The worship of God in public

Worship is adoration, reverence and praise offered to God as the blessed and holy Trinity, who is worthy of all honour and glory. It is offered in response to the glorious excellence of the very being and acts of God – what he is and what he does. The highest activity of which man is capable is ascribing to God the glory due to his name. Worship will also involve confession of sin, supplication and a sense of human obligation and dependence upon God. In it we recognise his attributes and saving acts declaring them with adoration.

Worship is divinely commanded and is therefore a sacred duty. By virtue of God’s total and absolute perfection it is eminently reasonable. God ought to be praised. It is also a gracious privilege which we should embrace with delight and engage in with our whole being.

The christian worshipper is dependent upon the mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the aid of the Holy Spirit so that God may be served in spirit and in truth. Further, God has promised his gracious presence to those that meet in his name. We believe that such spiritual worship glorifies and delights him. In consequence, such worship exercises great influence on the spiritual life of the individual and the church and even on the moral consciousness of the community.

Worship should be offered privately by individuals and families. On the Lord’s day, and at other times, there is also the need for what we call Public Worship. The individual should prepare himself for this by his own private devotion.

Truth is essential to worship. Therefore, we can not view worship as a matter of doctrinal indifference; nor can we take the precepts of human reason, feeling or tradition as our guide.

In summary, public worship should be: solemn not light, flippant or trivial; simple, not pompous, ritualistic or ceremonial; cheerful, not gloomy nor forbidding; not hypocritical but sincere and pure. Such worship is costly, but rich in blessing, pointing to the eternal occupation and happiness of the saint in glory. Consequently, avoidable lateness at a service is not only a disturbance to the minister and worshipping people, but an offence to God.

Mat. 4:10; Heb. 7:25 ff.; 1 John 2:1; Rom. 8:26, 27; John 4:24; Mat. 18:10; Mat. 5:13; John 4:23, 24; Psa. 89:7; Isa. 66:2; Psa. 100:4; Isa. 1:12; Mat. 23:13; Isa. 57:15.