Worship and Witness

We ask the question, “How are we to worship God?” We must also ask the question, “How are we to witness for Him?”
Worship and witness belong together.
* Worship which does not lead to witness is incomplete.
True worship does not end the moment you step outside of the church building. True worship shapes the way we live in the world. We are to worship God as those who are learning to live for Jesus Christ. When our service of worship, in the church comes to an end, our service of witness, in the world, begins.
* There can be no real witness without worship.
How can we expect to witness for the Lord if we’re not worshipping him? Where will the strength come from, if we do not wait upon the Lord in prayer, if we do not bow before him in worship? The relationship between worship and witness may be summed up in the words of Isaiah 40:31 – “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
This was the story of Christ;s disciples in the early chapters of Acts. When Christ died, they were despondent. By the time we come to Acts 4:4, things are very different – “Many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.” Five thousand believers.” Who would have expected this? Remember Peter. He denied the Lord three times. Is this the same man? Yes! It’s Peter. It’s Peter – with a difference. It’s “Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 4:18).
Why are things so different? – the resurrection of Christ. Christ is risen from the dead. There is, however, something else – the response of his disciples. They responded to Christ. They waited on the Lord, and they renewed their strength. Then things happened, then everything changed – after they had waited on the Lord, after they had renewed their strength. You can come into the story of Acts at various points, and you will see God at work, the Lord renewing the strength of his people, the Lord equipping them for service, the Lord doing great things, working with great power, bringing great blessing.
* In chapter 1, we see the disciples, praying in the upper room.
* In chapter 2, we see Peter, preaching on the Day of Pentecost.
* In chapter 3, we see Peter, healing at the gate of the temple.
* In chapter 4, we hear Peter, pointing men and women to Jesus Christ – “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
* In chapter 5, we see the apostles, taking the message of Christ into the homes of the people  (Acts 4:42).
Where do we come into this great story?
The great words, spoken by Peter, in Acts 4:12, open up, for us, the universal dimension of the gospel. It’s for every nation, every generation and every situation: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
This is a great declaration of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. He is the Saviour of the world. This is the great central fact of the gospel. Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world.
From this great central point – Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, we may move out in ever-widening circles to see God at work – God at work centuries ago, God still at work today.
  (1) Peter’s great words – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) – are part of a story. It is the story of a healing of “a man lame from birth” (Acts 3:2):”It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed” (Acts 4:10). This story of healing is a story which leads to the declaration: Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world.
  (2) Peter’s declaration – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) – is part of a story of witness. It is a story with dynamic, a story with direction The dynamic comes from God – “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). The direction is towards the whole world – “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This story is the story of Jesus Christ, the Saviour, who died for us, the risen Lord, who calls us, today, to be his witnesses.
  (3) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This is to be our story – my story, your story.
    (a) It is our story because it is a story for every nation. On the day of Pentecost, there were, in Jerusalem, “devout men from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). These men heard the gospel in their own tongue – “they were amazed and wondered, saying … how is it that we hear, each of us, in his own native language? … we hear them telling us in our own tongues the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:7-8,11).
    (b) This is our story because it is a story for every generation. Long before the coming of Christ, God said to Abraham, “Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed” (Acts 3:25). In Christ, this promise has been fulfilled. To this generation, God still says, ‘I have sent Christ to you’ –  “to bless you in turning every one of you from your weakness” (Acts 3:26). Do you despair of this generation? Don’t give up! Don’t lose heart! The story of Christ is for every nation and every generation. It’s also for every situation.
    (c) How is our situation to be turned around – for God? Let’s return to our starting-point. Worship and witness belong together. Worship, among God’s people, is to overflow into witness in the world:
“Every day in the temple courts and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42). 
You and I worship God. Are we ready to witness for him? Are we ready to say, with Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Are we ready to obey Him, to do his will, to be his witnesses? 

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