To pretend homage to God and intend only the advantage to myself is rather to mock God than to worship Him. When we believe we ought to be satisfied rather than God glorified, we set God below ourselves and imagine that He should submit His own honor to our advantages.
—Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), THE EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996. ISBN: 0801011124.
For a thorough biographical essay on Charnock, see www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?17.
You can find excerpts of his writings at www.puritansermons.com/charnock/charnc11.htm
[This is not to say that Christians do not find great satisfaction in the worship of Almighty God, our awesome Creator and Redeemer who “saved a wretch like Me”; but the litmus test for the Lord’s magnificence is not my understanding or enjoyment of it. I agree with Charnock—-we do well to fix our gaze on God rather than on our advantage in being counted among his people. Gladly, God’s glory and our satisfaction in Him are not mutually exclusive realities. See John Piper's slant on this tension at www.wqotw.org/quote.php?date=1997-01-21.]
Have a great week,
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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