i was reading a blog post earlier today, and even though the writer normally writes good stuff, this one post seemed off.
do we respond to God, or does God respond to us? and while he didn’t answer in a direct or rebellious way, he did answer wrong. it is crucial that we get our system of revelation and response right, otherwise we have the power to change the word of God, as opposed to the word changing us.
we must remember that it was God who first acted before we were even able to react. not even touching on the creation itself all through genesis, ephesians 2 says that we were ‘dead in our trespasses and sins in which we once walked.’ dead people don’t make choices. ‘but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved -‘
we have no power to act to begin with, we were created to be reactionary creatures; to be worshippers. God speaks, we listen and respond.
in the world of worship, some pastors will reflect how they structure worship through how God reacts with His people in scripture, and one of the most commonly used ones is from isaiah 6. go to biblia.com and read isaiah 6 for yourself, otherwise the rest of this post won’t make sense.
if we take this passage and begin outlining what is happening here, it looks something like this –
- vs 1
- isaiah has a vision from the Lord because God gave Him the vision, God acted first.
- vs 1-4
- declaration of God’s holiness
- vs 5
- a declaration of our lack of holiness as a response to God’s holiness
- vs 6-7
- assurance of salvation, which is and was Jesus to come.
- vs 8
- vs 9-10
- God speaking once more
- this could be called a reaction from God (even though He would continue to speak whether or not we obey)
- this is where cole’s article would fit into the scheme of dialogue between God and man.
- vs 11-13
as we begin to take the idea of action/reaction and fit it into the grander scheme of worship (revelation and response), because that is where it belongs in systematic theology, i would say that we will come to the following definition of worship as described by dr. jonathan blackmon & dr. bruce leafblad –
“worship is communion with God in which the triune God of the bible reveals Himself through Word and Spirit to His people, and in which believers, by grace, center their minds’ attention and their hearts’ affection on the Lord, humbly glorifying God in response to His greatness and His Word.”
when we look at worship in a broad sense, it is living entirely in a reaction to God’s enactment of the Gospel. we must keep that at the center of how we celebrate what God has revealed through His word.