Worship in Romans (35)

It is important to note from Romans 1–11 that theology (our belief about God) and doxology (our worship of God) should never be separated. On the one hand, there can be no doxology without theology. It is not possible to worship an unknown god. All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and Scripture, and arises from our reflection on who He is and what He has done. It was the tremendous truths of Romans 1–11 which provoked Paul’s outburst of praise in verses 33-36 of chapter 11. The worship of God is evoked, informed and inspired by the vision of God. Worship without theology is bound to degenerate into idolatry. Hence the indispensable place of Scripture in both public and private devotion. It is the Word of God which calls forth the worship of God.

On the other hand, there should be no theology without doxology. There is something fundamentally flawed about a purely academic interest in God. God is not an appropriate object for cool, critical, detached, scientific observation and evaluation. No, the true knowledge of God will always lead us to worship, as it did Paul. Our place is on our faces before him in adoration.

As I believe Bishop Handley Moule said at the end of the last century, we must “beware equally of an undevotional theology and of an untheological devotion.”

-—John Stott, Romans: God’s Good News for the World, 311-12

 

Worship in Romans (30)

I cannot think of a better place to conclude this chapter on worship than at the beginning of Romans 12. For here Paul describes the Christian life to which he summons us as our “spiritual act of worship.”

For eleven chapters the apostle has been unfolding “the mercies of God.” And now, in view of God’s great mercy which we have received, he appeals to all the members of God’s international family to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God. He calls this physical offering our “spiritual” act of worship. Logikos is the word he uses, which could be translated either “reasonable” (logical in response to God’s mercy) or “rational” (intelligent, the offering of heart and mind, spiritual as opposed to ceremonial).

It is clear that Paul is thinking of a worship which is expressed not only in a church building but in the home and in the workplace. One kind of worship is unbalanced without the other.

—John Stott, The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor, 45-46

Worship in Romans (14)

It is important to note from Romans 1-11 that theology (our belief about God) and doxology (our worship of God) should never be separated. On the one hand, there can be no doxology without theology. It is not possible to worship an unknown god. All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and Scripture, and arises from our reflection on who He is and what He has done. It was the tremendous truths of Romans 1-11 which provoked Paul’s outburst of praise in verses 33-36 of chapter 11. The worship of God is evoked, informed and inspired by the vision of God. Worship without theology is bound to degenerate into idolatry. Hence the indispensable place of Scripture in both public and private devotion. It is the Word of God which calls forth the worship of God.

On the other hand, there should be no theology without doxology. There is something fundamentally flawed about a purely academic interest in God. God is not an appropriate object for cool, critical, detached, scientific observation and evaluation. No, the true knowledge of God will always lead us to worship, as it did Paul. Our place is on our faces before him in adoration.

As I believe Bishop Handley Moule said at the end of the last century, we must “beware equally of an undevotional theology and of an untheological devotion.”

—John Stott, Romans: God’s Good News for the World, 311-12

Defining Worship 2

What, however, is worship? Perhaps the best scriptural definition of it is to be found in Psalm 105:3. To worship is to “glory in God’s holy name.” God’s name is His revealed character. It is “holy” because it is unique, set apart from and above all other names. And once we glimpse the holiness of God’s great name, we see the fitness of “glorying” or reveling in it. Indeed, we are to join with all creatures in pronouncing Him worthy of our praise, because He is both our Creator and our Redeemer (Revelation 5:9-14). Because of who God is, it is appropriate that we should “worship at His footstool” (Psalm 99:5).

—John Stott, The Living Church: Confessions of a Lifelong Pastor, 34-35

Form and Freedom

Now public worship is a vital part of the life of the local church. It is even essential to its identity. Yet in the interest of “spontaneity” worship services often lack both content and form. . . . Most churches could afford to give more time and trouble to the preparation of their worship. It is a mistake to imagine either that freedom and form exclude one another, or that the Holy Spirit is the friend of freedom in such a way as to be the enemy of form.

—John Stott,The Gospel and the End of Time, 124

Theology and Doxology: Inseparable!

It is important to note from Romans 1-11 that theology (our belief about God) and doxology (our worship of God) should never be separated.

On the one hand, there can be no doxology without theology. It is not possible to worship an unknown god. All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and Scripture, and arises from our reflection on who He is and what He has done. It was the tremendous truths of Romans 1-11 which provoked Paul’s outburst of praise in verses 33-36 of chapter 11. The worship of God is evoked, informed and inspired by the vision of God. Worship without theology is bound to degenerate into idolatry. Hence the indispensable place of Scripture in both public and private devotion. It is the Word of God which calls forth the worship of God.

On the other hand, there should be no theology without doxology. There is something fundamentally flawed about a purely academic interest in God. God is not an appropriate object for cool, critical, detached, scientific observation and evaluation. No, the true knowledge of God will always lead us to worship, as it did Paul. Our place is on our faces before him in adoration.

As I believe Bishop Handley Moule said at the end of the last century, we must “beware equally of an undevotional theology and of an untheological devotion.”

—John Stott, Romans: God’s Good News for the World, 311-12

[italics mine]