Pastor’s Corner – Praise & Adoration

Dear Friends,

Continuing in our series on Liturgy or Order of Worship, we now come to the Praise and Adoration portion of our worship service. This follows the Call to Worship and Invocation. After we are reminded of why we gather to worship and after we invoke the presence of our benevolent God, asking Him to be with us and help us to worship Him, we then want to do just that, worship Him!

The reason we want to worship Him is because that is what we were created to do! As the Westminster Shorter Catechism question one so eloquently states, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” We glorify God by giving Him praise! 

We enter into a posture and a spirit of worship through singing – what we call praise and adoration. That is why we gather to worship! Not to hear a motivational speech. Not to see our friends. Not to check a box that we went to church. But to gather together with the saints of God to give Him praise and worship.

You will notice in our Order of Worship that the first two hymns that we sing have to do with calling one another to worship and singing praises to God. We have certain principles that guide what we sing. 

First, we want our music and the songs that we sing to be Reformed. By Reformed we mean that theology shapes how we we worship and what we sing. Therefore, our theology is shaped by the principles that shaped the Reformation. Those principles being:Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.At Cornerstone, we want to practice Reformed worship that is centered around the Triune God and His Holy Word. That’s why at Cornerstone we READ the Bible, SING the Bible, PRAY the Bible, and PREACH the Bible!

Second, we want our praise and adoration of God to be congregational. In other words, we don’t want our music and our singing to be something you simply watch but something that you actively participate in. Sunday morning worship is not something you go to watch, but something in which you are actively participating. Songs are carefully chosen each week that are God-centered and not man-centered, as well as congregational. In other words, we choose songs to be easily sung in a congregational setting. We are not against many songs that you may hear on the radio or other popular Christian music, but we find that many of them are not easily translatable to a Sunday worship service in which the entire congregation must be able to participate with their voices. 

Finally, you will notice that much of the music we sing each week follows a theme. If the particular text of the sermon is emphasizing a particular doctrine or attribute of God, we want to pick up on that theme as we praise and adore our God. If it is the second Sunday of the month and we are observing communion, then we want some of our songs to focus on the cross of Jesus Christ and what He accomplished for us there. 

I hope that each week you will notice that everything we are doing is structured and has a purpose. Specifically we want the songs that we sing to help us praise and adore our triune God. 

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!  ~ Psalm 100:1–2 ESV

See you Sunday! 

by His grace and to His praise, 
Preparation for Worship – June 23, 2019
This Sunday’s sermon: The Treasured Volume: How To Walk With The Lord – Psalm 16
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Hymn of the week:  He Will Hold Me Fast
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