Worship is the lifeblood of the church. It’s the very reason for our existence, to glorify God the Father in the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit. Singing on Sunday mornings in a worship gathering is just one small part of that, but it’s an important and vital part. We are commanded to sing together, and this weekly post is designed to help you prepare to do that.
The apostle Paul instructed the Ephesian church to not be like the pagans in their misguided worship but to “be filled with the Spirit.” How do we do that? He tells us that as well.
“Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 5:18-20 (NIV)
When we gather for corporate worship we are to encourage one another by singing. Singing together, according to Paul is the means by which we are filled with the Spirit of God. The following is a brief summary of how we do that each week.
CALL TO WORSHIP (Revelation)
Christian worship is the rhythm of revelation and response. God reveals himself to us and we respond in worship. The revelation of God in the Scriptures is what fuels and informs our worship. So, we begin our services with liturgical elements (i.e. Scripture readings, songs, responsive readings, etc.) that reveal something about the character of God and who he is for us in Christ Jesus.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)
Song: Future/Past by John Mark McMillan
You hold the reins on the sun and the moon
Like horses driven by kings
You cover the mountains, the valleys below
With the breadth of Your mighty wings
All treasures of wisdom and things to be known
Are hidden inside Your hand
And in this fortunate turn of events
You ask me to be Your friend
You ask me to be Your friend
And You, You are my first
You are my last, You are my future and my past
The constellations are swimming inside
The breadth of Your desire
Where could I run, where could I hide
From Your heart’s jealous fire
You are the beginning and the end
Song: Come Thou Fount by David Crowder Band
Come thou font of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it, Mount of thy redeeming love
Here I raise my Ebenezer, Hither by thy help I’m come
And I hope by thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood
O to grace how how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above
CORPORATE PRAYER Confession of Sins
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (ESV)
Confession of sins and assurance of our pardon in Christ through the gospel are essential to Christian worship. On the one hand, if we revel in the glories of the good news that God is for us in the death of his Son without acknowledgment of sin our gospel is weak, nothing more than moral-therapeutic deism. On the other hand, if we know the holiness of God and if our hearts droop under the weight of our own sinfulness without knowing the free grace of God that brings salvation to sinners we miss the point of the cross altogether. It is because we are sinners that Christ came to redeem, and it is because we acknowledge our guilt in repentance that we by faith obtain the promise of forgiveness in Christ. Without both confession of sin and rejoicing in assurance of pardon our worship of God is incomplete.
Assurance of Pardon
Sometimes the hardest thing for us to believe is that if we are in Christ then God no longer punishes or demands payment for our sins. The reality is, however that when God the Father looks at one of his broken, sinful and often rebellious children he sees them, not in wrath and anger but in mercy and grace; God sees us as he sees his perfect Son, who died, was buried, and raised the third day for our redemption.
If our faith and hope is in Christ alone then our sins are forgiven and we are free from sin and all its penalties. Let us always hope in the mercy of God that is for us through the death and resurrection of our Savior King, Jesus, by whom we who were once his enemies have been made friends.
Song: It Is Well by Jimmy Needham
Lyrics (even though we probably won’t do every verse from the original version of this hymn on Sunday, I included them here because they are rich with biblical theology and telling of where the mind of the author was when he wrote it):
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
GOSPEL INSTRUCTION (Proclamation)
Message: Jason McNutt (James)
Pastoral Prayer & Communion Instruction
“On the night he was betrayed Jesus took bread, and broke it, and said, “This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (ESV)
As Jesus instructed we observe the ordinance of communion every time we gather. There is not a clearer picture of the gospel than the bread and wine of the Lord’s supper. We believe that this communion is not only a mere memorial, a remembrance of what Jesus did for us at the cross, but that, in the context of the gathering of the saints communion is a type of spiritual nourishment whereby we feast upon the goodness and mercy of our Lord in the Spirit, as we remember that he died on our behalf.
Communion Song: Man Of Sorrows by Hillsong Worship
Man of sorrows Lamb of God, By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God has been on Jesus laid
Silent as He stood accused, Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will, He took a crown of thorns
Oh that rugged cross, My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out, Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee
Sent of heaven God’s own Son to purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones who nailed Him to that tree
Now my debt is paid, It is paid in full
By the precious blood that my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free oh is free indeed
See the stone is rolled away, Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised, He’s risen from the grave
ADORATION, PRAISE, THANKSGIVING (Response)
Offering (Worship Through Generosity)
“Do not be arrogant or put your hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but put your hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Do good, be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share. In this way you will lay up treasure for yourselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that you may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV-paraphrased)
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). Taking Jesus at his word and knowing that God desires our hearts above all else we give. We practice generosity in every area of our lives (including our finances), not because we are working to earn favor with God, but because Jesus has earned God’s favor for us by freely giving his life for ours. So, we seek to worship God with our time, our talents, and our money.
Tithes & offerings can also be given through our online community called The City.
Song of Response: How Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin
The splendor of a king, Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice, All the earth rejoice
He wraps Himself in light,, And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice, Trembles at His voice
How great is our God, Sing with me
How great is our God, And all will see
How great, how great is our God
Age to age He stands, And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end, Beginning and the end
The Godhead Three in One, Father, Spirit, Son
Lion and the Lamb, Lion and the Lamb
Name above all names, Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing, How great is our God
CLOSING (Challenge and Commission)
Gospel Charge: Go live “Life Between Sundays”
Our vision is that every man, woman and child in Dripping Springs has the chance to experience the life-transforming power of Jesus.
We believe this can be accomplished as we build a community of people that are integrating the life transforming power of Jesus into everyday life. We call this Life Between Sundays. We fulfill this purpose by intentional living and taking the gospel with us everywhere we go. Faith is not an event or duty we fulfill on Sunday mornings but the character and lifestyle we exhibit everyday in all circumstances. Monday is just as important as Sunday.