John Piper, in chapel at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, emphasized the essential role of preaching in worship, asking at the outset, "Why does preaching have a prominent place in the church today? And is there biblical warrant for this?"
Piper, now a vocational elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., said March 21 the Word of God is preeminent because Scripture affirms its preeminence.
"God has chosen to reveal Himself as the Word and by the Word. First, God was the Word before anything existed. As the Gospel of John states, 'In the beginning was the Word.'
"Second," Piper said, "God reveals Himself by the Word (1 Samuel 3:21). If worship is a seeing and a savoring of the appearing of the glory of God, then the Word is to be central."
Piper said 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5 affirms that the Word of God is breathed out by God, and he said worship is the response of the mind and heart to God's work in the world.
"His works are done by His Word," Piper said. "If we are to see a work of God, we should know that the work is brought about by the Word. For instance, in Jesus' life and ministry, sins are forgiven by His word. The dead are raised by His word. The sick are healed by His word.
"The Word created life and therefore wherever there is worship and response to God's Word, it is first because of God's mighty Word."
An essential component of the Word, Piper said, is that it penetrates the heart and the soul. Something powerful happens when the Word of God is accepted and trusted.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press