Worship in the New Testament

If you go back and read the word study on the word worship from Monday, you will find that there is very little in the New Testament about New Testament worship. Besides communion, which was taken as or during a meal with other Christians, the New Testament says nothing of an organized worship service that takes place on Sunday and follows a specific pattern. Some Christians may string together verses from across the New Testament to construct a worship service with five acts, but these various proof texts only serve as encouragements to sing, pray, give, and preach daily. Don’t get me wrong: the first century church did meet on Sundays, but they also met every day to eat with one another and to pray (Acts 2:42-47).

In Romans 12:1-2, Paul teaches that worship is done daily because we, as Christians, are priests in God’s temple and offer up our discipleship as an offering to Him everyday of our lives. In Colossians 2:12-17, Paul tells the church to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love. In doing this, we can allow the peace and word of Christ to rule in our hearts. This joy produces music from our hearts and enables us to teach and admonish one another with song. It is with this attitude with which we should equip ourselves with daily as Paul goes on to explain: “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).

What does Paul mean by this last verse? He continues in Colossians 3:18-25:

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. 22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

This passage in Colossians is not about a pattern of worship on Sunday, but it is about how we are to live every day! It is about living with peace, kindness, love, and joy in every aspect of our lives and allowing that attitude to positively affect our relationships with other Christians, family, and even in our workplace. There is nothing wrong with meeting on Sunday to worship, but there is something wrong with inventing a so-called pattern with which you alienate most of the Christian world that does not “behold the pattern.” As priests, we bow down before God’s throne constantly – without ceasing. Every action we take is to be done in the name of the Lord. Even though you take breaks to sleep, eat, or use the restroom, you never stop serving God in the most holy place.

One Reply to “Worship in the New Testament”

  1. Daniel, you are right-on-target as you seek to bring individuals back to the biblical concept of worship. The so-called five acts of worship has divided God’s people into many warring factions. I researched all the sermons in the Book of Acts and discovered that none of the sermons set forth our modern-day concept of worship. Worship is our way of life.

    Dallas Burdette

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