THEOLOGY OF WORSHIP
Our theology affects our minds (thinking), which affects our hearts (believing), which affects our hands (living). At Seven Mile Road, we want to be a people that are transformed by the truths we learn through Scripture, causing us to think, believe, and live differently. Below are some preliminary and brief theological considerations on worship at Seven Mile Road.
“You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Matt 4:10). The worship of God is not only the proper response for all people to their Creator-God who is holy and worthy, but it is also the delight and refuge of those who are in Christ to ascribe all honor and worth to the one true God who has created all that is, and who has also made a way for man to be redeemed from sin through God’s son, Jesus Christ. By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit enables our hearts not only to believe, but also to worship (Phil 3:3). True worship then finds itself manifesting in all our living, finding its impulse in the gospel, while restoring our relationship with both God and our fellow man. Worship, then, is evidenced by both adoration and action; affecting our minds, hearts, and hands.
Music has been a part of the worship of God since the Old Testament. While there have been debates spanning centuries of church history about how and what should be sung, the Scriptures are clear that God commands both instrumental and vocal worship. In fact, in the book of Psalms alone we are told to sing God’s praise over 50 times. While we have a primary vertical view towards God in our singing, the Scriptures remind us that there is a horizontal direction in our singing as well. Paul tells us to “address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19), so that a community of believers such as ours might bring to bear the truths of God to one another, “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom” (Col 14:12). When we gather to sing, we are not isolated, but are united in our voices and hearts to God and to each other.
Christ and the cross necessarily influences our worship of God. The gospel is not just one of many topics we may consider when we sing, but in fact, it is the central theme of our singing. All of the Scriptures leads up and points to Jesus Christ and his work (Lk 24:25; Jn 5:39), and it is in light of this gospel that we now sing. The work of Christ is not only central, but essential for our worship. The work of Christ both gives us access to God (Hb 10:19-22) and makes our worship acceptable to God (1 Pt 2:5). Christ-centered worship does not mean that every song must have the word “cross” or “Christ” in it. Nor does it qualify any song with those words in it. Instead, Christ-centered worship has a constant view towards the cosmic effects of the person and work of Christ.