The Scriptures, Not Sincerity, Are Key to Honoring Christ in Worship

The Scriptures, Not Sincerity, Are Key to Honoring Christ in Worship

When we worship Christ, it’s a powerful temptation to think that whatever pleases us must please him. If I enjoy interpretive dance, neon lights, and little Suzy’s solo, surely Jesus must. Approaching worship this way is self-centered, not Christ-centered. As God sanctifies us, he aligns our affections with his, but we are never free to depart from the clear testimony of his Word. His Word becomes our delight (Psalm 119:14).

A Call to the Church to Return to True Worship

A Call to the Church to Return to True Worship

As I observe the practices of the church, I’m concerned that churches have stopped thinking about worship. It really does seem as though we’ve entered an era in which “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). That seems to be the premise of offering different worship styles, doesn’t it? Isn’t it to offer the people what they want? During the time of the judges in Israel, one particular condition is pointed out again and again: “there was no king” (Judges 17:6, 18:1, 19:1, 21:25).

England Is No Longer Majority Christian (And Neither Is America)
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England Is No Longer Majority Christian (And Neither Is America)

An average of all 2021 Gallup polling revealed 69% of Americans “identify with a Christian religion.” That’s a majority, but I’d suggest many of these respondents are saying, “I’m not an atheist. I’m not Buddhist. I’m not Muslim. I must be Christian.” For these folks, though, Christianity is just a title, it isn’t a belief system. 

Fathers: Take Your Family to Church
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Fathers: Take Your Family to Church

Every week, on the day appointed by God, everyone who belongs to Christ makes their way to church to worship Christ with everyone else who belongs to Christ. In obedience to him, we gather with other believers from our community (Hebrews 10:24). Gathering to God’s throne with us are the elect angels and all our loved ones who have died in the Lord (Revelation 5:11-12). Altogether, we gather at Mount Zion to hear from God and receive his grace through Christ, imparted by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 12:28-29). Truly, it is a foretaste of the glories to come.

All We Are Is Dust in the Wind (And A Soul that Will Live Forever)
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All We Are Is Dust in the Wind (And A Soul that Will Live Forever)

According to Scripture, a wise man fears the Lord (Proverbs 1:7) and lives in view of death. It is not a Christian attitude to avoid thoughts of death, but to live in light of it, numbering our days. But, living in light of the end doesn’t just mean acknowledging all men die and return to dust. Scripture teaches you are a two-part composition of body and soul (Genesis 2:7). Your body will die and decay, but your soul will live eternally (Genesis 3:19, Ecclesiastes 12:7).

First Comes Life, Then Comes Faith, Then Comes Justification
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First Comes Life, Then Comes Faith, Then Comes Justification

Let’s think about it closely. What we are saying is the Holy Spirit must change a man internally before he will embrace Jesus Christ for salvation. In our sinful state, no amount of altar calls, revivals, soft piano music, or fiery preaching will persuade us to believe in Christ. You and I, alone, cannot persuade anyone to be saved. This is a work only the Spirit of God can do.

God Chose the People He Would Save Before He Created the World
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God Chose the People He Would Save Before He Created the World

Logically, Calvin argued we must conclude that God chooses whom he will save and passes over the rest. For those chosen for salvation, God provides every means – primarily preaching and prayer – to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Those God passed over he permits to remain happy in sin until the day of judgment. And, he made this choice before he created the world.