Our Reformed Worship – Music

Our Reformed Worship – Music

NOTE: This is the first of a series of planned articles on worship that I wrote for the church I pastor at Providence Church (PCA).

The Word of God makes it clear that we are to worship the living and true God corporately each week (E.g., Ps. 100). As we gather, we come to meet with him as his people called out from the world. Our goal in worship is to honor and adore him. We do so with the means that He has given to us in his Word. At Providence Church, we worship according to the regulative principle — that is, we worship by doing what God commands as we approach him. As we gather, we must worship him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Sometimes people worship without a full understanding of what they are doing. Over the next few articles, I want to briefly highlight our liturgy and why we are doing what we are doing. This inaugural article on the topic will discuss the importance of music in worship.

God’s people throughout all ages have used music in worship. One of the best examples is given to us in Exodus 15. The location of this passage is vital to understanding why we sing. Exodus 15 follows on the heels of God’s people’s glorious rescue from the onslaught of their enemy. God has redeemed his people from slavery (Ex. 12) and brings them to the shores of the Red Sea. There they face impending doom from the armies of Pharoah. It is there that they see the love, kindness, mercy, and protection of God when he brings them across the waters and drowns their enemies (Ex. 14). Exodus 15 is a response to God’s redeeming work. They sing, as we sing, because of God’s loving-kindness in redeeming a people to himself.

Scripture also makes it clear that we sing to instruct. The hymns and psalter selections are designed to teach sound theology within the confines of the corporate worship service. We read in Colossians 3:16 that we are to “[l]et the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” One way to teach one another in worship is through song — songs that edify and uplift and encourage one another. Thus, the hymns and psalter selections are specifically chosen to assist the worshiper in accomplishing these things. We sing as an expression of joy in our hearts because of what God has done. We also sing to edify and encourage our brothers and sisters in the faith. Music is a powerful tool and, if used rightly, can help others as we sing.

Our hymns and psalter selections are also designed to focus the worshiper’s attention on the preaching of God’s Word. Thus, we begin each worship service with a selection oriented around praise and adoration to God. We have gathered to exalt him. We teach one another when we lead off the worship service with a selection that focuses our minds and hearts on this simple truth. The next selection focuses the attention of the worshiper on God’s grace and mercy. After confessing our sin, we hear from him through the assurance of pardon and then sing joyfully to him because he has forgiven us and shown us his kindness. Knowing that we have not been treated as we deserve, we gladly lift our voices in adoration for his redeeming mercy. Immediately after the sermon and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, we sing in response to these means of grace. Usually, the music selection will be oriented around what we have heard in the preaching of God’s Word. It is a response to the living voice of Christ speaking to his people. We have listened and, now, we respond in song.

Music is a wonderful gift, and our music is specifically designed around an atmosphere of worship. The psalter and hymn selections are carefully chosen each week to benefit the worshiper and praise the triune God. It is not a mere afterthought, but it is vital and central to our expression of worship each week.


COMING UP:

  • Our Reformed Worship: Responsive and Active Worship.

  • Our Reformed Worship: The Call to Worship and the Benediction.

  • Our Reformed Worship: The Scripture Lesson.

  • Our Reformed Worship: Prayer (Invocation, Confession of Sin, Prayer of Thanksgiving, and the Pastoral Prayer).

  • Our Reformed Worship: Confession of Faith.

  • Our Reformed Worship: The Preaching of God’s Word.

  • Our Reformed Worship: The Sacraments.

The Morning Devotional: Psalm 119:43-44

The Morning Devotional: Psalm 119:43-44

The Morning Devotional for March 10, 2020:

43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,


Previous Editions of The Morning Devotional (Season One: Psalm 119):
Psalm 119:1
Psalm 119:2-4
Psalm 119:5-8
Psalm 119:9
Psalm 119:10-11
Psalm 119:12-14
Psalm 119:15-16
Psalm 119:17-18
Psalm 119:19-20
Psalm 119:21-22
Psalm 119:23-24
Psalm 119:25-26
Psalm 119:27-28
Psalm 119:29-30
Psalm 119:31-32
Psalm 119:33-34
Psalm 119:35-36
Psalm 119:37-38
Psalm 119:39-40
Psalm 119:41-42

Daily Roundup for November 4, 2019

Daily Roundup for November 4, 2019

Here are the items and resources of interest for November 4, 2019:

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Theology/Christianity:

  • You can listen to Psalter music from Crown and Covenant on Pandora
  • You are encouraged to listen to this podcast episode featuring Rosaria Butterfield.

    In this podcast interview, non-SBC speaker Rosaria Butterfield explains, “Gay Christianity is a different religion. I’m not standing in the same forest with Greg Johnson and Wes Hill and Nate Collins looking at different angles of the trees, I’m in a different forest altogether.” 

  • What is man’s greatest problem? Self. Listen to this sermon by Dr. M.L. Jones from Eph. 6:10-13
  • Ten Things the Woman Married to Your Pastor Wants You to Know — a good article written by Shari Thomas
  • I love Jesus, but not the church — if this is your position, or if you are one that thinks that you do not need the local church, you need to read this article written by Grayson Gilbert

Technology:

 

** The Daily Roundup is published Monday – Friday at 9 AM ET **

Daily Roundup for November 4, 2019

Daily Roundup for July 13, 2017

NOTE: Today’s list is the biggest I have done to date. I would appreciate feedback from my readers.  Have you found these resources helpful? Do you have any suggestions or criticisms? You can leave a comment in the appropriate section below (either in the Facebook section or the blog comment section).  Thank you for reading The Parchment.

Here are the items and resources of interest for July 13, 2017:

Theology/Christianity:

  • Learning to Love the Psalms — a new teaching series from Robert Godfrey and produced by Ligonier Ministries.
  • The Family Altar — This is the first in a series on the subject of Family Worship as discussed in the book The Family Altar by Oliver HaywoodThe issue of family worship and the need to do it cannot be overstated. The family has been under attack for many years. Are we better for having neglected such an important duty? 
  • On the tragic side of things, read this interview held with Eugene Peterson. In light of this, Lifeway makes an announcement regarding The Message
  • The Pope has spoken regarding gluten free bread in the Supper — I admit, this is pretty stupid. I leave it here for information (amusement?) only. 
  • Young pastors need old mentors — I agree! The ministry is hard sometimes and having older, godly men in your life will help a great deal. 
  • A helpful reminderWes Bredenof reminds us that the footnotes in The Institutes need to be read with discernment at times. 
  • Sermon Preparation TimeThom Rainer gives the results of a “poll” he conducted on the topic. What is missing, I think, are other aspects required to make the survey more valuable. For instance, age and time in the ministry. Granted, it was a Twitter poll. For me, my preparation time varies from week to week depending on the text.  Sometimes the outline appears very easily, and at other times, I need to work hard to find it. Many factors affect the time necessary to prepare a sermon, and one of those is prayer.  I wonder if the results include the prayer time required to prepare and preach?
  • Why Millennials Need the Church — Written by Ross Hodges. From the article:

Millennial blogger Sam Eaton—citing alarming statistics from a recent Barna survey—declares that millennials are “over church.” Eaton himself admits, “From the depths of my heart, I want to love church. I want to be head-over-heels for church….I desperately want to feel this way about church, but I don’t. Not even a little bit. In fact, like much of my generation, I feel the complete opposite.”

Technology:

Miscellaneous:

  • I place this video under miscellaneous because it cannot be put under theology/Christianity and I don’t have a category called “terrible theology.” Many have already seen it. What you are about to watch is a blasphemous act performed in a worship service of Redeemer Presbyterian Church on November 6, 2016 (why are we only seeing this now, I wonder). I implore the presbytery in which this church resides to file charges against the leadership.  This behavior should not be tolerated.

Life Together from Redeemer Video on Vimeo.

 

Daily Roundup for November 4, 2019

Daily Roundup for April 13, 2017

Here are the items and resources of interest for April 13, 2017:

Theology/Christianity:

  • The Uniqueness of the Psalms — What is unique about the Psalms? Watch as W. Robert Godfrey explains that they are not only God’s Word to us but also our words to God.
  • The Main ThingKevin DeYoung writes, “Holy Week is a check-up for the Church. To use a tag line that’s already overused, if your core message for this week is something other than “Christ died for our sins,” you’re doing Christianity wrong. If you want to preach about gender equality or social justice or progressive dispensationalism or the extra Calvinisticum, do it a different week. This week is about a substitute for our sin and an empty tomb for our justification.”
  • Five Lessons From Fallen Pastors — An Interesting little article from Eric Geiger.
  • Posting things online is commonplace for all of us today — Here are some questions to ask before you do post.
  • Huge Sermon Illustration database — If you regularly preach the Word of God you will want good illustrations in your sermons.  This will help! 


Technology:

  • Google will change the Earth on April 18th. 
  • Some people are still running WindowsXP although support for it has long been discontinued.  Here is why. Speaking of a lack of support, say goodbye to Vista as well
  • As a long time Samsung Note user I have decided to jump to the Samsung S8 Plus. If you are also a Note user, this article will help you decide if you should make a change.