By admin | April 7, 2008
Posted by Prof. Renihan
At Escondido Reformed Baptist Church, we have 7 student-interns. These men participate in different ways in the teaching and preaching work of our assembly, and we greatly appreciate their labors.
Recently, the men have been teaching us about worship–why we do the things that we do in our worship services. We have been really encouraged by their careful work with Scripture, and reverent approach to the elements of divine worship.
The final topic considered is one that has been important to me for several years–benedictions. The use of formal benedictions is relatively rare in our churches. Many Reformed Baptist churches conclude their worship with a hymn and a prayer; others end with the sermon (or the prayer after the sermon) followed by a brief instrumental selection.
While I understand the reasoning behind this practice, it has always seemed inadequate to me. Something is lacking when worship is ended in this way.
Several years ago, I heard Dr. Godfrey speak about the importance of ending worship with a benediction–a word spoken by the minister, on behalf of God, promising His blessing to His people. That sermon convinced me that benedictions are the proper, Biblical means of concluding public worship.
As our students worked their way through the constituent parts of worship, we asked Mr. Chuck Rennie (a senior who will graduate in May) to handle the matter of benedictions. As I listened to him, it seemed that he struck exactly the right balance in his presentation. And so I have asked Chuck to prepare his material for posting here on our website. Beginning tomorrow, we will post his work in segments. I hope it will be a great blessing to you.
I want these posts to do several things, most importantly that they will help more pastors and churches to consider the importance of concluding worship with a benediction. It is a wonderful thing to leave worship with the Lord’s words of blessing ringing in your ears!
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