Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (1689)

By S.C. Shaw

The London Baptist Confession of faith is a beautiful and rich confession of the reformed Christian faith. I simply included the scriptures they reference after each section written out. It is a beautiful meditation and devotion time to read through. I pray you are blessed by it and it helps you see the bigness of God, exalt Christ higher and live by the power of the Holy Spirit more each day. There is no perfect and infallible authority except God’s Words revealed in the Bible. But there is much Christians can and should learn from other godly men and women.

Link to full confession: http://founders.org/1689-confession/

Chapter 22 – Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (In Full) 

The light of nature demonstrates that there is a God who has lordship and sovereignty over all. He is just and good and does good to everyone. Therefore, he should be feared, loved, praised, called on, trusted in, and served—with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength. But the acceptable way to worship the true God is instituted by him, and it is delimited by his own revealed will. Thus, he may not be worshipped according to human imagination or inventions or the suggestions of Satan, nor through any visible representations, nor in any other way that is not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

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. Since the fall, worship is not to be given without a mediator nor through any mediation other than of Christ alone.

Prayer with thanksgiving is an element of natural worship and so is required by God of everyone. But to be acceptable, it must be made in the name of the Son, by the help of the Spirit, according to his will. It must be accompanied by understanding, reverence, humility, fervor, faith, love, and perseverance. Prayer with others must be in a language that is understood.

Prayer is to be made for lawful things and for all kinds of people who are alive now or will live later. But prayer should not be made for the dead nor for those known to have sinned the sin that leads to death.

The elements of religious worship of God include reading 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 well as the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper. They must be performed out of obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear. Also, purposeful acts of humbling with fasting and times of  thanksgiving should be observed on special occasions in a holy and religious manner.

Under the gospel, neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship is now restricted to or made more acceptable by the place where it is done or toward which it is directed. Instead, God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth—daily in each family and privately by each individual. Also, more formal worship is to be performed in public assemblies, and these must not be carelessly or deliberately neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calls us to them.

It is the law of nature that in general a portion of time specified by God should be set apart for the worship of God. So by his Word, in a positive-moral and perpetual commandment that obligates everyone in every age, he has specifically appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy to him. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the appointed day was the last day of the week. After the resurrection of Christ it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s Day. This day is to be kept to the end of the age as the Christian Sabbath, since the observance of the last day of the week has been abolished.

The Sabbath is kept holy to the Lord when people have first prepared their hearts appropriately and arranged their everyday affairs in advance. Then they observe a holy rest all day from their own works, words and thoughts about their secular employment and recreation. Not only that, but they also fill the whole time with public and private acts of worship and the duties of necessity and mercy.

 

Chapter 22 – Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day (w/ Scripture) ESV

 -The light of nature demonstrates that there is a God who has lordship and sovereignty over all. He is just and good and does good to everyone. Therefore, he should be feared, loved, praised, called on, trusted in, and served—with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength.

(Jeremiah 10:7, Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you.)

(Mark 12:33, And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”)

-But the acceptable way to worship the true God is instituted by him,

(Deuteronomy 12:32, “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.)

-and it is delimited by his own revealed will. Thus, he may not be worshipped according to human imagination or inventions or the suggestions of Satan, nor through any visible representations, nor in any other way that is not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.

(Exodus 20:4–6, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.)

-Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to him alone

(Matthew 4:9-10, And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”)

(John 5:23, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.)

(Matthew 28:19, 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,)

-not to angels, saints, or any other creatures.

(Romans 1:25, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.)

(Colossians 2:18, Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,)

(Revelation 19:10, Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.)

-Since the fall, worship is not to be given without a mediator

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

-nor through any mediation other than of Christ alone.

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

-Prayer with thanksgiving is an element of natural worship and so is required by God of everyone.

(Psalms 95:1–7, Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,)

(Psalms 65:2, O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come.)

-But to be acceptable, it must be made in the name of the Son,

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

-by the help of the Spirit,

(Romans 8:26, Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.)

-according to his will.

(1 John 5:14, And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.)

-It must be accompanied by understanding, reverence, humility, fervor, faith, love, and perseverance. Prayer with others must be in a language that is understood.

(1 Corinthians 14:16-17, Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up.)

-Prayer is to be made for lawful things and for all kinds of people who are alive now or will live later.

(1 Timothy 2:1-2, First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.)

(2 Samuel 7:29, Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”)

-But prayer should not be made for the dead

(2 Samuel 12:21–23, Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”)

-nor for those known to have sinned the sin that leads to death.

(1 John 5:16, If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.)

-The elements of religious worship of God include reading the Scriptures,

(1 Timothy 4:13, Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.)

-preaching and hearing the Word of God,

(2 Timothy 4:2, preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.)

(Luke 8:18, Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”)

-teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord,

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

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

-as well as the administration of baptism

(Matthew 28:19-20, 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”)

-and the Lord’s supper.

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

-They must be performed out of obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear. Also, purposeful acts of humbling with fasting

(Esther 4:16, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”)

(Joel 2:12, “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;)

-and times of  thanksgiving should be observed on special occasions in a holy and religious manner.

(Exodus 15:1–19, Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider[a] he has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song, and 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 man of war; the Lord is his name. “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’ You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them. “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia. Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. The Lord will reign forever and ever.” For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea.

(Psalms 107, Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.)

-Under the gospel, neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship is now restricted to or made more acceptable by the place where it is done or toward which it is directed. Instead, God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth

(John 4:21, Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.)

(Malachi 1:11, For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.)

(1 Timothy 2:8, I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;)

-daily

(Matthew 6:11, Give us this day our daily bread,)

(Psalms 55:17, Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.)

-in each family

(Acts 10:2, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.)

-and privately by each individual.

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

-Also, more formal worship is to be performed in public assemblies, and these must not be carelessly or deliberately neglected or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calls us to them.

(Hebrews 10:25, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.)

(Acts 2:42, And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.)

-It is the law of nature that in general a portion of time specified by God should be set apart for the worship of God. So by his Word, in a positive-moral and perpetual commandment that obligates everyone in every age, he has specifically appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy to him.

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

-From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ the appointed day was the last day of the week. After the resurrection of Christ it was changed to the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s Day.

(1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.)

(Acts 20:7, On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.)

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

-This day is to be kept to the end of the age as the Christian Sabbath, since the observance of the last day of the week has been abolished. The Sabbath is kept holy to the Lord when people have first prepared their hearts appropriately and arranged their everyday affairs in advance. Then they observe a holy rest all day from their own works, words and thoughts about their secular employment and recreation.

(Isaiah 58:13, “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;)

(Nehemiah 13:15–22, In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.)

-Not only that, but they also fill the whole time with public and private acts of worship and the duties of necessity and mercy.

(Matthew 12:1–13, At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.)

Closing.

Please don’t let my word or any mans word be the final word on this. Pick up the bible, read Gospel saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music www.TheShawsMusic.com

Podcast www.MisfitMinistry.com

Instagram @theshaws @psalmlife @fitcore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s