10 December, 2014

Worship Ordinances vs. Worship Circumstances

Preaching from the Bible Matt. 26:13; Mk. 16:15; Acts 9:20; 2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 20:8, 17:10; 1 Cor. 14:28 Structure in which the church meets Acts 20:8, 17:10; 1 Cor. 14:28 
Reading the Word of God Mk. 4:16-20; Acts 13:15; 1 Tim. 4:13; Rev. 1:13; Acts 1:13, 16:13; 1 Cor. 11:20 Location at which the church meets Acts 1:13, 16:13; 1 Cor. 11:20 
Meeting on the Lord's day Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18 Time at which the church meets Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18 
Administration of sacraments Matt. 28:19; Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 Clothing worn to worship 1 Cor. 11:13-15; Deut. 22:5 
Hearing the Word of God Lu. 2:46; Acts 8:31; Rom. 10:41; Jas. 1:22; Lu. 4:20; Acts 20:9 Type of seating provided Luke 4:20; Acts 20:9 
Prayer to God Matt. 6:9; 1 Thess. 5:17; Heb. 13:18; Phil. 4:6; Jas. 1:5; 1 Cor. 11:13-15; Deut. 22:5
The singing of Psalms 1 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 95:1-2; Ps. 105:2; 1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16

Note that everything in the left column must be learned from the Word 
of God. Everything in the right column is a circumstance common to 
everyone who lives in God's universe. Worship ordinances are limited 
in number by divine revelation. Worship circumstances are virtually 
infinite in number, being based on the common agreement of men guided 
by "Christian prudence." Because man is created in the image 
of God and must live and function in God's created reality (the universe), 
he must live and function in accordance with that reality. People 
do not need explicit instructions from the Bible to know to put on 
a jacket when it is five degrees outside. But men do need clear instructions 
from the Bible on how to approach the infinitely holy God.

The regulative principle of worship is taught throughout the Bible. 
What follows is an examination of the many passages in Scripture which 
prove that whatever is not commanded in Scripture in 
the worship of God is forbidden. Worship ordinances must be based 
specifically on what God says, not on human opinion or tradition.

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