Worship in the Church

 

As creatures made in the image of God, we were designed to worship our Creator, yet we depart from this purpose due to our sinful human nature.

The world is exposed to the wrath of God because, even though He has manifested His eternal power and deity to all creatures, man refuses to honor God as God. Instead of honoring God, we exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:18-25). People are glad to bestow all kinds of honor and glory upon other people who have achieved something they regard as valuable, but they refuse to give honor and glory where it is most due – to God, the being of supreme value and worth.

Nevertheless, once the Spirit of God quickens people, imparting to them spiritual life, they have a new capacity for worship (Revelation 5:12-14).

It is no accident, therefore, that worship is one of the central purposes of the church. People often go to church primarily for fellowship, Christian education, or edification, but the primary reason we should be there is to join with other believers in worshiping the Lord.

IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH

In John 4:24, Jesus tells us the kind of worship God wants from His people. “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

To worship God in spirit means “in our spirit or soul, from our heart.” God desires that people worship Him from the deep core of being that no one else can see or measure, because it is unique to each person. This non-physical aspect of our humanity is our capacity for spiritual connection with God. When we are aware of the character of God our spirits overflow with affection, adoration, admiration, reverence and awe.

To worship God in truth contrasts with all other worship which is false. Truthful worship is contrary to all forms of idolatrous worship, which is to substitute something for God that is not the true God. False worship is also hypocritical worship, that which is insincere.

We must fight against the modern tendency to be more interested in entertainment than in expressing worship in spirit and truth.

In Romans 12:1, the apostle Paul tells us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God, which is our “spiritual worship.” “Therefore through Christ let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrew 13:15).

[Adapted from R.C. Sproul, Everyone’s a Theologian]