Christ’s apostles not only dictate the doctrine and practice of churches, but the worship of churches (which is an important part of our practice). And we ought gladly allow our worship to be regulated by Scripture because we love Christ.
I am forming an argument for Scripture-regulated worship from two pillars: the authority of Christ and our love for him (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6). If Christ is Lord, then we should obey him. But we should also obey Christ because we love him. The way Christ exercises authority in the church is through the apostles, and the writings of the apostles are the way Christ’s authoritative teachings have been communicated to us. So regulating our worship according to Scripture is the way we submit to Christ’s lordship with respect to our worship. Christ’s apostles not only dictate the doctrine and practice of churches, but the worship of churches (which is an important part of our practice). And we ought gladly allow our worship to be regulated by Scripture because we love Christ.
There’s another way in which love for Christ leads us to Scripture-regulated worship. Now, all that I’ve already argued still holds true. If Christ’s authority regulates church practice, and if that authority is mediated through the apostles and prophets and then the finished canon of the New Testament regulates church practice, then we should only worship with those elements Christ has given us.
Moreover, if we love Christ, we not only willingly submit to his authority, but in that submission we learn to love what he has prescribed for us. As John tells us in 1 John 5:3, And his commandments are not burdensome. We know, however, that human depravity does find God’s commandments burdensome. Natural men have evaluated New Testament worship and found it wanting. It’s not technologically sophisticated. It’s not visual enough. It’s not relevant enough. But I am arguing that our love for Christ teaches us to love what he loves. If Christ loves (or wills) a certain kind of worship, that should draw my love away from my own “style preferences” and interests.