There is much confusion in the Church today about the nature and purpose of the benediction. Indeed, we are often tempted to think about it merely as a glorified goodbye, a pious “peace out.” What, then, is the benediction, and why do we do it with outstretched hands?
It’s not a matter of Bible trivia or historical oddities. It’s a matter of redemption. The conundrum can be stated simply. God commanded Israel to “remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). This meant the seventh day of the week—Saturday. But Christians worship on Sunday, the first day of the week. Why do Christians do this? Are we disobeying the fourth commandment?
Introduction The biblical commands to pray are many (Mt. 5:44, 6: 5-9; Luke 22:40; Col. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:17, 25; 2 Thess. 3:1; Heb. 13:18; James 5:13-18; Jude 20). The examples of prayer in Scripture are also many. In 1 Kings 8:23 – 53, Solomon prayed for the dedication of the Temple as a houseContinue reading “Why Do We Pray So Much During Covenant Renewal Worship?”
Introduction The Lord’s Supper belongs at every Lord’s Day service because in Christianity the gospel is a way of life. By eating the bread and drinking the wine, God’s people dine upon the fullness of Christ’s sacrifice. In this way, the Lord’s Supper brings together objectivity and subjectivity for God’s people. Through union with Christ,Continue reading “Covenant Renewal Worship and The Lord’s Supper”
In a recent article we explained the what and why behind the exhortation during the worship service. The exhortation precedes the confession of sin. The confession is in response to the exhortation. The congregation kneels during confession. After the minister leads the congregation in corporate prayer, there is a time for private confession, after whichContinue reading “Why Confess Sin Every Sunday?”
The exhortation is neither a replacement nor a warm-up for the sermon. It’s a surgical admonition about the sins that tempt God’s people. More simply, the exhortation is when we talk about sin out loud while assembled.
American evangelicalism, which has boasted in creedlessness, is failing chiefly through the lack of it.
Worship ought to be more than a few songs, a video, and a sermon that is forgotten by 2 pm. Lord’s Day Worship should be a matter of covenant renewal, where God’s people are shaped through affirming their covenant vows.
It is our conviction that these two things—the virtual and the in-person worship service—are not the same thing, and the church must no longer pretend that two things, so different, can be substituted for each other.
The habit of forsaking Lord’s Day worship settles and roots in the habit of Christian families. It’s one problem if tyrants forbid Christians from worshipping. It’s another problem if Christian custom, habit, and society (plus civil law) train people to forsake Sunday worship services. It’s the latter problem that needs addressing.