READ: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God” Col 3.16.

THINK: The hymn teaches the Good News, besides being praise, Eph 5.18-20. We sing without instruments because we have no authorization for them, which cannot praise God nor teach our brother. Continue reading

READ: “God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” Jn 4.24 NET.

THINK: The worship of God’s children must conform to his character, rational acts revealed by him. We do not choose how to worship him. As Sovereign, it is he who determines how we approach his presence. The must is what he requires of us. Continue reading

Betty Choate wrote the words to “Thou Shalt Call,” Barry Epps, the music, and a group from the Lewisville TX church sang for this mp3.

Thanks to Betty for permission to post the song file here.

To download the song, right-click on this link and choose “Save link as” from the menu.

 

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MinistryMinistry has become the exercise of power. Minister, both in politics and religion, is now an aggregator of privileges. But ministers like these can’t call God as a witness to their service, as does this servant:

For God, whom I serve with my spirit in [telling] the good news about His Son, is my witness …
Romans 1:9 HCSB

In the original language, the term for “serve” has a wide meaning, of worship or work, of praise or proclamation of the message. The context in which it appears determines the type of religious service. In Matthew 4:10, for example, it is generally translated as “worship.” Here, the service seems to be announcing the Good News of Christ (as in 15:16). Continue reading

God defines what good works are, for which we were created (Eph 2:10), just as he, by his own nature, defines the very meaning of “good.” I have no idea if a work is good or not. This is why Jesus challenges the rich ruler as to what is good (Luke 18:18-19), because man has one idea — the wrong one — about goodness, while God’s idea is quite different.

• The first and, in one very real sense, only consideration is when, where and how we may please God by our service and devotion, in the midst of, and participating with, his spiritual family. All other considerations, of work, relationships, and even leisure and recreation, fall far below the first. A great white space opens a gulf of separation between the first consideration and the others. Indeed, there is but one, then there is the rest. Continue reading

THE police stopped me this morning on the way in to the office. An officer took my car documents and driver’s licence, then went and checked them on some sort of list his partner was holding. Walked around the car, took his easy time, but finally returned my documents and waved me off. First time in a long time to happen.

• Got my editorial up today on FMag. It’s a pourypot. Er, potpourri. Hodgepodge. There. I mean, here.

• Late on getting out my January GoSpeak report. Soon.

• There’s not a single major updated Portuguese Bible version not clamped down by copyright restrictions. These guys are giving it a shot, with BíbliaLivre, but it’s still a work in progress, retains the old thee/thou type language, and relies on the Textus Receptus, an inferior textual base. I’m wanting a New Testament text to publish with some notes, but the right version just ain’t out there. Continue reading

The fact God has specified in the New Testament ways in which we are to worship him indicates that he still cares about the form of worship, that it is not a matter of indifference to him. If he simply had said “worship me” and not identified ways in which he desires to be worshiped, everyone would agree that all ways of worshiping him would be acceptable. But since he commanded specific ways of worship, one devoted to pleasing him should not risk displeasing him by worshiping in ways he has not commanded.

This seems to be a good and fair statement, from Ashby Camp, in a PDF review of Milton Jones’s work on instrumental music. His review is enlightening.

Some days ago, I was looking through the book by our brother Jack Wilhelm, Paul’s Conversion and Missionary Journeys, and noticed a list of the five acts of worship in 1 Corinthians.

I’ve since loaned out the book, so I can’t reproduce his list exactly, but it wasn’t difficult to open Paul’s letter and find several passages that show how the Corinthian church, in spite of its errors, still practiced all the essential acts in its meetings, as we do today. Continue reading