Wednesday, August 24, 2011

TBC Philosophy of Worship

Philosophy of Worship

          Worship is ascribing honor and glory to God our Creator[1] because honor and glory are due His name.[2]  Worship results from seeing[3] and savoring[4] Jesus Christ[5] as Lord[6]: who He is[7] and what He has done.[8]  A believer[9] who treasures Jesus Christ[10] loves His Word[11], presents himself as an obedient living sacrifice[12], and longs to make Christ known in the world.[13]  Thus worship results in living for Jesus Christ our Savior by ceaselessly pursuing holiness,[14] a pure life,[15] a heart of humility,[16] unity within the body,[17] a habit of service,[18] faithful outreach,[19] and joy.[20]
          Corporate worship is gathering to praise God[21] and propel one another toward Christ.[22]  We preach the gospel[23] to one another;[24] speak, sing, and teach God’s Word, work, and character to one another;[25] offer God our united prayer and praise;[26] and humbly serve and encourage one another with our God given gifts by the power of the Holy Spirit.[27]  We nurture together an ever-deepening pleasure in Christ our Savior.[28]
          Church functions should facilitate one or more of these facets of corporate worship.  They should spur believers to live lives of joyful worship as obedient disciples.

[1] Psalm 95:6, Romans 1:25
[2] I Chronicles 16:29, Isaiah 45:23, Philippians 2:10  
[3] Isaiah 6:1, Ezekiel 1:28, Luke 5:8, Revelation 1:17
[4] Psalm 34:8,  John 6:35
[5] Philippians 3:3, Col 1:18, Revelation 5:12
[6] Acts 10:36, Romans 10:9, Philippians 2:11
[7] Revelation 4:11, John 1:1
[8] I Samuel 12:24, Luke 1:49, Romans 8:1
[9] John 4:23, Matthew 7:21
[10] Proverbs 2:1, II Corinthians 4:7, Matthew 13:44
[11] Psalm 42:1; John 14:21
[12] Romans 12:1
[13] Isaiah 6:8, II Corinthians 5:11
[14] Leviticus 20:7, Ephesians 1:4
[15] Psalm 24:3,4, Matthew 5:8, II Timothy 2:22
[16] Psalm 34:2, Matthew 5:3, James 4:10
[17]Psalm 133:1, Rom 15:5,6, Ephesians 4:4-6
[18] Judges 7:15, Galatians 5:13
[19] Isaiah 6:8, Acts 24:14, Acts 27:23
[20] Psalm 16:11, I Peter 1:8
[21] Acts 2:46,47, I Thessalonians 5:16-18
[22] Romans 15:1-7, Hebrews 12:1,2, Hebrews 10:24,25
[23]      The gospel in its fullest sense is the good news of God’s work to bless and redeem His fallen creation and bring all things back under His good rule through Jesus Christ (the gospel of the kingdom).  The central event of this good news is Jesus’ cross and resurrection: Christ’s life, atoning death, and resurrection secured and accomplished all God’s promises for the redemption of this world (1 Cor 1:20).
     So the gospel is both the good news of personal forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus and, more broadly understood, the good news of God’s restoration of all things which is ours through Christ’s life and work.  These promised blessings include reconciliation between people, transformation through the Holy Spirit’s power, our bodily resurrection, and the promised new heavens and earth, to name a few.
     When we preach the gospel to one another, then, we are not merely repeating the facts of Jesus’ earthly life.  We also exhort and encourage each other to embrace the overflowing fullness of the hope He has given us in Christ.
[24] I Thessalonians 2:9, I Peter 2:3-12
[25] Psalm 9:1, Psalm 77:11, I Corinthians 15:1, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 1:23
[26] Isaiah 63:7, Acts 13:1,2
[27] Ephesians 4:11-13, Galatians 5:13
[28] Isaiah 35:10, Psalm 1:2, Psalm 8, Romans 8:31-39

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