WE ALL WORSHIP SOMETHING
Whether it’s with our time or money, we all express adoration and reverence toward something in our lives. The Christian embraces this fact of human existence by directing their affections toward God himself.
For the Christian, all of life is worship. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says: “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This means that there isn’t an aspect of the Christian’s life which should not be focused on bringing glory to God, whether it’s in how we work, how we eat, or even how we play: all of this should be done to the praise of the glory of God.
At Risen Hope, this is part of what we mean when we say that we exist to know and show God. Our showing (rooted in right knowing of who God is) must manifest itself in worship, an expression of joy and reliance on the God who not only made us and sustains us every single moment of our existence, but who loved us enough to ransom us by the blood of his Son, Jesus Christ.
MUSIC & TRUTH
Music is a gift from God, yet we recognize that music should not motivate or induce worship, but rather be the means by express to our gratefulness, love, and adoration of God. And our music should be reflective of that which is most lofty, most elevated, most exalted, most noble: namely, the unchanging truth of God. And though we strive for excellence, the motivation of our singing is not simply to make beautiful sounds—our motivation must be God’s truth or it ceases to be worship.
Astonishingly, music always has, and always will occupy the people of God, whether in the ancient past (Exodus 15) or in an unending future (Revelation 5). Therefore, recognizing that we are anchored with our fellow believers throughout all time, we want our music to align with the fruits of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the qualities of befitting those redeemed by God (Philippians 4:8).
When we select the music we choose to sing on a given Sunday morning, we obviously desire that it reflects intelligence, quality, dignity, excellence, but our overriding conviction is that it clearly communicates the gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s unparalleled nature and truth. We place an irreplaceable value on our music’s theology and biblical soundness., desiring that our music have substantial, theologically rich, and biblically faithful lyrics.
Every Sunday we gather together as a church to worship God and nearly everything we do as a body on a given Sunday is worship, whether it’s the reading of a psalm, a liturgical reading, the preaching and receiving of God’s word, or even prayerful words of supplication and adulation. All of this is worship, because worship is simply acknowledging God to be who he is revealed to be in the Bible. Worship is acknowledging what God has done; and in particular, that he has saved us, redeemed us, and given us eternal life. At its heart, it is the visible expression of gratitude to God.
Jesus, in John 4:23-24, says that “the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” What this means is that our heart is where worship ultimately begins, not in words or songs. The expression of honor, respect, gratitude, humility, reverence, awe, love, and adoration flow from a heart that has been transformed from stone to flesh, and sees God as the highest treasure. This is worship in spirit and truth, and it is an overflow of a life devoted to the glory of God revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
And though it is not exclusively worship, our singing is a critical part of every Sunday, because of Scripture’s constant refrain to do so: “Be filled with the Spirit, addressing 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,” (Ephesians 5:18-20) and “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). Therefore, we will gladly make a joyful noise to the Lord: we will break forth in joyous song and sing praises, because our God is very good (Psalm 98:4).