I. The light of nature shows that there is a God, who has lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and does good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might [a]. 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 imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture [b].
[a] Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.
Psalm 119:68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
Jeremiah. 10:7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
Psalm 31:23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Psalm 18:3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.
Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
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 imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture [b].
[b] Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.
Matthew 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Ver.10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Ver.5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; Ver.6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
II. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to Him alone [c]; not to angels, saints, or any other creature [d]: and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone [e].
[c] Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
With John 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
and 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
not to angels, saints, or any other creature [d]:
[d] Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.
Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone [e].
[e] John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
End of Lesson, Day 81
Sections 3-4 - prayer
Section 5 - Reading and Hearing the Word
VI. N[o] part of religious worship, is now, under the Gospel, either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed [c]: but God is to be worshipped everywhere [d], in spirit and truth [e]; as, in private families [f] daily [g], and in secret, each one by himself [h]; so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto [i].
[c] John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
but God is to be worshipped everywhere [d],
[d] Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.
1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
in spirit and truth [e];
[e] John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Ver.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
as, in private families [f]
[f] Jeremiah 10:25 Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.
Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: Ver.7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
2 Samuel 6:18 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. Ver.20 Then David returned to bless his household.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Acts 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
[g] Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
and in secret, each one by himself [h];
[h] Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto [i].
[i] Isaiah 56:6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Ver.7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: Ver.21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying. Ver.24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.
Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
Acts 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Confession of Faith, Chapter 2, Of God and Of the Holy Trinity, section 2
II. God has all life [b], glory [c], goodness [d], blessedness [e], in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He has made [f], nor deriving any glory from them [g], but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things [h]; and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleases [i]. In His sight all things are open and manifest [k], His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature [l], so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain [m]. He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands [n]. To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them [o].
[o] Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Ver.13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Ver.14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
For Further Study:
- What is "Worship?"
- What are the elements of "worship?"
- Where should we "worship?"
- When should we "worship?"
- Who should "worship?"
[These chapters or audios contain the entire chapter, including the Sabbath, which we will cover later:]
- CHAPTER XXI. - Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day - Commentary by Gordon H. Clark
- Chapter XXI. Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath-Day - Exposition by Robert Shaw
- Chapter 21: Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath-Day - Commentary by A.A. Hodge