Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 14 Unification of Logos & Houtkruis . Exalting God through whole-life worship.

. Exalting God through whole-life worship.


1. What is worship?


Two definitions can suffice for now, but it will become clearer as we advance through this sermon.


John MacArthur defines worship as: “Worship is honour and adoration directed toward God; it is giving”


John Piper defines worship as: “Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth.”

When we talk about worship this morning it must not immediately be confused with that which we do here on a Sunday. We will speak about it later. It is more than that.


But, worship should be something we give to God. It is all about Him. We are to render honour and adoration to God. That passion-filled, selfless, consuming desire to give to God is the essence of worship. It begins with us entrusting ourselves into God’s care, and our attitudes and then our possessions – until worship becomes a way of life.


2. There are three dimensions to a whole – life worship.


2.1 The Inward Dimension: Change that takes place on the inside is an act of worship. Ephesians 5:8-10 says, “Live as children of light…and find out what pleases the Lord.” The word pleases is from the Greek word that means “acceptable”.  In this context it refers to goodness, righteousness and truth. When these three virtues take hold of your inner life, God considers it an act of worship.

2.2 The Outward Dimension: When we treat other believers with kindness and sensitivity, that is an acceptable act of worship (Romans 14:18). Also, Romans 15:16 suggests that evangelism is an acceptable form of worship. Moreover, Philippians 4:18 tells us that generous giving is an act of worship.

So, worship can be expressed by sharing love with other Christians, sharing the gospel with those who are not yet Christians and helping people who are needy. In the outward dimension, acceptable worship is giving. It is a love that shares.

2.3 The Upward Dimension: This refers to Godward praise. Hebrews 13:15-16 says, “Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name.” Most of God’s glory that is reflected back to Him by us, comes through acts of adoration and devotion that are directed toward God. This refers to living purely, praising joyfully, praying expectantly, obeying faithfully and growing fruitfully.


God exalting worship requires that we participate, not merely spectate. Consider Ephesians 4:11-16 and ask yourself what these verses instruct us concerning our role as members in the local church?


God is exalted when we are willing to dedicate our time, talents and treasures to His Kingdom purposes. It is said that one sure way to gauge the spiritual maturity of a believer is by the way that person stewards his/her financial resources. At Logos, we teach that giving is a vital act of worship based on Grace. Worshipful giving should be voluntary, regular and generous. The most comprehensive teaching on giving in the New Testament is found in 2 Corinthians 8-9.


3. Corporate worship.


The purpose of corporate worship is that believing participants will respond to God with their whole being. Authentic worship requires premeditation and preparation. We recommend that individual members (as well as whole families) begin planning for the experience of corporate worship the night before the Lord’s Day through prayer, Bible reading and thinking about the Lord’s Day as His day. Charles Spurgeon’s insights help us to understand the significance of preparing for worship:


“We are told men ought not to preach without preparation. Granted, but we add, men ought not to hear without preparation. Which, do you think needs the most preparation, the sower or the ground? I would have the sower come with clean hands, but I would have the ground well-ploughed and harrowed, well-turned over, and the clods broken before the seed come in. It seems to me that there is more preparation needed by the ground that by the sower, more by the hearer than by the preacher”.

To honour God and prepare yourself for exalting worship, Dick Mayhue, in his book Spiritual Intimacy, suggests that you carefully consider the following questions every time that you prepare for worship. You may want to tuck these thoughts away in the front of your Bible for easy reference.


i.            Am I coming before God to worship Him with a sincere Heart? (Hebrews 10:22)
ii.            Am I focusing all my attention on the Lord alone, or is it all about me? (Exodus 20:4-6)
iii.            Am I coming to worship as a true child of the Heavenly Father, knowing that my sins are cleansed through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? (Romans 10:9-13)
iv.            Am I coming with a firm grip on the confession of our hope in Jesus Christ? (Hebrews 4:14-16)
v.            Am I fixing my sight on the Lord of glory in His Word so that my hungering desire is to draw near to Him? (Hebrews 7:25 & James 4:8)
vi.            Am I coming with the full assurance that faith provides a sufficient entrance into God’s presence – before His throne of grace? (Hebrews 11:6)
vii.            Am I coming to God with the knowledge that the only reason which allows for the privilege of worship is what Christ did for me at Calvary? (Matthew 27:51 & 1 Timothy 2:25)
viii.            Am I coming in purity – cleansed from the daily sin of my life? (1 John 1:9)
ix.            Am I coming to render honour, praise and thanksgiving to God rather than to receive anything for myself? (1 Corinthians 10:31)
x.            Am I praying that, being in the presence of God through worship, He will break me, mould me, and make me a pure vessel, useful to the Masters service? (2 Timothy 2:21)
4. The battle in the trenches regarding Sunday Worship.

Worship is sadly one of those areas in church life where a war is waged amongst the members. There are those who enjoy the old, others enjoy the new, some enjoy organ and piano only, others enjoy an orchestra and then of course the whole issue of style and body language causes remnants of the battle to lie spread all over the show on the battle front. This divide is sadly often between the older generation and younger generation. And this should not be as the church should be about the family of God and in a family, there is give and take. As there is a blend of styles in the family there should be a blend amongst God’s family. And we must remember, worship is about God not about us.

Maybe the biggest reason for this battle is because both sides of the trenches focus on form instead of essence, and they focus on the outward instead of the inward. The words of Christ resound over the battle plain from Matthew 15:8-9 “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, in vain do they worship me.”

One definition of worship by William Temple that grabbed my heart reads as follows: “Worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination with the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

At Logos we believe, that worship is something we give to God. In view of God’s mercy bestowed upon us we are to render honour and adoration to God. That passion-filled, selfless, consuming desire to give to God is the essence of worship. It begins with us entrusting ourselves into God’s care as well as our attitudes and our possessions – until worship becomes a way of life. Our desire is to take the emphasis off ceremony and seasons and places and forms and instruments and rituals and to shift the focus to what is happening in the heart – not just on a Sunday but every day and all the time in all of our lives.

Paul reminds us in Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual act of worship.”

John Piper summarises authentic and inner heart worship in such a beautiful way. He says: “The authenticating, inner essence of worship is being satisfied with Christ, prizing Christ, cherishing Christ and treasuring Christ.”

It should not be about us. It should firstly be about God and our focus should be on God. It is about what God enjoys. We should not worry if there are too many hymns or too many choruses whether there are drums or guitars, as long as they exalt God on His throne. He is our object, our likes, what we favour and satisfaction is not the object. We should not worry about instruments, whether it is what I like or prefer or not. The younger generation and older generation should get over that. These are purely tools of worship; the real instrument of worship is the heart and we must get back to the heart of worship. I have my own preferences as pastor but realised over the years that the body is greater than I, and therefore my preferences don’t matter. Any church that tries to please people cannot please God.

Besides our true worship of God as a way of life in which we daily reflect back to God the radiance of His worth, we also gather for worship and share the following values with the rest of our members in this regard. The following are as per John Piper.

  1. God-centeredness. Practicing a public worship form that communicates the supremacy of God in all of life. Going hard after God as an all-satisfying end in Himself.
  2. Bible based and Bible saturated services. Pursuing fervent, biblical, Spirit-anointed, God-exalting, personally-helpful preaching.
  3. Emphasising the importance of both head and heart in our worship experience. We believe that the individual must carry deep, strong, real emotions towards God without being manipulated to emotional stirrings in which there is no clear thinking about spiritual things based on Biblical truth.
  4. Communicating in large and small group settings with authenticity and transparency. We are committed to an atmosphere of reverence, passion and wonder, rather than a shallow frivolous flippancy filled with hypocrisy.
  5. Being a singing people with growing appreciation for diverse expressions of love for God. At Logos we believe in a balance between historic and contemporary music, as long as it is singable, Biblical and God glorifying. We desire to see an increase in a humble willingness to embrace others whose tastes are different than ours.
  6. Creating a place for spontaneity and lay ministry to the body. Ministry is not just about the pulpit, but also about the pew.
  7. Commitment to a multi-cultural, multi-generational ethos at all times. We believe there are only two groups of people, namely the saved and the unsaved. We gather to worship with the saved from all generations and cultures that are comfortable with our ethos, and we leave to evangelise the lost amongst all generations and cultures.

God exalting worship takes place when we…….

  • Focus on God alone
  • Learn from the teaching of God’s Word
  • Respond to God with our whole being
  • Pray with and for the Body of believers
  • Sing to each other and the Lord
  • Observe the ordinances of the Church (Communion and Baptism)
  • Give to the Lord and His Church
  • Serve one another with our spiritual gifts and talents

Come church family. Let’s get back to the heart of worship as it is all about Him and not about us.



Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: 9 July 2017