Reformed Baptist Fellowship

When the Holy Spirit Inspires Worship

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on May 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

In theology, we usually use the term “inspiration” to mean that process by which God produced the Scriptures, his very words, through men (2 Tim 3.16). But consider it as a word helping us understand the phenomena of true worship as produced by God and as motivated in men. Both Holy Scripture and holy worship are inevitable because they are the effectual work of the Almighty Holy Spirit.[1] “The Father seeketh true worshippers to worship him,” and so he sends his Spirit to quicken and transform the true worshippers he seeks. Without this Spirit, absolutely no true worship can possibly begin or continue. God and his redeeming work are the ultimate and responsible cause of true worship.

Further, God uses means to draw people to himself, to turn idolaters into his loyal servants, and to purify the worship that suffers some degree of corruption. The Spirit gave the written Word by inspiration and the Incarnate Word by virgin birth, and the Spirit uses men to proclaim both. We preach the Scriptures, and we preach Christ, and when the Spirit owns this, by a miracle of grace, true worshippers are the fruit of his redemptive accomplishment.

Acts 2 testifies that it was when the Spirit came with saving power that suddenly, in one day, the little band of 120 worshippers in Jerusalem, a tiny remnant found within apostate Israel, swelled to thousands of true worshippers constituting the New Israel, the Spirit-filled church, and this was a mere precursor of tens and hundreds of thousands, and then millions, to appear throughout the world in subsequent centuries. Further, the Spirit honored and used the preached Word through Peter to quicken the hearts of these who had been dead in trespasses and sins. Note also that people’s response to the Spirit’s mighty work is described and summarized as their glad reception of the Word, repentance from sin, water baptism, formal addition to the church, and steadfast continuance in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread (which I understand to include the Lord’s Supper), and in the prayers (Acts 2.41-42)—that is, true worship, pure worship, worship “in spirit and in truth,” such as the Father seeks. No images, no incense, no bells, no clerical garb, no holy water, no liturgical calendar, no concerts, no puppets, no plays, no dancing, no elaborate church programs. It was unadorned obedience to God’s revealed will—nothing added, nothing taken away. It was simple, spiritual, sublime! This is what happens when the Holy Spirit inspires worship!

D. Scott Meadows, Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church
Exeter, New Hampshire

[1] The analogy I draw is not intended to convey the trait of infallibility, associated with inspired Scripture, to the church’s worship.

  1. A very powerful article. It is interesting to note that the Westminster Confession, followed by the 1689, did not set out a separate chapter on the Holy Spirit. However, the 1689 (on the Trinity in Ch 2), does say that “which doctrine fo the Tirnity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him.” Your article was so refreshing and brought a new picture or thought to mind. Galatians 2:20 speaks of Paul’s death to self and his life now being the life of Christ in him. The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and believers are the body of Christ. When those who truly have Christ worship, the Spirit of Christ is breathing forth through the body of Christ His own adoration for the Father. Thanks again for the article. It truly breathed forth true worship.

  2. Excellent! We used this tonight for our Prayer Meeting devotional.

  3. I found this article refreshing also. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot worship God as we are meant to do. Thanks for reminding us of the blessing God bestowed upon believers with the power of the Holy Spirit.

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