Essential 1: We Worship Jesus
Our mission at Cities Church is the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Underneath that mission, we have three essentials that correspond to the three main structures of this church. In the next few weeks, we want to walk through each of them in order to remind ourselves of what we’re all about. Our essentials are: 1) We worship Jesus. 2) We serve one another. 3) We seek the good of the Cities. Let’s think a bit about that first one.
Last week in Pastor Jonathan’s sermon, the early church responded to opposition by praying Psalm 2. And Psalm 2 shows why we worship Jesus. The psalm shows that Jesus is God’s Anointed, God’s Messiah, his holy King. God has established Jesus as Lord of the universe. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. The Risen Jesus is the Reigning Jesus, and he has the right to command our allegiance and obedience. Therefore, because Jesus is the risen and reigning King, we worship Jesus.
But this Jesus isn’t only a King. He’s also God’s Beloved Son. He is the eternal Son of God, He shared glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit before the world was made. He was with God in glory in the beginning. And all things were made through him. You and I were made by Christ and for Christ. Therefore, because he is the Eternal and Beloved Son of God who made us, we worship Jesus.
But not only is Jesus the King, and not only is he God’s Son, he is also our Savior. In Psalm 2, we are called to seek refuge in him. We are rebels all. We have gone our own way, and now, in the gospel of Jesus peace is offered to us, if we will, as the psalm says, kiss the Son, if we will seek refuge in him. And so because he was made flesh, because he lived and died and was raised for us and for our salvation, we worship Jesus.
Human beings are fundamentally worshipers. All of us have a God-shaped hole in our hearts, and we all give our fundamental allegiance to something or someone. Dylan was right: You gotta serve somebody. That’s why we gather here to worship together, and why our worship service is structured around the gospel of Jesus. God calls us to worship him. We enter into his presence and we confess our sins (which is one of the functions of these exhortations: to prepare us for confession). God then consecrates us to himself in our songs and prayers and in the preaching of his word. We then have communion with him at the Lord’s Table, and finally, he commissions us out into the world to serve one another and to seek the good of these cities. That is how we worship Jesus week in and week out.
This reminds us of our need to confess our sins, so let us seek refuge in him now.
Prayer of Confession
Our Father and God, you have set your King on Zion, your holy hill. You have declared Jesus to be the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead. You have promised him the inheritance of nations. And yet many of the nations walk in darkness still. The nations rage and the kingdoms mock you. They conspire together to cast off the rule of the Lord Jesus. The rulers of the earth selfishly aspire to be god. They think their own way is best, and therefore they ignore and despise and reject your Beloved Son. Their rebellion is certainly in vain, but it is also a great evil.
What’s more, as your covenant people, we too have not worshiped you as we ought. We have not served you with fear and rejoiced with trembling. We’ve treated you lightly, and nursed hidden sins that we thought we could hide from you. And so we seek your forgiveness for our presumption and our false boldness in worship. We ask that you would soften our hearts and humble us that we might approach your throne with proper boldness because it is a throne of grace. We come to seek refuge in your Son, our Savior. We come to kiss the Son, lest we perish in the way.
We know, Father, that if we in the Church regard sin in our own midst, or in our own hearts, our prayers will be ineffectual. And so we confess our individual sins to you now.