The Posture of Worship (Part 1)

| Psalm 95:6

Tonight we are continuing our study “Thoughts on Worship.” Thus far we have considered both the outward elements and the inward reality of worship—the external forms that shape corporate worship and matters of the heart that are the life and vitality of true worship.

We spent time examining the outward elements: the reading of Scripture, preaching and teaching of God’s Word, prayer, public confession of faith, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, self-examination and silent meditation, giving of tithes and offerings, fellowship, and times of corporate thanksgiving and corporate repentance.

In these activities that God has affirmed and appointed in His Word for our worship, we are called upon to engage the heart. With our mind and will and emotions, we are to pursue God in the truth of His Word and by the power of His Spirit.

Our desire when we worship is not just to do right things and say right things; our desire is to meet with God—to commune with Him in His Word and to see His Spirit stirring in our hearts and lives.

We see God at work by the power of His Spirit as He illumines His Word and gives us understanding of truth—as He shows us Himself and His glory, drawing out our praise and reverence, as He shows us our sin, bringing conviction and drawing out repentance and brokenness—as He shows us Christ, filling us with joy and hope in the forgiveness of sin and salvation—and as He teaches us His will, leading us into submission and obedience and service.

We are certainly to be worshipping God in our hearts, but the question I want to ask tonight is:

What about the body?

Does it matter at all what we do with our bodies in worship?

Clearly if we are to read Scripture, we must use our eyes. If we are to hear the sermon, songs and prayers, we must use our ears. If we are to join in singing, praying and confessing our faith, we must use our voices. But beyond these basic uses, does the Bible have anything to say about physical expression—gesture and posture in worship?

Is true worship strictly an issue of the heart? Or does worshipping God in spirit and in truth involve the body as well? Does God have anything to say about our posture?

Sermon Notes are available online and in PDF format for download.

Listen also to The Posture of Worship (Part 2)