What is Worship?

“Christian worship is the response of God’s covenant people to His self-revelation that exalts God’s glory in Christ in our minds, affections, and wills, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Bob Kauflin

  1. Christian Worship is for God’s Glory: John Piper says it well: “This is what it means when we read things like, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). And “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). This is the form of worship commanded in the New Testament: to act in a way that reflects the value of the glory of God – to do a thing in the name of Jesus with thanks to God. That is the basic form of living worship. But the New Testament uses those greatest of all worship sentences without any reference to worship services. They describe life.”  This idea leads us to the next point, the holistic nature of Christian worship.
  2. Christian Worship is Holistic: Matthew 22:37; John 4
    1. Minds: Thinking certain things about God: Philippians 4:8; We are to be informed by the Scriptures as to how we think about God because he has told us how to think about him. He did not leave us to guess.
    2. Affections:  The heart is engaged in worship. Jesus says, in Matthew 15:8, “This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me.” When we speak about worshipping with our heart, we are speaking of the very core of what worship is.  We worship in spirit and in truth. Orthodoxy without passion is dead. Passion without truth is dumb.
    3. Wills: Your will is your decision-making faculty. That means that the things you do are never disconnected from your desires and your thinking. Your thoughts about something drive your feelings about those same things and your actions come after your affections every time, all the time. Christian worship is holistic.


What can we say about the way we live according to this definition?

  1. Examine your heart:
    1. What do you love? What do you hate? What do you love, want, crave, lust after? If you wrote out the sentence, “I want_______.” What would fill in the blank?
    2. What are your goals? What are you working for? What are you afraid of? What are you worried and anxious about?
  2. Read your Bible. I know that many of you struggle with Bible reading because you see Bible reading as an end in itself. The issue for you and I is to look into the Bible as the place where God is. God has revealed himself in the Scriptures and it is there that we kindle the fires of worship.
    1. Psalm 34
    2. Psalm 139
    3. Hebrews
  3. Pray that God would overwhelm your thinking, affections and actions. Pray that the gospel would so saturate your thinking and feeling that the way you live your life would follow and that the earth would tremble around you because God is so overwhelming to you. Illustration: “Woodrow Wilson told the story of being in a barbershop one time.  ‘I was sitting in a barber chair when I became aware that a powerful personality had entered the room.  A man had come quietly in upon the same errand as myself to have his hair cut and sat in the chair next to me.  Every word the man uttered, though it was not in the least didactic, showed a personal interest in the man who was serving him.  And before I got through with what was being done to me I was aware I had attended an evangelistic service, because Mr. D.L. Moody was in that chair.  I purposely lingered in the room after he had left and noted the singular affect that his visit had brought upon the barber shop.  They talked in undertones.  They did not know his name, but they knew something had elevated their thoughts, and I felt that I left that place as I should have left a place of worship’” God help us to be so centered upon our Christ that when people leave us they feel as if they have been to church.

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