Our Worship

Our Worship

The Highest Purpose.  We believe that the highest purpose for which God saves people through Jesus Christ is to be His worshipers (John 4:22-24).  We must worship Him in Spirit and truth.  So, the only way that anyone can worship God truly is by being in a state of salvation through Holy Spirit-given faith in Jesus Christ.  Biblical worship has only one Mediator between God and men—the God/man and Savior, Jesus Christ (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5).  And the only way that anyone can worship God validly is according to the truth found in His word.

The Guiding Principle.  We believe that Biblical worship is commanded by God (Deuteronomy 12:32; Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 17:23-25), prescribed by God (Exodus 20:4-6; Deuteronomy 4:15-20; Colossians 2:18-23), and is to be a dialogue between God and His people (Deuteronomy 12:32).  The elements which God prescribes as to how we are to worship Him are found below with Scripture support.  Our prevailing theme is to worship the Lord with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:18-29).

Before the Service:

Welcome.  We welcome all of those who come in for our worship service.

Announcements.  We hear announcements relevant to our congregation.  This enables us to participate in the life and community of this local body of Christ.

Preparation.  We take a few moments in silence to pray and quiet our hearts in preparation for the worship of God.

The Elements of Worship:

Salutation: By His word and through the minister, God gives an opening blessing to His people that promises to multiply grace and peace to them by all that they receive from Him in the worship service (Ephesians 1:2).

Call to Worship: By a brief portion of His word, God calls His people to attention, and to worship Him as the one living and true God (Deuteronomy 31:12).

Invocation: A prayer that asks for God’s special presence in meeting with His people in worship (Psalm 141:1-2).

Hymn: Singing praise to the God into whose presence we come to worship (Psalm 100:2).

Old Testament Reading: We read consecutively through a book of the Old Testament, believing the worship service should be rich with the reading of God’s word, as well as understanding that Scripture acts as a mirror to show us our sins and move us to seek forgiveness for them by Christ’s grace (1 Timothy 4:13; Galatians 3:19-29).

Confession of Sin: In the presence of the holy and righteous God, our sinfulness and what it deserves is obvious.  In worshiping Him, we confess our sins both corporately with an audible confession, and privately in silence (1 John 1:9).

Assurance of Pardon: We are assured by God’s own word of the grace and forgiveness that God has given to those who have sincerely confessed their sins and repented (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 4:16).

Confession of Faith: In response to God’s word of pardon, and preparing for God’s word preached, we confess our faith using a creed or confession of the church (Romans 10:10; 2 Timothy 1:13-14).  Our confessions of faith use the early creeds (Apostles’, Nicene) and the OPC’s confessional statements (the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms).

Psalm: We sing a psalm to rejoice in God’s grace to us and to inform us of some aspect of the theme of the upcoming sermon (Psalm 149:1; Rev. 5:8-10; 14:3).  We believe in “inclusive psalmody”; that is, psalms are to be included in the worship service along with hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).

New Testament Reading: We read consecutively through a book of the New Testament to enrich the worship service with the reading of God’s word all the more (1 Timothy 4:13).

Congregational Prayer/Lord’s Prayer: With the minister leading, we offer to God a prayer of adoration and intercession, with thanksgiving, for the various concerns of the church, its members, missions, government, etc. (1 Timothy 2:1-2; Matthew 6:9-13).

Hymn of Preparation: We sing God’s praises with a hymn that directs our attention to the theme of the week’s Bible passage and sermon to be preached from it (Psalm 33:2-3).

Sermon Text Reading: The sermon is preached from this text of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15-17).  We give attention to it as that which we are to receive with faith and practice in our lives.

Sermon: The pastor, or sometimes a qualified visiting minister, explains both the doctrine and conduct taught by the sermon text and applies it to the congregation (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Timothy 4:1-4).

Hymn of Response: We respond to the preaching of God’s word with affirmation and praise.

The Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper is a tangible sign and seal that shows and affirms Christ and the benefits of the new covenant.  We receive bread and wine, by faith feeding upon Christ and thus partaking of the blessings and benefits of Christ and His work upon the cross, and proclaiming it until He comes again (John 6:53-58; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).  We partake of the Lord’s Supper on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.

Offering/Prayer: In gratitude for all that God has done, and for how He has blessed us during worship, we give tithes and offerings for the work of Christ’s kingdom, the care of His people, and doing good to all men (Malachi 3:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11; Galatians 6:10).

Closing Hymn: We sing praises to the God whom we have worshiped.

Benediction: Through the minister, God uses His own word to bless the congregation as He sends us forth to continue in faith and life for Him (Numbers 6:22-27).

 

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