Mixing It Up

The glory of the gospel is to unite peoples of every language and culture under the lordship of Christ (Eph. 2:11-22; 4:3-6,13; Rev. 7:9-17). So we should not be content with divisions created by different musical tastes and traditions. As we grow to maturity in Christ we should be looking for ways to express the unity that is God’s goal for us: in gospel action, in the exchange of ministries and gifts, in combined services and in the sharing of musical resources and experiences.

—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together: Leading Worship Services That Honor God, Minister to His People, and Build His Church, 143

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Acceptable Worship

We need to take seriously the extraordinary biblical perspective that acceptable worship is something made possible for us by God.

[“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)]

—David Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship, 19

Worship in Revelation (15)

The first angel summons people from every nation and tribe and tongue to “fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come’ and to ‘worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water (14:6-7). This ‘eternal gospel’ recalls the vision of chapter 4 and summons the whole creation to acknowledge God as Creator and Lord of history. . . . This passage suggests that evangelism can be viewed from one perspective as a call to worship God.

—David Peterson, “Worship in the Revelation to John” The Reformed Theological Review 47:3 (Sept-Dec’88), 71.

Worship in Romans (39)

The opening chapters of Paul’s letter to the Romans illustrates how Jews and Gentiles have failed in their own distinctive ways to reverence and serve God acceptably (note especially Rom. 1:21-23). The refusal to glorify God as God has its consequence in every form of wickedness, abuse, hypocrisy and injustice in human relationships.

Yet Paul’s exposition of the work of Christ and its consequences (Rom. 3:21–11:36) shows how God has acted to transform this disastrous situation. Now it is possible for all to engage with God in a new way, on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice, and to offer the worship that is pleasing to him (Rom. 12:1).

—David Peterson, “Worship in the New Testament,” in Worship: Adoration and Action, 58

 

Worship in Romans (26)

God’s mercies, supremely expressed in the saving work of Jesus Christ, the gift of His Spirit, His perseverance with faithless Israel, and His gracious offer of salvation to the Gentiles (Romans 1-11), call forth the response of grateful obedience, with all the implications outlined in Romans 12-16. Paul’s ethic is theologically grounded and theologically motivated. Christian obedience is an expression of gratitude for the blessings received from believing the gospel. ‘God has redeemed us, therefore let us serve [worship] Him!’ (O. O’Donovan)

—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):280

Worship in Romans (25)

Behind Romans 9-11 stand the first eight chapters, where ‘the reality of the mercy of God is never far from Paul’s thought’. [C.E.B. Cranfield] It is as if all God’s merciful deeds, expounded so far in the letter, make their own appeal in Paul’s exhortation. The invitation to join in the praise of God (11:33-6) leads to the challenge for his readers to respond to the mercies of God with the offering of their ‘bodies’ as a living sacrifice. The ‘therefore’ in Romans 12:1 is to be given its full force.

—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):280

Worship in Romans (24)

Worship terminology is reintroduced at this key point in Paul’s argument [Romans 12:1] to demonstrate how the problems created by humanity’s failure to worship and serve God appropriately (Romans 1–2) have been dealt with by God himself.

—David Peterson, “Worship and Ethics in Romans 12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993):278