The worship of God is the duty, delight, and privilege of the people of God. However, God alone has the right to determine how he is to be worshiped. In this matter, His people must listen carefully to the instructions and directions He has given them in His word and follow them, if their worship is to be acceptable to Him. Men may not determine for themselves how God is to be worshiped.
However, when people grow tired of the worship God requires of them, and think they can improve upon it by changing it, they begin to introduce into worship attitudes, practices, and behaviors that God has neither required nor authorized for worship. Such humanly devised worship is neither pleasing nor acceptable to God.
The 1689 Confession states in 22:1 that “ 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, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.”
Many churches and believers lose sight of this basic principle. The result has been a drastic decline in the purity and godliness of worship in our day. Church worship is often perverted in a carnal effort to please the people and appeal to the unconverted, all in the name of contextualization and relevance.
Albert N. Martin has preached a wonderful message that takes us back to the first principles regarding worship, and the foundations upon which it must rest, if it is to be pleasing to God. It is refreshing in its clarity and relevance to the need we have to maintain and strengthen biblical God honoring worship. It may be listened to here.Max Doner, pastor Sovereign Grace Bible Church Lebanon, Oregon