The Worship of God
General Statement: We are a Church that is devoted to God’s glory in worship. The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. And certainly, the primary way we glorify God and enjoy Him is by a life of true worship. And as believers, Christ redeemed us from sin and idolatry to live a life of worship in glorifying God and offering to Him the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. It is to that end that our church promotes godly worship on the Lord’s Day in the morning and the evening, as well as family worship on weekdays. We do not promote church programs, praise bands, rock concerts, drama skits, fellowship groups, youth meetings, or other things that distract and even undermine the primary role of the Church and the believer’s life, which is to glorify God in worship.
*In John 4:23-24 Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”
We believe that loving God and cultivating a life of devotion to Christ means a life of worship. It should be the first and greatest concern of our life.
*Jonathan Edwards rightly said, “There is nothing more important in the Christian life than the true worship of God, out of love for Christ, on the Lord’s Day in church, as well as all other days of the week with our families or in private exercises of devotion.”
*Matthew Henry said, “The most profitable, the most beneficial, and the most valuable and sanctifying activity for us to be engaged in, for the salvation of our souls, the spiritual blessing and happiness of our lives, and for the furtherance of Christ’s name and glory is the public and private worship of God.”
Our Commitment to Worship: Worship is the bulwark of the church, the heart of the Christian life, the power of true godliness, and the source of true revival and reformation. It is therefore especially important that pastors, teachers, and officers of the church be entirely dedicated to worship; otherwise, God’s name and glory is dishonored and even profaned in the church.
1. Worship and Church Leadership. We believe, in accordance with Scripture that the heart of godly Christian leadership is true and faithful worship. It is, therefore, the solemn duty of church officers, (pastors, elders, and deacons), to live for the glory of God and His worship, and so convene and attend public worship on the Lord’s day (both morning and evening) in accordance with God’s word; for the maintenance of the public ministry, the preaching of the Gospel, the teaching of sound doctrine, and the administration of the Sacraments for the edifying of the body of Christ, and all to the glory of God and His worship. Exo.20, 29:39; Lev.23; Ps.92:1-2; Jn.4:23-24; Acts 2:28-42; Eph.5:18-21; 1 Tim.3; Rev.1:9-10.
*Thomas Watson said, “A godly man is singularly devoted to God’s worship.”
*John Cotton said, “The best of God’s saints are universally and wholeheartedly committed to the best for God’s church and people, which is to magnify God’s name in public worship, to seek His face in prayer, to read Holy Scripture, and to faithfully preach and teach the Gospel pointing others to Jesus Christ and to His saving benefits.”
2. Worship and the Lord’s Day. We believe that a faithful church that honors Christ will have both morning and evening services that lift up God’s name in worship. To that end we believe in the sanctity of the Lord’s Day, the Christian Sabbath. And we aim to please God on the Lord’s Day by resting from our labors, rejoicing in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and our rest in Him, and please God by worshipping Him. Exo.20:8-11; 29:39; 1 Chron.16:40; Ps.92:1-2; Eccl.11:6; Mt.12:8; Jn.20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.11:23; Heb.10:25; Rev.1:9-10.
*Richard Baxter said, “What a fitter and finer day to ascend to heaven in worship and praise to God, than that day on which Christ arose from the earth to glory. Use your Sabbaths as steps to glory, until you have passed them all and are there arrived in the presence of God with exceeding joy.”
3. Worship and Preaching. We believe that true and godly worship is inseparable from strong Biblical preaching. Worship that glorifies God is worship that glorifies Christ in the faithful preaching of the Word. For that reason, sermons at Emmanuel Grace can last from 60-90 minutes. We believe that preaching and worship are far more important and valuable than any sporting competition or movie. Isa.61:1-3; Mt.4:23; Luke 11:28; Acts 1:8, 8:4; 10:44; Rom.10:14-17; 1 Cor.1:17-18; Eph.4:11-12; 2 Tim.4:1-5; Titus 1:7-9.
*John Calvin said, “The Church and its worship is built on the faithful preaching of the Gospel. Apart from that, there is only the madness of idolatry and superstition.”
4. Worship and God’s praise. We believe that the singing of God’s praise in the public worship of God on the Lord’s Day as well as in family worship and private devotions is an essential part of the Christian life in following Jesus Christ and learning to live for God’s glory. To this end, we use psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to praise and glorify God. We not only read through the book of Psalms in worship every 2 years, but we sing the psalms, believing that they are as the Word of God vital to worship and the Christian life. We do not practice exclusive psalmody though; but also sing the great hymns of the church, along with spiritual songs and praise choruses. Our theology and our practice of singing praise to God are oriented, by a Puritan and Reformed conviction that highly values the New Testament Scriptures and a Trinitarian and Christ-centered model of worship and praise. The Book of Psalms; Mt.26:30; Eph.5:18-20; Col.3:16-17; Rev.5:9-10.
*Thomas Vincent wrote, “Praise and thanksgiving to God ought to be our first thought, our first aspiration, and our first desire and employment of the day, just as our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him.
*John Chrysostom said, “There is not a greater resemblance of heaven upon earth than a company of God’s people singing praises together with their hearts and voices directed to the glory of God.”
5. Worship and the Lord’s Supper. Because of our high regard for God’s worship, and Christ’s express command in Scripture, we serve the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day evening, except on the first week of the month where we serve Communion in the morning prior to our monthly banquet. If you love Jesus Christ with all your heart, I can assure you that Communion at Emmanuel Grace is a very unique and special experience that will rarely leave you without tears of thanksgiving and joy for Christ’s dying love on the cross. Exo.12; Song 2:3-7; Mt.26:17-30; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.5:7-8; 11:23-29.
*Thomas Goodwin said, “The Lord’s Supper is for the Lord’s Day and should be observed in the churches of Christ as a weekly memorial of Christ’s saving love for His Church and people.”
6. Worship and the Christian family. We believe that Scripture plainly teaches that Christian families are to worship God in church together. And therefore we keep children of all ages in the assembly of worship and train the little ones to sit quietly in church and learn to worship. We provide coloring sheets of the Scripture passage to aid their quietness in church and their attention to the sermon. Deut.6:5-8, 29:10-15; Neh.8:2; Ps.8; Mt.18:1-5, 19:14; Lk.18:16; Eph.6:1-4.
*Cotton Mather said, “Families that worship together, stay together.”
7. Worship in the Christian home. We teach, promote, and encourage Christian families to worship God together in the home. Family worship is not only glorifying to God but a great blessing to families. It is one of the best ways a Christian father and husband can spend quality time with God, as well as his beloved wife and children every day for his own blessing and sanctification. And it is one of the best ways mothers are able to nurture and care for their children while loving their husbands and building a godly relationship with them in humility and submission. To encourage this we provide a free booklet on this subject on how to convene family worship in the home. Gen.18:19; Deut.6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; Eph.5:25-26, 6:4; Col.3:16-17.
*Thomas Watson said, “Daily worship is as necessary as daily bread. Families ought, therefore, to begin their day with God as well as end their day with God.”
8. Worship and the Christian life. We also teach and encourage believers to grow in grace and in conformity to Christ to live a life of private devotion and worship to God daily; to read their Bibles, to continue in prayer, to sing hymns and praises to God, to listen to sermons as often as the can, and to live a life of joy and thanksgiving to God; and that to sanctify their lives, their homes, their families, and their workplaces to the glory of God in remembrance of Christ’s saving love for us. Gen.28:16-17; Deut.6:5; 1 Sam.1:19; 2 Chron.29:20; Job 1:5; Ps.55:17; Mt.22:37-38; Mk.1:35; Rom.12:1-2; 1 Cor.6:20, 10:31; Eph.5:18-20.
*John Preston said, “Worshipping God which is our first and best duty, ought to be our first and best desire; for it is certainly our greatest treasure and blessing.”
*John Calvin said, “God’s worship is most dear to Him. And He wants it to be kept holy and true to His word; for anything else, no matter how clever it may seem to be, is nothing but idolatry and an abomination in His sight.”
May God bless you and sanctify your heart and life in His grace that you may be devoted to a life of true worship, glorifying and enjoying Him through Jesus Christ.
Brett Woody, Pastor-Teacher