May 23, 2016


The third chapter of Second Timothy maintains that scripture is given by God for the good of mankind.  Scripture is the place where one finds a beginning and purpose.  It is the place where one learns of the great love of a creator God who desires to redeem His people.  It is the place where evil is exposed and truth abounds.  Scripture points the individual to a life lived for Christ and ushers in the dawn of the church age.  Accordingly, it is fitting for any church, especially one in transition, to look to the pages of scripture to finds its blueprints and its mission.  Certainly each church has its own personality and history but to truly be a church, each body of believers must meet Scriptural markers.  Failing to meet these criteria will allow a church to be a church only in name.   This being so, the question then is why does the church exist?  What tasks are the church instructed to complete?   If a church wants to be powerful, if a church wants to have God move in it and through it, if the church wants the society around it to change then a church will look to scripture to see what it is and what it does.  

The first fundamental task of the church is to worship God.  The first statement in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a set of questions and answer for teaching the Christian faith, ask, “What is the chief end of man?”  The response is, “Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”  This notion is mirrored in Jesus statement that one is to love the Lord with all that one has (Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:37).  Worship is the way that an individual, or a body of believers, express love to God.  The gospel of John states, “…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (John 4:23)” 

So the question arises, what does authentic, biblical worship look like?  I often tell the youth that as we come to worship, to sing and to be attentive to God's word … that true worship does not hinge on a person’s ability to sing or to comprehend and understand what is spoken, worship begins and end in the heart.   One’s heart must be focused on Christ.  Jesus clearly told all that, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” So, worship begins with a heart wholly devoted to Christ.  You see, if one enters into worship with heart and mind focused on Christ, His glory, His greatness then the style of worship, the style of music, the style of preaching will not matter as much as the encounter with Christ.

It is my assertion that the true biblical worship, that which comes from a heart focused on Christ,  should be made up of adoration, acquisition and action.  True worship should be celebratory. The first verse of the 122nd Psalms declares this reality when it states, “I was glad when they said to me let's go to the house of the Lord.” When a follower of Christ enters a Bible study… when he or she enters a Sunday school class, the youth house, or the sanctuary… this person ought to enter with a posture of grateful adoration.   This adulation ought to lead to a desire for learning.  When one is part of a corporate worship service he or she should not only be there to celebrate but to be inspired . Worship is something that come from the heart and has an effect on the heart.  Isaiah 40:31 says, “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  So, as one enters into worship, as we enter into the presence of God with a celebrate approach… as one receives knowledge and inspiration, one should be moved to action.  The fourth chapter of Ephesians informs one that God gave the church for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry. 

True, biblical worship is a time of preparation… it's a time that the body can corporately gather to celebrate their God, gathered to be inspired by who He is, and gathered to be sent set out for His glory!