Divine Pattern of Biblical Liturgy

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2, ESV

New Covenantal Worship is:

1. Covenantal worship

The example / pattern from Exodus 19, 20, 24, 39:

  1. Call (God initiates the relationship)
  2. Cleansing (God cleanses by deliverance)
  3. Consecration (by God’s Word)
  4. Communion (they communed with God in a meal)
  5. Commission (God sends them out in His name)

2. Temple Worship

Not a physical place with blood, but the reality to which that pointed

A heavenly pattern (Heb 8.5, Ex 25.40)

OT priests served a shadow of the real thing

Jesus is the temple to which we come

We come as the temple (Eph 2), we are in Christ

OT temple pattern (same as covenant pattern on Sinai)

3. Sacrificial Worship

New Covenant worship is sacrifice-based

Christ’s sacrifice is one and for all

  1. Because of that, we offer ourselves as living sacrifices
  2. Pattern of the sacrifices is the same as that of covenant and temple (Lev 1)

4. Gospel Worship

  1. God calls the sinner (Rom 8-9)
  2. God cleanses (confession & forgiveness)
  3. God consecrates (by His Word)
  4. God communes with us (in the Lord’s Supper)
  5. God commissions us (puts His name on us in the benediction and sends us out into the world to serve Him)

Heavenly Father, we come again before you, we thank You that You give us the written word that you’ll preserve this word for us. Down throughout the ages. Lord, we pray that you would illumine our minds and our hearts help us to understand and believe and trust you, as you speak to us. From this word, your word, help us. Look, Lord, we pray, as we hear and learn. And as the word is proclaimed before you before us now, your heavenly Father, and we thank you that the Spirit uses the preaching and teaching of this word to encourage and sustain our lives. And for this, we give you our utmost thanks. And we ask now, Heavenly Father, that You would give us a great delight in you as we hear you speaking to us. From it, Lord, we pray at rest our attention, that we would give our worship and our focus and our love, and indeed our attention to you. Now, as we hear it, Lauren, let the meditation of all of our hearts be pleasing. In your sight, we pray, this is our prayer, Lord, and we prayed in Jesus name. And all God’s people said, Man, Romans 12, verses one and two, please give your full attention. This is the word of our God is after Paul’s lengthy discussion of the gospel of our predicament, or we’re standing in our access in the Gospel through Christ, to come before Him. And He says this, Romans 12 One, I appeal to you, therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing, you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable, and perfect. So for the reading God’s word, The grass withers and the flowers fall, but this word of the Lord endures forever, may indeed as his blessing to it, at this time. Wonder if you’ve ever asked if there’s a pattern of worship found in the Bible, if someone were to ask you about the biblical pattern of worship, what would you tell them to? Where would you point them? Is there a pattern of worship found in the pages of Scripture where we can direct those who inquire worship, as we saw last week, is an amazing and glorious gift from God to His people. It is the center of our lives as God’s people. It is the core of our the rhythm of our lives, as His people, His assembled church, his people in this world is a glorious foretaste that God gives us and what will we be doing for all of eternity, right, worshiping the Lord. And so it’s important we have some grasp on what we’re doing here, as we come in. So this morning, we’re going to continue in our look at worship. And we’re going to look at the divine pattern of biblical worship, the divine pattern of biblical worship. I’m sure that many of you when you hear the word not many of you heard that I’m sure that you’re aware that for many when they hear the word, liturgy, what do they think of they immediately think of what Oh, Roman Catholicism, or Episcopalian ism, or maybe even a high Lutheranism, it’s a dirty word for many as they hear the word, liturgy. But what is it? Why use that word? Well, we want to be careful not to forfeit perfectly good language to the enemy, and not use it anymore. We want to use the word right in the right liturgy. The word comes from the word Latteria, which means just service, its service. It’s descriptive of what the work of the priests would do in the Old Testament. And Romans 12 One, when it says reasonable service or reasonable worship, that’s the word that it uses. Latteria it’s service on God’s behalf. Every church has a liturgy. It’s rarely what is done in worship, right. It’s merely what is done So liturgy has become a bad word for many, sadly, in broader evangelicalism, as well as some other traditions, some fixed uncertain times and geographies, or some that have a reactionary impulse. It need not be a dirty word, though. Many churches who have a purposeful liturgy order of worship are simply deliberate and thoughtful about what they do. Right, what should determine our liturgy? What is it that should dictate what we do in our worship? What’s the word of God? Of course, as most all of you would agree, what is new covenant worship, right? What does it look like? What are we doing? Is there a pattern of worship in the Bible? What is it? What is that pattern? What is new covenant worship? As we look at Scripture, on the whole, we see a number of things that answer this question. New Covenant worship is first of all, covenantal rights covenantal worship, God always deals with man by way of covenants. We look at Adam, and by virtue of His creation, he is in covenant with God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. We look at the Abrahamic covenant, we look at the Davidic Covenant, look at the covenants in Scripture. This is the way that God deals with man. And even for us, right? The New Testament that we speak of, it means new covenant, right? We are the New Covenant Church. When thinking about how God has assembled the old covenant people, right, we can learn from these from this reality. Think about how God has assembled those old covenant people, and what clues can we see there in the Old Covenant, the Old Testament recall an exodus, right? An Exodus remember that the Israelites were assembled? Remember as their as they leave as they’re delivered from Egypt. And they’re assembled at the mountain and God makes covenant with them. Recall? How did God establish the pattern of worship at Sinai, Mount Sinai as they do this? Right? It’s very important for us. Many would say that we have no clues, no indicators, no data that we can draw from well, in contradistinction to that I would say we have much data. How did God establish the pattern of worship at Mount Sinai, as the delivered people of God come? in covenant with him? How did God establish this? The comparison is made. This is important. And we know that this is significant because we look at places like Galatians, four, or in Hebrews tells us that that was a type, right? That was a type Exodus 20. What is the pattern? I would encourage you to read this account Exodus 20, and forward in regards to what the Lord did, as he calls the people whom He has delivered up to covenant with him. Maybe read these passages later this Lord’s day and throughout the week, if you will, but first what happens in a pattern, we see what God calls, right, he calls his people, God initiates the relationship. And this is the case always he identifies it, right? He defines it and he calls the assembly right prior to this and Exodus 19. God told his people to get ready to meet with him, prepare to meet with him. God is Lord and He calls them to assembly. Members to God cleanses his people. He cleanses them by delivering them from the old to the new situation. God cleanses them by deliverance. He delivers them and He cleanses them. They are a new reality. Exodus 20, verse two, I am the Lord. It says, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, right? This is history. This is redemptive history as God unfolds his plan. He says, This is what I did. Now you are my holy people. He initiates the people in the relationship and he cleanses them so they can partake with him in covenant.

And then now He does what Versary he gives his word he gives the law to the people. He says, Therefore You shall have no other gods before me. And he goes on and gives the 10 words, the 10 commandments, and they are thereby consecrated as His people. And then after this description of what goes on in Exodus 24, we have, recall, the elders read the 70 Elders, at the conclusion of it all, the representatives did what they went up, and they ate with God. They stopped with him, in a meal that commune with Him, the Lord Almighty, in a mill. And for the context, let’s turn to Exodus 24, verses nine verses nine to 11, Exodus 24. To read this, so we can frame for ourselves a reality of what the Lord did. Exodus 24, starting in verse nine, says, Then Moses and Aaron, Neda dab in the bayou and 70 and 70 of the elders of Israel went up. And they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet, as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the sheaf man of the people of Israel, they beheld God, and ate and drank. Right, the culmination of this encounter, this covenanting, Lord, he calls them up. And what’s the result of this? It’s peace, there is peace. And then we see we continue in Exodus, what we see the contributions made for the tabernacle, they were taken, and then they are commissioned to build, concluding with what the benediction in Exodus 39. Where it says, And Moses blessed them, and Moses, bless them. God Commission’s Israel, he Commission’s them that they will be sent out Commission, in his name in the name of the Lord, they’re sent out into the world. And we see a similar pattern in New Covenant worship. It is covenantal. It’s covenantal worship. And the next if we look at what the pattern that’s laid out in Scripture, we see that new covenant worship is temple worship is temple worship, right? Not a physical temple, non physical out of place with physical blood. But it was that all those things that we see in the Old Covenant were a picture of what was truly taking place. There were a standing and a pointer of what was actually taking place. Right? Moses was given a pattern. And the temple has a pattern. It’s the same for the temple as it was in the tabernacle. What was that pattern? What was the blueprints that we see there? Hebrews eight tells us to give the verses four and five, that the pattern was a heavenly pattern. And we see that the priest is served as a shadow of the actual thing, the real thing, right tag type and antitype. We don’t go to the old, but to the true temple, right, because Jesus is the true temple. And when we come to worship, we come in Christ, as his people witness come to the temple, we come as the temple. Because God’s presence doesn’t just dwell in Christ. But in us too, because we are what united to Christ. You are now the temple, we assemble as the temple of God. Right? And you’ll remember Ephesians two, we don’t have time to look at it now. But Ephesians two talks about this, right? There are no longer those who are far off and those who are near. But we are a new man, we are one in Christ. We’re being built together in what the temple of God, New Covenant worship is temple worship, because you worship in Christ, and you are the temple. And so let’s see this temple of this pattern in the Old Testament, right, this Old Testament temple. What does it say? What is the description of this pattern? Right and so we look at Second Corinthians five again, I encourage you to read all these passages later, in their full context. This lords they fill up your lords they praising the Lord taking into His Word into yourselves into your hearts and minds. But in Second Chronicles, five, right at the completion of the temple, what did we see? What does it look like this pattern? What is it that they go through because of all the time, all of the Old Testament, what they did and what they built was a pattern of the of the heavenly. Let’s look at the temple and see this pattern, st Chronicles five, verses two to five, have what God calls them to assemble. And then number six, he cleanses them with sacrifices. So entrance can be made by the priests. And then verse seven and following the priests entering the presence of God, the people sing the praises outside, they magnify his name as the cleansed people of God. And then we move into chapter six. God preaches His Word through the king, if the Word of God comes to the people, and the people respond to it in prayer and in song. And then what? God sends fire from heaven to consume the sacrifices, and they’re taken up to him to God. And it’s God’s way of saying, when this happens, that he is there, he is there to commune with them. He accepts their worship and their sacrifices, you are in Me and I am in you. And that people eat from the altar and take the sacrifice in God breathes it in the smoke that goes out from the altar, and he takes in that sacrifice. There’s communion between God and His people. And God ultimately, does what he dismisses his people, he Commission’s them, he Commission’s them back into the world for service to their homeland. And this pattern has reverberations, right as echoes in the New Testament, because it was all preparatory right? We talked about this. Again, and again and again, right? We have the preparatory word, and then the word Jesus Christ in the gospels, and then the explanatory word, this is all preparatory, is to prepare them. Right? It has echoes, because it’s a reflection of the heavenly given as type and fulfilled in Christ. Remember what the Apostle Peter says, right? The apostle Peter, in First Peter chapter two says, You are being built into a spiritual temple, a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. That word for house, you being built into a spiritual house or temple, it’s the same word, it’s bytes in Hebrew, or ecos. Or temple, right? In Hebrew, it means that dwelling and if you live there, it’s a house. If a king lives there is a palace. If God lives there, it’s a temple. If it’s his dwelling, it’s a temple. Peter says you were being built up into a certain type of house. What kind isn’t? It’s a house where there is a royal priesthood, one where you may offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Christ. He says they are living stones. They’ve been assembled built into the temple. And God’s Spirit is truly with you now.

And you’re before God’s throne. And it’s your duty. It’s your service, it’s your job

to offer to him spiritual sacrifice. So it’s his pattern. Throughout Scripture, we see it hidden in the covenant that the Lord banks, we see it in the temple, right, the structure before the temple, and then we see it also that the new covenant that New Covenant worship is based on sacrifices, right, New Covenant worship is sacrificial worship. And that’s strange for most of us. That’s strange. We don’t think about this very often. Because we’re reading Hebrews about what we read about Christ’s sacrifice this once and for all, complete. It’s a done deal and we believe when we confess it, yea, and Amen We do. Again and again, it is true, and it’s a gross offense to assert that Christ is re sacrifice or even repressive. tempted as sacrifice again and again, that is gross, distasteful. And there’s a gag reflex that comes from that kind of false thinking. And so we think that because Christ is the once and for all sacrifice, that sacrifice is done away with, right? The What did we read in Romans? Chapter 12? What is Paul saying? Certain types of sacrifice are over for sure. There are no more bodily bloody animal sacrifices, because that’s never what God wants it or intended. Anyway, all right. He says, instead, you offer right Romans, the Lord says through Paul in Romans, you offer yourselves as a living, sacrifice, sacrifice. You’re hearing the tempo and sacrifices are to be brought in what is the sacrifice? It’s you. It’s you. believer in God worshipper of the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s you, you are the sacrifice. You are to come this morning, as a sacrifice to God. Present yourself as a living sacrifice. And as the Hebrews 13 says, the praise of your lips even is the spiritual and reasonable sacrifice to give to God. Right? the praise of your lips is a sacrifice to him. So if New Testament worship is sacrificial worship, what is the pattern of the sacrifices? We’ve seen the pattern of the covenant and of the temple. But what is the pattern of the litical sacrifice? In the Old Testament, right, this shadow of the reality? What’s the pattern that we see there? Leviticus one, as example, right. We read in our Old Testament, we notice and then we see the repetition there. The first day in verse one, verse two, God calls the worshiper near, he calls them and they come in an appropriate manner. God is the one who initiates again, same thing, and he tells them how sacrifices are to be given. And the next thing we see is a confession of sin. The worshiper is too much. The worst was to die in the animal that he brings representatively, right, he is to die in that sacrifice. And so as he’s entering worship, the first thing he does is bring the sacrifice, and he puts his hand on its head, and that is accepted on his behalf, as expiation for him. He identifies himself with the sacrifice, he knows that he is to be the sacrifice for God. Notice how Paul puts this right, he isn’t saying anything new. He’s just repeating the pattern that we’re given the Old Testament, He doesn’t say anything different. says you are a living sacrifice. In Leviticus, they knew and they said the same thing. But he did it via by by way of the animals, the animal sacrifices, they knew that because of sin, they were the ones who needed to be sacrificed because of their sin. But they put their hands on the animal and the animals, what substituted for them, there were a substitute for them. And the animal is put to death on his behalf. And he received atonement from that animals death. And then what happens next, the animal is what the animals cut up and prepared to be consumed by God. Verse six of Luke is one. He still flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces, right? So the animal is prepared to be consumed by God, for that communion with God. But first, it’s cut up and it’s no accident that you recall what Hebrew says about the Word of God. Right, it says the Word of God is living and active and sharper than what? Then the two edged sword. Right and the two edged sword is so sharp, it can divide between soul and spirit. And notice the language what is the divide between joints and marrow? There’s a Paul uses the sacrificial service language in his description of what’s going on. And Hebrew says when you come on to the word, it does that too. You that’s what it does. It cuts you off. It prepares you to stand before God rightly. It exposes you for who you are, naked before him, bear before him without pretense without lie in honesty before him and why? So you may commune with Him and be at peace with him and he shows you who you are. And you respond in obedience, right Leviticus, one verses seven or nine. Does the sacrifice is burned and consumed and see what it says it says, And it shall become right as sweet smelling aroma to the Lord, as sweet smelling aroma before the Lord. There burning the sacrifice says that Christ can get up to God. They know that God dwells in the heavens, in this is his footstool here on Earth, and they burn the sacrifice. So we’ll get up to him. This is the mindset. And again, what is that sacrifice? It’s the worship or not the annum. Animals in place of the worshiper, the worshiper is upon the altar, the worshiper is taken up into heaven, in the sacrifice. And because it’s been prepared, rightly, God, what he breathes the worshiper and is pleased, and it is again a sweet smelling aroma to the Lord God Almighty. And then the worshiper is what blessed and he’s renewed, as he’s forgiven, and peace is made with him. And we can look at the pattern of the other we’re not going to but pattern of the other offerings and sacrifices, a little bit of Kiss. And they all have a similar pattern, similar pattern. And this pattern reminds us that if you’re going to offer a series of sacrifices to God, the first kind that you have to offer is what you have to offer. In the first place, a sin offering, because there’s a distance between you and God, we have a distance between ourselves and the Lord God Almighty, there’s enmity between us because of our sin. There is a strange moment. But that sin offering it expatriates that it takes it away, takes away that. And this is followed by the burnt offering, in his expression of the complete person that’s now been cleansed by the Lord, been cleansed and made new from an old situation to a new situation, they are new, they are cleanse, and the burnt offering shows the person just like that whole animal is going to be chopped up and offered to God. They are to give their whole selves entirely to God, a whole hearted whole life sacrifice. And wow, doesn’t that sound familiar? Maybe Romans 12 Right. It’s exactly what’s going on. You are to present yourself as a living sacrifice. This is your reasonable surface and worship, liturgy to God. And why? Because he forgave your sins, he showed you mercy. And then lastly, the peace offering is given, which is an expression of what a Thanksgiving peace offering an expression of Thanksgiving, right? The old fashioned word for it is Eucharist. Right? Which means a good giving, right? It’s a good grace. It’s that which the Lord’s Supper is right when he’s, this is called the Eucharist right? Historically, because that’s what the word in Greek means. It’s the Thanksgiving.

It’s a Thanksgiving and it’s also a seal to them of the Covenant fellowship with the Lord because what he is willing to eat a sacramental meal with them. And there’s that pattern once again, that we see. And so we’re seeing the New Testament worship is covenantal. That it’s analogous temple worship, in its sacrificial worship. And then finally, and surely in certainly it is gospel worship as gospel worship. New Testament is gospel worship. We’re gathered here today through what? Because the gospel, the gospel, we have believed that Jesus Christ has brought us together. And how does the gospel work? Do we just like strolling up with our own initiative, the Lord, no. God calls the sinner as Romans eight nine tells us, he calls the center. And when he does, his heart is made new. As your heart was made new when he called you, and he confesses his sins, and he repents and believes, as you have, confess your sins and have repented and believed, and then God makes a pronouncement about you, as you do so that the sinner afterwards is converted. And he says, you’re justified in my sight, you are holy. Now, there’s no longer enmity between us that’s been taken care of. And after God has made the sinner holy, what is the sinners duty? To be changed and sanctified? By what? By God by the word of God? And why does God do that? He does it to prepare you for glory, when you will commune with Him forever and ever and ever. There’s a reason that the Puritans will say things like all of God’s providence and sovereign dealings with you are tuning your heart for glory, right? is readying you for that time. To prepare you for glory, where you will commune with Him forever, never and never. And in this lifetime, before that time, we get a foretaste, right a foretaste of that reality in the table, right in the Lord’s Supper, in communion with Him, Lord’s day, by Lord’s day, by Lord’s Day. And so we have this pattern that we see again, and again, even in the Gospel, right, he God calls, we give confession, he cleanses us, he consecrates us to himself, and then he comes in communes with us, as His people. And then notice, he didn’t just save us for ourselves, right? Not just this individualistic, pragmatic reality, he didn’t save you just for yourself, what does he do next, he sends you back into the world, in his service, in his commission to you to be a blessing to the nations in his name for His glory. And all of these things, the pattern of the Bible, inform our order of worship, our liturgy, God’s given no other order.