Worship in the Spirit | 1-30-2019

Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 4-5-2020

[This was a sermon I gave to the youth group at my local church when serving there as a youth leader. It was about 25 minutes and was focused on helping students understand worship in a series that paralleled our church’s series at the time. This was apart of a series on life with God that we did as a youth ministry, which again was similar to our church’s same series.]

Intro

Throughout this series, we have been exploring what it means to have life with God. Andrew and David talked about our identity in God, Dan talked last week about walking with God, and today we will talk about what it means to worship God in the Spirit. To worship in the Spirit is a combination of three things: obedience, reverence, and wonder.

But why should we worship God in the first place? Pastor A.W. Tozer puts it this way, 

“We are born to worship, and if we are not worshiping God in the beauty of His holiness, we have missed the reason for being born. Worship is a delightful, awesome, humbling, wonderful experience, which we can have in varying degrees, but if you have all those, you can live in the middle of it (2).”

Basically, worship is ingrained in our DNA. It’s just part of who we are as humans. As people who bear the image of God and represent Him here on Earth, we were made to worship. Think of it this way: true worship is a lifelong thank you to God. Or better yet, worship is the expression of love itself.

Just like two people in a relationship, they obviously love each other. But their actions and words validate their love for each other. As Voddie Baucham puts it, “love is an act of the will.” Love is proven by our worship. What we worship reveals what we actually love.

One way or another, we all worship something. Some people worship money, while others worship their sexuality. Bottom line: everyone worships something or someone.

Now worship in the Spirit is not some mystical force that compels us to do crazy or weird stuff. To worship in the Spirit is to honor God by the power of the Holy Spirit. The personal Holy Spirit gives us the ability to worship God in the first place. He guides us through the three main ways we worship God: obedience, reverence, and wonder. Let’s start with the first reason: obedience.

Obedience

We can worship God with our obedience. This can be anything from obeying our parents to obeying our teachers at school. It even means obeying the law and rules given by our government. Romans 13:1b says that “there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Our obedience is one way to worship God by loving those who have authority in our lives.

David and Paul Watson write that “it appears that God spells love o-b-e-y (3).” To obey the authority around us is to demonstrate how much we actually love God. We worship with obedience because God is king.

Reverence

One more way we can worship God is with reverence. The word reverence is just another way of saying admiration or respect. We can worship God by admiring or respecting Him because He is goodness personified. Asaph, a worship leader during the reign of King David once said “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works (4).” Whether it is in the beauty of Creation or the joys of friendship, every work of God is good because He is good.

Just by the fact that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for us is enough reason to respect Him. God’s grace leads to our gratitude. God is worthy of our worship because He is good. He is perfect and He is love. To worship in the Spirit is to constantly admire what God has done for us and who He is on a personal level. We worship with reverence because God is good.

Wonder

Finally, the third way that we can worship God in the Spirit is with wonder. Why with wonder? Because God is mysterious. If we knew everything about God, then He wouldn’t be God. In the book of Isaiah we read “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts (5).” God is worthy of worship because He is greater than us.

One way that God is greater than us, but is also mysterious would be His triune nature. What is God’s triune nature? It is the fact that God is one being, but three persons. [In my sermon journal I wrote “volunteer joke” right after this section, but I literally don’t remember what that joke was about. If anything, the joke was strategically placed to break the tension and refocus the students on the principle that I’m trying to teach, which is the doctrine of the Trinity. Humor is always a great tool to help others learn.]

What does that mean? I don’t know! But that’s the point. Because I don’t know how that all works, I can have full confidence that this must be God. Joe Rigney wrote that the “Trinity is the heart of the Christian religion, the great mystery that makes all other mysteries understandable (6).” In other words, I cannot explain to you how light actually works. But I can show you how light changes everything in sight. We worship with wonder because God is mysterious.

Outro

To wrap up, worship in the Spirit is the combination of obedience, reverence, and wonder. We obey God’s authority, revere God’s goodness, and wonder at God’s mysterious nature. True worship is made up of all three of these things. Let’s pray.

This sermon I think was a big improvement overall compared to my last two sermons. Those being Created In Christ: Three I’s in the Pursuit of You and The Armor of God message, which was 10 days before this one. The biggest improvements being the rehearsal process and a refined structure, plus the fact that I used a sermon journal.

It was my first time translating a message to a different audience, yet I think it went well. By simplifying my process, I think the main idea came across clearer than previous sermons. On a side note, I remember loving the prep and research for this message too. A solid sermon and it was really fun to share this one with the youth group. With that, Godspeed and Jesus bless.

Footnotes

  1. https://www.pexels.com/
  2. The Purpose of Man: Designed To Worship, P. 118
  3. Contagious Disciple Making, P. 45
  4. Psalm 73:28
  5. Isaiah 55:8-9
  6. The Things of Earth (P. 35)

Who Is Chris Cribari?

Updated: 5/27/2019

For those of you that are new to this blog, I figured it might be time to reintroduce myself. I grew up in Southern California for the first ten years of my life and then my family moved to Colorado in July of 2007 for my Dad’s job where I have lived ever since. I was raised by my parents in the Calvary Chapel Movement, along with my four siblings (Rachel, John, Corban; Nathan). My parents grew up in very broken homes, which directly influenced their strong emphasis on a family established on Christ first and foremost.

I came to faith in Christ when I was nine in the summer of 2006 and have been a Christian since then. My parents strong belief in Christianity had a great impact on my path towards the Christian faith, but the decision was all my own. I privately accepted Christ walking home from my friend David’s house where we were watching Playboy DVD’s after school. I publicly came to Christ at Calvary Chapel Oxnard’s Summer VBS a few weeks later when my group leader explained the Gospel to me after I questioned him as to whether or not it was true.

I am and always have been an avid storyteller, along with an active listener to people’s stories. I started writing my first stories in either second or third grade and continue to write to this day. At home, I have stacks of partially-written novels, poems, sermon ideas, and short stories either on flash-drives or busting out of years-old binders. Writing allows my soul to speak truthfully, even when my high-spectrum autism disorder gets in the way.

Because I love stories, I also love watching movies! When Blockbuster was still a thing, my siblings and I would watch our VHS movie collection to death as we rewatched our favorites all the time growing up. This collection that we had as kids contained the original Star Wars trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Wallace & Gromit series, a pair of Jurassic Park movies, a few Val Kilmer movies from the 90s, and a few dozen other films.

When we got a little older, we boys got the privilege of watching my Dad’s infamous movie collection that holds some of the best films I’ve ever seen. This collection consisted of mostly war movies like Braveheart, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot (2000), and We Were Soldiers. It also had other genre movies like A Beautiful Mind, Bandits, Equilibrium, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, The Matrix, The Passion of the Christ, and the Phantom of the Opera. It might just be a box of DVD’s, but it holds some of my favorite memories with my Dad.

When I have time to train, I occasionally compete in Strongman too. I was introduced to the sport by my mentor Andrew Morrison and still loved it! I have competed four times and I am preparing for future competitions as well. Through my time training, I’ve met some of the world’s strongest men like Brian Shaw, Mike Burke, Robert Oberst, and Stan Caradine. My favorite Strongman lifts are Atlas Stones, Deadlift, and Log Press.
My theological stance is Molinist, while my preference on church function leans heavily towards Anabaptist. I currently am a member and serve at LifeGate Denver as a youth pastor.

My favorite apologists are John Lennox, Ravi Zacharias, and William Lane Craig. Although some honorable influences also include Alvin Plantinga, C.S. Lewis, Hugh Ross, James White, Michael L. Brown, Nabeel Qureshi, Norman Geisler, Paul Copan, Peter Kreeft, R. C. Sproul, and Voddie Baucham. My parents taught me the basics of Christianity when I was young and from there I have continued to develop my own systematic theology as I mature in the faith.

I attended the Colorado Film School and have an education in screenwriting, along with directing for the screen. I’m in the process of writing two books. The first book is a fictional novel that focuses on a married couple grieving a stillborn birth and the problem of suffering. The other book is like Mere Christianity, but for the modern world. My goal is to publish the latter book by the end of 2020.

I started this blog because it gave me the opportunity to speak freely about whatever is on my mind. People have also asked and encouraged me to write, so that inspired me as well. Most importantly, I believe God put me on this planet to write for Him and I will continue that pursuit in showing people what it means to know God.

This blog started in June of 2015 and will continue to go on as long as God wills. I’m Chris Cribari and this is just a frame of my life. With that, Godspeed and Jesus bless!