Friday, July 27, 2012
Triplets of Praise: How to Worship
As we have seen in our study of the Trinity, God’s Triune nature is reflected in His creation, His attributes, the names of Christ, Old Testament worship, feasts and prophecies, and the birth of His Son. Not surprisingly, His instructions for worship in the New Testament are also triplets of praise!
God designed mankind to need Him, because only He gives us all we need: life, breath (spirit), and all things (Acts 17: 25). He designed us to be complete only when He indwells us at the moment of salvation. This occurs in a three-step process (Acts 17:27) – we seek Him (an intellectual process involving the mind seeking truth), we feel after Him (an emotional process involving the heart realizing its own emptiness), and we find Him (our spirit places its faith in Him as the only true Savior and living God).
Jesus promised that anyone who asks, seeks and knocks in this fashion will receive, find and gain entrance (Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10). From that moment on, we are His, and in Him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28). Only then can we love Him as Jesus commanded us (Matthew 22:37), and as was foreshadowed when the Lord spoke to Moses (Deuteronomy 6:5), with all our heart, soul, and mind.
When we are born again, we place our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15) as the only way to Heaven. Before ascending to Heaven, Jesus Christ gave His followers (including present-day believers) the Great Commission: to go, teach, and baptize (Matthew 28:18-20).
When we pray, we pray to the Father (Matthew 6:9), in the name of Jesus Who intercedes for us (1 Timothy 2:5), empowered by the Holy Spirit Who searches our heart and delivers to the Throne Room the prayers we cannot even utter (Romans 8:26).
As Jesus taught His disciples in the model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), our prayers should include adoration (praise and thanksgiving for Who He is and for what He has done; Matthew 6:9-10,13), repentance (confession of our sins; Matthew 6:12), and supplication (petitions asking for the needs of others and of ourselves; Matthew 6:11,13). The prayer closes by recognizing that to God alone belongs the kingdom, and the power, and the glory (Matthew 6:13).
Prayer is an important part of our corporate worship, as is praise and preaching the Word. The writer of Hebrews (10:24-25) urges us to continue meeting together for worship, especially as we draw closer to Christ’s return. By doing this, we can exhort one another (to refrain from sin) and encourage one another to love and to do good works.
Paul tells us that we can do this by speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and that in addition to uplifting each other by speaking in this way, that we should sing aloud and make melody in our heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19).
When Paul urges us to follow the path Christ has set before us (Ephesians 4:1), He reminds us that we are rooted in one Lord, one faith, and one baptism and that God is above all, and through all, and in us all (Ephesians 4:5-6). God blessed each believer with a special role within the church body, which can broadly be grouped into three categories: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).
Jesus tells us that God is spirit (John 4:24), and John tells us that God is light (1 John 1:5), and love (1 John 4:8,16). Accordingly, Paul tells us to walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16,25; Romans 8:1,4) and in love (Ephesians 5:2), and John tells us to walk in the light (1 John 1:7), Three gifts of grace: faith, hope and love (1 Thessalonians 1:3).enable believers to do this.
May we always worship God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit with triplets of praise!
© 2012 Laurie Collett