“Be thou exalted” (Psalm 21:13) is the language of victorious spiritual experience. It is a little key to unlock the door to great treasures of grace. It is central in the life of God in the soul. Let the seeking man reach a place where life and lips join to say continually, “Be thou exalted,” and a thousand minor problems will be solved at once. His Christian life ceases to be the complicated thing it had been before and becomes the very essence of simplicity
Archive for December, 2008
Much of the life we live, we live on our terms without questioning what God wants. However, worship begins with what God wants. God is not simply hoping that someone, somewhere will somehow worship him. We are reminded of this in Leviticus 10:1-3 where Nadab and Abihu offered unauthorised fire to the Lord and were judged by the Lord for it.
In the first chapter of his book “He is not silent” Al Mohler said:
“True worship begins with a vision of the God of the Bible – a vision of the one true and living God”
In conjunction with this, he offers four points on worship:
- How authentic worship begins: a true vision of the living God
- Where authentic worship leads: confession of sin
- Where authentic worship leads: proclamation of the gospel
- What authentic worship requires: a response
This is a view of worship that encompasses all of life. Too often churches simply focus on the last part without considering the first three parts. The vision of the living God is the responsibility of the preachers, teachers and leaders in a church. This should lead to confession of sin – and repentance should be invited where appropriate by the preacher.
Not only the preacher should proclaim the gospel, the entire congregation should be proclaiming the gospel – it is a natural response to God.
The emotional responses sought by many churches are good and proper, but this response should not be limited to Sunday morning, but should be experienced often in the life of a Christian. Similarly, when these responses are sought without faithful preaching of the word of God and confession of sin, are they really worship or are they simply emotional highs? In reality it could be both, but in my estimation, often this is just an emotional high.
Following the formula above ensures a balance is kept between the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the word and the preaching of the word and the response of a heart. This cycle is life changing. Mark Driscoll commented during a sermon I heard recently:
Too many people try to stop sinning – the goal is not to stop sinning, the goal is to start worshipping
Authentic worship is the solution to legalism and other forms of religion that doesn’t save or help us change. And it all starts with a right view of God as revealed in His word that changes lives.
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Yesterday, I spoke in our series on Christ on the topic of Christ the man.
I began by exploring things that demonstrated that Jesus is human (which I think should be reasonably clear upon a straight forward reading of the gospels). We also looked at some of the points that demonstrated the deity of Jesus. Then we looked at why Jesus came and what Jesus accomplished. (more…)