This is a continuation of Reforming Worship. In that blog I gave three principles for worship in a congregational context. Reforming Worship 2 and Reforming Worship 3 blogs dealt with the first and second principles. This blog is about the third principle.
3) The Father calls us to worship as we respond to the Spirit empowered preaching of the inspired Word concerning His Son Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:37-41)
The worship of God in hearing the preached Word and in singing praises to Him is worthless unless there is a response to the revelation about God. Sitting and listening to a thirty minute sermon is really not worship until we have responded to how God has revealed Himself in that sermon. A proper response to a sermon on God's holiness is awe. A proper response to a sermon on the wrath of God is repentance and gratitude. In one word, a proper response to all aspects of the God's Written Revelation of Himself is obedience. All of Scripture is to be taken as instruction and is to be obeyed. When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost there were two responses. First, there were those who laughed and mocked Peter. These were not worshippers even though they had heard the sermon. The true worshippers were the second group who obeyed what had been revealed to them. When we do not obey the Word of God we may as well be laughing and mocking just as those who mocked Peter. But we are true worshippers who worship in Spirit and in truth. We hear the Word that has been inspired by the Spirit, and we regard that Word as truth and obey it. Our lives are laid open as a living sacrifice before the God who speaks, and when He speaks, we obey. The whole Christian life is a repetitive series of God speaking and man responding. Not God speaking in visions and dreams, but through His Book. God is speaking through the prophets and apostles in the words they have written by His Spirit. And the true worshippers will hear and obey.
May we all be true worshippers, worshipping God in His Word, in our songs, and in our response to His Voice.
For more articles on Worship, visit Don Whitney's Site, Spiritual Disciplines, and, Jim Eliff's Site, Christian Communicators World-Wide.