We order our Fridays from the following principles:
1. The Priority of Preaching
We believe that God ordained His preached Word to be the instrument that conforms men and women into the image of Christ (2 Cor 3:4-18). Therefore, we center our Friday gatherings around the preaching of God's Word, where we aim to exposit or "bring out" the meaning of the Spirit-inspired authors as we apply it to our modern day context (1 Peter 1:16-21). The biblical themes from the sermon text inform our songs, Scripture readings and prayers.
2. The Prayer of Faith
We believe that God ordained prayer as an instrument by which he accomplishes His sovereign plan (Matt 6:9-10; 9:37; Luke 18:1-8). When we pray, we confess our dependence on God and our faith that He alone can accomplish His will through weak vessels of grace (Acts 4:24-31; 2 Cor 4:7). Therefore, every Friday we aim to confess our sins and call upon our Sovereign Lord to move in and through us for His glory and our joy (John 16:23-24)!
3. The Songs of Praise
We believe that God has commanded us to respond to His revelation by centering our worship around the gospel of Jesus Christ (Phil 4:4; Col 3:16). Therefore, we aim to order the songs we sing in response to God's Word. We choose songs that are grounded in the Scriptures that: reflect deep theological truths about God's holy character, expose our sinful rebellion, and focus our hearts on Christ's atoning work to redeem sinners.
4. The Fellowship of the Saints
We believe that God has commanded His new covenant people to gather regularly into local congregations who bear responsibility for one another (Heb 10:24-25; Gal 6:1-5). True faith that loves God is lived out by loving one another (1 John 4:19-21). Therefore, we ask every member at Grace Church to commit themselves by gathering every Friday in order to live out Christ's "one another" commands under the authority of godly leaders (Eph 4:15-16; Heb 13:17).
5. The Witness of the Church
We believe that God ordained the local church as kingdom outposts central to the advance of God's kingdom. The local church is the manifold wisdom of God and the pillar that testifies God's truth to the world (Eph 3:7-12; 1 Tim 3:14-16). Therefore, we strive to advance the gospel by living according to God's Word, proclaiming the good news to those around us, and by sending qualified men to plant healthy churches around the globe (Rom 10:9-17; 15:17-23).
1. From John Piper's Sermon, "Prayer and the Victory of God"; desiringgod.org