It is scripturally evident that God wants all Christians to worship Him His way and no other way. As John recorded the words of our Lord, “You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Jn 4:22-24).
Take note that several features of the Jewish worship are completely eliminated in the doctrine of Christ. For instance: (1) There is no significance regarding any geographical location for any of our worship (Jn. 4:21); (2) The Sabbath day worship was repealed (Col. 2:14-17; Gal. 4:1-11, etc.); (3) The use of instrumental music in worship was eliminated in that it was not included in the New Testament pattern for praise (Eph. 5:19 f; Col. 3:16, etc.); (4) The sacrifices that were permitted and even required under the Old Testament patterns were eliminated because of the supreme sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, once for all (Heb. 10:10-14) and because of the superior sacrifice which we are to offer, that is, “the sacrifice of praise to God . . . the fruit of our lips . . .” (Heb. 13:15).
The New Testament pattern is very simple and uncomplicated. It involves the worshiper in direct communion with God. If we respect the positive Word of the Lord, we will find that we may express the worship that is in our hearts by singing (Eph. 5:19), by praying, teaching, giving and observing the Lord’s supper (Acts 2:42). Furthermore, we find the following demanding characteristics of this simple means of worship.
1. We may express our worship in singing, prayer and study of the Word at any time, anywhere, alone or together (Acts 16:25 f; Eph. 5:19, etc.).
2. We must express our worship in the Lord’s supper and in giving on the first day of the week when brethren gather together for that purpose (Acts 20:7 f; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2).
3. Thus, we may, on the Lord’s day, when we will have come together for giving and for the Lord’s supper, also sing, pray and study, since these latter three may be done at any time. It is note worthy that examples of the church coming together on any other day than the first day of the week (on a weekly basis) to sing, pray and study was never once recorded; Neither was such commanded for Christians to do so. Such is a tradition of men and not the tradition of Christ and his apostles (Matt 15:7-9).
Conclusion: All that we do must be done “as unto the Lord” (Col. 3:23). Indeed, it must be done “in the name of the Lord” (Col. 3:17), which simply means that we must conduct all of our worship by the authority of Christ (Jn. 14:6). He has fully revealed His will to us in the written Word (2 Tim. 3:16, 17 f; 2 Pet. 1:3, etc.). We must determine to be content with what is written – with the revealed pattern. The traditions of men, the customs of our forefathers or the desires of the people today are of no consequence in determining what we must do. In fact, we have no right to decide what we will do. We have only to discern what God has decided! Without wavering with regard to scriptural principles, we must worship God with correct attitudes and in authorized expressions. Today, let us have the honesty to examine every feature of our worship in the light of the revealed Word and then determine to worship in complete accord with the Bible pattern.