The integrity of the Christian is grounded in the imputed righteousness of Christ mediated by the Holy Spirit. It is impossible by our own effort to come to worship to be shaped by the Holy One and at the same time to acquire the necessary holiness sufficient for worship that pleases God.
—Robbie F. Castleman, Robbie F. Story Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and History, 122
We need to take seriously the extraordinary biblical perspective that acceptable worship is something made possible for us by God.
[“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)]
—David Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship, 19
Music and liturgy can assist or express a worshiping heart, but they cannot make a non-worshiping heart into a worshiping one. The danger is that they can give a nonworshiping
heart the sense of having worshiped.
So the crucial factor in worship in the church is not the form of worship, but the state of the hearts of the saints. If our corporate worship isn’t the expression of our individual
worshiping lives, it is unacceptable.
—John MacArthur, The Ultimate Priority, 104