Worship and the Second Commandment

The final proof for the RPW comes from the Second Commandment’s prohibition against idols. The Heidelberg Catechism asks in Q. 96, “What does God require in the Second commandment?” The answer, “That we in no way make any image of God, nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded in His Word.” This answer reveals that every form of Worship contrary to or diverse from the prescript of God’s Word are forbidden. Colossians 2:23 calls this “self-made religion,” worship man had willed but not God.
In Leviticus 10:1, God consumed Nadab and Abihu by fire in judgment because they “offered unauthorized fire,” in worship. God commanded the offering of fire, so what was the sin? The brothers offered fire God, “had not commanded.” They were worshipping God, but not the way he prescribed. This event shows us that God forbids forms of worship he has not commanded. As Israel had to follow God’s commands for corporate worship, how much more should the church with fuller revelation follow God’s commands in corporate worship? The church cannot do those things God “did not command or decree” (Jeremiah 19:5–6).
What is to keep foreign ideas out of the worship service? Suppose a mother and daughter love spiking volleyballs in their backyard. What if they come to the worship leader and want to glorify the Lord in corporate worship with their fine skills? What would be the response of a pastor not holding to the RPW? Surly, this practice glorifies the Lord; why not spike volleyballs to the glory of God in corporate worship? God has not commanded the spiking of volleyballs in his church.
It might have been laborious and dry expounding the proofs for the Regulative Principle of Worship, but hopefully it will be helpful as we delve into more theory and application of biblical reformed worship in weeks to come.

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