Preparing for Worship: November 3, 2013

February 6, 2019

There is a tendency in worship—indeed, a temptation—for us to be very self-focused and introspective. This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself. We are called individually to examine ourselves to see whether we are of the faith (2 Cor 13:5), to confess our sins, and to come to Christ. But in the life of the church, the believer is no longer a singular member prioritizing his own life apart from the church, as if he could be extracted from the whole. Actually, Paul says that we are all members of one body (Eph 4:25), which fails to operate accordingly if its individual members are cut off, that is, if the members are not exhibiting love to one another in Christlikeness (1 Cor 12:12-27). Paul writes, "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it" (12:27). So we are the "body" first, and "members" second. This theological point is evident in worship services too. There are many ways that a church member can show love on Sundays ("Outdo one another in showing honor!" Rom 12:10). But there is probably no better way to show love for one another than to speak the truth about God's character to one another in our worship. Have you ever looked closely at Isaiah 6, where the Seraphim surround the throne room of God and sing his praises? "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts! The whole earth is filled with his glory!" (6:3b) But did you ever notice the preceding line of Isaiah 6:3, and to whom the Seraphim direct their praise? In this instance they do not proclaim to God that he is holy, although that is good and right to do (e.g. Psalm 96). In Isaiah 6, the Seraphim proclaim to one another that the Lord is holy. This is what Paul echoes in Ephesians 5:19. We are to be "addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." In essence, this is what our worship should look like, and it is a good way to exhibit love—saying the truths about God to one another. Pastor Caldwell's sermon is from Luke 15:1-7 this Sunday. I exhort you to dwell on this amazing text before the service. Some of the songs we will sing "to one another" this week include the following. You can listen to these ona playlist here:
  1. Our Great God
  2. Lord, I Need You
  3. Sovereign Over Us
  4. A Day of Glory
Josh Philpot Pastor for Worship.