A Very Short Essay On Biblical Worship

Posted on September 26, 2010

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The Great Commission has been traditionally understood as the final commands of Christ which are found in Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 1:8.  The two accounts provide complementary aspects about the commission and how it is to be carried out.  Matthew begins with the disciples worshiping Jesus.  This idea of worship plays a pivotal part in Matthew’s account and in how churches today live out this commission.  Worship needs to be restored to an application of substance rather than style.  If worship begins with what style will “pack the pews,” then it will fail as being worship that truly transforms our understanding of who we are in light of who God is.  Worship is not about the style of songs we sing during a normal service, even though today that seems to be a hot topic.  Worship is God’s people submitting themselves to Christ’s Lordship as they praise Him and yield to the transforming power of God’s Spirit as His Word is proclaimed.  Pragmatic programming of worship emphasizing the personal stylistic tastes of the congregation will not lead God’s people to a deeper relationship in the truths of Christ.  In fact, removing Jesus as the object of worship in favor of style will lead God’s people away from His truths and leave them prone to error in doctrinal understanding and life activities as doctrine is abandoned for what is the latest fad appealing to “itching ears” (2 Tim 4:3).  While acknowledging that different cultures will produce different styles in which the gathered saints worship, it must remain that the issue is not on the style itself, but the heart condition of those worshipping.  Are those hearts in a submissive state of adoration because of who Jesus is and what He has done, or are they in an emotional frenzy void of any connection to the truth of Jesus?

While it is understood that the believer is to live a life of worship, worship for believers is also during those special times when the gathered saints show their uttermost submission and absolute dependence upon God, who delivered them from the dreadful destiny of their sins to new life by the blood of His Son.  By corporately gathering for worship, the saints are then prepared to carry out the commands of Christ.  Most notably, His Great Commission.  As Jesus began His life on earth being worshiped (Matt 2:11), He departs this world by being worshiped thereby solidifying the only response by which He is to be recognized: submission and dependence.

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Posted in: Pragmatism, Worship