It is clear to all that God should be worshipped. What is not as easily seen is what worship should be like. The way we approach this issue will affect everything about our worship. Where do we begin? Should we look within ourselves to what we can offer God? Should we try to make worship as enjoyable as we can? Should we seek to make worship something that will attract others into the church? Should we look at what others are doing and pick and choose the best elements?
Surely before all these questions we must ask how would God actually have us worship Him? The only right way to worship God is found in His Word. Why look elsewhere? If He is to be the object of our worship, then He must be the Lord of our worship. We follow His Word and that alone. There is no liberty for good intentions or new ideas. God alone gives us the answers.
In His mercy, God has made worship to be quite simple, yet profound. We are commanded to pray, to sing the Psalms, to read His Word, to listen to the Word preached, and to on occasions partake in the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We can add nothing more because God has asked for no more.
One difference between the Reformed Presbyterian Church and many other churches is that our worship involves unaccompanied Psalm singing. We do not do this for tradition’s sake. Traditions change as old gives way to new, only for the new to slowly become outdated. Psalm singing is not a tradition for us; it is a requirement of the Word of God. We sing the Psalms because these are the songs that He would have us to sing.
It is a great privilege to sing from the Psalter at church and at home. The words of the Psalter are special to us because they are the infallible Word of God. As we sing it is God’s Word that is written on our hearts. The Psalms speak profusely of Jesus Christ not only in pictures but also in His very own words. We see little of the emotion of Christ in the Gospels but the Psalter makes it abundantly known. Therefore we don’t just sing about Christ, but in union with Christ. The Psalter leads us through the varied emotions and experiences of life showing us how to respond as pilgrims. This book is not merely for the Old Testament saints for it speaks beyond their experience to ours and even beyond ours to what is yet to come. What a great treasure God has given to us – a privilege to use!
We do not use musical instruments to worship God, for these were pictures of elements of salvation. Christ has fulfilled all the ceremonies of the Old Testament church. New Testament worship is simpler, for there is no need of outer glory. Nevertheless we don’t lose out; rather we richly gain from the greater efficacy and power.