Best Worship “Seminar” Ever

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No session about guitar solos, riffs and fills. No tips on drumming independence, syncopation, grooves and rhythms. No instruction on how to incorporate soul, R&B, and hip-hop styles in worship.

To download or listen to Rev. Kleyn’s sermon, click here.

But worship only as God has commanded us in His Word . No human innovations and laws imposed on us in our worship of God. Not adding to the word that God commands us, not taking from it, that we “may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you” (Deut 4:2). Because we do not desire to be punished like the Israelites whom God warned before entering the Promised Land:

When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you “do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.” You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it (Deu 12:29-32).

Not by imitating rock concerts that draw huge, rapturous crowds. Not by enviously gaping at famous megachurches with their “worship teams”—that is, fanatical crowds worshiping their teams.

But, with devotion to “the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). And letting the word of Christ dwelling in us richly, “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16).

And at the center of the worship place is the pulpit, where Christ crucified was preached by Rev. Daniel Kleyn of the Protestant Reformed Churches, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24-24).

This then was our worship “seminar” during our 5th Anniversary worship service on September 22, 2013.

Below is a brief outline of the Word of God we feasted on, with the theme “Acceptable Worship: Reverence for Our Great God.” You can also look at our order of worship (liturgy) here, including links to the Psalms that we sang.


  1. The theme you have chosen is a fitting one for your anniversary as a Reformed Church, for the proper worship of God is a significant aspect of what it means to be Reformed.
  2. With a view to being a church that is “Reformed and always Reforming,” the question you face is: “How do we worship God acceptably? What worship is pleasing to God and has His approval?”


A. What This Means

  1. The fundamental question regarding worship is: “Who may and should decide how we worship God?”
    1. Should the church itself? Should the youth? Should culture or tradition be factors in this?
    2. No person or organization may decide this. God has given no one the right to decide it.
    3. God alone is the One Who determines how we worship Him. It is His decision, not ours.
  1. This is taught in our text—Psalm 89:7.
    1. The text first of all makes clear what worship is. It states that we are “about (around) God” when we worship. God is at the center of our worship.
    2. Because that is true, “God is greatly to be feared” and God is to be “had in reverence” of those who worship Him. We must reverence and respect God.
    3. The context makes clear that God deserves this reverence because He is great.
  1. God has every right to tell us what to do, and what not to do, when we are in His presence.
    1. Even earthly rulers do this. God has even more right than they do to expect this of us.
    2. God is sovereign, not only in creation, salvation, etc., but also with regard to worship.
    3. The “Regulative Principle of Worship” means God decides HOW He will be worshiped by us.
  1. Proper reverence for God means we let God tell us what to do, and we simply do as He says.

B. How We Show This

  1. A failure to take this approach toward worship will lead to improper practices.
    1. The approach of many is: “We can decide how to worship God!” Worship is then characterized by doing what the people want. Mostly worship becomes entertainment.
    2. Often people will think such worship is pleasing to God because it seems (at least to them) to be effective in getting people to church, being active members, etc.
    3. But God is not interested in what men think is effective and good. God requires us to do and include in worship only what He Himself commands and allows.
  1. What specifically does God want us to do?
        1. Guided by Scripture, a Reformed church has the following in worship: Singing Psalms, Prayer, Reading the Bible, Preaching of the gospel, Hearing the Word, Giving, Blessing and Benediction.
        2. The Preaching is central. It is and must be the main focus of proper worship, for it is preaching (not other things) that saves the people of God (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21, 23-24).
        3. The people of God must come to church, not to be entertained, but to hear the Word of God that will save and feed their souls. Ecclesiastes 5:1-2.
  1.  The evidence of a church understanding the centrality of preaching is that:
    1. The pulpit is in the front and center of the place of worship.
    2. The sermons are lengthy.

May you be encouraged to be faithful in your worship, for your own salvation and for the salvation of the children God gives this church. Under God’s blessing, that will guarantee your continued existence here as His church.

For a fuller seminar on Biblical worship, attend to this teaching: “Principles of Reformed Worship” by Escondido United Reformed Church.

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