Worship is the most appropriate response to the gospel. When challenging people to worship, both corporately and personally, churches that view discipleship through the gospel lens articulate that attitude. When God gave the Ten Commandments to His people, He first reminded them of the freedom He graciously gave them.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me. (Exodus 20:2–3)
The first commandment instructs us to worship only God, to have nothing else that captures our hearts. Prior to giving the command, God reminds the people that He rescued them from Egyptian captivity. He has rescued us from the captivity of our sin, and we shall have no other god before Him. The foundation for worship is the gospel. As the psalmist commands us in Psalm 150, we should offer Him passionate praise because of His powerful acts on our behalf (v. 2).
The implications are numerous, but churches viewing worship through the lens of the gospel select songs that remind the people of the gospel and call for a response because of the gospel. Tradition or styles are not the starting point in song selection, but the gospel is. Instead of thinly veiled songs that could easily be sung to a boyfriend or girlfriend, songs that clearly point to Jesus are selected. While you can gaze into the eyes of anyone or have anyone embrace you, only God gives you His righteousness and rids you of all your sin.
Adapted from Transformational Discipleship (B&H Publishing Group, 2012)
This article was originally published on August 16, 2013 on www.ericgeiger.com.
Eric Geiger serves as one of the Vice Presidents at LifeWay Christian Resources, leading the Church Resources Division. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball. Eric can be found on Twitter @RealEricGeiger and at Facebook.com/RealEricGeiger.