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What Is Proper Worship?

Since the first century, Christians have debated the meaning of proper worship. Interestingly, despite the fuss, if you go into most churches, the worship is generally the same. Singing, praying, scripture readings, preaching, offerings, communion, baptism. Sometimes, an invitation to accept Jesus as savior and make a confession of faith.

There’s still debate over how these things are done, when they are done, how often they are done, why they are done, who does them. You would think that in the New Testament, there would at least be an example of a worship service. Yet I have been unable to find one. I don’t mean to minimize worship. Though worship services may differ in some ways, most Christians are drawn to worship, look forward to worship, and are blessed by worship.

But what is proper worship? The only place in scripture I know of that defines proper worship is Romans 12:1-2 (NIV): “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

According to Paul, worship doesn’t happen once a week. It’s an everyday practice. It’s not made up of a half dozen things. It is made up of living–sacrificial living. And it is what we would like worship to be every time we go to church — transformational.

There are other scriptures that speak of worship. They should be read carefully and then enveloped in Paul’s definition of true and proper worship. Worshiping in church as we usually do is important. Worshiping by offering our bodies as a living sacrifice creates a deeper connection with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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