Office Hours: Bob Godfrey On Public Worship And Sanctification

Office HoursWhen we think about sanctification, that gracious, gradual renewal of believers by  through faith, which results in our gradual conformity to the image of Christ, we may first think of private prayer and worship. Those are important and even indispensable to Christian growth but what about public worship? In this episode Bob Godfrey, president of Westminster Seminary California and Professor of Church History, and I begin by discussing the way Psalm 96 relates worship to the holiness:

Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!
Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness. (Psalm 96, ESV)

Here is the episode.

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  1. Would have been interested to have heard something on the public reading of Scripture in worship, and in particular who should read it. The Directory for Public Worship suggests this is a ministerial function. Obviously the Reformed church in Scotland must have had a wider perspective as the office of Reader was recognised, part of whose duties was the actual reading of Scripture. It seems to me that many Reformed churches have abandoned this position and we even have children doing the reading in some cases. I wonder what is behind this democratisation of the public reading of Scripture and whether this is a retrograde step.

  2. Thanks Scott – you could have Dr Godfrey on every week as far as I’m concerned. Loved these lines; “Public Worship is appointed by God, and accompanied with his promise to meet us there. .. In His Word, by His Holy Spirit, He meets with us, and blesses us, and sanctifies us.”

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