Summary: The truth of God’s Word cannot be conveyed in a one-liner on a t-shirt or a bumper-sticker… …or a dry erase board
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
I want to read to you an excerpt from James Montgomery Boice’s book, "Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?" to preface my opening statements.
This is from his chapter entitled, “Reforming Our Worship”. In it he cites two sources from which he got his information. I cite my resource, which is Boice’s book. If anyone wants to know what his sources were I would suggest that they procure his book and look his sources up in the chapter notes at the back. In the meantime, it would be wise to also read the book.
Here is how Boice began this chapter:
“Several years ago I was invited to take part in a worship service in Geneva, Switzerland, that was about an hour and a half long. Four English-speaking congregations had combined to hold this service, and it had been promoted as a time when the congregations could all worship together, which was good.
About half of the service was music led by a youthful worship team. They used overheads, and we sang choruses, most of them repeated three or more times. There was even one hymn. My part, the sermon, was about forty minutes long. The service was not bad, as services like this go. But what struck me about it was its lack of traditional worship elements, especially since it was on a Sunday morning and had been promoted as a united worship service. There was no invocation, no confession of sin, no pastoral prayer, and although there was a Scripture reading, it was there only because I had chosen it as the passage from which I was to teach later.
I say again: This was not a particularly bad service. But it was part of a contemporary trend which shows how far most churches have moved from an older, better worship style that was thoughtful and genuinely God-centered, as all true worship should be.