Can We Conjure The Blessing Of God Upon Our Own Inventions?

Sherman Isbell, “Hear Ye Him:”

“The Lord’s designation of certain ordinances for worship continues in the New Testament church. No doubt the New Testament apostles use the language of an Old Testament ordinance to figuratively describe the believer seeking to honor God in all the course of life (Romans 12:1-2, I Peter 2:5). But far more commonly in the New Testament we read of worship ordinances as actions instituted to be kept when the church comes together in its assemblies: prayer, reading the Word, preaching, congregational singing of Psalms, baptism, the Lord’s Supper.”

“What, then, are we to make of efforts to add institutions of worship not required by God? Will Christ be present to bless what his people ingeniously contrive as supplements to his institutions? Can God’s benediction be secured for the variety of new worship activities devised by men for securing the church’s prosperity? When we adhere to Christ’s commands, we may expectantly rely upon God’s promised presence, confident that the seed of his Word will bring forth fruit. But can we conjure the blessing of God upon our own inventions? When the Lord’s few and simple ordinances must vie with human traditions in worship, human fancy may be satisfied, and there may be increase in numbers of people attending, in financial resources, in construction of facilities, and in ministry enterprises. But to the extent that this increase is not occurring through the observance of Christ’s commands, is it the expansion of the kingdom of God? Can the kingdom come through eschewing the prescriptions of Christ in the Scripture?”

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