ELEMENTS FOUND IN OUR WORSHIP SERVICE
Call to Worship
God begins the dialogue - He speaks and He invites us into His presence to worship Him on the Lord’s Day. The rest of the service only happens because God has called us to worship Him, and we now respond with our praise, and gratitude for being drawn into His presence.
Singing Psalms and Hymns
God instructs us in Ephesians 5:19-20 to ‘address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.' Through the singing of psalms and hymns we encourage one another in the faith, and we respond to God the Father for His greatness, through the work of the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Music ushers the whole man, heart and mind into the presence of the Almighty as we recount His faithful work in creation and redemption.
Confession of Sin and Pardon
As we are called into the presence of a God who is holy and who has unmatched glory, it is right that as we enter into His presence, we confess our sins before Him. Apart from Christ we are unworthy to enter God’s presence, covered in our own sinfulness. In worship we are reminded that it is only the one who has clean hands and a pure heart who can draw near to God (Psalm 24). In other words, we can only come into God’s presence through Christ, because He alone is perfectly pure. We need God’s pardon for our sins in order to enter His presence and worship Him, which is why it is appropriate for us to confess our sins.
Confession of Faith
As a corporate body we confess regularly what we believe through creeds and confessions in order that we might be reminded of what we believe as Christians who are bound to the church of Christ through the centuries. We confess our faith, in order to confess our hope in Christ Jesus with our mouths before men (Romans 10:9).
A means of grace, wherein we offer up our desires unto God, for those things according to His will, in the name of Christ that includes our confession of sins, thankfulness for God’s sovereign work in the lives of men and His mercies culminating in the giving of Christ.
Tithes and Offerings
The giving of our tithes and offerings is an act of thanksgiving for the redemption purchased for us by Christ. It is also an act of allegiance and acknowledgment that Christ is King and Head of the Church. We give to support the work of the church locally, regionally, and abroad.
The Word of God as it is read is in and itself a means of grace and is used by God to nurture His Church, save the lost, and proclaim that truth that is eternal and imperishable, the revealed Word of God.
The Sermon and the Preaching of God's Word
In Christian worship God speaks to men by the Holy Spirit through the reading and preaching of His Word. By the Word we are called to faith, and by it we are nourished and strengthened in that faith, in righteousness and holiness. Through the preaching of the Word of God we are evangelized and discipled in the grace of Christ our Lord.
There are two sacraments - the Lord’s Supper and Baptism, and they are a means of grace wherein God calls and consecrates His people unto holy service. In the Lord’s Supper we feast by faith upon the risen and reigning Lord, and are nourished to pursue righteousness and the kingdom of Christ. In covenant Baptism, the promise of God unto salvation is offered and held out to those who receive by faith the grace testified to in the washing of the Spirit, signed and sealed in Baptism.
As God gets the first word in this dialog between God and man, it is fitting that He has the last and final word as well. And His final word to us who are in Christ, is a word of His blessing. As our King and Great High Priest, Christ blessed us in the covenant graces and sends us out to live for His glory and righteousness as we are covered in His mercy, grace, and peace.