God, the Creator of all things, requires every human being everywhere to worship Him. “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Ps. 95:6). Worship – or “worth-ship” – means ascribing worth to the true and living God who is infinitely worthy of all praise and honour and glory.
God must be approached in worship rightly. He is holy, so we must worship Him with seriousness and reverence. “O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before Him, all the earth” (Ps. 96:9). We must depend on Christ the Mediator for access to God, for without Christ, God is a consuming fire to sinners like us.
Worship must be with the heart. The Lord condemned those who drew near to Him only with the lips of outward performance, and kept their hearts far from Him (Isa. 29:13). But that does not mean that we can do anything that we feel like doing when we worship Him. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The things that we do in worship must be right.
The variety of worship in churches today tells its own story. In the days of the Judges there was no king and every man did what was right in his own eyes (Jdg. 17:6, 21:25). Those days seem to have returned, for each church worships in its own way according to its own preferred worship “style”. However, the Lord Jesus Christ, the King and Head of the Church, has spoken in Scripture about this aspect of the Church’s life as much as any other. All churches must worship only in the way that He has appointed.
The distinctives, grounded in Scripture, of Free Presbyterian worship, will be found throughout this section of the site: matters such as singing only the Psalms of Scripture, without musical accompaniment; focussing mainly on preaching; standing for prayer; using only the Authorised Version of Scripture; not recognising any of the “festivals” such as Christmas and Easter.
It is far from claiming perfection for a branch of the visible Church to contend earnestly for purity of worship. The Regulative Principle of Worship is an essential part of Reformed Christianity. How we worship ought to matter to us,because it matters to the Lord Jesus. For the Scriptural principles governing Free Presbyterian worship, see Why We Worship This Way.