Worship in the Church – Part 2

All life is worship

What about worship for us today?
Jesus‘ life was marked by obedience. ‘I have come to do your will’ Heb 10v9. Through his obedient death on the cross he makes access to God possible. In response we live a life of worship – obedience.
Romans 12v1 ‘I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.’
In response to God’s amazing mercy because of his obedient sacrifice for us we are to live obedient lives to God. This is true worship for us.
Consider this quote: ‘Because Jesus is the one true worshiper on our behalf, worship is not now to be seen as something belonging in a building, but rather the entire life of faith. The worship God wants is our whole life of faithful obedience, and as shocking as it may seem, it belongs more in the kitchen, the workshop and the street than in a church.’
Worship then is not singing, it is not music. Worship is based on what God has done for us in Christ. Worship has nothing at all to do with what we can do and everything to do what God has done. Therefore we live lives of worship that are a response.

Sunday worship

If all life is worship it blows away the concept of worship being confined to one day in seven – a Sunday or being marginalized to the praise time! So what is the place of worship on Sunday?
There is no single passage of scripture, which lays out a paradigm of what must be done when we meet together. Hebrews 10v25 reminds us that we should ‘not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another’. It is only when we read through the New Testament that we can begin to piece together what we should do.
Broadly speaking there are two aims:
Firstly we meet together, as the scriptures encourage us, to hear God’s voice to us. Primarily God speaks to us through his word that is how we meet him. As we hear his voice so we are reminded time and time again of what he has done for us. When we read his word we see what our position is in Christ and all the blessings we receive.
Paul’s instruction to Timothy ‘Until I come to you devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to preaching and teaching.’ 1 Timothy 4v13

Secondly, together we respond to what God has done for us. As we hear what he has done so we are encouraged to live obedient lives. The majority of this will be worked out individually in the nitty gritty of work and family life 24/7. However when we meet together we do so corporately. Part of our corporate worship is expressed through song. As we sing together we respond to God by expressing our trust in Him in songs like ‘In Christ alone’. Through the words of hymns we can express our desire to love and serve God, like ‘When I survey’. Through song we can also express our thanks to Jesus our True Worship Leader with songs like ‘Amazing Grace, my chains are gone’.
In this sense song plays a vital part when we meet together.

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