Public Worship: A Covenantal Assembly

OPC Book of Church Order (2011 Edition) One major aspect of Reformed worship (worship of God that is Reformed according to the Word of God) is a covenantal emphasis.  That is, corporate worship is when God’s people assemble to sing his praises, call on him in prayer, and hear him speak through his Word.  I appreciate how the Directory for the Public Worship of God states it.

“In public worship, God’s people draw near to their God unitedly as his covenant people, the body of Christ.”

“For this reason, the covenant children should be present so far as possible, as well as adults.  Because God makes his covenant with believers and their children, families should be taught and encouraged to sit together as families.”

“For the same reason, no favoritism may be shown to any who attend.  Nor may any member of the church presume to exalt himself above others as though he were more spiritual, but each shall esteem others better than himself.”

“The unity and catholicity of the covenant people are to be manifest in public worship.  Accordingly, the service is to be conducted in a manner that enables and expects all the members of the covenant community – male and female, old and young, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, healthy and infirm, people from every race and nation – to worship together.”

“Because God’s people worship, not as an aggregation of individuals, but as a congregation of those who are members of one another in Christ, public worship is to be conducted as a corporate activity in which all members participate as the body of Christ.”

The Directory for the Public Worship of God, 1.B.4.

rev. shane lems

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