The Worship Quote of the Week for (10/07/2008):

Forgiven Saints
Regrettably, many churches choose to avoid specific reference to our grievous sin against God. Perhaps this strategy is an honest attempt to affirm men and women and to encourage them to be the best they can be; but that is the very point: the best we can offer is not even close to winning God's favor and blessing. We must throw ourselves completely on the mercy of God. Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is a timely reminder about the power of God's forgiveness through Christ Jesus. The author is theologian and forgiven sinner Marva Dawn.

The pastoral proclamation of absolute reconciliation with God, entirely by means of God's pardoning mercy, is one of the greatest gifts of the worship service because it is usually not possible for us to forgive ourselves. The explicit announcement that ALL my sins, known and unknown, have been pardoned through Jesus Christ is the best good news available anywhere in the world. Why on earth would our churches not want to speak these glad tidings to guilty and burdened hearts? And won't it change our lives immensely if worship frees us to live as forgiven saints, instead of encumbered sinners, loaded with regrets and faults?

—Marva J. Dawn, HOW SHALL WE WORSHIP?: BIBLICAL GUIDELINES FOR THE WORSHIP WARS, Chapter 9, “How Will True Worship Change Our Character?” Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003, pp. 130-31. ISBN 0-8423-5636-3.

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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