What the Bible Teaches About Worship

Worship is first and foremost an encounter with the living and holy God.

Exodus 3:5

5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

God is our friend, but he is also our sovereign Lord. To approach him frivolously shows a lack of respect and sincerity. When you come to God in worship, do you approach him casually, or do you come as though you were an invited guest before a king?

Worship is only as real as the involvement of those participating.

Leviticus 7:38

38 which the LORD gave Moses at Mount Sinai in the Desert of Sinai on the day he commanded the Israelites to bring their offerings to the LORD.

All the rituals in Leviticus were meant to teach the people valuable lessons. But over time, the people became indifferent. When your church appears to be conducting dry, meaningless rituals, try rediscovering the meaning and purpose behind them. Your worship will be revitalized.

A true worship experience is often a direct result of preparation for worship.

Numbers 28:1-2

The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Make sure that you present to me at the appointed time my food offerings, as an aroma pleasing to me.’

Following these rituals took time, and this gave the people the opportunity to prepare their hearts for worship. Unless your heart is ready, worship is meaningless. God is delighted when you are prepared to come before him in a spirit of thankfulness.

Believers should take advantage of every opportunity and praise God.

Psalm 81:1-3

Sing for joy to God our strength;
shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
Begin the music, strike the timbrel,
play the melodious harp and lyre.

Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon,
and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival;

Israel’s holidays reminded the nation of God’s great miracles. Remember the spiritual origin of the holidays you celebrate, and use them as opportunities to worship God for his goodness to you, your family, and your nation.

Worship and music go hand in hand.

1 Chronicles 25:1

David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service:

David instituted music for the temple worship services. Worship should involve the whole person, and music helps lift a person’s thoughts and emotions to God. Through music you can celebrate God’s greatness.

Worship is bringing the best believers have to Christ.

Matthew 2:11

11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The wise men brought gifts and worshiped Jesus for who he was. This is the essence of true worship—honoring Christ for who he is and being willing to give him what is valuable to you. Worship God because he is worthy of the best you have to give.

Genuine worship results in submission and obedience to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 14:12

12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

Jesus is more than just a great leader. He is the Son of God. When you understand this profound truth, the only adequate response is worship. When you have a correct understanding of Christ, you will obey him.

Everything done in corporate worship must be beneficial to the worshipers.

Matthew 17:5

5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

This principle touches every aspect of worship. Those contributing to a worship service must speak useful words or participate in a way that will strengthen the faith of other believers.

In worship, everything must be done in harmony and with order.

1 Corinthians 14:40

40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Even when the gifts of the Holy Spirit are being exercised, there is no excuse for disorder. When there is chaos, the church is not allowing God to work among believers as he would like. Make sure that what you bring to worship is appropriate, but also make sure that you participate.

Fig 1. Life Application Study Bible. Zondervan, 2011. p. 1937.

What the Bible Teaches About Worship

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