Chapter 22 Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

Table of Contents

22.1 Worship God Alone: Awesome God

The light of nature shews that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and 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 imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

Jeremiah 10:7 (CSB) Who should not fear you, King of the nations? It is what you deserve. For among all the wise people of the nations and among all their kingdoms, there is no one like you.

Mark 12:33 (CSB) And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Deuteronomy 12:32 (CSB) Be careful to do everything I command you; do not add anything to it or take anything away from it.

Exodus 20:4–6 (CSB) Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ iniquity on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands.

22.2 Worship God Alone: We Will Worship the Lamb of Glory

Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him alone; not to angels, saints, or any other creatures; and since the fall, not without a mediator, nor in the mediation of any other but Christ alone.

Matthew 4:9–10 (CSB) And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”

John 6:23 (CSB) Some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.

Matthew 28:19 (CSB) Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Romans 1:25 (CSB) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.

Colossians 2:18 (CSB) Let no one condemn you by delighting in ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm. Such people are inflated by empty notions of their unspiritual mind.

Revelation 19:10 (CSB) Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold firmly to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

John 14:6 (CSB) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

1 Timothy 2:5 (CSB) For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

22.3 Worship God Alone: Give Thanks

Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of the Spirit, according to his will; with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others, in a known tongue.

Psalm 95:1–7 (CSB) Come, let’s shout joyfully to the LORD, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation! Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving; let’s shout triumphantly to him in song. For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods. The depths of the earth are in his hand, and the mountain peaks are his. The sea is his; he made it. His hands formed the dry land. Come, let’s worship and bow down; let’s kneel before the LORD our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep under his care. Today, if you hear his voice:

Psalm 65:2 (CSB) All humanity will come to you, the one who hears prayer.

John 14:13–14 (CSB) Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Romans 8:26 (CSB) In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.

1 John 5:14 (CSB) This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

1 Corinthians 14:16–17 (CSB) Otherwise, if you praise with the spirit, how will the outsider say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you may very well be giving thanks, but the other person is not being built up.

22.4 Worship God Alone: Pray

Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter; but not for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.

1 Timothy 2:1–2 (CSB) First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

2 Samuel 7:29 (CSB) Now, please bless your servant’s house so that it will continue before you forever. For you, Lord GOD, have spoken, and with your blessing your servant’s house will be blessed forever.

2 Samuel 12:21–23 (CSB) His servants asked him, “Why have you done this? While the baby was alive, you fasted and wept, but when he died, you got up and ate food.” He answered, “While the baby was alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let him live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I’ll go to him, but he will never return to me.”

1 John 5:16 (CSB) If anyone sees a fellow believer committing a sin that doesn’t lead to death, he should ask, and God will give life to him—to those who commit sin that doesn’t lead to death. There is sin that leads to death. I am not saying he should pray about that.

22.5 Worship God Alone: As The Deer Panteth For The Water

The reading of the Scriptures, preaching, and hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord; as also the administration of baptism, and the Lord's supper, are all parts of religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover, solemn humiliation, with fastings, and thanksgivings, upon special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner.

1 Timothy 4:13 (CSB) Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2 (CSB) Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching.

Luke 8:18 (CSB) Therefore take care how you listen. For whoever has, more will be given to him; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.”

Colossians 3:16 (CSB) Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Ephesians 5:19 (CSB) speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord,

Matthew 28:19–20 (CSB) Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

1 Corinthians 11:26 (CSB) For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Esther 4:16 (CSB) “Go and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish.”

Joel 2:12 (CSB) Even now— this is the LORD’s declaration— turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning.

Exodus 15:1–19 (CSB) Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD. They said: I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted; he has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name. He threw Pharaoh’s chariots and his army into the sea; the elite of his officers were drowned in the Red Sea. The floods covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. LORD, your right hand is glorious in power. LORD, your right hand shattered the enemy. You overthrew your adversaries by your great majesty. You unleashed your burning wrath; it consumed them like stubble. The water heaped up at the blast from your nostrils; the currents stood firm like a dam. The watery depths congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said: “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My desire will be gratified at their expense. I will draw my sword; my hand will destroy them.” But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. LORD, who is like you among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders? You stretched out your right hand, and the earth swallowed them. With your faithful love, you will lead the people you have redeemed; you will guide them to your holy dwelling with your strength. When the peoples hear, they will shudder; anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified; trembling will seize the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan will panic; terror and dread will fall on them. They will be as still as a stone because of your powerful arm until your people pass by, LORD, until the people whom you purchased pass by. You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your possession; LORD, you have prepared the place for your dwelling; Lord, your hands have established the sanctuary. The LORD will reign forever and ever! When Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the water of the sea back over them. But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.

Psalm 107 (CSB) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD proclaim that he has redeemed them from the power of the foe and has gathered them from the lands— from the east and the west, from the north and the south. Some wandered in the desolate wilderness, finding no way to a city where they could live. They were hungry and thirsty; their spirits failed within them. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; he rescued them from their distress. He led them by the right path to go to a city where they could live. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all humanity. For he has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things. Others sat in darkness and gloom— prisoners in cruel chains— because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the counsel of the Most High. He broke their spirits with hard labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and gloom and broke their chains apart. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all humanity. For he has broken down the bronze gates and cut through the iron bars. Fools suffered affliction because of their rebellious ways and their iniquities. They loathed all food and came near the gates of death. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; he saved them from their distress. He sent his word and healed them; he rescued them from their traps. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all humanity. Let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices and announce his works with shouts of joy. Others went to sea in ships, conducting trade on the vast water. They saw the LORD’s works, his wondrous works in the deep. He spoke and raised a stormy wind that stirred up the waves of the sea. Rising up to the sky, sinking down to the depths, their courage melting away in anguish, they reeled and staggered like a drunkard, and all their skill was useless. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed. They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet. Then he guided them to the harbor they longed for. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all humanity. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders. He turns rivers into desert, springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into salty wasteland, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into a pool, dry land into springs. He causes the hungry to settle there, and they establish a city where they can live. They sow fields and plant vineyards that yield a fruitful harvest. He blesses them, and they multiply greatly; he does not let their livestock decrease. When they are diminished and are humbled by cruel oppression and sorrow, he pours contempt on nobles and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland. But he lifts the needy out of their suffering and makes their families multiply like flocks. The upright see it and rejoice, and all injustice shuts its mouth. Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the LORD’s acts of faithful love.

22.6 Worship God Alone: I Exalt Thee

Neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship, is now under the gospel, tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth; as in private families daily, and in secret each one by himself; so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly nor wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calleth thereunto.

John 4:21 (CSB) Jesus told her, “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

Malachi 1:11 (CSB) “My name will be great among the nations, from the rising of the sun to its setting. Incense and pure offerings will be presented in my name in every place because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD of Armies.

1 Timothy 2:8 (CSB) Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.

Acts 10:2 (CSB) He was a devout man and feared God along with his whole household. He did many charitable deeds for the Jewish people and always prayed to God.

Matthew 6:11 (CSB) Give us today our daily bread.

Psalm 55:17 (CSB) I complain and groan morning, noon, and night, and he hears my voice.

Matthew 6:6 (CSB) But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Hebrews 10:25 (CSB) not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Acts 2:42 (CSB) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

22.7 Worship God Alone: Great Is The Lord

As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.

Exodus 20:8 (CSB) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy:

1 Corinthians 16:1–2 (CSB) Now about the collection for the saints: Do the same as I instructed the Galatian churches. On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he is prospering, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.

Acts 20:7 (CSB) On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he kept on talking until midnight.

Revelation 1:10 (CSB) I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard a loud voice behind me like a trumpet

22.8 Worship God Alone: In Christ Alone

The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

Isaiah 58:13 (CSB) “If you keep from desecrating the Sabbath, from doing whatever you want on my holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, seeking your own pleasure, or talking business;

Nehemiah 13:15–22 (CSB) At that time I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in stores of grain and loading them on donkeys, along with wine, grapes, and figs. All kinds of goods were being brought to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned them against selling food on that day. The Tyrians living there were importing fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah in Jerusalem. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil you are doing—profaning the Sabbath day? Didn’t your ancestors do the same, so that our God brought all this disaster on us and on this city? And now you are rekindling his anger against Israel by profaning the Sabbath!” When shadows began to fall on the city gates of Jerusalem just before the Sabbath, I gave orders that the city gates be closed and not opened until after the Sabbath. I posted some of my men at the gates, so that no goods could enter during the Sabbath day. Once or twice the merchants and those who sell all kinds of goods camped outside Jerusalem, but I warned them, “Why are you camping in front of the wall? If you do it again, I’ll use force against you.” After that they did not come again on the Sabbath. Then I instructed the Levites to purify themselves and guard the city gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, my God, and look on me with compassion according to the abundance of your faithful love.

Matthew 12:1–13 (CSB) At that time Jesus passed through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick and eat some heads of grain. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry: how he entered the house of God, and they ate the bread of the Presence—which is not lawful for him or for those with him to eat, but only for the priests? Or haven’t you read in the law that on Sabbath days the priests in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Moving on from there, he entered their synagogue. There he saw a man who had a shriveled hand, and in order to accuse him they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He replied to them, “Who among you, if he had a sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, wouldn’t take hold of it and lift it out? A person is worth far more than a sheep; so it is lawful to do what is good on the Sabbath.” Then he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and it was restored, as good as the other.