And the essence of the Christian religion consists in the reality that the creation of the Father, ruined by sin, is restored in the death of the Son of God and re-created by the grace of the Holy Spirit into a kingdom of God (Bavinck, Prolegomena, 112).
Throughout Scripture, the act of worship is shaped by and related to God’s acts of redemption in the closest possible way (R. Scott Clark, Recovering the Reformed Confession, 258).
The worshipers God desires have always worshiped God in accordance with God’s revealed will, e.g., Abram built altars, Moses assembled a Tabernacle, Solomon constructed the First Temple in Jerusalem. But for us, for New Covenant believers, what is acceptable worship? How do we serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear?
We worship and serve God in Christ, because the Father through Christ has redeemed us. We are born again, by Word and Spirit, and reborn we see and enter into the kingdom of God (John 3).
Hebrews 1:1-2a: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.
Hebrews 12:28: Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
“A disciple is one who learns and comes under instruction and guidance. . . . The church Is not only where disciples go once a week; it’s where disciples are made, by the ordinary ministry and the fellowship of the saints” (Michael Horton, Core Christianity, 141).
Well, no wonder the psalmist, joyful for the sake of others, said, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1).
John Murray was a 20th century biblical theologian. Consider his reflection on Ephesians 1:3-4, that we were chosen “in Christ” before the foundation of world, and its implication for union with Christ.
The Father elected from eternity, but he elected in Christ. We are not able to understand all that is involved, but the fact is plain enough that there was no election of the Father in eternity apart from Christ. And that means that those who will be saved were not even contemplated by the Father in the ultimate counsel of his predestinating love apart from union with Christ–they were chosen in Christ. As far back as we can go in tracing salvation to its fountain we find “union with Christ”; it is not something tacked on; it is there from the outset (John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied, 162).
Your union with Christ does not ebb and flow. Union is not conditional on anything finite. But rather, the only thing your union with Christ is conditional on is the Father’s eternal, electing love of having chosen you in Christ.