Elements and Circumstances of Worship

by admin ~ December 7th, 2019. Filed under: Brandenburg.

The history of worship according to the New Testament in the church involves elements of worship and circumstances of worship. These two relate to what has been called the Regulative Principle of Worship, which in the Westminster Confession of Faith reads: “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. 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.” The elements of worship are the “what” of worship – the parts that are fixed according to Scripture. The New Testament shows the elements that are permitted and commanded by Scripture. The circumstances are the “how” of worship, the best way to worship God within the structure provided by the elements. They are not directly prescribed in scripture, so there is freedom within them according to circumstances. Like every other area of life, this freedom must be exercised cautiously and in a way consistent with scripture. Elements of worship are such as prayer, singing, offering, as we have listed in our bulletin. A circumstance is a choice between passing the plate or a box.

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