As a community of believers apart of the universal Church, and the bride of Christ, we are to follow the pattern that the Bible lays out. And, it should be the same through all denominations that acknowledge Christ as LORD. We are to:
Honor God by reverence and awe (1 Samuel 15:22: Matthew 15:9: Luke. 11:41-42; John 4:23; Acts 20:27; Galatians 2:20-21; Hebrews 10:24-25; 12:28-29; Revelation 1:10). Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.
Praise His Name (Isaiah 6:1-5; Luke 11:41-42; Psalm 19; 29:2; 95:6-7; 150; Ephesians 5:19).
Confession of sin: (Lev 4; 6:24-f.; 7:1-f.; 16:1-f; 1 Kings 17:18; Ps 51:4-6; Isa 6; 53:10, 12; Matt 12:24, 31; Mark 7:20-23; John 1:5; 3:19-21; 8:31-34; 16:8-9; 15:22; Rom. 3:20; 5:12-20; 6:15-23; 7:7-20; 2 Cor. 11:3; Gal. 3:19-24; 1 Tim 2:14).
Prayer (Acts 2:42).
Reading of the Word: (Acts 2:42; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 3:17).
Commentary: (Acts 2:47; 20:7-8; Col. 1:25; Philippians 3:3; 1 Tim. 3:2; 2 Tim. 2:24; Tit. 1:9).
Fellowship (Eph. 4:12; cf. 1 Cor. 14:12).
True worship will have these six aspects:
"At the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-11)
First, worship is appreciation and our identification, of who Christ is in our lives. He first reaches out to us, and because of our gratitude, we are to love Him back. We are to respond to Christ's claim upon our lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can recognize God's revelation to us. We can see who our Redeemer is, what He has done for us, and what He requires of us.
Second, worship is a response to God's revelation, because God makes known His love to us. Christ reveals Himself to us in the Word and in His character. He reveals Himself in the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, and in the quiet assurance that He is there with us!
Third, worship is a relationship, because God seeks us, then abides with us. Thus, in worship, we are praising and speaking to the audience, and that audience is God! Then, we are to listen as He speaks to us through His Word. Christian worship is a conversation with our God through His Holy Spirit. It is not a performance or a show; we are not seeking to entertain or promote ourselves, but to make known Christ, crucified. Worship is also an intimate and personal encounter with the Creator of the universe who first loved us. We are to make known our adoration, gratitude, and our needs, (not needs first!) and through this, discover His Will for our lives--to know Him, and make Him known.
Fourth, worship is reverence. We need to know the seriousness and awesomeness of God. We are to fear Him as in Proverbs 3:5. He may be our best friend, and we can talk to Him in that way, but He is first, and foremost the King and Creator of all. He is to be placed first, and is not to be an after thought, especially in church! God does indeed desire that we admit our spiritual need for Jesus Christ, so we can put away pride and arrogance, and be surrendered and poured out to Him (Gal. 2:20f; Phil. 3:10).
Fifth, worship is a cleansing of sin. We are to acknowledge our sin, and turn from it. Then, we will see our churches revitalized and sanctified. Then, we can have an impact in the community and world. When we become emptied of all self-concern, pride, and arrogance, God will enter in with more power! What is stopping Him now? Us! It is our petty political struggles, gossip, slander, pride, self-delusions, and refusal to acknowledge Christ as Lord over all! We have to realize the Christian life is about seeking God's direction of holiness and service.
Sixth, worship will lead to renewal. The point of the Christian life is to know Christ, to be like Christ. Thus, the longer we are in surrendered worship and prayer, the deeper in the walk with Christ we become; through the power of the Spirit, renewal will come.
Our understanding of what a church worship service is must reflect the precepts of Scripture. This includes our influence, and the format of our worship services. Our influence must not be just trends or data from surveys. It must be from His Word, period! We can mix in new ideas, such as songs, prayers, ways of delving the sermon, but not the fundamentals; nothing we do in doing church can contradict God's Word!
© 1990, 2002 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com