Note: The following resource originally appeared on DesiringGod.org. You can read the original resource in its entirety here.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord himself is God; it is he who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the Lord is good; his lovingkindness is everlasting and his faithfulness to all generations.
What “Education for Exultation” Means
The term Education for Exultation describes a vision behind a new building, and it describes the structure of Psalm 100. We didn’t come up with that name two years ago because it sounded nice. We came up with it because it describes the way God means to be glorified in this world. He means to be known with the head (education); and he means to be sung from the heart (exultation). And he means for the singing to be based on the knowing. Otherwise the singing gives him no honor. Singing to God joyfully based on knowing God truthfully honors God. But singing passionately without knowing God truly simply exalts the singer and the passions.
Education for Exultation means we must know God truly, and we must respond with our affections duly. We must see him clearly, and we must savor him dearly. We must think biblical thoughts about God, and must feel biblical emotions for God. And the knowing must be the basis of the affections; and the seeing must be the basis of the savoring; and the thinking must be the basis of the feeling. That is why we say Education FOR exultation. Knowing FOR affections. Seeing FOR savoring. Thinking FOR feeling. This is not simply a nice sounding slogan to raise 6.5 million dollars to build a building debt free. It is the structure of reality in Christ. This is why we were created and redeemed: to know and enjoy God, with the knowing as the foundation of the enjoying.
If education does not lead to exultation in God, it fails. If seeing glory doesn’t lead to savoring God, it fails. If thinking truth doesn’t lead to feeling love, it fails. Education, knowledge, sight, thought – they are all for exultation in God. And if they don’t produce it, they are not what they were created to be.
And the reverse is true, too. Exultation that does not flow from education, affections that do not flow from knowing, savoring that does not flow from seeing, feeling that does not flow from thinking – are hollow and rootless – noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. And God is not glorified by artificial and empty passions. True delight is rooted in true doctrine. God-centered Exultation is rooted in God-centered Education.
The Structure of Psalm 100
Tonight at 6:00 we will celebrate the faithfulness of God for 129 years of ministry in the old sanctuary, before it comes down to make room for another building dedicated to education for exultation. And so this morning we are sounding the note again: Education for Exultation is a vision of life and worship that defines our church. And we sound the note today by showing that this is the very structure of the Old One Hundredth, Psalm 100.
And the structure of the Psalm not only explains Education for Exultation; it also explains why the sermon is broken in two and preceded by two seasons of singing. Singing, sermon, singing, sermon – is not an accident. It is the structure of the psalm. And it is a drama of Education for Exultation.
Turn with me to Psalm 100. Let’s get the overview first and then take it in parts. There are four stanzas. First an exultation stanza, then an education stanza, then another exultation stanza, then a final education stanza.