Greet” Belong in Our Worship Services?

Apparently some are all “shook up” over the practice of greeting visitors during worship services. A variety of polls suggests that most visitors are extremely uncomfortable with this practice. Studies also suggest that many faithful church attendees are also uncomfortable with the practice of greeting the familiar, as well as those who may be new, in the ebb and flow of a church service.

Granted, there is clearly no Scriptural command to include a one minute and twenty-seven second opportunity in the worship service for greeting those you know or don’t know. There are a few passages though that speak to a practice of greeting one another with the “right hand of fellowship” (Galatians 2:9) and in other cases an “agape kiss” (1 Peter 5:14). However, these passages seem to simply report what was done and are not included to give a clear imperative for universal and normative church practice (though it’s enough to convince me of the benefit).

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