The Church Part 5: Worship

Though the entire life of the Christians should be considered worship, the scriptures most often use worship to refer to the activity of glorifying God in his presence with our voices and hearts.  This activity is primarily done in the context of the church and this is why it is addressed here while looking at the doctrine of the church (though the life of a christian is a life of daily worship).  As a matter of fact, one of the primary reason why God redeems and gathers his people is that they may know and worship him (Ex. 7:16). Is that not amazing?  We are saved for the sake of worship!  Worship is the direct outworking of what we personally and corporately were created to do (Isa. 43:6-7, Eph. 1:12).   The purpose of worship is to call attention to God and for us to praise him as he deserves for who he is.

Joy from Worship

There are several results to genuine worship.  We first of all delight in God as he delights in us.  The Psalms are so full of this reality that the presence of God is where joy is and as we worship God, we enter his presences and his is glorified in our amazement in him.  This brings delight to both us and him.  Furthermore, we draw near to God in worship and he draws near to us.  When we worship, Hebrews 12:18-24 says that we are not alone as we sing.  We are worshiping with those who have gone before us, the “spirits of just men made perfect and to Jesus”.  Moreover, as we draw near to God, his presence blesses us in joy and song.  This also is an aspect of him ministering to us.  Even though worship is ultimately about God, we are built up by it as the church. Doing worship is also the will of God and has eternal value as it is spiritual in nature.

How Do We Worship?

The final aspect of worship that needs to be addressed relates to how to enter into spiritual worship.  Jesus tells a Samaritan woman at a well that true worshipers of God will worship him in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).  This means that worshiping is not a heartless action or duty but a heartfelt reality that is expressed physically.  Furthermore, the words we sing must be full of “truth.”   Pastor Wayne Grudem says “Unless our spirits are worshiping God we are not truly worshiping him” (Systematic Theology p. 1011).  Worship is our response to the Glory of God.  As Hebrews 12:28-29 says, we worship God because he is a consuming fire.  Worship is simply our heartfelt response to who God is, and it is the only rightful one at that.  In light of this we need to approach worship rightfully, preparing for it through prayer and repentance, that we might worship God in spirit and in truth.

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