You cannot sustain a body of churches without core values that unite you, values from the Word of God. All Scripture is breathed out by God and the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge and faith. When we lose our grip on the Bible, we lose our Christian character, our witness, and eventually every good work. We must be Bereans, examining all teaching in light of the Word, and never take for granted that we have easy access to a Bible we can read in our own languages.
We often tend to think of the academic or practical sides of instructing our children: Get 'em into college so they can get a good job, right? That's important, but above these critical areas, "the chief end of every Christian parent must be the spiritual interests, the religious character, and eternal salvation of his children" (John Angell James). Teaching our children about the character of God inspires obedience, worship, and faith in Him; teaching them about the gospel brings salvation to the lost and gives life and hope to the Christian each day.
This is the first message in a series of messages on what it means to be both reformed and charismatic. These are Christian distinctives that you don't often find in combination. Each has its own particular stereotypes and its own unique tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses; we believe that at their best, both positions are biblical, and our goal will be to capture and embrace the strengths of both as we see them in Scripture. In the way that reformed believers approach Scripture, one of their particular strengths is to emphasize the truth, authority, infallibility, sufficiency, and God-breathed nature of Scripture. Scripture is God's word to us and it is our source of truth and it is our authority in all matters of life and death. Scripture is to serve as the one objective measure by which we judge all other subjective matters of experience. In the way that charismatic believers approach Scripture, one of their particular strengths is to emphasize the effect that Scripture is to have on us and the proper response that we are to have. In our reading of Scripture, God is communicating not merely truth to us, but also encouragement, comfort, and hope, as well as warnings and admonition. Scripture is to cause us to grow in joy, contentment, peace, and humility. It is to change us, bring wisdom to our foolishness, and speak to every area of our lives. Fortunately, we do not have to choose between these two! We are to eagerly study Scripture as our source of truth, and we are to hungrily apply that truth to our lives as we grow in faith and affection for God, resulting in worship toward him.
Worship is giving glory to the God of all glory who is revealing his glory to all. We see that God is glorious, beautiful, majestic, holy in his person and character; beyond this, everything that he does is done to display, reveal, and showcase his glory. It is a good thing that God is working for his own glory; creation is blessed, and we are blessed, when God seeks his own glory. The proper response for us as we see God's glory is to give glory to him, in worship and praise.