Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

Worshipping God with Dignity


Worshipping God with Dignity



"But let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner" (1 Corinthians 14:40).

"Let all things be done decently and in order] Let all things be done in an "appropriate" and "becoming" manner; "decorously," as becomes the worship of God. Let all be done in "order, regularly;" without confusion, discord, tumult. The word used here kata (NT:2596) taxin (NT:5010) is properly a military term, and denotes the order and regularity with which an army is drawn up" (Barnes Notes).The adverb "properly" literally means "of good external appearance". In a seemly manner (Thayer p. 262). "Behave properly" (1 Thess. 4:12; Romans 13:13). "In order" can be defined as: "Due or right order". Literally, order, i.e., a fixed succession observing also a fixed time. "Official dignity". We need to remember that the purpose for our gatherings is the worship of God (a very dignified event) and not for our own amusement. We live in a culture that seems to think that the more haphazard something is, the more "spiritual it is". God does not believe in the philosophy that worship should not have any order or that anyone who wants to say something should be able to do so at any time. Even when prophets spoke by inspiration, God expected self-restraint and order (1 Corinthians 14:31-32). God does not believe that people are edified, or truly built up spiritually, by a disjointed arrangement.

Revelation Chapters 2 and 3


These chapters definitely present the need for congregational self-examination, to make sure that we are serving God the way that He wants to be served. We need to make corrections, even if a few things are out of order (Revelation 2:14).

Good Elders Carefully Watch (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:5)


"Managing" the household of God means preventing problems and nipping potential problems before they get out of hand. "Keeping his children under control with all dignity" (1 Timothy 3:4) demands diligent and foresight to anticipate problems and make corrections as needed.

God’s Majesty Demands Our Best


"For I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God, which cost me nothing" (2 Samuel 24:24). "Your lamb shall be an unblemished male" (Exodus 12:5). 1 Corinthians 11:27 "Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner". Note the expression "whole heart": 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:15; 2 Chronicles 25:2 "yet not with a whole heart". Our God deserves the best singing, prayers, preaching, observation of the Lord’s Supper, and so on that we can provide. Let us always strive to present worship as a congregation that would truly glorify Him.

Thoughts Concerning The Invitation


First, we are blessed with so many men that are capable and willing to speak publicly. This is truly a great blessing and will serve us well in the long run because: A. Our children see many men involved, which sends the message that all men need to be spiritual leaders and teachers able to impart the Word of God to others (Genesis 18:19; Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:2). B. Every member is to be an active member (Ephesians 4:16), thus providing a very undenominational favor, no clergy-laity, or the workers or staff, verses the spectators. C. The men are excited about serving God; they believe this too—not just the preacher or the elders. How we can improve: At times the invitations can wander from their intended purpose. Let us remember that with the invitation we are exhorting and seeking to persuade and convict the hearts of men and women who need Jesus Christ. Our preaching needs to be persuasive (2 Corinthians 5:11; Acts 17:2-3). The gospel is a powerful message (Romans 1:16) and is very convicting (Hebrews 4:12). Let us keep our invitations focused and honed in on pricking the hearts. As you contemplate an invitation ask yourself, "Why should a person become a Christian". "What about excuses people offer?" "What persuaded you?" "What do people need to hear today that is in the gospel?" "What message penetrated your heart?" "Why should people consider Jesus Christ?" "And what is different about what is offered here verses what is offered in society or in the religious world?" "Why does a person need to become a Christian tonight?" I am always sensitive the issue of "time", for the Word of God deserves a hearing and there are things more important than time. But the time element for an invitation is wise, for we do need to focus our thoughts, and put all our effort into one strong punch. It does force a person to center in on the real issue. Great speeches can be done in a short time (Acts 17:21-31).

Speaking As the Oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11)

"Let him speak as one who is delivering the oracles of God" (TCNT); "He must preach as one who utters the words of God" (Mof). "It means rather with the seriousness of purpose which one would use if one were speaking God’s words"(Grudem p. 176). "As": "Like as, even as, according as, in the same manner as" (Thayer p. 680). The phrase, "as it were" would indicate that this verse governs the actions of non-inspired teachers and preachers. When a person assumes the task of teaching or preaching, that person must limit the instruction to what the Word of God states. We are indeed blessed with the men who are able to serve and the insightful thoughts that they offer while opening services, praying, serving the Lord’s Supper, or preaching. How we can improve: We need to be careful that we do not start picking up language or expressions that are not Biblical. During communion abstain from talking about the Lord’s broken body, seeing that His body was not broken (John 19:36). This is such an easy thing to say, seeing that that we break the bread that represents His body. The fruit of the vine is not called "wine". When serving the supper at night try not to use language that suggests that this is left over. I appreciate men who take the time to make sure that those who partake in the evening are not given this impression that this offering is less important than the morning offering. Along this line, let us remember that each assembly is important (Hebrews 10:25). The Sunday evening assembly is still a period of worship. Anytime we worship is important, let’s not give the impression that Sunday evening is a less dignified time. "Steadfastness" and "devotion" to the apostles teaching should characterize all our assemblies (Acts 2:42). While the NIV translation uses the term "sinful nature", the men behind that translation were strong Calvinists. This phrase gives the impression that man is inherently sinful, and that we can’t help ourselves when temptation comes. God does expect us to be holy (2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:14). The importance of correct Bible terminology is seen when we observe the way that the denominational world has corrupted the term "pastor". Remember, we are speaking God’s words, so let us not misrepresent the author. We do live in a postmodern culture that somehow feels that you can use any term whatever that you want and with whatever definition you want. Man-made religious terminology can very easily become a religion of itself (1 Corinthians 2:1 "superiority of speech or of wisdom"). Remember, God chose the words in the Bible (1 Corinthians 2:13). The following was found among the graffiti on a wall at St. John’s University" "And Jesus said unto them, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ And they replied, ‘You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship.’ And Jesus said: ‘What?’

Quotations in The Sermon Handouts


From time to time I like to stress that the quotations in the sermon handouts do not mean that everything in the book quoted is good or right. Secondly, such quotations do not establish truth, only the Bible does. Thirdly such quotations are simply where I believe that someone made a good point and said it better than others, even the apostles quoted from non-inspired sources (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12). Secular sources can drive a point home when we discover that even unbelievers see or concede a particular truth under consideration. In addition, such quotations prove that people, when they are honest, can understand God’s word alike. Finally, other people need to read such good thoughts, the author’s need to be given credit (ethical), and remember we are preaching not only for this generation, but also for further preachers and Christians. Sound thoughts need to be preserved.

Children and Fund-Raising Activities


The congregation needs to be commended for its love of children. Jesus said, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these" (Luke 18:16). On any given Sunday you will see members here hugging, holding, and giving a tremendous amount and affection to the children of other members. The congregation needs to be praised for its generosity. We have so many children, and yet many members here will make sure that they support the fund-raisers from each child so that no one is left out. In addition, a good number here actually support and attend the extra-curricular events of various young people, whether sports, band or other activities. How we can improve: In order to keep the selling becoming too visible or too muchsolicit members by phone. Try to do most of the exchanging of product in the parking lot. This would be appreciated.

Children Playing


We are blessed with so many children. Of all the "concerns" that a congregation could have, I am thankful that these are our concerns. I do not want the day to come that we never have to remind parents concerning something about their children, because that would mean that all the children are gone. I am thankful that people are here with their children. I am thankful that my children have so many good friends here. I see a bright future in the young children that are so full of energy and life. After services, since the weather has been so pleasant, some of the kids play tag outside. Unfortunately, they tend to run in the flowerbeds, track in dirt, and end up playing and making too much noise on the apartment property next door. In addition, such playing tends to come inside and in their excitement, they also run in the parking lot as people are backing out. How we can improve: Father’s carry your conversations outside the building. Keep an eye on your children. Slow down kids that you see out of control. Talk to your kids at home.



Greeting Visitors. So often I see a visitor surrounded by three or four members. Excellent! Brotherly love! 1 Thess. 4:9-10. What outpouring of concern for those in need! Definitely a family atmosphere. People do remember the announcements. So much concern about my mother, such responsiveness! Hospitality: A lot is happening! Eagerness to be with other Christians. Generosity: Great giving to the point that we can support so many other preachers and give so much to various needs. Participation in Bible classes and attitude of the questions or responses. Attentiveness during the sermons! Attitude of our teenagers! Addressing concerns to the elders.

Attendance! Great on Wednesday and Sunday.

Mark Dunagan/Beaverton Church of Christ/503-644-9017