Worship is the opportunity for the church, the body of Christ in the fellowship of the Spirit, to meet with her God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We meet with God in terms of the covenant that God has established with his people, whereby He promises to be our God and He summons us to be His people.
Our worship is structured by this covenant relationship. God speaks to us in His Word.
- The apostolic salutation, also known as a greeting, such as “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:3) opens our worship services. With these words God Himself greets His gathered people through the minister.
- The call to worship bids you to enter solemnly and joyfully into the high privilege of worship. God Himself through His minister calls you to give Him the glory that is due to His name.
- God calls us to confess our sins throughout His Word; we do so in unison as a body corporately and privately.
- The assurance of God’s pardon usually follows a public confession of sin. The pardon is based upon God’s own words to His people who humbly trust in Christ by faith alone for the forgiveness of their sin.
- The Scripture readings set before the people of God His holy and infallibly inspired words to them; we usually read from the Old Testament and the New Testament so that the whole counsel of God is heard with regularity.
- In the ministry of God’s Word, Christ Himself speaks to us by His minister who opens the Word of God faithfully. And in the celebration of the sacraments, the gospel of Jesus Christ is before the congregation so that she may taste and touch the real presence of Jesus by faith (as in the Lord’s Supper) or see and feel the cleansing of a sinner being brought into fellowship with Christ by faith (as in Baptism). The sacraments are signs and seals of God’s covenant of grace with His people.
- In response to God’s words to us either directly or through the minister, the congregation offers itself as a living sacrifice with psalm, hymns, and spiritual songs, prayers of confession, thanksgiving, and petitions, and offerings, all of which are a fragrant aroma unto our God in Christ Jesus.