Article 101-1 – Worship

Biblical Principles for Living

101-1.1 Worship is response to God in all of life, whereby, in love, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, praise, and service God’s worth is declared.1 Worship is rooted in reverence for and awe of the Lord and deepens as knowledge of God increases.2 Worship is the privilege and responsibility of each individual, family, and congregation. For the believer, worship is a life style not limited by location or circumstance.

101-1.2 Worship is the ultimate purpose of the church. The mission of the church is to declare God’s glory and His salvation to all ethnic groups so that some from all the families of nations shall worship Him.3 Corporate worship is the assembled church celebrating the glory of God and ascribing to Him praise and honor. Christ, the head of the church, meets with and strengthens His people, who are called out from the world by the Holy Spirit.4

101-1.3 God declares that He alone is to be worshiped5 and this worship must be in spirit and truth.6 Such worship engages both mind and emotion, listening and responding to God in joyful obedience not simply in routine activity.7 For disobeying God’s instructions and substituting their own form of worship,8 Israel was severely punished. We therefore seek to learn from the Bible what kinds of worship please the Lord.

101-1.4 Worship in the Old Testament was a celebration of the mighty acts of the Lord, the covenant God of Israel. Corporate worship was highlighted through prescribed ritual: a priesthood, a sacrificial system looking forward to Christ’s atonement,9 and particular times and places when and where worship should occur.10 This ritual was not made valuable by its repetition.11 Its value came through heartfelt, thoughtful response to God, uniting the worshipers.12

101-1.5 Worship in the New Testament is a celebration of the finished work of Christ, His victory over Satan, sin, and death through His own incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension. Jesus claims for Himself authority over temple, Sabbath, sacrifice, and service.13 The former place, priesthood, and ritual were set aside14 as believers now observe15 a new day, the Lord’s Day,16 and new ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.17

101-1.6 Examples of corporate worship in the New Testament include: the reading of Scripture, prayer, praise, confession, singing, giving, thanksgiving, preaching and teaching, and the ordinances.18 The expression of these may be shaped by the cultural setting of a particular church and must be done in a fitting and orderly way.19

1 Psa.96:7-9; Rom.12:1
2 Psa.96:4, 2:11
3 Psa.96; Rom. 16:25-27; Rev.7:9-10
4 Eph.1:22,23
5 Exo.20:1-4
6 John 4:24
7 Mat. 15:7-9; 1 Cor. 14:15, 16
8 1Ki.12:25-13:10
9 Heb.9:13,14
10 Exo.20-40
11 Isa.29:13
12 Psa.51:16,17; 84:1,2
13 Mark 2:18-28
14 Heb.10:8-18
15 Heb. 10:19-25
16 John 20:19,26; Acts 20:7
17 Mat. 28:18-20; 1Cor.11:23-26
18 Acts 2:42-47; 4:23-37; 1 Tim. 4:13
19 1 Cor. 14:40

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