Singing on Purpose (3)

That’s not to say, of course, that worship should be tedious or uninteresting or the barest recounting of facts. The alternative to fun worship is not worship that is drab or boring, but worship that is meaningful and true, worship that gives voice to the full range of biblical truth and Christian experience. It’s not just about emotion, but reflection. It’s not just about feeling, but thinking. It’s not just about having a good time, but serving others.

—Tim Challies, https://www.challies.com/articles/we-dont-sing-for-fun/

Singing on Purpose (2)

According to Colossians 3:16, we sing from the gospel, for one another, to the Lord. Singing is serious business! It is as serious as preaching and prayer and communion. It is not just a perk or pleasure, but a duty and obligation. It’s both a “get to” and a “got to.”

—Tim Challies, https://www.challies.com/articles/we-dont-sing-for-fun/

Low Gravity

There’s a thread of teaching in some songs today that seems to me to lack the gravity of God’s passion for the glory of God above all things. Let me say that again. There’s a thread of teaching in some songs today that seems to me to lack the gravity of God’s passion for His glory above all else.

My sense is that, until a congregation is devastated by the outrage and the horror of our sin as demeaning and belittling to the glory of God, accompanied by a majestic vision of God’s glory and justice and holiness and wrath, until those two realities are taught and felt deep down, the reality of grace and mercy will not be rightly known and cherished by a congregation.

—John Piper, https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/when-worship-lyrics-miss-the-mark

In Christ Alone

We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ (Acts 4:12). We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is ‘of Him’ (1 Cor 1.13). If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in His anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in His dominion; if purity, in His conception; if gentleness, it appears in His birth. For by His birth He was made like us in all respects (Heb 2:17) that He might learn to feel our pain (Heb 5:2). If we seek redemption, it lies in His passion; if acquittal, in His condemnation; if remission of the curse, in His cross (Gal 3:13); if satisfaction, in His sacrifice; if purification, in His blood; if reconciliation, in His descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in His tomb; if newness of life, in His resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in His entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in His Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgement, in the power given to Him to judge. In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in Him, let us drink our fill from this fountain and from no other.

—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 2.16.19

Before His Face

Sacred times and places are superseded by the eschatological public activity of those who at all times and in all places stand ‘before the face of Christ’ and from this position before God make the everyday round of so-called secular life into the arena of the unlimited and unceasing glorification of the divine will. At this point the doctrines of worship and Christian ‘ethics’ converge.

—Ernst Käsemann, “Worship and Everyday Life: A Note on Romans 12,” 191New Testament Questions of Today

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