Theology of Worship

Worship is the grateful response of the Church to God. God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - is the only One worthy to receive worship. Worship declares and celebrates who God is and what God has done. At the same time, worship benefits the congregation by building up and nourishing its members. Worship contains four essential elements: The Cross, Our Life, Our Gathering together, and Our Music.

Theology+of+Worship

I. CROSS:

     John 3:16-18

     1 Peter 2:24–25

The starting point for Christian worship is God's gracious initiative. God the Father gave His only Son as an acceptable sacrifice for the sin of the world. At the Cross the justice and love of God meet. God is just by punishing sin and pouring His wrath out on it. God is love by taking the sin of the world into the Body of Jesus so that all who put their faith in Him come out from under the condemnation of God. The Cross reminds us that Christian worship is always a response to God, who acted first.

While the Cross represents divine initiative, it also represents human response. In His humanity Jesus offered ultimate worship, which is a life of perfect obedience to the will of God. This divine will was shared by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus submitted His human will to His divine will, which He shared with the Father and Holy Spirit.

II. LIFE:

     Romans 12:1

     Ephesians 2:8–10

We worship because God saved us from sin, death, judgment, and wrath by nailing our sins to the Cross. The reasonable and appropriate response to this gift is a life of ever increasing obedience to the will of God. We obey because we are saved, not in order to be saved. By doing good works we do not earn our salvation. Rather, by doing good works we worship the God who declared us right with Him and gave us eternal life as a gift apart from works.

III. GATHERING:

     1 Corinthians 14:26

     Hebrews 10:24-25

The Church consists of all the redeemed who are united by the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head. Local assemblies of believers are visible representations of the Church that gather regularly for the purpose of worship, which includes instruction in the Word, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer.

The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances: Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Though not the means of salvation, these ordinances testify of the gospel.

When we gather together, worship is to be characterized by an attitude of humble self-giving with the intention that everyone is encouraged according to their need. Personal preferences are inevitable. However, each of us is to seek the interests and well being of others before our own.

IV. MUSIC:

     Ephesians 5:19-21

     Colossians 3:16

It is common to think that music is synonymous with worship. Though music is an important aspect of worship, music only constitutes one facet.

Music is an important aspect of worship because it assists worshippers to express themselves both emotionally and rationally. The song springs forth from the depth of the heart and the lyrics articulate profound truths from the mind. Music unifies a congregation as we pray to God together with one voice.

Music is an avenue for worship both inside and outside the gathering of the Church. Therefore music can give personal and corporate expression to worship. Likewise, when the Church is gathered there are other elements that constitute worship.

We will not permit music to divide us. No one shall demand the gathering of the Church to conform to his or her personal musical preferences. Nor will we divide into multiple services in order to accommodate various musical preferences. When musical preferences divide, then music ceases to be worship and instead becomes an idol. At the same time we will endeavour to provide musical worship to meet a diversity of preferences.

During the singing of songs and hymns we encourage each person to express himself or herself freely as the Holy Spirit moves. We do not want to quench the Spirit, nor do we desire to conform everyone to a particular mode of expression.