“I am not my own but belong body and soul to my faithful Savior,” this statement in Heidelberg Q & A 1, sets forth a biblical principle of dependency. This principle smacks the face of the American standard of autonomy or self-sufficiency. Christianity differs from most religions in establishing the insufficiency 0f self in true religion. Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well highlights this truth when he tells her that the church must worship in a certain way, “Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:24). We cannot determine what this truth is, but must search Scripture alone to arrive at the specifics on how to worship God. Worshiping in truth means we never add “at any time…whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men,” (Westminster Confession of Faith 1.6) to Scripture. God allows no creaturely innovations for worshipping the Creator because innovations infer that the Bible, God’s Word, is lacking and imperfect in leading God’s church in worship. Belgic confession 32 states, “Therefore we reject all human inventions, and all which man would introduce into the worship of God, thereby to bind and compel the conscience in any manner.” The confession is clear God’s Word alone is primary in determining worship, human inventions may not be introduced into the worship of God. The reason why segues into the next point, “to bind and compel conscience,” the doctrine of Christian liberty.
The next post will explain worship and Christian liberty, which teaches that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we develop the Protestant Christian idea of worship biblically, theologically and explain what biblical Reformed worship looks like.