Worship is not just a part of our church meeting, but the whole of our life. Sometimes the word used for â€śworshipâ€ť in the Bible (e.g. Philippians 2) refers to â€ślifestyleâ€ť – how we live our life. It is the life of obedience to God, of bowing down to Him.
However, in looking at corporate worship â€“ what happens when we meet together as the church to worship God? Often we get so locked into our own musical style, but we need to not be so narrow-focused â€“ we need to look at what the Word of God defines corporate worship as and how we can express it. We should have an expectation to meet with God.
There is a concern that there is a greater focus on worshipping God with our minds, and less on heart (will & affections), strength (physical actions), and soul (emotions & desires). The word Jesus uses to describe worshipping the Father in Spirit and in truth is to â€śkissâ€ť – we come to an intimacy with God, to embrace Him with passion. God made us for relationship â€“ to dwell with us. Sin separated us but the cross reconciles us.
We are now the temple, the dwelling place of God â€“ the holy place that is flooded with Godâ€™s presence.
Five reasons/exhortations to worship:
1. The worshipperâ€™s invitation
i.Â With confidence: Jesus is our High Priest who identified with us and opened the way to heaven, which gives us confidence to approach God. God wants us to cry out to Him.
ii.Â To enter the holy place: God wants to take us beyond intellectual truth and to experience the presence of God. He wants to lift our expectations. We don’t stop short at the outer court; we come right in with joy, enthusiasm and exaltation.
iii.Â By the blood of Jesus: we cannot come into Godâ€™s presence without the shedding of blood to atone for our sin. We testify together what the Word says the blood of Jesus does for us; we live in victory.
iv.Â By the new and living way: worship needs to be fresh and not always predictable, while at the same time preserving structure. We need to have bigger expectations of what will happen within that structure.
v.Â Through Christ our High Priest: our worship needs to be Trinitarian â€“ to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. Jesus makes our worship acceptable to God. We worship in the Spirit. God is a worshipping God â€“ each member living to worship each other. God sings and spins around with delirious delight over us! We get to join in with His celebration.
vi.Â With a true, sincere heart.
vii.Â By faith: in full assurance of faith. Faith grows when we declare truth together.
2. The worshipperâ€™s hope
â€˘Â We sing songs about our prophetic direction â€“ where we are going as the church and what our mission is.
3. The worshipperâ€™s motivation
â€˘Â We stir each other up to love and to do good works.
4. The worshipperâ€™s commitment
â€˘Â We should not and cannot neglect meeting together â€“ it is vital.
5. Worshippers fellowship in the gospel
â€˘Â Worship goes hand-in-hand with evangelism and spreading the gospel.
â€˘Â We will naturally witnessÂ to others if worship is our lifestyle.
â€˘Â Our times of corporate worship can be the times where unbelievers meet God and find saving faith.