The Gospel and Worship
In our weekly men’s Bible study (Tuesdays, 6 am @ 2401 Ave. 396, Kingsburg), we have been examining the content and implications of Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church. In the opening lines of the letter, Paul comes again and again to a powerful gospel theme for our daily lives in Christ. From God’s sovereign election in eternity past, to His regenerating work when we repent and believe, to His daily provision for our walk in faith and ultimately to His future transformation of us when we see our Savior, the grace of God has been intended to induce the recipients to worship God (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14).
In A Gospel Primer, Milton Vincent says, “These refrains fly as banners over the gospel truths parading through the early verses of Ephesians. They herald the ultimate motive of God in all His gospel acts on behalf of those whom he has saved. They also announce the effect which the gospel will most certainly wield upon those who experience its fullness.” Did you catch that last phrase? There is a natural effect that accompanies the gospel of Jesus Christ and the powerful saving work of God in the lives of sinners. Sinners who have experienced sovereign grace worship God passionately. They praise His glory in His grace, talk often about His grace, sing loudly about His grace, live in the ongoing power of His grace and are marked by affections for God that are seen in good works for His glory! The gospel grace of God and our worship have an eternal cause-and-effect relationship.
I wonder how sincerely you and I are represented by Peter’s testimony about the suffering Christians in Asia: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). Do you joyfully worship and how passionately do you worship God on the basis of gospel facts? Is your worship, even when we are gathered on the Lord’s Day, controlled mostly by music style, ambiance or your mood? Milton nails it when he concludes, “Indeed the more I embrace and experience the gospel, the more I delight in the worship of God, the more expressive my joy in Him becomes, and the more I yearn to glorify Him in all I do and say.”
Remember, facts fuel worship, so for those who worship God in Christ, the facts of God’s grace through Christ are the spiritual truths igniting worship…to the praise of His glory!