Worship: A Working Definition 2

Introduction

Romans 12:1 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (worship, service as a slave, divine worship)[1].

  • Worship is bigger than a worship service.
  • Worship is deeper than songs.
  • I’m convinced that if we were doing Romans 12:1 we could come in here and sing “This little Light of Mine” and have revival break out because songs will never usher in a spirit of worship.
  • Worship is all we are and do given over to God for God’s ends.

So, what we have is a working definition comprised of a thoroughly biblical survey from Genesis to Revelation that we will work off of.

A Definition of Worship

1) Worship is communion with God 2) in which believers, 3) by grace, 4) center their mind’s attention and their 5) heart’s affection on the Lord, 6) humbly 7) glorifying God 8) in response to his glory and his word.[2]

  1. Worship is centering attention on God.

“center mind’s attention”

Psalms 77:12 (ESV) I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.

Matthew 22:34-38 (ESV) 34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.

1 Corinthians 14:15 (ESV) What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

– Worship is disciplining our minds to think rightly on God.

To worship by thinking rightly we have to…

– Use our minds to learn about God.

– When we sing as an act of worship we do so with full intellect intact not wild and ecstatic folly.

– Worship is stewardship of our mind.

  1. Worship is expressing love to God.

“hearts affection”

Psalms 84:1-7 (ESV) How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 6 As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.

– Psalm 84 was written by the sons of Korah, who rebelled against Moses and were swallowed by the earth. Korah’s descendants learned the hard way that affection for God is better.

  1. Worship is humble exaltation of God.

“humbly”

Psalms 138:2 (ESV) I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

– “schachah”, “bow down” is and it means to prostrate before and is translated 99 other times as “worship”

– There is not “assuming” right when coming to God, but rather, approaching with a confident reverence.

– This is why setting up chairs, taking down chairs, making coffee, serving in Radical Kids is not just a labor and listening to preaching and singing and taking the Lords Supper are superior acts. If we humbly serve God’s ends and means then our order and engagement in that order takes on a whole new level of meaning.

– Humble tasks done to serve God’s ends are as much an exaltation as any other worship act.

– When we come to the order of worship and particular acts in it, humility is vital. We don’t assume that we know more, are experts and in our soul despise others we perceive as not knowing what we know.

– We humbly, therefore, exalt God. We don’t humbly consume our favorite parts and disdain the parts that are less our “jam”.

– God’s praise is the goal from my life as a living sacrifice and my actions from that as offering to God.

  1. Worship is glorifying God.

“glorifying”

Psalms 22:23 (ESV) You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

– Glorify – to make heavy; to make weighty; to honor.

– Glorifying God is honoring God rightly; deferring; putting first; considering first.

– We glorify God when we consider obedience to his word as more vital than my perceived wants / needs.

Romans 15:1-6 (ESV) “1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  1. Worship is response to God.

“in response”

Romans 3:10-11 (ESV) None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.

Genesis 24:22-27 as a response to the Lord revealing himself through the providential circumstances of the journey.

Matthew 14:24-33

– Response to God’s glory in his person, in his deeds and his word.

– It is response by humbling oneself.

– It is response by recounting out loud or to yourself the glories of God.

 

[1] Parenthesis mine.

[2] Definition adapted from the course, “Church Music” by Dr. Bruce Leafblad, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Worship: A Working Definition

Good afternoon! Here are notes from this morning. I’ll only post what we covered below:

Worship: A Working Definition

Introduction

Romans 12:1 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (worship, service as a slave, divine worship)[1].

 

  • Worship is bigger than a worship service.
  • Worship is deeper than songs.
  • I’m convinced that if we were doing Romans 12:1 we could come in here and sing “This little Light of Mine” and have revival break out because songs will never usher in a spirit of worship.
  • Worship is all we are and do given over to God for God’s ends.

Illustration: If you gave the effort at your paid employment that you give to seeking Jesus’ rule over you in all things, would they fire you?

So, what we have is a working definition comprised of a thoroughly biblical survey from Genesis to Revelation that we will work off of.

A Definition of Worship

1) Worship is communion with God 2) in which believers, 3) by grace, 4) center their mind’s attention and their 5) heart’s affection on the Lord, 6) humbly 7) glorifying God 8) in response to his glory and his word.[2]

Definition Explained

  1. Worship is communion with God.

“communion with God”

Exodus 33:12-23

John 14:15-18

– Communion is to be united with God.

– In Jesus’ work, sin’s effects on relationship between God and man are abolished, so we dwell with God and he with and in us.

– We hear God.

– We talk with God.

– We begin to understand God’s ways.

– God becomes personal with us and us with him.

  • Worship, then, becomes your daily relational living with God by the Holy Spirit.
  1. Worship is an enactment of faith.

“believers”

– When we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we worship well.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance (standing under; the foundation; the reality) of things hoped for, the conviction (persuasion; proof) of things not seen.

– Faith is a reality that produces tangible proof. Faith, then, is not mental ascent but rather truth that affects all aspects of our being in actions.

– My commitments parade what or who I honor and worship.

– My calendar exhibits what I believe in and worship.

– My budget divulges what I believe in and worship.

– My anxieties announce what I believe in and worship.

  • Worship is then your exercise of complete rest in and trust in God in doing things his way.
  1. Worship is the appropriate/right/fitting application of grace.

“by grace”

– Worship is the RIGHT response to the grace that is given to us.

Revelation 3:20 (ESV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

– Adam and Eve, in sin, hid from God when he came to walk with them in the garden.

  • Worship as communion with God, is the appropriate response to the invitation to intimate fellowship with God.

How might one exercise communion with God?

– Seeking the counsel and presence of the Spirit through his inspired Word.

– Acknowledging that I hear the counseling Spirit.

– Obeying the Spirit.

– Worship as communion with God is NOT having your emotions manipulated by environment and things that tug at emotional ports of entry into the soul.

How do we respond to the sermon this morning?

We will sing this morning in the larger context of an ordered service. Not because it’s the primary expression of worship (the primary expression is your life as a living sacrifice), but because God himself set out liturgy, God himself sings, God himself commands us to sing (see the Psalms), and the last thing Jesus did before going to the cross was to show that order and service and song matter by observing the liturgy of the Passover meal and sang a hymn as he went out to be arrested and crucified.

Mark 14:26 (ESV) And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Singing is a measurable tactic to one small component of worship. But it’s an important component, because it’s a unique image bearing activing we are privileged to participate in and Jesus, God, himself led his disciples to do before the most crucial event in history.

[1] Parenthesis mine.

[2] Definition adapted from the course, “Church Music” by Dr. Bruce Leafblad, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Worship

TRC and TRC family and friends, we will be teaching on worship for the next 6 weeks, and I want to invite you to be here, be on time and be prepared for some things that have changed my life and we pray will be life changing for you.

Watch my handy dandy iMovie edited video. No, I won’t be taking a job in Hollywood as a director. It’s not Ron Howard level, but Tarantino, maybe.

Generosity: God is the provider of everything good in your life

You can get this great devotional guide on generous living right here from Brian Kluth.

You can see the previous post on generosity right here Generosity: God is the owner of everything.

Randy Alcorn, author of “The Treasure Principle” says, “As thunder followed lightning, giving follows grace. When God’s grace touches you, you can’t help but respond with generous giving.”

Generosity is a hallmark of people who’ve received God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Stinginess is sin. Spending ourselves into a place that make generous giving impossible is sin.

God is the standard of generosity. He created and gave the earth to humans to steward. He gave his people abundance time and time again to preserve them in spite of their rebellion. Finally, he gave his one and only Son to bear the wrath of sin that we who have repented and believed by grace through faith could be made rich with Christ.

Who are we to hoard? Who are we to live beyond our means? This is hard in a land of abundance where the temptation is to get and get and get and get and forget who gave it to us and our joy in being a conduit to give rather than a cul-de-sac to hoard.

Just so we have the right doctrinal perspective on how we got what we got, let’s let the inerrant Word speak:

James 1:17 (ESV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Ephesians 1:3 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

Matthew 7:11 (ESV) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

2 Chronicles 1:11-12 (ESV) God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”

Proverbs 8:18-21 (ESV) Riches and honor are with me,
enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.

Isaiah 26:12 (ESV) O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
for you have indeed done for us all our works.

The truth is, we have nothing God didn’t give to us, and there is nothing we have been given that we own. God is giver and provider! We are managers of God’s varied grace, and we should be the most generous and giving people in the world.

If you are a church member, give to your local church God’s abundance. It’s his anyway. He’ll get it back one way or the other. We might as well give it and receive more back so we can give more next time than have the Lord train us for godliness by taking it forcefully.

Stewardship is an issue that church needs to face. When I say the church, I mean the people who make up the church and the leadership of God’s people in how we use his resources. To whom much is given much is expected.

Are we giving generously as families and individuals?

Are we doing the vision and mission of Jesus with his resources?

Let’s strive to give God glory for being the giver of all our good, and do so by giving to his ends.