In Reverence and Awe

It is always good for me to go away to the General Assembly every year, because it reminds me of how fortunate I am to be a part of Reformed Presbyterian Church in Beaumont, Texas. I suppose there are worse things than praise bands, that is, if you don’t tire of hearing them shout “Put your hands together,” however, I must admit that the first person pronouns were really starting to get on my nerves (I, I, I, me, me, me, my, my, my) when we were in a corporate worship service. Nevertheless, the goal of this post is not to complain about GA, but to voice appreciation for the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ that I am blessed to be a part of every Lord’s Day.

The author of Hebrews reminds us that when we gather together to worship the Triune God we are to “offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:28-29) Friberg’s Analytical Greek Lexicon defines the word, reverence, as “godly fear,” and defines the word awe in the very same way. In other words, we should be more apt to fall on our faces before the living God, than to wave our cigarette lighters over our heads as we sway to music.

Our gatherings in Jesus’ name should focus on God’s glory, God’s Law, and God’s Grace which He has poured out on us through Jesus Christ, and our worship should be conducted in a manner which reflects the majesty of His holiness. I readily admit that the worship at RPC is not perfect, because it involves people who struggle with the remaining sin in their lives; but I am so grateful that Sunday in and Sunday out, I have a place where I can gather with the redeemed and corporately worship a holy God in “reverence and awe.”

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8 Comments

  1. Sandra A. said,

    June 22, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    And we are so blessed to worship with you.

  2. cliftonr said,

    June 22, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    and also with you. ;^)

  3. diane said,

    June 22, 2009 at 9:39 PM

    “God’s glory, God’s Law, and God’s Grace”…..those are the best things.

  4. Ellis Hayden said,

    June 23, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    I have had great experiences of worship with a variety of types of music styles. And I prefer the more “blended” style. But I admit that when “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” and “It is Well with My Soul,” I still have tears well up in my eyes and a lump in my throat. We just need to be that the object of our worship is Christ and not the music.

  5. cliftonr said,

    June 23, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    Ellis,

    Don’t get me wrong…I do not believe that everything old is good, and everything that is new is bad. For example, one of the first “worship choruses” was Arius’ little ditty, “There was a time when He was not…” (HERESY ALERT) which goes back to the 4th century. And what exactly does “In the Garden” mean? However, there are new songs which appropriately honor our Lord such as those written by James Montgomery Boice, Ken Puls, and others. I would just like to see the songs sung in corporate worship have theological depth, be Christ-focused, and have a tune that is appropriate for the lyrics. One of my rules of thumb for lyrics is: If I can insert Dixie’s name everywhere there is Jesus’ name in a song and it make sense…I am going to think long and hard about that being a part of public worship. ;^)
    (We are probably closer to being in agreement than we think)

    CR

  6. Carly said,

    June 23, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    Wow…. this was a PCA general assembly? I guess I really shouldn’t be amazed. It seems almost every PCA church we’ve visited hasn’t been quite like RPC.

  7. cliftonr said,

    June 23, 2009 at 7:09 PM

    There is a pretty wide spectrum in the PCA…of course, I am partial to the RPC end.

  8. cliftonr said,

    June 25, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    A good example of a contemporary hymn that has theological depth and and an appropriate tune is found at Dr. James Galyon’s blog at: http://drjamesgalyon.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/theology-on-thursday-60/. Thanks, James, for putting good “stuff” in your blog.


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