Toward a Trinitarian Theology of Worship: The Threefold Results of Worship

This essay will explore three outcomes of the work of God in true worship that effect the participant. In worship we are: 1) informed by the Father, 2) conformed to the Son, and 3) transformed by the Spirit. If, “man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism), then we need to be informed by the Father and conformed to the Son so that the Spirit may transform us to a state in which we may enjoy God forever—the state of true and final worship. The work of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit interpenetrate all of these works so that all persons of the Trinity participate in the work of all other persons of the Trinity.
As the Father informs us in worship through participation in the Son and by the Holy Spirit who is working in our hearts and minds, we come to a greater appreciation of who God is, which in turn enables us to worship God more adequately. We discover in this process that true worship is found via participation in Christ.
As we participate in the vicarious worship of Jesus Christ, we find ourselves conformed to Jesus Christ. As we re-enact what Christ has shown us to do in the celebration of communion, prayer, forgiving, etc. we see God more clearly in Jesus Christ as He becomes more real to us through His presence in us. So, as we conform ourselves to Jesus Christ in and through worship, we are informed by the Father, who is revealed in Jesus Christ. This recognition of Christ in us (or we in Christ) as we are conformed to his image in worship results in a revelation of the Father and a transformation of our desires toward God.
The Spirit transforms us “by the renewing of [our] mind” (Romans 12:2) so that our minds can more clearly see God at work in the world. It is true that we come into God’s presence in worship, via the mediation of Christ, but we also bring God’s presence into our world in a new way—as the church—as we participate in worship. The renewing of our mind creates a new perspective on our lives in the world. This new perspective leads to a renewed perception of the spiritual nature of things. This transformation by the Spirit informs our minds and brings about conformity to Christ who worships in spirit and truth. Worship, then, begets worship.

3 thoughts on “Toward a Trinitarian Theology of Worship: The Threefold Results of Worship”

  1. Helpful to discuss Trinitarian worship?
    Although the thesis is articulated uniquely, there seems to be a lack of secondary support and/or awareness of literature.

    But I think that encouraging consideration of the nature of trinitarian worship is a good thing.

    Reply

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