Worship must be taken seriously!
Worship must be done with pure hands and heart (Psalm 24:4)!
“At the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
1. First, worship is appreciation and our identification, of who Christ is in our lives. He first reaches out to us, and because of our gratitude, we are to love Him back. We are to respond to Christ’s claim upon our lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can recognize God’s revelation to us. We can see who our Redeemer is, what He has done for us, and what He requires of us.
2. Second, worship is a response to God’s revelation, because God makes known His love to us. Christ reveals Himself to us in the Word and in His character. God revealed Himself to the Patriarchs, and then to Moses, and gave us a pattern for worship. He reveals Himself in the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, and in the quiet assurance that He is there with us!
3. Third, worship is a relationship, because God seeks us, then abides with us. Thus, in worship, we are praising and speaking to the audience, and that audience is God! Then, we are to listen as He speaks to us through His Word. Christian worship is a conversation with our God through His Holy Spirit. It is not a performance or a show; we are not seeking to entertain or promote ourselves, but to make known Christ, crucified. Worship is also an intimate and personal encounter with the Creator of the universe who first loved us. We are to make known our adoration, gratitude, and our needs, (not needs first!) and through this, discover His Will for our lives–to know Him, and make Him known.
4. Fourth, worship is reverence. We need to know the seriousness and awesomeness of God. We are to fear Him as in Proverbs 3:5. He may be our best friend, and we can talk to Him in that way, but He is first, and foremost the King and Creator of all. He is to be placed first, and is not to be an after thought, especially in church! God does indeed desire that we admit our spiritual need for Jesus Christ, so we can put away pride and arrogance, and be surrendered and poured out to Him (Gal. 2:20f; Phil. 3:10). This reverence is the essential duty of all Christians, and is the proof of the working of the Holy Spirit within us. His presence (Spirit) will cause us to give glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
5. Fifth, worship is a cleansing of sin. We are to acknowledge our sin, and turn from it. Then, we will see our churches revitalized and sanctified. Then, we can have an impact in the community and world. We have to be the people of God to do the work of God! When we become emptied of all self-concern, pride, and arrogance, God will enter in with more power! What is stopping Him now? Us! It is our petty political struggles, gossip, slander, pride, self-delusions, and refusal to acknowledge Christ as Lord over all! We have to realize the Christian life is about seeking God’s direction of holiness and service.
6. Sixth, worship will lead to renewal. The point of the Christian life is to know Christ, to be like Christ. Thus, the longer we are in surrendered worship and prayer, the deeper in the walk with Christ we become; through the power of the Spirit, renewal will come.
Our understanding of what a church worship service is must reflect the precepts of Scripture. This includes our influence, and the format of our worship services. Our influence must not be just trends or data from surveys. It must be from His Word, period! We can mix in new ideas, such as songs, prayers, ways of delving the sermon, but not the fundamentals; nothing we do in doing church can contradict God’s Word!
Worship will be the central aspect of Heaven. (Rev. 4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:9-17; 11:15-18; 15:2-4; 19:1-10) Thus, it must be the central aspect of doing church, and of each Christian’s life (Col. 3:17)!
Worship is not found in the mixing board, it is found in the Person and Work of Christ and our poured out gratitude to and for Him. All the instruments and equipment are mere tools, we are the offering of praise, Christ is the One we worship!
“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the gods I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted. May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth.” Psalm 138:1-4
The problem with many of my associates in ministry is that they think Christ impacting is just emotional or something we do not need to work on. They see impacting worship as how piercing the music is and measure the quality of our services by technical standards.
Worship becomes the procedural of the staff so it is pleasing to the congregation, and thus we ignore its prime purpose.
Worship becomes about how it feels, how it is bearing to our members emotions and outlooks, not about how we are impacted by Christ so we are changing and thus praising Christ for what He has done in us.
Real impacting worship will help us connect to God, then to one another, and then to the community. When we are not impacted, we are not worshiping rightly, and thus our connections with God and others will be skewed and messed up.
1. Honor God by reverence and awe as respecting and honoring His Lordship and sovereignty. As a community of believers, we are to gatherer weekly to mentally focus on God, and pour our hearts out to Him (1 Samuel 15:22: Matthew 15:9: Luke. 11:41-42; John 4:23; Acts 20:27; Galatians 2:20-21; Hebrews 10:24-25; 12:28-29; Revelation 1:10). Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.
2. Praise His Name by singing of hymns/praise songs, prayer and/or liturgy/ Psalter (reading or singing the Psalms)–(Isaiah 6:1-5; Luke 11:41-42; Psalm 19; 29:2; 95:6-7; 150; Ephesians 5:19). The type and style of songs are not as important as the heart and intention of the leader and congregation. The words need to be Biblical and point to the Glory of Christ. The focus is glory and honor; it is never to be entertainment to the congregation. God is the audience and we are the performers to honor Him. It is OK to be creaawtive in worship, such has skits, plays, and various expressions, but not for the sake of entertainment. The question to ask is, does it distract people from the reverence and glory of Christ? If not, it probably is OK. If it does, or could, then save the entertainment for the social times.
3. Confession of sin: We are to acknowledge our sin, and also offer our sincere repentance (Lev 4; 6:24-f.; 7:1-f.; 16:1-f; 1 Kings 17:18; Ps 51:4-6; Isa 6; 53:10, 12; Matt 12:24, 31; Mark 7:20-23; John 1:5; 3:19-21; 8:31-34; 16:8-9; 15:22; Rom. 3:20; 5:12-20; 6:15-23; 7:7-20; 2 Cor. 11:3; Gal. 3:19-24; 1 Tim 2:14). We have to realize the impacting nature of sin, how it destroys, and how Christ paid our penalty for it! If you have any doubt, remember, the outward life is determined by the inner (Matt 5:17; 7:15-17).
4. Prayer must be the focus of the church, with intercession, and thanksgiving, as well as supplication (Acts 2:42).
5. Reading of the Word: We are to never forsake the reading of the Bible; if you do, you have a club and not a church (Acts 2:42; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 3:17).
6. Commentary: The applying of the Word by the worship leader/ pastor is the sermon or homily. In the Reformed perspective, the whole church service should revolve around the ministry of the Word. The sermon is central to the worship services. Everything else is either preparatory to, or a response to, the message from Scripture (Acts 2:47; 20:7-8; Col. 1:25; Philippians 3:3; 1 Tim. 3:2; 2 Tim. 2:24; Tit. 1:9).
7. Fellowship is to build up and honor one another in order to strengthen the church, the people of God (Eph. 4:12; cf. 1 Cor. 14:12).