Note: In our Sunday pm services at CRBC I am working my way through the exposition of the Ten Commandments in Spurgeon's Baptist Catechism. Sunday we looked at the requirements of the second commandment, including the implications for worship. As elsewhere in this series, I have leaned heavily on the Thomas Vincent's exposition The Shorter Catechism Explained from Scripture (Banner of Truth, 1674, 1980). Here are some notes from Sunday's message outlining Vincent's listing of eleven Scriptural worship elements:
In this exposition of the second commandment, Thomas Vincent asks: “What is the way and means which God hath appointed for his worship?” and he answers: “The only way and means which God hath appointed for his worship, are his ordinances, which he hath prescribed in his Word.”
Here is the heart of what is called the “regulative principle” of worship. If we are negatively to avoid “graven images” we must positively worship God has he has prescribed or regulated in his Word.
Vincent offers the following list of ordinances for worship which God has appointed in his word (he does so with various prooftexts of which I have only selected one or two):
1. Prayer unto God with thanksgiving and that publicly in assemblies, privately in families, and secretly in closets.
Philppians 4:6: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”
2. Reading and searching the Scriptures.
John 5:39: “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.”
3. Preaching and hearing of the word.
1 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word; be instant in season and out of season; repove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine.”
4. Singing of psalms.
James 5:13: “Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.”
5. Administration and receiving of the sacraments, both of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20.
1 Corinthians 11:24: “This do in remembrance of me.”
Luke 5:35 says that when the Bridegroom is taken away “they will fast in those days.”
7. Instructing of children and households in the law of the Lord.
Ephesians 4:8: “And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath but raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
8. Conference and discourse of the things of God.
Deuteronomy 6:7: “Thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest down , and when thou riseth up.”
1 Timothy 4:15: “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that they profiting may appear unto all.”
10. Vows to the Lord.
Psalm 126:11: “Vow and pay unto the Lord.”
JTR: This might include covenant marriage vows, church membership vows, and vows made by church officers.
11. Swearing by the name of the Lord, when lawfully called.
Deuteronomy 6:13: “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.”
12. Exercise of church discipline.
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