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. Nevertheless, once the Spirit of God quickens people, imparting to them spiritual life, they have a new capacity for worship.”

“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.”

WITH HONOR AND ADORATION

“To worship is to assign worth or value to God. For example, the song in Revelation [5:12-14] attributes worth to the person of Christ and what He has accomplished [‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’]. We call the attributing of worth ‘honor.’ We honor those who have proven themselves worthy of particular notice and affirmation. They have achieved something that we regard as valuable.”

According to Romans 1:18-25, 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. We love to receive honors ourselves and to be at celebrations where human beings are honored for prodigious achievements. People are glad to bestow all kinds of honor and glory upon other people, but they balk when it comes to giving honor and glory where it is most due – to God, the being of supreme value and worth.”

IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH

In John 4:24, Jesus “said that worship that is pleasing to God is given in spirit and truth.” The phrase ‘in spirit’ means “from the 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. In fact, it is the very essence of what we call ‘personality.’ No one can deny this non-physical aspect of what it means to be a person; without it, we would be soulless, brutish creatures. Yet because we have it, we have the capacity for spiritual connection with God.” We adore God when we are aware of a spiritual connection between our spirit “and the very character of God in which we praise Him with our lips or with our thoughts such that our spirits overflow with affection, admiration, reverence, and awe for Him.”

Worship ‘in truth’ is truthful worship, which 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.”

“Paul tells us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God, which is our ‘spiritual worship’ (Rom. 12:1).” And we are to give “the sacrifice of praise to God (Heb. 13:15) – and it is to be given with the substance of our entire lives.”

The drive to offer pure worship to God is “something lost in our day. We tend to be more interested in entertainment than in expressing worship in spirit and truth.”

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