Nehemiah 8-9 join Leviticus 10 and Hebrews 12 as significant to our development of a theology of worship. In verse 1, the people of Israel are described as gathering “as one man into the square before the Water Gate” (Nehemiah 8:1). When the people gathered before the Lord for corporate worship, they did so “as one man.” That moment focused on the individual as part of the body. Together, God’s people stood, listened, answered, said “Amen”, lifted their hands, bowed their heads, and worshiped (Nehemiah 8:6).
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.
Unlike the impersonal, unknowable force of Star Wars, God the Spirit intimately relates to God’s people. In our devotional life, the Spirit helps us pray and assures us we are God’s children (Romans 8:12-17), enables us to understand the Bible (John 17:15-18, Hebrews 10:15), to bear the fruits of righteousness (Galatians 5:22), and minister to others within the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12).