At Covenant of Grace, we believe that worship is at the core of the Christian life. In one sense, all of life is worship as we seek to do "all things as unto the Lord" (Col. 3:23). In that spirit, faithful living, sacrificial love, and enjoyment of God's good gifts can all be acts of worship.
For the Christian, there is something unique about Sunday, corporate worship. As "The Lord's Day" (Rev. 1:10, Acts 20:6-7, Mark 16:2), Sundays are set aside for a unique purpose in the Christian life, a major component of which is worshipping God in the ways through which he has promised to meet with us.
This is not the kind of worship that will initially appear to be life-changing. Congregational singing, responsive readings, and preaching Bible texts are not a revolutionary approach but they are what God uses to feed his people. In these means God offers us spiritual, life-giving food, whether we're overflowing with joy or hanging on by a thread. Come participate for a month and see how God might meet with you in ways you don't expect.
In His grace and in His wisdom, God has provided ways by which we can regularly have our faith in His promises fortified. Historically, we have referred to these ways of strengthening our faith as the ordinary means of grace. Prayer, the preaching of the Word, and the sacraments are not elaborate or fancy methods of giving us what we need to confirm our trust in Christ. To an outside observer, they do not seem special at all. After all, they make use of rather common things such as human speech, bread, wine, and water. But by faith and the work of the Spirit, these common elements are used to do an uncommon work — the confirmation of our trust in Jesus and the strengthening of our wills to flee from sin and rest in Christ alone.
Preaching is not a powerless human explanation of the biblical text, for the Spirit accompanies it so that God’s Word achieves its purposes (Isa. 55:10–11). Prayer is more than empty words; it establishes communion between us and the Creator, thereby empowering us for belief and faithful, effective service (James 5:16–18). Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are not mere memorials that we do simply because Jesus tells us to do them; rather, we participate mysteriously in Christ Himself when by faith we take part in these ordinances (1 Cor. 10:16).
Question and answer 65 of the Heidelberg Catechism emphasize the role of the sacraments in confirming our faith. They bless us as we receive them in faith, and if we neglect them, we weaken our trust in God’s work.
- "Means of Grace" - Ligonier Ministries