If our corporate worship is going to properly form our relationship with God, then we must be sure that the elements of our worship come from the Word of God. And God has given us the elements of worship that he has designed to best build our relationship with him. Paul commands Timothy, in the context of teaching him how to behave in the house of God, “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture (1 Tim 4:13).
This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series
“Decent and Orderly Worship”
For the past month, I have been tracing Paul’s argument about spiritual gifts in corporate worship in 1 Corinthians 14, drawing out important implications including the fact the corporate worship is corporate, not individual, for believers, not unbelievers, is primarily for edification, not merely expression, and must be orderly, not disorderly.
The preceding two principles lead to an important additional implication: Corporate worship should be biblically-regulated, not unregulated. In other words, if corporate worship is God’s work upon us to make us into mature Christians, then we must be sure to use those means that he has prescribed in his Word to do so. Paul stresses the importance of biblical authority in the context of corporate worship in verses 36–38″
Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.
Paul was inscripturating direct revelation from the Lord here; carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), Paul was contributing to that “prophetic word more fully confirmed” (2 Peter 1:19), the written Word of God, which always carries the final authority.