Proper Worship of Our God

Date: AM
Text: Habakkuk 2:18-20; Lord's Day 35
Psalters: 17, 307, 32, 375
  1. The concept.
    1. The Reformed churches prohibit images of God from three perspectives.
      1. One, the use of images of God is an incomplete break from paganism, and almost inevitably leads to outright idolatry.
      2. Two, what God has revealed of Himself in Scripture is sufficient for a vibrant religious life for His people.
      3. Three, God’s attribute of spirituality implies that any attempt to portray Him visibly will misrepresent Him.
    2. However, let us realize that though God is spirit, Scripture gives us the hope of seeing Him because of divine revelation.
      1. There are Scripture promises that God will be seen by His people (Ps. 17:15; 27:4; John 14:9; Heb. 12:14; Ex. 33:18,22).
      2. It seems that in heaven we will see Him in the face of Jesus: I John 3:2.
  2. God requires that He be worshiped, loved, and thanked accurately, i.e., as He has revealed Himself.
    1. God gives a revelation of Himself to all men in creation (Rom. 1:18,20) and puts the work of the law in them (Rom. 2:14,15).
      1. But natural man is able only to know about (not "know") God (I Cor. 2:14; Rom. 1:18b, 21-23).
      2. God further reveals Himself in His Word and in the preaching of His Word (I Cor. 1:21).
    2. This commandment establishes the "regulative principle" of worship.
      1. He determines how man will serve Him, so we include in worship only what God commands.
      2. The characteristics of public worship are: spirituality, simplicity, solemnity, orderliness, and stability (I Cor. 14:33,40).
  3. The commandment gives powerful motivations and encouragements to obey Him.
    1. First, God declares Himself to be angry with those who don’t worship Him as He commands, declaring that they hate Him.
    2. Second, God declares that disobedience to this command bears fruit on our children.
    3. God promises to show His mercy on those who serve Him as He commands, thus encouraging obedience.