Worthy Is the Lord
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The imprisonment of the Apostle John and the struggle of the early church caused many to wonder if Christianity would survive beyond the first century. John was thus given a vision that enabled him to experience history from a heavenly perspective. He saw that all history lies in the hand of God such that no human being or angelic creature is capable of moving history forward or diverting history from God’s ordained purpose. John’s initial despair is relieved when he learns that Jesus Christ, pictured as both a Lion and a Lamb, is singularly qualified to bring God’s ultimate plan to completion. Jesus’ dual role of mighty conqueror and willing sufferer causes the hosts of heaven to fall before Him in worship, to pray with renewed confidence, and to sing a new song celebrating the work of Christ on behalf of the church. We who have been redeemed can take comfort knowing that God is in control of history, Christ is the center of history, and the church is the outcome of history.
01. God is in control of all history. Let us take comfort in His sovereignty.
02. Christ is the center of all history. Let us exalt Him as the Lion and the Lamb.
03. The church is the outcome of all history. Let us worship the Lord together with intentionality.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. How does this chapter help to communicate the majesty of God’s rule and reign over heaven and earth? How would such images as a throne, a scroll with seals, and a kingdom of priests who reign on the earth encourage John and the early church during their times of suffering?
2. What is the significance of the scroll? Why does John weep when there is no one found who can open it? Why is Jesus the only one qualified to open the scroll or look into it? What does His exaltation above all others imply about His unique status in heaven and earth?
3. Since God is in control of history, what is the significance of prayer in verse 8? How do our prayers impact the lives of others? Do our prayers have an impact on world events, or are they already determined? Are you encouraged to pray more or less in light of God’s sovereignty?
4. What can we learn about corporate worship in this chapter? Who is the object of worship, and who may participate in worship? Is worship an escape from reality, or is it a natural response to the ultimate reality? In what ways are you encouraged through corporate worship at Northpoint?
5. Note the ever-expanding chorus of worshipers from verse 8 to the end of the chapter. What does this expansion suggest about the future of the church when others suggest the church is irrelevant or on the verge of extinction? What does this expansion suggest about the victorious nature of Christ’s redeeming work?
For Further Reading: John Stott, The Incomparable Christ (InterVarsity Press, 2004).