The Regulative Principle & The Elements of Worship


So, what are the elements of worship (the things that make corporate worship worship)?

In fact, the list is not very long.  I've added a few Biblical references (not exhaustive), seeing as we're talking about things found in Scripture.

  1. The Sacraments (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; Matt 28:19)
  2. The public reading of the Scriptures (I Tim 4:13; Rev 1:3)
  3. Preaching and Hearing of the Word of God (Acts 2:42; II Tim 4:2)
  4. Prayer (Acts 2:42; I Tim 2:8)
  5. Gifts of the Spirit (I Cor 14:26)
  6. Singing of Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs (Col 3:16; I Cor 14:26)
  7. The giving of Tithes and Offerings (I Cor 16:2; Heb 7:8)
So, if these are the elements of worship in the New Testament, that means that these are the only things God commands in worship.  God has revealed in His Word what is necessary for us to worship Him and expects us to pay attention to what He has revealed.  That means that we can do these things 'in church'.  In fact, not only can we do these things in the worship of God, but, moreover, we must do these things.  The elements of worship are not a pick-n-mix list from which we can choose our favourites. All are necessary.

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The Tenets of the Apostolic Church

The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.

The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

The obligatory nature of tithes and offerings.