The Motive of Worship (Gospel Preaching and Sanctification, part 7)



This series has been about the role of the gospel in sanctification. It is precisely the glorious sight of Christ in the gospel that conforms us to the likeness of Christ by the work of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). Now, besides this priceless benefit of conformity to Christ for the glory of God, why would we want to see the glory of Christ? This question takes us to the heart of Christian living, preaching, praying, and worship like none other.

Question #13. Why would we want to see the glory of Christ?

First, we love Him. Second, we need Him.

"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." (John 14:21)
"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

Why do you gather with the church for worship? It should be that you have come to see Christ by God's Word and Spirit.

Question #14. Why do we love Christ? 

Because He is God Most High and worthy of all adoration and affection, and because He has forgiven our sins by a free act of selfless love.

"He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:3; see Matt. 22:36-38)
"Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." (Luke 7:47)
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

Question #15. Why do we need Christ?

We need His power because we are weak and we need His mercy because we are sinful.


"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41)

Remember, true spiritual strength is relying on God as a helpless beggar, not relying on ourselves, our knowledge, our efforts, works, or anything else. 

"He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;I
shall not be greatly shaken." (Psalm 62:2)

In short, we need God to strengthen us, and that strength comes through the preaching of Christ according to the biblical gospel: 

"Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages." (Romans 16:25)


"Who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:5)
"And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might." (Ephesians 1:19)
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)


"So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. [22] For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, [23] but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members." (Romans 7:21-23)


"Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:17)

This is why knowing Christ is of surpassing work, because Christ mediates and ministers the power and mercy of God to our hearts and minds. He meets our need. He fulfills our desire. He brings God to us and brings us to God. He enables us, by a supernatural and gracious love, to honor and glorify God with our lives. 

" Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ [9] and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—[10] that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, [11] that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:8–11)