THE LORD'S DAY
WORSHIP AND THE LORD'S DAY
The light of nature shows that there is a God who has lordship and sovereignty over all. He is just and good and does good to all. Therefore he is to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served with all the heart and soul and strength.
But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God has been instituted by himself and delimited by his own revealed will. He may not be worshipped according to human imagination or methods, nor according to the suggestions of Satan, nor by way of any visible representation, nor by any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.
(1) Jer 10:7; Mar 12:33
(2) Gen 4:1-5; Exo 20:4-6; Mat 15:3,8-9; 2Ki 16:10-18; Lev 10:1-3; Deu 17:3; 4:2; 12:29-32; Jos 1:7; 23:6-8; Mat 15:13; Col 2:20-23; 2Ti 3:15-17
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. Since the fall worship is not to be given without a mediator, nor by any mediation other than that of Christ alone.
(1) Mat 4:9-10; Joh 5:23; 2Co 13:14
(2) Rom 1:25; Col 2:10; Rev 19:10
(3) Joh 14:6; Eph 2:18; Col 3:17; 1Ti 2:5
Prayer with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is required by God of all people. But to be acceptable, it must be made in the name of the Son, by the help of his Spirit, and according to his will. It must also be made with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance, and when with others in a known language.
(1) Psa 95:1-7; 100:1-5
(2) Joh 14:13-14
(3) Rom 8:26
(4) 1Jo 5:14
(5) Psa 47:7; Ecc 5:1-2; Heb 12:28; Gen 18:27; Jas 5:16; 1:6-7; Mar 11:24; Mat 6:12,14-15; Col 4:2; Eph 6:18
(6) 1Co 14:13-19,27-28
Prayer is to be made for lawful things, and for all kinds of people who are alive now or shall live in the future. Prayer is not to be made for the dead, nor for those who are known to have sinned the sin leading to death.
(1) 1Jo 5:14; 1Ti 2:1-2; Joh 17:20
(2) 2Sa 12:21-23; Luk 16:25-26; Rev 14:13; 1Jo 5:16
The reading of the Scriptures, the preaching and hearing of the Word of God, the teaching and admonishing of one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with gratitude in our hearts to the Lord, as well as the administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper, are all parts of the worship of God. These are to be performed in obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence and godly fear. Also to be used on special occasions in a holy and reverent manner, are times of solemn humiliation, with fasting and thanksgiving.
(1) Act 15:21; 1Ti 4:13; Rev 1:3
(2) 2Ti 4:2; Luk 8:18
(3) Eph 5:19; Col 3:16
(4) Mat 28:19-20
(5) 1Co 11:26
(6) Exo 15:1-19; Psa 107
(7) Est 4:16; Joe 2:12; Mat 9:15; Act 13:2-3; 1Co 7:5
Under the Gospel, neither prayer nor any other aspect of religious worship is tied to, or made more acceptable by, any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed. God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth, whether daily in private families, or individually in secret, or solemnly in public assemblies. The latter are not to be carelessly neglected nor wilfully forsaken, because God calls us to them by his Word and providence.
(1) Joh 4:21
(2) Mal 1:11; 1Ti 2:8; Joh 4:23-24
(3) Mat 6:11
(4) Deu 6:6-7; Job 1:5; 1Pe 3:7
(5) Mat 6:6
(6) Psa 84:1-2,10; Mat 18:20; 1Co 3:16; 14:25; Eph 2:21-22
(7) Act 2:42; Heb 10:25
As it is the law of nature that a portion of time by God's appointment should be set apart for the worship of God, so in his Word he has given a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all people in all ages. In particular he has appointed one day in seven as a Sabbath to be kept holy to him. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ this was the last day of the week, but from the resurrection of Christ it was changed to the first day of the week which is called the Lord's Day. This 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.
(1) Gen 2:3; Exo 20:8-11; Mar 2:27-28; Rev 1:10
(2) Joh 20:1; Act 2:1; 20:7; 1Co 16:1; Rev 1:10; Col 2:16-17
People keep the Sabbath holy to the Lord when (after appropriate preparation of their hearts and prior arrangement of their everyday affairs) they observe all day a holy rest from their own works, words, and thoughts about their secular employment and recreations, but also devote the whole time to public and private acts of worship, and to carrying out duties of necessity and mercy.
(1) Exo 20:8-11; Neh 13:15-22; Isa 58:13-14; Rev 1:10
(2) Mat 12:1-13; Mar 2:27-28