Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Selected Statements on Liturgical Worship

Church bodies that believe that the direct indwelling and experience of the Holy Spirit is to be sought independent of the Word and Holy Sacraments will be inclined to reject liturgical texts, music, and ceremony in favor of more ecstatic and emotional worship forms.

Wherever the pure gospel comes, there the great liturgy of the true church revives.  The Liturgy is important because the Gospel is important.

If worship is primarily something that we do, then we can never be certain we did enough.  Law questions ask, did people grow closer to Jesus?  Stronger in their faith?  This leads to additional questions.  How close is close enough?  How strong is strong enough?

There is also the assumption with this way of thinking that Jesus is to be found somewhere in the heart, and that the way to find Him is to feel His presence.  [This] leads to despair or arrogance and hypocrisy.  This is law worship.

Gospel worship works the other way.  In law worship, we bring our obedience and praise to God.  In Gospel worship, we bring our sin and sinfulness, and God brings His Gifts to us.

God is truly present in His Word and Body and Blood, forgiving sins, saving, sustaining, sanctifying, and strengthening our faith in Christ.  Rather, faith knows that Jesus is not just somehow close to us.  His own Words enter our ears and hearts, and the very Body and Blood of the Son of God are brought to our lips and mouths.  There is no need to get closer than this.

Timothy Quill, “Liturgical Worship,” Perspectives on Christian Worship: 5 Views

HT: Josh Brisby

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