Introduction – The Worship Priority
God has set certain priorities for every Christian. One way to understand these priorities is to consider how we are to act toward others, for our priorities are not the same towards everyone. When dealing with lost sinners we are to proclaim of the gospel of Christ. When fellowshipping with other believers, we are to build them up in the Lord. Before either of these, though, we must deal with God Himself. Him we are to worship.
Exult the Lord; edify the church, evangelize the world. These are our priorities.
When Christians discuss churches, much emphasis is given to the third priority. Is a church evangelistic? What is it doing to proclaim the gospel to the lost? What successes has it had? In actually searching for a church, though, many Christians give the most consideration to the second concern. How does a church edify believers? Most will ask this question another way: how will this church minister to me?
It is not my concern to question either of these priorities; each is biblical. However, if we become so focused on either as to altogether ignore the first, our emphasis will be wrong. Christians need the ministry of the church, but God’s glory in worship is of paramount importance. The world needs the gospel, but our first priority – what the Shorter Catechism calls our “chief end” – is to glorify God – to exult Him in our worship and our lives.
For this reason it is of paramount importance that the church worship God correctly. When Christians become passionate about the nature of worship, there are often well-meaning brethren who intervene, asking, “Is this really so important? Shouldn’t we just reach the lost? Shouldn’t we just help Christians in need?” The proper, biblical answer to these is a resounding NO! We should reach the lost, and we should help needy Christians, but we should not just do those things.
God commands our worship. When He gave His people Ten Commandments, the first four were about worship! Much of the remaining Old Testament law was a detailed manual for worship. Praise is a high priority to God; it must be to the church as well.
This material was designed to examine the subject of Reformed Worship. The intent is to give a more thorough explanation to why we worship as we do at Christ Reformed Baptist Church. My prayer is that you, my readers, will be challenged to carefully consider this primary focus of the Christian life.