Editor’s Note: Josiah is the Missions Minister at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Mark Dever’s message from Sunday morning at Clarus, February 26, “Worship,” from Romans 12.
Many have falsely taught that worship is an experience of singing and an inward focus on our feelings—shutting out the world and our surroundings—but biblical worship is an offering of one’s whole self to God. We are living sacrifices, worshiping the Lord everywhere we are, every day of the week, in everything we do, and with everyone we know. Because of this, Mark Dever leads us through ten questions we must ask ourselves to assess whether our worship is biblical.
10 Questions to Assess our Worship
- Are you being transformed? When we rightly worship, we find ourselves becoming transformed. We display God’s character to creation and are no longer conformed to the patterns of this world. We come to this place of transformation by having our minds renewed through the studying of God’s Word.
- Are you thinking about yourself soberly? We all tend to exaggerate our own importance. Paul specifically cautions against thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought.
- Are you using your gifts? We need to look at the church body and see what the needs are and then seek to fulfill those needs. True biblical worship is using the gifts God has given us to love, bless, and edify others.
- Are you loving others? Worship is not just “me and Jesus.” Are we known for our love for others? This love is a devotion to honor others more than yourself.
- Are you persevering? We don’t persevere around suffering, we persevere through it. “Take up your cross and follow me.” Endure suffering with patience and with faithfulness in prayer.
- Are you sharing? The overflow of our affections for God and our appreciation for the gospel fuels the love that leads us to share with God’s people who are in need. We are to not only love the church, but pursue hospitality with strangers. No matter how you felt during the singing, if you are not loving the people around you, you are not worshiping God.
- Are you blessing? Worship involves blessing others. We are to say good things to and about others. We are to bless them and pray for them. True Christian worship involves blessing those who curse you. This is how God treated us.
- Are you sympathizing? Are you rejoicing with those who rejoice, and mourning with those who mourn? Some people think that Christianity is displayed through detachment from this world, but the image of God is reflected in sympathy.
- Are you being humble? Humility produces harmony. Where there is a lack of humility there will be a lack of harmony. Don’t just stick with those that share your values and interests. Cultivate relationships with those with whom you have nothing in common and that will display the gospel.
- Are you overcoming evil with good? Every time you seek revenge for evil acted against you, then you are screaming to God, “Oh God, please send me to hell!” We don’t want people to get what they deserve, but we ourselves deserve hell. Revenge is unnecessary. God will repay evil. Paul is more concerned with us not sinning and helping others to not sin, than he is with others sinning against you.
Conclusion: We are not passive worshipers, but having received grace, we are called to be exceedingly active in our sacrifice of worship. We are worshipers by nature, the question is: what or whom do we worship?