Humans operate on a fundamental system of belief (usually an unconscious process) to manage living and survival. This informs priorities, which generate particular behaviors. One’s system of fundamental belief helps determine the net outcome of their lives—good, bad or indifferent. As a Christian, one makes a conscious choice to give God glory, recognizing the Bible as the roadmap for life (theology), leading to Christ-centered priorities (philosophy), Spirit-led actions (methodology), which create God-honoring outcomes—the sum is a life of worship.
The goal of the next several posts (excerpts from a doctoral paper for Dr. Donald Ellsworth, Liberty University) is to interconnect scriptural fundamentals from the above components that affect the way I operate in the worship ministry.
Worship and Scripture
True worship is based on Scripture. God’s Word testifies that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah (Matt. 16:16) and Savior of the world (1 John 4:14), the resurrection and the life (John 8:23; 10:30)—and access to the Father comes only through Him (John 14:6)—then New Covenant worship must be in, through and to Christ (Phil. 2:9-11).
Scripture also reveals Trinitarian worship: adoration emerging through the Spirit, partaking in the Son’s communion with the Father. The Bible says: “I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16); “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).
Scripture calls for gospel-oriented worship (Rom.1:16). “Life is liturgical, just like worship,” says Robbie Fox Castleman, so, “it is no wonder that liturgies, the patterns of corporate worship, contribute more to the shape of one’s faith than worshipers might ever realize.” Ken Boer suggests, “Part of our job as worship leaders is to help people make connections between the gospel and their lives.”
Gospel-oriented worship supports the practice of revelation and response—dialog between God (Word) and the worshiper (praise, awe, reverence, living sacrificially, obedience, etc). Jesus said, “I will proclaim your Name to my brethren. And in the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise” (Heb. 2:12). Therefore, as J. I. Packer once said, “[Believers must] turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.” Bob Kauflin wrote of the importance of Scripture in worship: “Magnifying God’s greatness begins with the proclamation of objective, biblical truths about God, but it ends with the expression of deep and holy affection toward God.”
Next time we’ll be discussing worship and preaching. Thanks for reading!!
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