OUR THEOLOGY OF WORSHIP
Why do we gather every Lord’s Day?
We gather for the glory of our King and for the coming of His kingdom. This is the pattern that the apostles established, taught by Christ: Acts 2:42 “they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers;” and Hebrews 10:24-25 “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together.”
What is the goal of our gathering to worship?
Our goals are to please God, Ephesians 5:10 “try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord,” to proclaim Him for the good of His people, Colossians 1:28 “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ," and to equip His people, Ephesians 4:11-12 “He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." May the Lord help us to please Him (not man), to glorify Him (not man), to proclaim Christ, to equip His army, that we may present every member mature in Christ.
Can't Christians worship any way they want?
Our unchanging God rules over his people by his moral law, by His Spirit in us and with us, through His word. In Matthew 7:23 Our Lord says that those who remain enslaved to lawlessness never knew him. Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 8 teach that God writes His (moral) law on the hearts and put in in the minds of Christians. John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Conclusion: The Bible teaches that true Christians will desire to please their Lord and Savior and to obey what Jesus commands as the Lord of the New Covenant. Hebrews 9:1 “even the first covenant had regulations for worship.”
How does each element reform us?
We trust God to shape and reform us each week as we savor anew His wondrous gospel in each element of our corporate worship. God is pleased to dwell in a concentrated way with His gathered congregation – the house of God, a foretaste of heaven (Psalm 87:2). The order of our public worship follows the arch of the gospel (God's glorious nature, man's sin, Christ's work, our response).
Does it matter on which day we gather as a congregation for public worship?
On the first Sabbath day, God the creator rested. Genesis 2:2 “God finished his work that he had done, and he rested.” On the first day of the new Creation, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Mark 16:9 “he rose early on the first day of the week.” Jesus came not to abolish the law but He fulfilled it. On the Lord’s Day, the Holy Spirit descended upon His church. Acts 2:1 “when the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.” Revelation 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.” The Triune God has consecrated the Sabbath, and commanded that His people remember it in His transcendent moral law.
Why is each element of worship regulated by the Bible?
The Bible is sufficient for the ministry of the church. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Prelude – (prepare to encounter The Living God through His word) Isaiah 40:31 “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.”
Greeting – “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 124:8
Pastoral Prayer – 2 Timothy 1:3 “I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.”
Announcements – 1 Corinthians 14:40 “all things should be done decently and in order.”
Call to Worship – Luke 4:8 Jesus: “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God.'"
Psalm, Hymn, or Spiritual Song – Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Reading of the Law – Matthew 22:37 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment."
Prayer of Confession of Sin – James 5:16 “confess your sins.”
Assurance of Pardon from God's Word – 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Profession of Faith – Jude 3 "appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints."
Scripture Reading – 1 Timothy 4:13 “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”
Prayer for Illumination – James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
Preaching of God’s Word – 2 Timothy 4:1-2 “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience & teaching.”
The Lord’s Supper – 1 Corinthians 11:26-28 “26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself."
We share The Lord’s Supper together every week. To partake in a worthy manner (1 Cor. 11:17-34), we must treasure Christ and examine ourselves. If you love Jesus Christ and rest in Him alone for salvation as he is offered to you in the gospel, if you are a baptized member in good standing of a local church that preaches the gospel of God’s free grace, and if you are living in ongoing repentance and gratitude in Christ, then this Supper is for you. However, if you have not received Christ as your only salvation, we ask that you abstain from this sacrament to reflect on the gospel message you have heard today. Out of care for their souls, children partake only after being discipled by a pastor for baptism as their first act of obedience.
Benediction – 2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”