Friday, March 03, 2006

One thing that did not change in the transition from Old to New Testament worship

Many notice the changes from Old Testament to New Testament worship. For example, the gathered local church is the temple of God where God's Spirit resides (1 Cor 3:16-17), in contrast with worship centered locally at the Jerusalem temple. We are also to approach the throne of grace with boldness on the basis of our Great High Priest Jesus Christ who has passed through the heavens (instead of the veils) (Heb 4). There are many examples of this.

Although there are some certain discontinuities in this present economy from the previous economy, I believe that some things remain the same. One of these things, quite obviously, is the object of the worship: the one true and living God (whom we now know, by virtue of progressive revelation, exists in three Persons). Another element of continuity is the reverence and awe that God requires. The gravity of worship has not changed, just as the object of that worship has not. The same fear and wonder that the children of Israel had at the foot of Sinai should be present in our worship. So Hebrews 12 reminds us,

6At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." 27This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of things that are shaken--that is, things that have been made--in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29for our God is a consuming fire.


In fact, if the repeated refrain of the author of the Hebrews, present even in this passage, be taken seriously, we should have more fear, more reverence, and more awe than the children of Israel had, for we have experienced something greater and more awesome than Sinai--Jesus Christ the Son. The inspired writer says in the verses preceding these,

18For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned." 21Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear." 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


And so may we render to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.

*Scripture cited from the English Standard Version (ESV) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Scott Aniol said...

This is great, Ryan. I'm going to have to preach on this some time soon...

3/03/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Ryan Martin said...

I was thinking the same thing, but, then again, I think that all the time.

3/03/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Todd Mitchell said...

Excellent, Ryan.

Just last Monday I included Heb 12:28-29 in a monthly mailer to my church.

Now, what does "reverence" mean?

3/03/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Vawter said...

You're not kidding Scott,
I am not sure any modern worship experience could compate to seeing the Red Sea parted, or seeing Moses' glowing face coming down the mountain, but we do Worship that same God, Wow!

3/03/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan Martin said...

Thank you, gentlemen.

The wonder of this text is that it tells us that Sinai has nothing on the Day of the Lord.

3/03/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Bob M said...

Ryan, this is an excellent post. I am going to use it if you don't mind. I will give you royalties if I get any.

3/07/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan Martin said...

Thank you, Bob!

You know where to send the check.

3/07/2006 10:48:00 PM  

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Immoderate: One thing that did not change in the transition from Old to New Testament worship

Friday, March 03, 2006

One thing that did not change in the transition from Old to New Testament worship

Many notice the changes from Old Testament to New Testament worship. For example, the gathered local church is the temple of God where God's Spirit resides (1 Cor 3:16-17), in contrast with worship centered locally at the Jerusalem temple. We are also to approach the throne of grace with boldness on the basis of our Great High Priest Jesus Christ who has passed through the heavens (instead of the veils) (Heb 4). There are many examples of this.

Although there are some certain discontinuities in this present economy from the previous economy, I believe that some things remain the same. One of these things, quite obviously, is the object of the worship: the one true and living God (whom we now know, by virtue of progressive revelation, exists in three Persons). Another element of continuity is the reverence and awe that God requires. The gravity of worship has not changed, just as the object of that worship has not. The same fear and wonder that the children of Israel had at the foot of Sinai should be present in our worship. So Hebrews 12 reminds us,

6At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." 27This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of things that are shaken--that is, things that have been made--in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29for our God is a consuming fire.


In fact, if the repeated refrain of the author of the Hebrews, present even in this passage, be taken seriously, we should have more fear, more reverence, and more awe than the children of Israel had, for we have experienced something greater and more awesome than Sinai--Jesus Christ the Son. The inspired writer says in the verses preceding these,

18For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned." 21Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear." 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


And so may we render to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.

*Scripture cited from the English Standard Version (ESV) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Scott Aniol said...

This is great, Ryan. I'm going to have to preach on this some time soon...

3/03/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Ryan Martin said...

I was thinking the same thing, but, then again, I think that all the time.

3/03/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Todd Mitchell said...

Excellent, Ryan.

Just last Monday I included Heb 12:28-29 in a monthly mailer to my church.

Now, what does "reverence" mean?

3/03/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Vawter said...

You're not kidding Scott,
I am not sure any modern worship experience could compate to seeing the Red Sea parted, or seeing Moses' glowing face coming down the mountain, but we do Worship that same God, Wow!

3/03/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan Martin said...

Thank you, gentlemen.

The wonder of this text is that it tells us that Sinai has nothing on the Day of the Lord.

3/03/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Bob M said...

Ryan, this is an excellent post. I am going to use it if you don't mind. I will give you royalties if I get any.

3/07/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan Martin said...

Thank you, Bob!

You know where to send the check.

3/07/2006 10:48:00 PM  

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