06th Aug2016

The Essence of Worship

by admin

Many “born-and-raised-in-Church” Christians that have been or are involved in the activities of Church leadership have very little or no understanding of “true” worship. In fact, often the prevailing correlation is that the more experience one has with Church service, the less likely one is pursue “true” worship at the exclusion of all other types.


What is “True” Worship?
True worship is the response of a grateful human heart to a Divine God. However, all worship isn’t “true” worship.
The Bible describes four different types of worship:
  1. Ignorant worship Act 17:22-31 – (v. 23 – For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you).
In the narrative, as Apostle Paul enters the city of Athens, a major center of philosophy, architecture, and art, he encounters various idols that the Athenians routinely worship; one is marked “the unknown God.”
Characteristics:
Ignorant worship is any worship that loses sight of God as the source of all that is good and perfect. It is based upon superstition, tradition and the imagination of men, not on revelation from God.
  1. Vain worship – Matthew 15:7-9 “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 – ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. (v 9) And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Characteristics
Vain worship focuses ” Relies on traditions of men. Common symptoms –FOCUS is on- Money, Appearance, Numbers, Performance, Building, Music’s emotional impact, rituals (standing or Sitting), Talent, etc –
  1. Will worship – context (Col 2:23) – Paul is teaching the church that rules and requirements don’t make a Christian; we are disciplined in our living because we are transformed through the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit in operation in our lives…
(MSG) “Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.”
Characteristics:
Will worship seeks to impose a “cultish” mindset and structure on the lives of God’s people;
Will worship lacks humility and operates in arrogance; (In 1 Kgs. 14:16, we see the self-inflated attitude of Jeroboam the son of Nebat who devised a worship format “of his own heart” through which he “made Israel to sin”).
Will worship often presents itself as “deep” (reminiscent of those days of Israel’s judges when every man did what was right “in his own eyes” – Judg. 17:6)
  1. True worship – John 4:23-24
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Worship transcends our proclivities regarding culture, style, generation, denomination, music, etc. Worship is our “life response” to our God —Creator, Sustainer; our Jesus—Lord and risen Savior; and Holy Spirit—our comforter and guide.021915GospelHeritage0080

There are (at least three) pivotal questions that we must answer in our daily lives, weekly services and yearly worship celebrations:

  1. How does what we do exemplify (do) and teach others (disciple) “true” worship?

  2. How are the basic principles of “true” worship intentionally modeled in our ministry leadership?

  3. What are we doing to educate the current culture and pass on a healthy culture of worship?

 

25th Aug2013

FIVE DISTINCTIVES OF TRUE WORSHIP

by admin
  1. True worship is always initiated by God.

Throughout history, God has consistently and continually saved his people through calling them out from the world into worship. In Genesis 12:9, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. “

God calls His people to be separate and set apart for His use and His blessing. In Exodus 3:12, God informs Moses that the purpose of delivering the nation of Israel is so that they may worship God.

  1. True worship requires unity—first with God then with other Christians.

The New Testament makes several references to the people of God as the “Body” of Christ. (Rom 12:4, 1 Cor. 12:12).

  1. True worship the Word of God is proclaimed.

Through God’s word comes revelation of God’s truth. When Truth is illuminated error is eliminated. In Neh. 8:9, God’s word so powerfully impacted the people that they wept as it was read. In Acts 2:42, the early Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

  1. True worship demands personal commitment to a growing relationship with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

Worship is the response of a grateful and humble person to the living God where submission, sacrificial service, praise, profession, testimony and gratitude are freely expressed in innumerable ways.

 

  1. True worship is characterized by sacrifice.

The sacrifice symbolically ratifies or seals the covenant relationship with God. In the Old Testament, the system of sacrifice required that the God-Man Covenant be sealed with the blood sacrifice of an animal; in the New Testament, the Lord’s Supper became the symbolic act. Paul encourages us to ratify this covenant daily by presenting our “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1)

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Other definitions of worship –

“Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does. (Warren Wiersbe, Real Worship, p. 26)

“Worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with him on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible. (David Peterson Engaging with God, pg. 20)

The Greek word “worship” in John 4:23-24 is proskuneo, to throw a kiss toward someone in token of respect or homage, to adore, to show respect, or to kneel or fall prostrate before in reverence.

Paul says – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God; (AMP – I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God,) bcz God has been sooo merciful — that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom 12:1-2)