The root word at the heart of the word “worship” is the word “worth” (the quality that renders something desirable or valuable). Worship is an activity going on in the heart of every human being, every moment of our lives; God, the maker of all things, created man and woman with a natural instinct to worship and His ultimate desire is that we would worship HIM above all else. Worship is both an attitude and an action; when the heart of a person has been regenerated by the Spirit of God they are able to worship God from the heart and, motivated from that internal adoration of God, to live outwardly a life that brings Him glory. That is worship.
Romans 12:1 gives us one of the best biblical definitions of what worship should look like in the life of a true believer, the Apostle Paul says “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” God does not simply want our 5 Sunday praise songs placed on the altar of sacrifice; He wants US on the altar, with all of our passions, our possessions, our reputation, our gifts, our thoughts, our deeds, our family, our whole life! The life of a true follower of Christ is marked by self-denial and personal sacrifice (Luke 9:23) and that life-long “presenting” of our bodies as “living sacrifices” to the glory of God is our “spiritual worship.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
So when we gather each week at FBC we have a unique opportunity to worship God corporately as we fellowship, listen to God’s Word, take communion, pray and sing songs together! The singers and musicians who make up our praise team are there to guide our attention and stir our affections toward Jesus Christ by leading the congregation through songs that contain understandable lyrics grounded in the truths of God’s Word. We sing songs that range in age, genre, style and dynamic; from contemporary (Sovereign Grace, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin) to the hymns of old (Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, William Cowper). Our focus when we sing is intentionally centered on God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ; we sing songs that speak of who He is and what He has done so that our expression of praise is always informed and motivated by those truths.
Jesus, in answering a question about worship, says this: “the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:23). Up to that point in History, God had specified geographic locations for His people to worship Him, but Jesus states in John 4 that the hour is “now here” when we will worship Him in “spirit and truth.” Instead of a geographic location, now a believer’s worship of God takes place from the heart of His people and we are to offer up that sacrifice of praise in SPIRIT (attitude, heart, emotion, affections) and consistent with the TRUTH of who He is and what He’s done as described in the pages of His Bible.