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.
- The Sacraments (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; Matt 28:19)
- The public reading of the Scriptures (I Tim 4:13; Rev 1:3)
- Preaching and Hearing of the Word of God (Acts 2:42; II Tim 4:2)
- Prayer (Acts 2:42; I Tim 2:8)
- Gifts of the Spirit (I Cor 14:26)
- Singing of Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs (Col 3:16; I Cor 14:26)
- 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.