what is the purpose of a benediction

Most of the New Testament letters include at least one benediction, and Gods last words to us in the Bible are a benediction: The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Its delivery has a purpose: to confirm Gods promise to be with us and to bless us. Through this regular pronouncement, we are reminded that this is our destinythe blessed and glorious presence of God forever. Thursday, January 24, 2013, Pentecostal Praise and Worship: A Radical Departure from. Therefore, it is to be received in faith. 2:1617). In my own pastoral practice, it is my custom to announce the benediction from Numbers 6:2426: "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious towards you; the LORD lift up His countenance unto you and grant you peace." In the Old Testament, this ministry was primarily given to Aarons line (2 Chron. As I reflect on the last 35 years of marriage, there have been a few surprises it would have been helpful to know about. But if it is already true about the congregation, then why do they need to receive it? Request your free, three-month trial to Tabletalk magazine. (Num. Donate now! What do you think he wants to do for you? It is not just a sacred way of saying, Youre dismissed. The benediction bridges the end of a worship service and the beginning of the week of worship to come. Hold out your hands as an expression of your empty hands of faith. As for the posture of the one pronouncing the benediction, the examples of Aaron (Lev. It takes the grace God gave during the service and lets it cross over into our lives as we go. deutsch donny journalists howard dean Well value benedictions when we know what it cost for us to be able to have them. No credit card required. Dangerous Calling Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry. What if they train us to have God-sized expectations for the future? They teach us to live, every step, under the grace of the Lord Jesus (Rev. Then Christ will pronounce the divine blessing on His bride and we will see his face, and his name will be on [our] foreheads (22:4). To modern ears, benedictions may sound like archaic and rigid conclusions to worship services. First, if youre a church leader, give them at the end of your gatherings. Its no wonder in a culture where many churches strive to entertain that those in the pew treat worship as similar to a theater show, leaving when its convenientwhen the good part is over. When a New Testament author gives a benediction at the end of a letter, he gathers up the ideas that came before and reframes them as an expected blessing from God. Receive the blessing of God and take it with you as you go. In the New Testament, these duties have been entrusted to qualified male elders; thus, the authority to pronounce the benediction on Gods people (in the proper context and with the proper form) is grounded in the ministerial office. Amen (Rev.

They teach us to seek for our hearts to be comforted and established in every good word and work (2 Thess. Jesus took the malediction we deserve so we could receive the benediction we dont. 6:2327). Thus, its different from a prayer or a doxology. John Calvin notes that in the Aaronic benediction, the priests are commanded to pronounce the form of benediction audibly, and not to offer prayers in an obscure whisper; and hence we gather that they preached Gods grace, which the people might apprehend by faith. Through the blessing, Calvin continues, God deposits His name with the priests, that they may daily bring it forward as a pledge of His good will, and of the salvation which proceeds from thence. The benediction, then, is to be apprehended by faith and received with gratitude and assurance. This practice is codified in the Westminster Assemblys Directory for the Public Worship of God, which prescribes that the minister dismiss the congregation with a solemn blessing. Whence did this practice come, and what is its purpose? This is why Christian worship services traditionally include them. Log in. And what if they arent just for pastors in worship services, but for all of us in everyday life? Here are five reasons we should recover the use of them in our worship services. What do you expect he can do for you? 30:27; Heb. Benedictions are God-given, gospel-shaped words of blessing. Why do benedictions matter for us today? Get a FREE copy of The Secular Creed by Rebecca McLaughlin. They take Gods promises and recast them as expected blessings. Here is a representative list: Numbers 6:2426; Psalm 67:12; Romans 15:56; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 16:2223; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 6:18; Ephesians 6:23-24; 1 Thessalonians 3:1113; 5:2324, 28; 2 Thessalonians 2:1617; 3:5, 16, 18; Philemon 25; Hebrews 13:2021. Both are important for Christian piety, but they must be distinguished in the churchs worship. He said, Peace to you three times (John 20:19, 21, 26). Its an objective word confirming that weve encountered the living God through His means of grace. Benedictions express anticipation for the blessings only God can give. Keep Reading Faithfulness in the Little Things. Benedictions give us God-sized expectations for our future. Does the NRSV Compromise on Homosexuality? From the earliest prescription of a benediction, we learn that it is (1) a word from God (2) delivered through ministers of the Word to His people (3) for the purpose of sustaining and strengthening faith. He commanded Israels priests to place his blessing over his people (Num. You mean that closing prayer the pastor gives with his hands raised? Second, if your Sunday gathering concludes with a benediction, receive it. Please make sure all fields are filled out. We often confuse them with prayers or doxologies, but they are unique. How to Find, Develop, and Keep Real Community, God Is Beyond and Behind the Enormous Universe, Nietzsche vs. Dylan: Fight for the 21st-Century Soul. Drew Hunter is the teaching pastor at Zionsville Fellowship in Zionsville, Indiana, where he lives with his wife and four sons. Use them to express what you hope God will do for your friend or family member. 22:21). garner ymca dedicated lewis center congregational choir provided ceremony musical selection male Gods first word to humanity was to bless them (Gen. 1:28). Verify your email address to gain unlimited access. It launches us into our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces with Gods blessing. Biblical benedictions do not primarily focus on health and wealth; they set our minds on God and his grace. krishna leela gopi gopis stealing bath cute lord yamuna cloth Third, incorporate benedictions into everyday life. Benedictions are gospel blessings that teach us to expect what only God can give, and the Bible is filled with them. On the cross, Jesus essentially heard, May the Lord curse you, so that we can now hear, May the Lord bless you. Jesus took the malediction we deserve so we could receive the benediction we dont. Written by Ryan M. McGraw | 5:15). Isnt that like the credits of a movie? Speak them over your children before bed. Many worship services conclude with the pastor announcing the blessing of God upon the congregation as they part from the corporate gathering. 22:21). In other words, a doxology or prayer has a northward direction; a benediction has a southward direction. Charles Jr. shares examples of these benedictions from Scripture.

13:2021). Together with the invocation, the benediction serves as a liturgical bookend whereby God gets the first and the last word. The answer is that a benediction, third, is pronounced for the purpose of strengthening faith. 1:14). Jesus gave a benediction to his disciples immediately after his resurrection. What Working Women Need to Hear from Their Pastors, 7 Reasons Christians Are Not Required to Tithe, 6 Surprises Every Premarital Counselor Should Cover, 6 Ways Christians Can Respond to Our Strange New World. We weary pilgrims need this regular pronouncement to put wind in our sails. Why peace, and why after the resurrection and not before? From the early church through the Middle Ages, to the Reformers through the Puritans, we find the liturgical tradition of the minister raising his hands to pronounce a benediction on the congregation. Many Christian worship services end with a benediction. Beautifully, the Aaronic benediction finds its culmination in the consummated new covenant promise, where Gods dwelling place is with His people (Rev. They direct our hearts to Gods love and Christs steadfastness (2 Thess. How, then, do we recover benedictions today? Already receive Tabletalk magazine every month? Youll receive the print issue monthly and gain immediate digital access to decades of archives.

13:5). Let it enlarge your expectations as you move out into your week. But historically, the benediction has been a vital component of the churchs worship. Fourth, familiarize yourself with the Bibles benedictions. Let it be a bridge that carries the grace of the service into everyday life. That is, the benediction is the form through which Gods blessing is communicated to His people; the Lord said, So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them. We are to respond in faith to this objective pronouncement of the divine blessing. In this brief clip, H.B. Second, a benediction is pronounced by qualified men whove been entrusted with preaching and teaching the Word of God. May the triune God of love lead us to give and receive benedictions in everyday life, that we might live under his blessing and expect what only he can give. benediction numbers learnreligions religions devotion mary legged tagalog Benedictions remind us that what we need most can only come from God. Or follow the pattern of the New Testament authors: translate the heart of your sermon into a blessing for your church family. They lead us to long for church cultures of joyful unity (Rom. With this pronouncement, the newly formed congregation could be confident that the Lord had pledged Himself to them before they entered the promised land to take possession of it. But what if benedictions reach down into our deepest hopes? God instituted the Aaronic benediction after the inauguration of the Levitical priesthood: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them. They offer the love, grace, and fellowship of the triune God (2 Cor. 15:56, 13). 21:3) and His name is placed on us (14:1). Copyright 2022 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. Because Jesus had to receive our curse for us to receive his blessing. When we hear a biblically rooted benediction, we hear the gracious future that God alone can open up for us. The Lord speaks to us through His word of benediction, spoken over us by His ministers. They express the heart of Christian theology and experience.

View our current career opportunities. Historically, the benediction has been a vital component of the churchs worship. If your congregation isnt used to this, consider preaching on several New Testament benedictions to show their significance. Benedictions are bridges. The benediction? Dr. Sproul provides a rational look at an emotional issue. Read them, study them, enjoy them, use them. He is our peace with God. But this early departure will lead to malnourishment, for theyre missing out on the culmination of worshipthe benediction. First, a benediction is a good word from God. Theyre like bridges, carrying the hopeful content of the letter into our everyday lives. This trial is risk-free. As Jesuss final act before ascending to heaven, he lifted his hands and blessed his disciples (Luke 24:51). Why not just say, Youre dismissed? The difference is that a prayer or a doxology is from us to God, while a benediction is from God to us. The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Include them in letters and emails. Write them in birthday, graduation, or sympathy cards. There are two kinds of people: those who stay for the movie credits and those who leave the theater early to avoid traffic. Benediction comes from the Latin good and speak. They are good words. They are gospelwords. Download your copy today. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com. Interested in joining the Ligonier team? Recite a biblical benediction. They teach us to anticipate Gods promises of a transformed heart and life (Heb. 6:2227). The benediction is often announced simply by quoting the Scriptures. With their declarative and derivative authority, ordained elders pronounce on Gods people what is already true about themthat He is their God and they are His people. Perhaps weve misunderstood its nature and purpose, at best treating it as a special goodbye from God. Rev. Benedictions do not mainly conclude, but transition. Like the Israelites, we are awaiting a land that has been guaranteed with a promise (John 14:3; Eph. When you look out on your lifes horizon, what do you expect that God might do for you? A benediction is simply a blessing. You can follow him on twitter. But there are other passages that make wonderful benedictions, like Ephesians 3:2021: "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us" Or Jude 2425: "Now to Him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before His presence with great joy" Or 2 Corinthians 13:14: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.". He is the author of Made for Friendship, Isaiah: A 12-Week Study, and Matthew: A 12-Week Study. They do not mainly conclude, but transition. 3:5). Pastors have the privilege of announcing, prayerfully, divine blessings on the people of God as they scatter from the place of corporate worship. 9:22) and Christ (Luke 24:50) indicate that its most fitting to raise both hands. Commenting on the Aaronic blessing, John Owen says, The words prescribed unto the priests were not a prayer properly, but an authoritative benediction, and an instituted sign of Gods blessing the people. This is why, historically, the proper posture, if there is one, is not of closed eyes and closed hands, but open eyes and open handsreceiving by faith the divine pronouncement. Aaron L. Garriott (@AaronGarriott) is managing editor of Tabletalk magazine, resident adjunct professor at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Fla., and a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.

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