The Praise and Worship of the Church
As we continue our study regarding the New Testament church, we must seek to understand the purpose of the body of Christ and what it is that the body of Christ is called to do on earth today. The answer is truly three-fold: praise and worship, edification of the body of Christ, and evangelizing the lost world.
The Church is Responsible for Praise and Worship:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col 3:16).
One of the greatest forms of faith, and one of the most important functions in the body of Christ is praise and worship. We can see that illustrated in the Book of Psalms, the largest book in the word of God, as it is devoted to the praise and worship of the Lord. Under the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, David, regarded as the sweet psalmist of Israel, assembled a choir that was dedicated to worship in the tabernacle of God. Also found in the Psalms is a dynamic choir director named Asaph. At the end of the Psalms we are instructed to praise God: in His Sanctuary, in the firmament of His power, for His mighty acts, according to His excellent greatness, with the trumpet, with the psaltery and harp, with the timbrel and dance, with the stringed instruments and organs, and the loud cymbals. Everything that has breath is instructed to the lift up the name of Jesus Christ. A church that is truly thriving will have powerful and anointed experiences in praise and worship. The problem found in many churches today is their approach to praise and worship. Regrettably, much of the modern church uses praise and worship as a form of entertainment rather than an entrance into the presence of the Lord. Their worship services give an appearance of godliness, but they deny the power of God.
The criteria for true biblical praise and worship is to exalt God and all that He has done! Notice our verse instructs us to teach one another the “word of Christ” or “the logos of Christ,” which really means the “Message of Christ,” through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. I have spoken with singers and musicians concerning this very subject and they have conveyed to me the dangers that can come through Christian music. Some have even stated that it is possible to play and sing in such a way as to manipulate the direction of the church service. Music is a powerful tool for the body of Christ, and a deadly weapon for the apostate church. We are not only to judge the words of a song, but the spirit of that song as well. Remembering that everything should be done decently and in order, the music should be teaching us about whom God is, what He has done, and the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
The next time we are together we will discuss the remaining two responsibilities of the church: edification and evangelism. In doing so we will evaluate the structure of the church, which will help us to have a better understanding of what a true New Testament Church should exemplify.
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