"Preaching the authority of God's word without apology, in the power of the Holy Spirit, brings glory down in church."
— Vertical Church
"Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in the pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one."
— Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Preaching is intended to be delivered in urgency and passion. The preacher is a herald of God's word. A king's messenger would never stand quietly on a street corner, parchment in hand, speaking in passive tones that only a few bystanders could hear.
Paul wrote, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (I Cor. 1:18). He continued in chapter two, "and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom. but in demonstration of the spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (I Cor. 2:4,5)
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:14,15)
Introducing Today’s Sermon
In John 4, the term worship is used ten times in just six verses. A thirsty Jesus encountered a sinful woman who tried to change the subject from fornication to worship geography, and Jesus cut her off at the pass.
From the lips of Christ we learn:
• Worship is not a matter of where, but who.
• Worship is not a matter of sincerity alone, but of truth also.
• Worship must always be genuine, and God is seeking true worshipers.
• Worship in truth alone is deficient unless it is also worship in spirit.
Let me use an analogy to help us understand this critical text. If I saw you sitting down to a twelve-ounce porterhouse steak and cared enough to comment on your nutrition, you might hear something like. "Meat is good for your diet, but real nutrition is vegetables and meat." What would I be emphasizing, vegetables or meat? Obviously the emphasis is upon the addition of vegetables to a diet already containing the requisite protein. In the same way this passage assumes the foundational presence of truth in worship and adds a second essential. If we do not worship in truth, we worship a false God, but it is not enough for our worship of God to stop at the point of accuracy; it must include spirit. The reason for this is that God is spirit. If we want to commune with God, we must use all of our being to connect with all that He is. Truth, when we are not diligent, can become a truth-only exercise. To engage with God, that truth must flow through our total person, into our emotions and will. Worship that halts and hovers over truth exclusively is not what God is seeking. "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." It is the whole-person communion that God desires, not simply the heartless fidelity of worship from the shoulders up. I believe that "spirit" in this passage does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to the human spirit, through God's Spirit is moving to fully engage our human spirits in adoration.
(Excerpt taken from Vertical Church, by James McDonald.)
By: Pastor Grace
When we use the term “Vertical Church” we are using the term to contrast that which might be a “Horizontal Church,” a church that is people centered as opposed to God-centered. A Vertical Church is one that looks up, first. The ministry is about the glory of God. It is all about Jesus, not the people. The people will benefit most when the focus is on the glory of the Lord. Instead of seeing ourselves as people trying to connect with people, we need to see the church as people trying to connect with God.
When a church goes Vertical it is a small adjustment that leads to a major renovation. Every ministry, person and decision has one goal in mind —honor God! When we do that, God decides to come to church and goes to work! Looking up, that is looking to the Lord, is not the natural or conventional way that we humans live our lives. Our independent, self-sufficient, arrogant spirits lead us to try to fix everything ourselves. Of course in doing so we can take the credit. The Psalmist wrote, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth,” Psalms 121:1, 2.
In the vertical church God is the main attraction. The church is for God, about God, through God, and to the glory of His Son, Jesus Christ. Read Romans 11: 36. The glory of God is revealed in Jesus Christ. Don’t ever get tired of this story. This is the story. It is all about Him. It is in honoring the Glory of God revealed in Christ that God brings to pass in the Vertical Church, the Vertical Christian; that is only explainable in the statement—it is a “God-thing.”