Monday, November 17, 2008

Pipa on the Privileges of Worship

This challenge is taken from the concluding paragraphs of Joseph Pipa, Jr. "The Purpose of Worship," in The Worship of God: Reformed Concepts of Worship (Christian Focus, 2005): p 66.

Therefore, because of who God is and what He does we are to come into His presence with the service of corporate worship. As we are gripped by the nature and purpose of worship, we then will be compelled to enjoy this privilege and enter into it wholeheartedly. We minimize the privilege of worship. We often fail to grasp or to continue to focus on this glorious privilege that God gives us to come by Christ Jesus into His presence. There is no better privilege that belongs to us, no better work we do for God, but we often denigrate worship.

Some of you attend churches that do not have evening worship, while others of you may neglect the second service. Why in the world, if all these privileges are attached to worship, would we omit evening worship? Perhaps one cannot dogmatically assert from Scripture the necessity of the second service; it is surely implied both in Psalm 92 and in the pattern of the morning and evening sacrifice. Although I cannot make a dogmatic case, I can make a pragmatic one. When we come into worship and go up into heaven in God’s presence, when the Word of God is preached by the lawfully ordained man of God and Christ Himself is speaking to us, why would we want to be anywhere else? Why would we want to neglect the privilege of doing this twice on the Lords’ Day?

Some of you prefer to spend time on Sunday nights with your children to catechize them. I had a friend who said, "I do not come to the evening service, because I am spending time with my children and catechizing them." You ought to catechize your children, but why catechize them when Christ is speaking down the street and manifesting His presence? Some of us dread worship. You wake up Sunday morning—"Oh, no, it’s Sunday, and I’ve got to go to church." We need to be gripped with the beauty and glory of the privilege that is ours to enter His courts with thanksgiving.

Moreover, let us become zealous and jealous that God’s people will again discover the fullness of worship. God is most glorified in Biblical corporate worship. Let us pray and labor for the reformation of worship. Let us support those churches committed to such worship.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
Note: Evangel article 11/16/08.

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