Pastor’s Viewpoints, “Made for Worship”

“Made for Worship”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
In light of the concerns over the coronavirus, terms like “social distancing” and avoidance of social gatherings make it necessary that we in the church need to remind ourselves of the reason God made us. The stress of suspending Sunday Worship or making provisions for some form of alternate means of Worship is real.

We know that God made us for worship. God not only made man to worship, but to worship Him alone. Because of this truth, men and woman will worship someone or something. To worship is to bow down to and serve the object of worship. But the object of true worship is God who revealed Himself fully in Jesus Christ, His only Son. We were all made to bow down and serve the Living God.

The problem in applying this truth is sin. We have all inherited the sin of Adam. Every single human being is born spiritually dead in sin. In the Sixteenth Century, John Calvin wrote concerning worship and the state of man after the Fall of Adam. He wrote, “Every man makes a god of himself, and virtually worships himself.” (Taken from Calvin’s teaching on the Psalms, Ps. IV; 132) God must raise a sinner from spiritual death for him to see the object of true worship.

The church in the Old Testament was commanded by God to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the Apostolic Church to the First Day, Sunday in light of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Church refers to each Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each Lord’s Day is given over to the worship of the Triune God.

The Christian Sabbath is set apart to the Lord for Christians to gather to worship God in the way He has commanded. We praise Him; we pray to Him; we read His word; we hear His word expounded; we celebrate the two Sacraments; we give of our tithes and offerings. All of these are called the elements of biblical worship.

Since God made man to worship Him, it is not optional for a Christian. Worship is not something that we design in accordance with our feelings or imaginations. Christian Worship is not designed to attract people. Worship on the Lord’s Day is not part of a list of things to do of which one item may take priority over it. True worship is the principal outpouring of a heart and, in the case of Corporate Worship, hearts that have been changed by God. In other words, Christian Worship is the offering to God of oneself as a living sacrifice in response to the saving grace of God, Romans 11:33-12:2. Worship expresses love for God, Deuteronomy 6:5.

Christians, those made “new creations” don’t go to church. Christians are the church. The visible church, the one we see, is defined as those who profess faith in Jesus Christ and their children. As such, those who genuinely confess Christ desire to worship the Risen Lord with their fellow believers on the Lord’s Day.

Indeed, God made everyone for worship. Men and woman will worship someone or something. The question is, “Do you know the One to whom all worship is due?” Or, better, “Does He know you?”

The worship manual of the Old Testament Church the book of Psalms answers this question. Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”’ God gives each believer the desire to gather with God’s people to declare His praises and to hear Him speak both in the reading of Scripture and in the Proclamation of Scripture. As a result, believers are edified or if you choose to use this word, fed. A believer hears the call of God to worship as more than a duty. He hears God’s call as a joy. In worshiping God, the believer is moved from duty to devotion.

God has commanded worship. His people respond expressing their love for Him. Worship becomes the center of a life devoted to the Lord. And, worship is necessary for a believer to grow up in Christ.

It is my prayer that we all keep these principles of worship before us as we make decisions in light of current health concerns. May our sovereign Lord make His face to shine upon us in this difficult time.