Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 
Exaltation of Jesus
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)


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Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Imago Dei
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So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Why Can't I Pray?
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The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

It's Not Rocket Science
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To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

Theological Steak

April 10, 2012

These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.


P. T. Forsythe, in the middle of a lecture on the work of Christ, gets to preaching, and it's pretty wonderful:

To deliver us from evil is not simply to take us out of hell, it is to take us into heaven. Christ does not simply pluck us out of the hands of Satan, He does so by giving us to God.

He does not simply release us from slavery. He commits us in the act to a positive liberty.

He does not simply cancel the charge against us in court and bid us walk out of jail, He meets us at the prison-door and puts us in a new way of life.

His forgiveness is not simply retrospective, it is, in the same act, the gift of eternal life. Our evil is overcome by good. We are won from sin by an act which at the same time makes us not simply innocent but holy.

In speaking of the reasons behind Christ's work, Forsythe has this insight....

 This obedience (of dying on the cross in our place) was the Holy Father's joy and satisfaction. He found Himself in it. And it was also the foiling and destruction of the evil power. And it was farther the creative source of holiness in a race not only impressed by the spectacle of its tragic hero victorious, but regenerate by the solidarity of a new life from its creative Head.

The work of Christ was thus in the same act triumphant on evil, satisfying to the heart of God....He subdued Satan,  rejoiced the Father, and set up in Humanity the kingdom — all in one supreme and consummate act of His one person. He destroyed the kingdom of evil...by actually establishing God's kingdom in the heart of it.






The Solid Rock vs. All Other Ground

May 16, 2009

What does it mean to take Jesus lightly? For a hundred years or more, Jesus has been "damned" with very faint praise. The wisdom of this world gives ground begrudgingly to the Lord of the universe. But the battle is real.


On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand 
All other ground is sinking sand

At the turn of the 20th century, P. T. Forsythe spoke at Yale on the state of preaching. In his lecture that covered the influence of modern thought with a corresponding loss of Jesus at the center, particularly the cross, he took pains to distinguish the difference between what true belief was (he called it positive belief) and what was currently in  vogue - that is, faint praise.

I will refer to the two categories as "sinking sand" and "solid rock." Forsythe, I'm certain, would approve.

SINKING SAND
We must have a faith like Christ's.

SOLID ROCK
We must have a faith in Christ.

SINKING SAND
We must imitate the religion of Jesus.

SOLID ROCK
We cannot attempt to imitate a Redeemer, or criticize He who judges our conscience. Jesus is our religion.

SINKING SAND
Christ is our supreme example and prophet who showcased the potential of human spirituality.

SOLID ROCK
Christ's eternal person does it all for us.

SINKING SAND
Christ's preaching is emphasized.

SOLID ROCK
Christ preached is emphasized.

SINKING SAND
Christ's perfect human nature is extolled.

SOLID ROCK
Christ's treatment of human nature carries more weight than the way his incarnation of our nature.

SINKING SAND
Christ is the full expression of humanity.

SOLID ROCK
Christ's business with humanity is explored and lifted up.

SINKING SAND
Christ consummates humanity.

SOLID ROCK
Christ redeems humanity.

SINKING SAND
For a suffering world, Christ is its healer.

SOLID ROCK
For a guilty world, Christ is its Atoning Savior.

SINKING SAND
The sinlessness of Christ is the expression of the essential, though soiled, sinlessness of man.

SOLID ROCK
Man's only hope of sanctity is possible only through the Holy One of God.

SINKING SAND
Love is valued but undefined.

SOLID ROCK
Love finds its full value as displayed in Christ, representing holy grace.

SINKING SAND
The divine reality is a calm and mystic presence and the nearness of God is rejoiced over.

SOLID ROCK
God's divine reality is a perpetual deed, and the nearness is a terror except as grace.

SINKING SAND
God's real presence in the world is manifested in mere action, process and movement.

SOLID ROCK
History is a supreme act that consummates the world.

SINKING SAND
Fascination with the way God's presence pervades the world is paramount.

SOLID ROCK
God's redemptive act, and the purpose He is orchestrating is paramount.

SINKING SAND
Jesus is the crowning immanence of the divine presence in the world.

SOLID ROCK
Jesus is the incarnation of the divine will in the world.

SINKING SAND
The world is God's arena, His sphere of energy, where His substance, forces and ideas play.

SOLID ROCK
The kingdom of this world is becoming the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, where His purpose rules.

SINKING SAND
The world is God's organ.

SOLID ROCK
The world is God's creature.

SINKING SAND
The world was created for Christ, or at least Christ's ideal.

SOLID ROCK
The world was created in Christ.










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