Preach as we do:
When God’s people come to hear a message, it must be a message from God, as revealed in His Word. They don’t need stories, entertainment, passionate yelling, or one liners to make them feel good or to be compelled to yell “Amen”. They need to hear from God, who often speaks with a still, small voice (I Kings 19:12)
God gave the gift of pastor-teacher to the church for the purpose of edifying the church and equipping it for ministry (Ephesians 4:8-12). The preacher must depend upon the Word of God in His preaching, not on the force of his personality (I Corinthians 2:3-5). The Spirit of God does not need high volume to do His work, but the Word of God, which He inspired. God’s plan is to manifest His Word through preaching, which should serve to clarify His Word (Titus 1:3).
Consequently, the best method to use to accomplish this is expository preaching. When covering topics, we expound the verses that deal with those topics. But the primary form of study is where we start at verse one of a book in the Bible and preach through the entire book. God gave all of His Word to profit us (II Timothy 3:16-17), so let’s look at all of His Word, not just the favorite verses that most believers already know.
Sing as we do:
Music, with or without words, has power for good or evil. As we look at how David ministered to King Saul, we see that his harp music, with no apparent singing, accomplished good in his life in a time of need. (I Sam. 16:23). Clearly, the music written for other purposes would have the opposite effect.
Therefore, no music will be used in any program or service at Scenic Bay Baptist Church that could be classified as CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). While there are a number of godly musicians who are contemporary artists (They live and serve in this era.), contemporary music is that which uses the art forms of ungodly music of the world.
Godly music should incorporate the principles of:
The new song (Psalm 40:1-3) – The music of the believer should be totally different from the music of the world. When we are saved, God places a new song in our mouths.
The difference between the holy and the profane (Ezekiel 22:26) – As God expected the priests of the Old Testament to make a difference between the holy and profane, between the unclean and the clean, so He expects us, as believers to recognize these differences as well. Mixing the music of the world with the words of the church is inconsistent with this principle.
The pollution of the holy when mixed with the unclean (Haggai 2:13) – When godly words are placed with unclean, or worldly music, then the godly words become unholy and unusable in the church.
The priority of a dominant melody unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:19) – When the believer is filled with the Spirit, or under His control, then the melody of his song will be dominant. When other parts of the music is dominant, especially the beat, it indicates another source.
Grace to the Lord in the musician’s heart (Colossians 3:16) – Godly music will be rich in the words of Christ and will be empowered by the workings of His grace. The church does not need the power of a strong beat to make a song interesting or a blessing to His people.
Refusal to conform to the world (Romans 12:2) – God expects His children to resist the pull of the world, not allow their music to draw them back into it.
Praise as we do:
God mentions His desire to praise Him with many of His exhortations to pray (Philippians 4:6). He commands us to praise Him in I Thessalonians 5:18 and mentions this attitude in the Spirit filled life (Ephesians 5:20). God is pleased when we offer praise and thanksgiving to His name.
Praise is far more than repetitious statements of “Praise the Lord!”, “Bless the Lord!“ or “Hallelujah!” The praise that honors God is that which originates from His Word. This kind of praise requires meditation in His Word to see more clearly the reasons we must praise Him. Psalms has three primary themes of praise:
We praise Him for His Word.
We praise Him for His works.
We praise Him for His ways, or His attributes.
Since God is pleased when we praise Him, we have a portion of time in our services to simply praise Him for what He said, for what He does, and for Who He is. Our God is worthy of all praise.
Scenic Bay Baptist Church is an Independent Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida.
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