Is Worship The Gospel?
2. “IS WORSHIP THE GOSPEL?”
Imagine a buffet. See the towering stacks of plates, the orange heat lamps, the steam rising. The freedom to pick and choose however much (or however little) you want. Now imagine modern Christianity. A choice between the many perceived in-roads to salvation. Pick one or a few based on culture, theology and denomination. Do these individual pieces make up the gospel? Absolutely. Can we choose a few and leave the rest? Absolutely not…
If worship took the form of one solitary item on the gospel buffet, it would most certainly have to be the bread. And not just any bread. No, this segment is foundational. The cornerstone of any plate. A big, fat, fluffy yeast roll. Light and airy. Soft and fragrant. Glistening with butter and positively loaded with short-lasting carbs of enriched white flour. A veritable cloud of instant emotional gratification, followed by the bloated truth that in reality, we ate nothing. And yet somehow, nothing more will fit. It’s almost too perfect of an analogy. But “man does not live on bread alone…”
Here are some questions to ask ourselves: Does singing and lifting our hands on the weekend make me think I have worshipped God? Do I confuse emotional highs for spiritual highs? How do I FEEL on a weekday compared to a high-powered weekend time of singing and lifting our hands? Do I get an emotional hangover on Mondays?
Worship is perhaps one of the most misunderstood aspects of Christianity today. The enemy has floated a lullaby, convincing us that mere singing encompasses the whole of worship. One of man’s favorite aspects of the church ritual is the portion in which he gets to sing songs. When, in reality, worship is so much more. We deceive ourselves into thinking that an hour of singing fulfills our obligation of worship and therefore gives us passage to heaven, when in reality, we are in a living hell.
Worship requires far more of us than thirty minutes of our week. In truth, it demands everything. And yet, it can also somehow be the lightest load we will ever bear. It’s giving our body, itself, as a living sacrifice. It is fair to say that when Abraham took his son, Isaac, to be sacrificed, it was the first worship service.
When sin battles our mortal bodies, our minds are transformed and we choose to resist, and the Holy Spirit becomes the ram that takes our place on the altar, empowering us to overcome sin. This. Is. Worship! Imagine what Christianity could be if man were to grasp this fundamental understanding. Every time I give in to the desires of my flesh, I fail to worship God in spirit and in truth. Singing Reckless Love every morning in the shower does not define our worship. Daily laying our body down at the altar when sin entices us—that is worship.
If our worship is loud in public, but we live a private life of slavery to sin and self, we are living a deception called the Segmented Gospel.