Monthly Archives: January 2017

A Worship Catechism (15)

97. What is our ultimate hope?

Our ultimate hope is to see God’s glory in His realised presence (Rev 21:2-3, 22:4; Joh 17:21-26), where we will behold His beauty forever (Ps 27:4, 23:6).

98. How will we commune with God in His realised presence?

We will behold Him without the curse of corrupt bodies and partially blind souls (Rev 21:4-5, 22:1-3), without sin or other sinners (Rev 21:7-8, 27; 1 Cor 6:9-11), so there will be no confession of sin or cleansing needed.

99. Will the cycle of communion continue in Heaven?

Though we will be like Him, our beholding of Him will take us to ever deeper union and likeness (1 John 3:2, 2 Cor 3:18), as we develop from one degree of glory to another (Jo 17:22; Eph 3:18-19)

100. How should this hope affect our great priority and purpose?

The end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshippers of God we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity.

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91. What are the disciplines of perpetual worship?

The disciplines of perpetual worship are gratitude, discernment, fasting , and stewardship, which seek to behold, reflect, and magnify God’s glory in His works of creation, redemption and providence.

92. What does the discipline of gratitude entail?

Gratitude is receiving all that is good and lawful in creation with receptive enjoyment and conscious thanksgiving (1 Tim 4:4; 1 Thes 5:16-18; Jam 1:17).

93. What does the discipline of discernment entail?

Discernment is judging the meaning of all things in creation through an obedient examination of all things (1 Thes 5:22, Eph 5:10; Heb 5:14; Phil 1:9-11, 4:8), a pursuit of wisdom and understanding (Prov 2:1-7), and an immersion in the good judgement of others (Prov 13:20; Heb 13:7).

94. What does the discipline of stewardship entail?

Stewardship consciously consecrates objects and activities for the glory of God, seeing all as gifts and callings to be managed for Him (1 Cor 4:1-7).

95. What does the discipline of fasting entail?

Fasting is deliberate self-denial of the pleasures of creation to enable prayer and a spirit of humble supplication for focused seasons of spiritual need.

96. How will these disciplines enable the great priority of life?

These disciplines will nurture beholding, reflecting and magnifying the glory of God, whether in private, in society, or immersed in work or leisure.

A Worship Catechism (13)

84. What are the disciplines of public worship?

The disciplines of public worship are recognition, service, discipleship, and corporate worship, which seek to behold, reflect and magnify God’s glory in the society of others.

85. What does the discipline of recognition entail?

Recognition is repeatedly submitting to the biblical view of our neighbour as a means of loving God, and thinking of all men as such.

86. How is our neighbour a means of loving God?

We may behold God’s glory in our neighbour as that neighbour reflects and reveals the Creator (James 1:17, 3:9; Ps 19:1), as an act of loving obedience (Jo 14:15, 13:34; 1 Pet 2:17), and as a means of loving what God loves and hating what He hates (Mt 5:43-45; 25:31-46; Prov 6:16-19; Phil 4:8).

87. Who is our neighbour?

Our neighbour is our worst enemy, and everyone closer to us than him (Lk 10:29-37).

88. What does the discipline of service entail?

Service is sacrificially meeting the needs of other Christians by obeying the one-another commands, (Jo 13:34) and of our unsaved neighbours through doing to them as we would want done to us (Lk 6:31), and so loving Christ (Mt 25:31-45)

89. What does the discipline of discipleship entail?

Discipleship is increasing the number of fellow-worshippers through instruction (Mt 28:20), and the involvement of affection (1 Thes 2:7-9), exemplary living (1 Thes 2:10, 1 Co 11:1, 1 Ti 4:12, Tis 2:7), and patient, encouraging mentoring (1 Thes 2:11-12).

90. What does the discipline of corporate worship entail?

Corporate worship is assembling with a New Testament local church on the appointed day with circumspection (Eccl 5:1-2), to unite mind and heart with other believers to publicly read the Word publicly (1 Timothy 4:13, Colossians 4:16), preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-2), pray the Word (1 Timothy 2:1-2, 8), sing the Word (Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16) show the Word publicly (the ordinances or sacraments) (Luke 22:19, Matthew 28:19-20) and respond in grateful giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2.)

A Worship Catechism (12)

76. What disciplines will nurture faith and maintain abiding in God’s presence?

We must embrace disciplines of private worship, public worship, and perpetual worship.

77. What are the disciplines of private worship?

The disciplines of private worship are meditation, private prayer, and memorisation, which seek to behold reflect and magnify God’s glory in solitude (Mt 6:1-9).

78. What does discipline of meditation entail?

Meditation is beholding God’s glory in His Word, by reverently interrogating the meaning of Scripture, particularly in its analogies, for its interpretation and application, and often accompanied by journaling (Jas 1:25; Ps 1:2).

79. What do we seek in meditation?

We seek God’s mind on Himself, His people, and the world, wherein we will find His glory (Ps 119:15; 2 Tim 3:16-17).

80. What does the discipline of private prayer entail?

Private prayer responds to our meditations with adoration of God’s revealed glory, thanksgiving for His works, confession of our sins and consecration of our lives, supplication for our needs and intercession for others (Col 3:16; Phil 4:6).

81. How should we pray?

Vital, lively prayer is prayed in faith (Matthew 21:22), in full sincerity (Matt 6:7), and with persistence (Col 4:2).

82. What does the discipline of memorisation entail?

Memorisation is committing to memory Scripture passages and Christian verse, and regularly refreshing what has been memorised (Ps 119:11).

83. What may aid us in these disciplines?

An excellent hymnbook, a book of Christian verse, a book of prayers, devotional classics, a journal in which to write, prayer lists, Bible study aids, and an alarm to wake us.

A Worship Catechism (11)

67. How is faith nurtured?

Faith is nurtured through the grace-enabled practice of the spiritual disciplines (2 Pet 1:5-7).

68. What is spiritual discipline?

Spiritual discipline is imposing order upon disorder to nurture communion with God (2 Tim 3:3-6).

69. What is the first purpose of the spiritual disciplines?

The first purpose of the spiritual disciplines is to provide the opportunity for communion with God to occur, confessing our sins, consecrating our loves, and conforming our lives (Dan 6:10).

70. What is the second purpose of the spiritual disciplines?

The second purpose of the spiritual disciplines is to train the abilities, attitudes and habits fundamental to communion with God (1 Timothy 4:7).

71. What is the third purpose of the spiritual disciplines?

The third purpose of the spiritual disciplines is to structure and shape life so that its rhythms, routines and rituals shape the overall imagination and sensibilities towards communion with God (Deut 6:7-9).

72. What are the dangers associated with discipline?

On the one hand: laziness (Prov 26:13-16), lack of watchfulness (1 Thes 5:6-8; 1 Pet 4:7) and spiritual apathy (Mal 1:13, Rev 3:16-17); on the other: will-worship (Col 2:23), spiritual pride (Lk 18:11-12), and man-pleasing (Mt 6:1-18).

73. How do we avoid these dangers?

We understand that no progress is possible without discipline (2 Tim 2:3-6), while understanding that discipline is a means to communing with God, not the end in itself (2 King 18:4).

74. How is discipline related to the Gospel?

Discipline requires we, by the Spirit, mortify desires and habits hostile to faith (Rom 8:13), while reckoning ourselves alive to the empowering grace of obedience (1 Cor 9:27; Rom 6:1-23).

75. How do we reconcile desire and self-denial?

The Spirit will grant us desires (Phil 2:13), but these desires are fanned into flame and not quenched (2 Tim 1:6, 1 Thes 5:19) when we respond by working out those desires in vigorous, wholehearted action (Phil 2:12; Col 1:29, 1 Tim 4:12), which requires self-denial (1 Cor 9:25-27; Lk 9:23; Col 3:5).