The Work of the Word in Worship

If all of life is for the glory of God, that means that we are called to worship God on a daily basis.

When we sing “Amazing Grace” as a gathered church, we are not singing empty words. The verses contain doctrine about our God that originate in the pages of the Bible. Such knowledge about the wonder and beauty and love of God should lift us to the heights of praise. It’s not the arrangement or the crescendo that should stir our emotions but rather than mind and the heart being moved by the truth about the fact that a sovereign God has chosen to save a people for his glory through the blood of his Son—who were saved by the mercy of God alone—not the worthiness of the rebels. 

 

The world is filled with manuals for almost everything imaginable. We have manuals for vehicle repair, lawn equipment operation, and computer usage. So, when it comes to the worship of God, we have a sufficient manual in the sacred Scriptures that we call the Word of God. If the Word of God is the central hub in the worship of God—what does it accomplish in the lives of God’s people? How does the Bible shape or affect the worship of God?

The Word of God Informs our Worship

We are called to know God. The journey of faith is not merely centered upon rituals of worship. If all of life is for the glory of God—that means that we are called to worship God on a daily basis. In Deuteronomy 6, we find the prescription for discipleship in the home where parents are to teach their children in the morning, along the way throughout the day, and before they go to bed in the evening—from the Scriptures. Knowing God in general through creation is a beautiful thing, but it’s simply not enough. God has given us the Word—the sacred text in order to make himself known in a special and intimate manner.

The Word of God is sufficient to communicate truths about God’s character. The attributes of God reveal his omnipresence, his omniscience, his omnipotence, and his immutability. These grand truths are not recorded in the Bible so that we can have material for seminary classes or doctrines for debates within evangelical circles. They are written in order that we will know God and love God.

When we sing “Amazing Grace” as a gathered church, we are not singing empty words. The verses contain doctrine about our God that originate in the pages of the Bible. Such knowledge about the wonder and beauty and love of God should lift us to the heights of praise. It’s not the arrangement or the crescendo that should stir our emotions but rather than mind and the heart being moved by the truth about the fact that a sovereign God has chosen to save a people for his glory through the blood of his Son—who were saved by the mercy of God alone—not the worthiness of the rebels.

The Word of God is like a fire according to Jeremiah 23:39. It’s like a hammer that crushes according to the very same verse. The Scriptures are like a sword that pierces according to Hebrews 4:12, and yet the Psalmist declared that they are sweeter than honey in Psalm 19:10-11.

Furthermore, the Word of God provides us the manual of worship. In other words, there are right ways and wrong ways to worship God. We do not have the freedom to invent new and fresh ways to worship God. In the Scriptures, we find the ways that God has demanded his people to worship him, and to deviate from that plan is to engage in sinful worship that’s fleshly, man-centered, and that which doesn’t glorify God. In Deuteronomy 12:4, the LORD gave the Israelites a clear command stating,You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way.” In other words, God expects worship to be carried out in a specific manner—unlike the pagan worship of the world.

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