Chapter 22: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

PARA 1 – Need of worship and acceptable way of worship

1._____ The light of nature shews that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.
Jeremiah 10:7; Mark 12:33; Deuteronomy 12:32; Exodus 20:4-6 )

OUTLINE

  1. The duty of worship is established by the light of nature.
    • The light of nature shews that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the soul, and with all the might
  2. Acceptable way of worship is established only by the light of revelation.
    • But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will,
  3. God should not be worshiped by any man’s ideas (however well intentioned), but only as commanded in Holy Scriptures
    • that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

Comments: This forbids the normative principle –we are free to do anything in worship not forbidden by the Bible.   Scripture and history teaches God accepts only the regulative principle in his worship (we are free to worship God only in the way that he has actually commanded and required in scripture – Deuteronomy 12.32, Leviticus 10.1-3).

PARA 2 – The only object of worship

2._____ Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him alone; not to angels, saints, or any other creatures; and since the fall, not without a mediator, nor in the mediation of any other but Christ alone.
Matthew 4:9, 10; John 6:23; Matthew 28:19; Romans 1:25; Colossians 2:18; Revelation 19:10; John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5 )

OUTLINE

  1. The triune God, the whole Godhead is only object of worship
    • Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him alone
  2. Worship is forbidden to any other creatures apart from them.
    • and to him alone; not to angels, saints, or any other creatures;
  3. After fall, worship is accepted only through Christ as the only mediator
    • since the fall, not without a mediator, nor in the mediation of any other but Christ alone

PARA 3 – Acceptable prayer

3._____ Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of the Spirit, according to his will; with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others, in a known tongue.
Psalms 95:1-7; Psalms 65:2; John 14:13, 14; Romans 8:26; 1 John 5:14; 1 Corinthians 14:16, 17 )

OUTLINE

  1. Duty of prayer
    • Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of all men
  2. Three aspects of acceptable prayer
    1. it is to be made in the name of the Son
    2. by the help of the Spirit
    3. according to his will;
  3. Eight heart attitudes of acceptable prayer
    1. with understanding,
    2. reverence,
    3. humility,
    4. fervency,
    5. faith,
    6. love, and
    7. perseverance; and when with others,
    8. in a known tongue.

PARA 4 – Substance of acceptable prayer

4._____ Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter; but not for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.
1 Timothy 2:1, 2; 2 Samuel 7:29; 2 Samuel 12:21-23; 1 John 5:16 )

OUTLINE

  1. Range of prayer
    • Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter;
  2. Prohibition of prayer
    • but not for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.

PARA 5- Elements of acceptable worship

5._____ The reading of the Scriptures, preaching, and hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord; as also the administration of baptism, and the Lord’s supper, are all parts of religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover, solemn humiliation, with fastings, and thanksgivings, upon special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner.
1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:2; Luke 8:18; Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:26; Esther 4:16; Joel 2:12; Exodus 15:1-19, Psalms 107 )

OUTLINE

A. Five elements of acceptable worship

  1.  The reading of the Scriptures,
  2. preaching, and hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and
  3. spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord;
  4. as also the administration of baptism, and
  5. the Lord’s supper, are all parts of religious worship of God,

B. Heart attitudes while engaged in elements of worship.

  1. to be performed in obedience to him,
  2. with understanding,
  3. faith,
  4. reverence, and
  5. godly fear;
  6. moreover, solemn humiliation, with fastings, and thanksgivings, upon special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner.

PARA 6- Place of Acceptable Worship


6._____ Neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship, is now under the gospel, tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth; as in private families daily, and in secret each one by himself; so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly nor wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calleth thereunto.
John 4:21; Malachi 1:11; 1 Timothy 2:8; Acts 10:2; Matthew 6:11; Psalms 55:17; Matthew 6:6; Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42 )

OUTLINE

  1. No place is made holy by worship, nor is our worship made holy by any place
    • Neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship, is now under the gospel, tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed
  2. Worship anywhere.
    • but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth;
  3. Forms of worship
    1. as in private families daily, and
    2. in secret each one by himself;
    3. so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly nor wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calleth thereunto.

PARA 7- Institution of a Day of Worship

7._____ As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God’s appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.
Exodus 20:8; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10 )

OUTLINE

  1. Sabbath principle binding on all men for all ages
    • As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God’s appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him
  2. Christian Sabbath didn’t change the purpose of the sabbath, but did alter the day of its celebration.
    • which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.

PARA 8 –  Proper employment of our time and energies on Sabbath

8._____ The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
Isaiah 58:13; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Matthew 12:1-13 )

OUTLINE

  1. Duty and Preparation for Sabbath
    • The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand,
  2. Three basic principles for Lord’s day activity.
    1. observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations,
    2. but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and
    3. in the duties of necessity and mercy.

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