Declare His glory among the Nations
Presidents address to the 2018 assembly
Psalm 96: 1-13 is similar or part of the composition contained in 1 Chronicles 16: 23-33. The entire composition in the Chronicles account is linked to David when the ark was brought to Jerusalem and set inside the tent that David pitched. 1 Chronicles 16:7 “That day David first committed to Asaph and his associates this psalm of thanks to the Lord”. The Psalm calls for people to praise God (verse 1-3, 7-10a, 11-12a) and gives reasons why God is worthy of praise (verse 4-6, 10b, 12b-13).
God’s reign gets spectators and awakens those who are sleeping. No wonder the Psalm brims with imperatives: three times we are told to sing, and after that to bless, tell, declare, ascribe and worship. This Psalm is motivational. It moves people to proclaim God’s mercy and might.
In Part 1 (verse 1-3) God’s people get their marching orders. First, we are to “sing a new song” (verse1). This suggests that a remarkable act of divine deliverance provided the occasion for this song.
After three calls to sing, the Psalm moves to another imperative: the call to bless God’s name (verse2). Of course, God does not need our blessing but in worship, to bless God is to tell of God’s saving deeds…. To extol God’s mercy, might and compassion. All nations are directed to bless his name from day to day. Worship is between the worshipper and God, yet it moves outward with another imperative. We are to tell others of God’s salvation not to a particular group of people, race or to the choir but to the whole world. To bless God’s name would mean to praise or speak well of the Most High. His salvation or the deliverance He effected for his people, His mercy, power and compassion deserved to be made known repeatedly, from day to day, “so as not to fade from memory”.
The Psalmist says we are to declare God’s glory “among the nations”. God’s marvellous works to all the people. So, Psalm 96 has been called a “missionary psalm”.
Part 2 (verses 4-6) tells why God is to be praised. God is great above the heavens. But down here on earth where there are many gods, the one true God outshines them all. The Psalmist dismisses those other gods- with-a small - “g” as mere idols. They are man-made, in contrast to the Creator who made us, and the heavens (verse 5). We praise God as Creator, and we also praise God’s character.
The description of God’s character found in Psalm 96:6 has a different emphasis: God’s “honour and majesty are before him, His strength and beauty fill the sanctuary”.
Part 3 (verses7-10) returns to the imperative mood once more, in a worship setting. Three times we are told to ascribe the glory to God. To “ascribe” is to name a quality that belongs to a person or a thing. To God we ascribe glory and strength. To express our gratitude and dependence on God, we are told to bring an offering, come into God’s courts (verse 8) worship the Lord, and tremble before God (verse 9). In verse 10 we are to say to the nations that the Lord is the King and we need to proclaim His reign to all people and nations).
Part 4 (verses 11-13) proclaim that God comes to judge the nations in righteousness. Yet this judgement suggests more joy than fear, for the whole world, both nations and nature will rejoice. The heavens are to be glad, the earth or the inhabitants of the land are to rejoice, the sea and all that fills it should echo with a mighty thunder, the field and everything in it should exult, and the trees of the forest should sing joyously.
You can ask and answer three basic questions. First, whom do we worship? Second, why do we worship? (Because God our Creator calls us to be in a relationship with him). Finally, how do we worship? (Psalm 96:1-3 and 7-9). There is a great variety in how we worship, but declaration is at the heart of it.
1. How does the church declare God’s Glory Among the Nations?
ü The church obeys the Great Commission to evangelize and make disciples. Matthew 28:19-20
ü The church is an evangelistic community where the gospel of Jesus Christ is always made visible through its proclamation of the gospel, the witness of the member’s lives and its Spiritual empowered life.
ü From the first day the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved because they took Jesus command very seriously.
ü You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, Samaria & to the end of the earth.
ü The church is to be an evangelistic people on mission in the world, passionate to see the lost people meet Jesus Christ as Savior God and Lord.
2. Five Biblical characteristics that form the foundation of mission perspective
ü The church is sent by Jesus Christ (Matthew 28: 19 -20).
ü The church is sent with the cross (2 Cor 5: 17- 21).
ü The church is sent in the community (Act 2:42-46)
ü The church is sent to every culture (Mat 20:28, Acts 17:22 – 34, Luke 5:29).
ü The church is sent for the king and His kingdom (Luke 4:43)
3. Five Marks of mission
The mission of Christ is the mission of the church.
ü To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.
ü To teach, baptize and nurture new believers.
ü To respond to human needs by caring loving service.
ü To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.
ü To strive to maintain the truth, sustain and renew the life of the earth.
“The greatest joy we do as Christians is to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ and being involved in missions is the greatest opportunity a church will have” – Tom Swilley, Chairman of the Executive Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and Pastor of Cedar Baptist Church in Conway South Carolina.
“It is for the mission out there that the local church exists. If it’s not happening out there it doesn’t matter what we are doing in here – it’s irrelevant” Lloyd John Ogilvie.
The call that we keep on calling our churches to do is sacrificial. We must meet Jesus outside the gate where he was crucified, and which is actually not a nice place. With us that means sacrificing our time and resources to take the gospel to the nations. It can cause your time, money, comfort zones and life.
New Living Translation (NLT): Hebrews 13: 12-14
12. “So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gate to make his people holy by means of his own blood”.13. “So, let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore”. 14. “For this world is not our permanent home, we are looking forward to a home yet to come”.