God cares about our worship

If worship is important to God, then it should be important to us as well.  One of the early Reformers, John Calvin, believed that the doctrine of worship ranks ahead of the article of justification in importance, and comprises the entire substance of the Christian life.  Worship is arguably our most important calling as Christians.  Because the Reformed tradition has historically held corporate worship and Lord’s Day (NT Sabbath) observance in such high regard, many of its churches have called two public worship services on Sunday, the Lord’s Day: one in the morning and one in the evening.
This coming Sunday (September 30th) is another chance for you to attend a Reformed worship service.  The following are the details:

When: 18h30
Where: Bellville Reformed Church
Take N1 North towards Paarl
Exit Jip de Jager Dr  (M16)
Right under the N1 (bridge)
First left at robots onto Frans Conradie Dr
First right at robots onto Broadway Street
Church is on right about 1km down Broadway opposite Louis Leipoldt Hospital

This coming Sunday evening will provide another opportunity to participate in and reflect upon a worship service shaped by the Reformed interpretation of Scripture.  In terms of the big picture, we affirm that our worship is only as good as the theology behind it.  In other words, good theology must produce good worship.  This is in keeping with Paul’s admonition to Titus in Titus 2.1, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.”
Have you perhaps thought critically about some of the assumptions underlying your views of corporate worship?  Are they biblically and theologically sound?  The following are two popular assumptions that are prevalent today, but do not necessarily stand up to the scrutiny of Scripture:

  • Sincerity and informality are the chief barometers for evaluating true worship.  But can we trust our feelings as fallen creatures?
  • Evangelism should drive the form and content of our worship services.  But does the bible encourage us to design worship for unbelievers?

The best of the confessional Reformed tradition has argued for a number of theological truths that should inform worship.  These include: the creator-creature distinction, the sovereignty of God and the total depravity of humankind.  We will look at these doctrines and others in the weeks to come…
In support of some of the points made here and for a good resource in general on recovering Reformed worship, see With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basics of Reformed Worship by D.G. Hart and John R. Muether.
Before you attend another public worship service, perhaps you might benefit from allowing the writer to the Hebrews help you with his vision.

“For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempestand the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly* of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.  See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”
(Hebrews 12:18-29 ESV)

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  1. Indeed we are swimming against a strong current of low-church mentality! However I do believe that there are many in these churches who are longing for worship that is characterized by reverence and awe.

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