But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. ( 2 Corinthians 3:18)
Worship is serious business. When the church gathers to offer worship, in the name of Jesus, and through his blood, there is nothing on earth happening which is of greater import. God will be worshipped. Those who casually dismiss church, are shrugging off our highest duty as people, nothing less than the Worshipful beholding of God.
As the passage in 2 Corinthians 3 tells us, it is as we worship in Spirit and in Truth, that we are transformed morally and spiritually. We want to change, we want free of our various bondages and lusts, but it is in true worship, in seeing God as He is, (Through His self revelation) that we are actually reformed, into the image of Christ.
John tells us, “When we see Him, we will be like Him for we will see Him as He is…” (I John 3).
But the worship must be truly Spiritual and it must be in Truth.
The Spiritual aspect is that we do not rely on sensual aids to worship God; neither statues, icons, incense, mood lighting, … etc. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
We worship the Triune God, Father,Son and Holy Spirit by faith, that is based on His revelation of Himself in the Word. We focus our hearts on and worship and adore Him, not as we would like Him to be in our fallen imaginations, but as He has revealed Himself to be.
I cannot emphasize this enough, because I have come to the conviction that the primal sin of the modern church is the sin of idolatry. People tend to shape their own image of who they believe God to be, and then they worship that image. Churches tend to o the same thing.
This is why the need of the times in the church is the teaching on the Attributes and perfections of God. We cannot fully worship a God who we do not properly know. Our hearts tend to be idol factories, unless aided by Divine grace.
The God whom we worship is Holy, Sovereign, Righteous, Just, Loving, Merciful, Generous, a Savior, Shepherd, and Judge of the Universe! True Worship is fixing the soul, (or souls) on Who God truly is, and acknowledging, thanking and magnifying Him who is all of these perfections and more. There is no higher use for your mind than to think and meditate on the attributes of God, as revealed by Him in Scripture and in the Incarnation of God, in Christ.
Worship is a state of the heart as well as an action. The congregation, by teaching and exhortation must ” Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with Praise….” (Psalm 100), they should be led to “Fear before Him…” as in 1 Chronicles 16,
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.( 1 Chronicles 16:28-30)
Worshipping God is a mixture of Joy, thanksgiving, fear and awe, based upon the Revelation of God. The people respond, in Song, and at times the lifting of hands, clapping, prostration, and awe, as the 95th Psalm tells us,
O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.( Psalm 95:1-7)
Furthermore it based upon the Lamb who had been slain to Redeem us. The Book of Revelation takes us into the very throne room of God, Showing us that even there Worship is central, and two phased…in Revelation 4 we have all of Creation worshipping God as Creator.
“Thou Art Worthy Oh Lord for Thou has created all things for thy pleasure…” (Revelation 4:11)
But Revelation 5 takes us deeper into the throne room, where we see that all of the worship of heaven is centered around the Lamb, “slain from the foundation of the earth”, to redeem men from every walk of Life. Worshipping God as Creator is right and due to Him, but it is inadequate now, for their has been a fall, and the Creation has been marred by sin.
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.( Revelation 5:9-10)
We conform to what we adore and worship. There are many false gods which people are worshipping now; sports, sex, political positions, various “isms” and stances which literally possess people these days, demanding all of them.
To worship anything less than the only true God and Jesus, whom He has sent, is to corrupt one’s self.
Only God and Christ is worthy of our soul’s desire, of all of our heart and affection, and the Worship of God in Christ is the only non corrupting worship. We worship goodness, truth and beauty when we worship God in Christ.
The Church holds these services, (literally a beneficial and essential service) calling men to gather and acknowledge, worship and draw near to God himself.