Unless you are a major recluse, you know that the 2012 elections are next Tuesday, November 6th. The auditorium that we meet in at Thomas Jefferson Middle School will be transformed into a busy voting precinct. Ballots will be cast and counted for different individuals and positions. These local, state, judicial, and federal elections will impact us in many ways and YOU have an opportunity to participate! If you haven’t already, here is what I want to urge you to do over the next couple of days:
Research the candidates and the issues.
I don’t know about you, but my football watching time is full of ads for various candidates, each with a different view of things. My phone is ringing with pre-recorded messages of goodwill from a variety of candidates and my local postal worker is struggling under the weight of the additional campaign mail. With all that is coming at us, it is easy to be confused. I urge you to take your time and sort through the candidates and what they stand for. Get as many facts as you can and then…
In the previous two posts (Part 1 & Part 2), we defined worship — both broadly and biblically — and established that the foundation of God-glorifying worship is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the next few posts, we’ll look at how to worship God practically. Our starting point will be Jesus’ summation of the Law in Mark 12:29-31 (cf. Matt. 22:38-40): “Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The first area we’ll look at is the worship of God with the mind.
In the previous post titled What Is Worship?, we defined worship both broadly speaking as what all people everywhere do regardless of religious conviction (or lack thereof) and what true, biblical worship defined by the Triune God looks like (John 4:24). In this post, we are going to explore the foundation and the fuel of the Church’s worship: the gospel.
Worship of God is always done in response to who God is and what he has done (Rom. 12:1-2) and the greatest revelation of God in history is in his Son, the Word incarnate (John 1:14). The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation and the fuel for the Church’s worship. Bob Kauflin writes, “There are many things we can proclaim during and after a time of corporate worship. God’s glory is unending, and his perfections are infinite. But the fuel of our praise will always be the gospel of Christ who has redeemed us and brought us to God.” [Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters. (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008), 134]
In his book Music Through the Eyes of Faith, Harold Best defines worship as “acknowledging that someone or something else is greater – worth more – and by consequence, to be obeyed, feared, and adored… Worship is the sign that in giving myself completely to someone or something, I want to be mastered by it.” ( Harold M. Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancsico. 1993), 143.)
With that definition in hand, the idea that worship is something that only takes place on Sunday morning is practically thrown out the window. That is not to say that gathering as God’s covenant people to worship Him is not important (it is of the utmost importance!), but that worship, and our individual worship in particular, is to be understood in a much broader sense.
Whether you’ve been going to Salem Chapel for a few years or a few weeks, you’ve probably heard us talk about The City. Perhaps you’ve been slow to adopt The City or hesitant about another “social network.” We think The City is a great tool for ministry and would love to see our whole church body using it.
Why The City? The primary reason we advocate using The City is that we believe it helps us move towards goals of biblical community. In John 17:11, Jesus prays to the Father on behalf of His disciples that they would “be one, even as we are one.” By this He was praying that the depth of relationships between believers would be modeled after the intimacy found within the Trinity. The City can aid in facilitating authentic relationships with other believers at Salem Chapel as we pursue Christ together.
We worship a God that can be known. We saw this past week in Exodus that God has revealed himself to us and desires that we know Him. This is a brief list of some books that help to shed some light on the complex subject of God, His attributes and our ability to know Him. We hope that you find them helpful as you continue grow in godliness and your knowledge of God.