“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
The mission of the local church is: Preaching and teaching; Making disciples; Fellowship; Worship; Missions and evangelism; Maturity of the believer; Ministry in the home; Ministry to material needs.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:21-24 KJV
The Church – the Body of Christ – was in the heart and the mind of God from the foundation of the world. The world had never seen anything like it – it was a mystery known only by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus talked about the Church, but, not until He died and rose again, was she revealed for all to see. This Church is not a mere organization, but it is a Kingdom – the Kingdom of God – that has no geographical boundaries, no cultural boundaries, no racial boundaries – no boundaries or limitations at all. The invitation to salvation is extended to every generation and every family, tribe and nation on the face of the earth.
Worship is the hallmark of the Church. That is what we do – we worship God and Him alone. We worship Him in spirit and in truth. We worship Him in every way possible! We don’t worship at a particular place, in a particular way with mere rituals or lip service – we can and should worship God from the heart anywhere, anytime. In the local church and wherever Christians gather, they worship God by singing, praying, preaching, giving and serving. An important mission of the local Church is to promote and sustain an atmosphere that is conducive to worship, prayer and praise. The Lord should always feel welcome in our midst.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV
We are a peculiar people – God’s own purchased, special people – a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy, dedicated nation. Set apart to show forth and publish His praise, virtues and excellence. We worship God personally because of what He has done for us and also for Who He is. At the same time, by our worship, we reflect the goodness and greatness of our God to the world He loves and died for.
For here we have no permanent city, but we are looking for the one which is to come. 15 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. Hebrews 13:14-15 AMP
In the Old Testament, the offering of animal sacrifices was usually a part of their worship of God, but in the New Covenant, the Church offers up to God a sacrifice of praise. We worship in Spirit and in truth by praising with heart and lips – thankfully acknowledging and confessing and glorifying His name. The spirit of worship, prayer and praise, is what brings revival, renewal and growth to the Church.
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 AMP
Another way we worship God is by presenting ourselves – spirit, soul and body – to God, as a living sacrifice. We worship God by refusing to allow sin to have its way in us and by dedicating ourselves to holiness and godliness with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our godly lives serve to worship and bring glory to God. This is our reasonable service – the very least we can do for such a wonderful Savior!
What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
1 Corinthians 14:15 NKJV
We worship God in Spirit, by the Holy Spirit, sincerely from our hearts. We worship God in Truth, according to, and conforming to, His precious word and His image. We worship with our mouth, in our earthly language, and in words we know and choose. We worship in the spirit, in tongues, in our heavenly language with words that come directly from the Spirit Himself. In the spirit, we can worship gloriously and with no reservations or limitations. The Holy Spirit worships our most wonderful, glorious, majestic, mighty, gracious Heavenly Father, through us, with words more fitting that mere human language could ever express! Thank God, that He gave us a way to truly express how much we love and appreciate Him and all He has done!
Who shall not reverence and glorify Your name, O Lord [giving You honor and praise in worship]? For You only are holy. All the nations shall come and pay homage and adoration to You, for Your just judgments (Your righteous sentences and deeds) have been made known and displayed. Revelation 15:4 AMP
For all eternity, the Church, together with the angels and heavenly creatures, will worship and praise their God and King!