Corporate Worship: Seeing the Glory of God in the Face of Christ

I. The Fuel and Fire of Corporate Worship (review from 7/4/21 sermon)

The nature of worship requires that we engage our MINDS and HEARTS in response to truth about God.

Affections expressed in Biblical Worship:
1. Stunned silence; awe and wonder; fear and holy dread
2. Gladness, thanksgiving, joy, praise, exultation
3. Brokenness and contrition and grief over our sin(s)
4. Groaning, crying, lament, feeling forgotten and forsaken
5. Expressions of love, faith, trust, hope
6. Longing, thirsting, desiring, fainting for God
7. Tasting, feasting, delighting in, being satisfied in God

“Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy and a church full (or half-full) of artificial admirers… On the other hand, emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought. But true worship comes from people who are deeply emotional and who love deep and sound doctrine. Strong affections for God rooted in truth are the bone and marrow of biblical worship.”—John Piper, Desiring God (76)

II. The Gospel Flow of Corporate Worship (Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship)

1. Glad adoration
2. Humility and confession
3. Gospel assurance
4. Faith and thanksgiving

“Christian liturgy has a gospel pattern, not because someone’s rulebook demands it, but because believers express their love to God by responding to the way that he has expressed his for them. He expresses his love for us not by mandating rituals to constrain us, but by sending his son to redeem us. Worship is a response to our redeemer. The heart of Christian worship is love for Christ. We cannot love him without extolling his greatness, confessing our weakness, seeking his goodness, thanking him for his grace, and living for his glory. So, out of love for him, we worship him in these ways. Our worship has a gospel pattern not because we are coerced into such ritual but because our hearts are so compelled to love Jesus.”—Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship, Chapter 10

5. Prayer and petition
6. Instruction
7. Charge and blessing

“This gospel-formed path always puts us in contact with God’s glory, our sin, his provision, our response, and his peace. By walking a worship path in step with this redemptive rhythm, we simultaneously discover the pattern of our liturgy and the grace of our Savior.

“We do not have to insist on a particular order of worship elements or a particular style of expression to create authentic Christian worship. But what we cannot avoid, if we are to worship God rightly, are the dynamics of the gospel. The gospel that we are prepared to understand in the Old Testament and that we observe in the New Testament always confronts the believer with the greatness and goodness of God. This good news humbles believers so that their worship naturally and necessarily includes acknowledgment of their need for his mercy. When God’s people receive assurance of his provision, they respond with thanksgiving and such desire to please him that they long for the instruction of his word and communion with his people. In short, because they have experienced his love, God’s people love what and whom he loves—and their worship of him naturally includes expression of such love.”—Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship, Chapter 10

III. Participating in the Feast of Corporate Worship

Tasting, feasting, delighting in, being satisfied in God
• Psalms 16:11; 34:8; 36:7-9; 37:4; 63:5; 90:14

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”—Psalm 34:8

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.” —Psalm 36:7-8

“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.”—Psalm 63:5

IV. Preparing for the Feast of Corporate Worship

• Get good sleep on Saturday evening.
• Prepare your heart – and your family’s hearts – for Sunday worship.
• Anticipate challenges and avoid unnecessary conflicts on Sunday morning.
• Aim to arrive 15 minutes early.
• Decide on Monday that you’re coming to church next Sunday.

“To make a pretense of coming unto God, and not with expectation of receiving good and great things from him, is to despise God himself . . . and deprive our own souls of all benefit thereby.”—Works of John Owen, 7:437

V. The Preeminent Focus of Corporate Worship: Jesus Christ

“If you cannot travel, remember that our Lord Jesus Christ is more glorious than all else that you could ever see. Get a view of Christ, and you have seen more than mountains, and cascades, and valleys, and seas can ever show you. Thunders may bring their sublimest uproar and lightnings their awful glory; earth may give its beauty and stars their brightness; but all these put together can never rival Him.”—Charles H. Spurgeon

“And the word [the eternal Son of God] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”—John 1:14, 18.

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God… For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” —2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 6

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”—2 Corinthians 3:18

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”— Hebrews 1:1-4