What is “Gospel Convergence”? Part 9

The purpose of Gospel Convergence is to provide:

“Meditations on the Life of Jesus in the Mission of His Church for the Glory of God”

converging arrows vimeoThis encapsulates our Theological Vision which can be broken down into three complementary points:

  • Christ-Centred
  • Mission Orientated
  • Doxologically Driven

Doxologically Driven

We believe the driving force behind our Christ-Centeredness and Missional Orientation has to be Doxology.

Worship Beyond Words

Worship is never less than words, it is always much more.

Worship is about a transformed heart.

Prophesying to the people of Israel, at some time between 740 BC and 680 BC, Yahweh said through Isaiah the prophet, “this people draw near with their mouth and honour me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,” (Isaiah 29:13 ESV).

This same refrain is later picked up by Jesus in one of his many heated conversations with the religious leaders of his day,

“And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Mark 7:6-7 ESV)

To the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees, worship was little more than giving lip service to God. They believed with all their hearts that by living publically moral lives before their fellow Israelites, saying the right things and being descended from Abraham would be enough to earn them God’s favour. Their passion for God’s law, and more importantly their additional rules, was sadly misplaced.

The Pharisees had set their hearts on the wrong thing. They had placed their hope in their own ability to obey God’s law instead of in the God who wrote the law and in the Person of Jesus Christ who perfectly obeyed that law for us.

Worship is not principally external.

When God created humanity he designed us to worship him. There was no other option. Sin changed that. We now have countless options, though in actual fact we have only two: we either worship God or we worship an idol. John Calvin has famously said, “man’s nature [his heart], so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols” (Institutes 1.11.8). The root of our worship problem is not in our behaviour. The root of our worship problem goes much deeper, right down into our hearts. Idolatry is an insidious evil because it takes something which is good and elevates it in our affections, our heart, to the status of deity.

The Pharisees, for example, had done this with the law. They had taken something good that God had given to them and they elevated it far beyond what it was ever meant to do. The Apostle Paul, a former Pharisee himself, comments on this in his first letter to Timothy, “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully” (1:8 ESV). The Pharisees believed that through the law they could earn God’s favour and eternal life, however, that was not why God had given the law in the first place. It was never meant to be a means of salvation (John 5:39-40).

There is, at this moment, a worship war taking place in each of our hearts because our hearts are intrinsically wired to worship. The war is over who or what we will worship. Our heart is the battlefield on which that war is won or lost. The outcome of the many battles that rage in our heart will determine how we live, they will shape our behaviour and they will determine whether or not our actions are pleasing to God.

Our worship goes far beyond our words, the doctrines we profess and the songs we sing, to the very lives we lead.

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