Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.
Chapter 22, Paragraph 1.
“… and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be Worshipped according to the imaginations, and devices of Men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.”
How are we to worship the true and living God?
I cannot choose my own method of worshiping Him. Setting the terms of how He is to be worshiped is akin to insubordination: “Oh, yes, God, You’ve said how to worship You in Your Word, but I think this will work better so…” If He is truly to be feared, loved, obeyed and praised, than the right to determine how these acts are to be performed rests solely with Him.
Humanity – even redeemed humanity – cannot be the final authority on how to worship God. Such ideas originate with men, not God. How can such services, then, be forced onto believers? Christians are free from following the doctrine and commandments of men, and churches should take heed they do not bind a believer’s conscience. When churches have “Children’s Sunday” with lots of cute kids but no sermon; when a “message” includes playing clips from popular movies; when time is set aside during the service to light candles, all these are not methods of worship given by God. Such sights, smells, and sounds not prescribed by Him tend instead to draw focus away from the very God they are supposed to glorify!
God sets the terms of how He is to be worshiped. Through Scripture alone the elements of true worship are revealed. When we follow God’s instructions regarding worship, we know with certainty that our worship is acceptable to Him.
Questions to Consider
- Can you think of some elements of worship in churches today that are not what God has prescribed?