Lecture 6 – Ordinary Services

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Introduction to this lecture

– At this point in the lectures, I will begin to address the subject of “Directives for Ordering the Corporate Worship of God.”

– We will cover this subject in several lectures, organizing the material under two major headings:

1. General Directives for the ordinary or regular services of worship

2. General Directives for the extraordinary or occasional services of worship

– Precisely what is meant by these distinctions will become quite evident as we work our way through the material

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B. General directives for the ordinary services of worship

London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 1, Paragraph 6

1. In the planning and leading of the services of worship you must be controlled by a scrupulous concern to pursue the great ends for which such worship was instituted by God.

a. Explanation of the terminology

1) In the “planning and leading”

2) “Scrupulous concern”

DEF. “That which is characterized by precision, care, and exactness.”

b. In my present understanding, there or four basic reasons for the institution of public or social worship of God. They are

1) That the risen Christ Himself by the ministry of the Holy Spirit might meet with His gathered people according to His promise in order to communicate His Grace to them as their Prophet, Priest, and King.

Mt. 18:15-20
Rev. 1:13; Rev. 2:1
Jn. 20:19, Jn. 20:26

John Murray, Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 3, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1982), pp. 196-197.

2) That the Triune God might bring glory to Himself through the divinely mandated, Spirit-empowered activities of His gathered people.

Jn. 4:24
Rom. 15:5-6
Eph. 3:20-21
1 Pet. 2:5-6
Heb. 13:15
Col. 3:16
Phil. 3:3

Clement R. Vaughan, The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), p. 392.

Rev 4:9-11

3) That the people of God might be edified through the exercise of divinely conferred, Spirit-empowered and properly regulated spiritual gifts.

Acts 2:42
Eph. 4:11-16
1 Pet. 4:10-11
1 Cor. 14:1-5, 1 Cor. 14: 26b
1 Cor. 14:40

4) That an overwhelming and humbling sense of the presence of God may be given to the unconverted who may be present among the gathered people of God.

1 Cor. 14:23-25

2. In the planning and leading of a worship service you must seek to arrange the God-ordained elements so as to pursue a maximum measure of these God-ordained ends.

1 Cor. 14:40
Rom. 13:13
1 Thess. 4:12

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SUMMARY AND APPLICATION:

a) Do you see how vital it is that we take seriously these directives and be guided by a scrupulous concern to secure the great ends for which God’s worship was instituted?

b) If these ends are rooted in the Scriptures, what place is there for any carnal display, carnal entertainment, flippancy, psychological stroking, sloppiness, shoddiness, or careless ad-libbing?

c) Furthermore, should we not question such things as interjecting diaconal announcements, birthday greetings, etc., into the sacred worship of God?

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