Course Name: [ Christianity 101 ] Lesson Nine: [ Corporate Worship ]

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1 Course Name: [ Christianity 101 ] Lesson Nine: [ Corporate Worship ] One of the most important aspects of our relationship with the Lord and connection with each other in the church is corporate worship. We need to come together consistently to honor God and open the way for Him to work in our hearts and lives. The Psalmist found great joy in gathering with God s people for worship and we should as well. Psalm 122:1 (NIV) I rejoiced with those who said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. A worshiping church is a vibrant church. It encourages us to trust God, to grow in Christ and to reach out to others with His love and grace. Let s see what the Scriptures tell us about some key principles and practices of this kind of corporate worship. 1. Worship is vital to our spiritual health and power. Before we look at the specifics of corporate worship, it is important to understand its value and the vital role it plays in our personal lives and in the church. Worship is one of the key concepts in Scripture. From the beginning book of the Bible to its final chapter, worship is a consistent theme. Why is worship so important? At a very basic level, worship is a realization and declaration of humility. It is the communication of adoration of the created ones to their Creator. It is a fundamental responsibility all people have to God. When we fail to worship God sincerely, we open our lives to serious spiritual deception and destruction. Note what the Apostle Paul said about the spiritual consequences of refusing to worship God. Romans 1:21-28 (NLT) Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals

2 and reptiles. 24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. 28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. The spiritual, moral and relational destruction associated with a lack of worship is shocking and sobering. People who fail to worship God suffer. Worship is essential to wholeness. 2. God calls us to private and public worship. Worshiping God is not just a personal and private devotional exercise. The Bible tells us that worship is also a corporate activity something done together with other believers. Psalm 95:6 (NLT) Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Psalm 132:7 (TEV) We said, Let us go to the Lord s house; let us worship before his throne. Luke 4:16 (GW) Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. As usual he went into the synagogue on the day of worship. He stood up to read the lesson. Hebrews 10:25 (Msg)... not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. To be effective, impacting believers we must connect with others in worship. To be an effective, impacting church, we must worship together. This means more than simply being in the same sanctuary at the same time engaging in the same spiritual activities. It means that we: understand the value of corporate worship. welcome the presence of God in corporate worship. participate expectantly in the process of corporate worship. Here are several additional Scriptures that help us understand the importance of corporate worship. Pastor Dale O Shields // Corporate Worship // Page 2

3 Psalm 22:3 (GW) Yet, You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 (NIV) The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: He is good; his love endures forever. Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, 14 and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God. Matthew 18:18-20 (NIV) Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. If our church is going to be an effective ministry center, impacting others with the love and power of Jesus Christ, we must be a place where He is genuinely worshiped. We must be alive in worship. We must do this together! 3. Worshiping together involves participation in specific worship activities. Effective corporate worship happens in structured settings when everyone participates with faith, enthusiasm and a spirit of anticipation. We should all engage in expressions of worship described in Scripture when we worship together. These include the following: Singing praise and worship to the Lord. Colossians 3:16 (NLT) Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Listening to special songs of worship and ministry. Exodus 15:21 (NLT) And Miriam sang this song: Sing to the Lord for he has triumphed gloriously. He has hurled both horse and rider into the sea. Judges 5:1 (NLT) On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song. 2 Samuel 1:17-18 (NLT) Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, 18 and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in the Book of Jashar. Pastor Dale O Shields // Corporate Worship // Page 3

4 Engaging in physical expressions of praise and worship. Psalm 22:27 (NLT) The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him. Psalm 46:10 (NLT) Be still, and know that I am God. I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world. Psalm 47:1 (Msg) Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo! Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs. Psalm 95:6 (NLT) Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Psalm 134:2 (NLT) Lift up holy hands in prayer, and praise the Lord. 2 Chronicles 5:13 (NLT) The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: He is good. His faithful love endures forever! At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. Nehemiah 8:6 (NLT) Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, Amen! Amen! as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Listening to public Bible reading, preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13 (NIV) Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Giving tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:10 (NIV) Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Engaging in public prayers. Nehemiah 9:2-3 (NLT) Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3 They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. Pastor Dale O Shields // Corporate Worship // Page 4

5 Greeting, praying for and encouraging one another. Romans 16:16 (NLT) Greet each other in Christian love. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. Celebrating Communion. 1 Corinthians 11:26 (NLT) For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord s death until he comes again. Witnessing and celebrating baptisms. Acts 2:41 (NLT) Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day about 3,000 in all. Prayerfully covering public calls to commitment. Acts 2:37-38 (NLT) Peter s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, Brothers, what should we do? 38 Peter replied, Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Revelation 22:17 (NIV) The Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let the one who hears say, Come! Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. 4. Worshiping together requires certain commitments from us. As members of the body of Christ, each of us must make the following commitments if we are going to have meaningful times of worship together. Come prepared. Make every effort to be in unity with others. Arrive on time. Be cooperative. Develop a choir mentality. Remember that worship is far more than emotion. Be reverent toward God and considerate of others. Lovingly connect with people around you. Pastor Dale O Shields // Corporate Worship // Page 5

6 Put your whole heart and mind into the worship service. Come to give, not just to get. A church that makes these commitments becomes a ministry center. Jesus shows up to touch and change people in the context of this kind of worshiping community. Pastor Dale O Shields // Corporate Worship // Page 6

7 Small Group Discussion Guide Getting Started What benefits have you seen in your spiritual life from participating in corporate worship? Talking It Over Why is corporate worship so important to our spiritual health? What is the value of structured worship times when everyone is encouraged to participate? Which of the corporate worship activities listed above especially help you to worship? Which of these are more challenging or less familiar to you and how can you grow in them as expressions of worship? How does a worshiping church become a ministry center? What does God do when we come together to worship Him? Putting the Word to Work The Scriptures reveal who God is and what He has done for us, equipping and exhorting us to worship Him together in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). Take time to meditate on the verses provided in this lesson and let them encourage you to worship the Lord wholeheartedly every time you gather together with other believers in the church. Memorizing the Word Psalm 122:1 (NIV) I rejoiced with those who said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord. Hebrews 10:25 (Msg)... not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. Pastor Dale O Shields // Corporate Worship // Page 7

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