A Personal Theology of Worship

Posted: September 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

WorshipWe are creatures that are created to praise. Throughout the course of our lives we find things that grab our hearts and move us to express praise. We praise the athlete for his or her achievements. We praise the student who studies diligently and makes good grades. We praise the person who sacrifices to serve others. We praise our kids, our spouses, our parents, and a million different things. And we are right to do so. We are created to praise.

The Apostle Paul knew this. So did the Apostle Peter. Paul begins his letter to the Ephesians this way: “Blessed be the God and Father or our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3, ESV). The NIV (1984) renders the word for “blessed” as “praise” resulting in “[p]raise be to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3, NIV). Peter will use the same Greek construction (Εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς) in 1 Peter 1:3 and the ESV and the NIV are consistent in how they render the words of Peter.  Now, the apostles are not the first to speak like this. The Old Testament is filled with this type of language. Psalm 48:1, 96:3, and 145:3 all use similar language. There is a posture of the heart that is modeled for us throughout the Scriptures. This posture is a posture of praise. We are created to praise. And we are ultimately created to praise the one true and living God.

Now, another way to talk about this is that we are created to worship God for his glory (Isaiah 43:7). We praise God, but not like we praise our kids, our spouse, or the athlete. Or at least it shouldn’t be the same. We praise God in a way that says he is our supreme delight, he is our treasure, and he is the Lord of our everything and our “sovereign joy” (Psalm 43:4). We have a love affair of the heart with God, through Jesus, by the enablement of the Spirit. This is what it means to worship. We love him and praise him as our King, our Lord, our Master, our Savior, Sovereign, and Satisfier (to steal a phrase from Dr. Jason DeRouchie).

We could go on and on. But I think you get the point. We should live a life of praise. Yes, we should praise those things we see in the world that are praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). But we reserve our highest praises, our worship, for the God and Father or our Lord Jesus Christ.

You can read more about my thoughts on worship here: Made to Worship–A Personal Theology of Worship

 

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