The foundation of the duty of social worship lies in the law of nature itself.

View man individually and apart from other men, and it is the very law of his being, as a creature of God, to love and honor and serve his Creator.  Praise and outward homage and adoration are the very expression, by a dependent creature, of the relation in which, as a creature, he stands to God – the very end for which he was created and exists.  Add to the idea of the individual man, taken and regarded as separate and apart from others, the further idea of man as a social being or man made for and placed in the society of others and you are, at once, shut up to the notion of social worship as a duty no less binding upon men collectively than was the duty of private worship upon men individually.  Into whatever relation he enters, man carries with him the same paramount and unchanging law which binds him to honor and love and worship his Creator.  And every relation of life capable of being turned to such an end underlies, according to its character, the same obligation of doing homage to God.  Man in the closet, man in the family, man in the church are equally bound to the duties of the personal, the domestic, the public worship of God.  Without this, there are many of the powers and faculties of man’s nature as a social being, formed, as they were, for the glory of God, which he cannot bring to do their proper work of glorifying Him.  The worship of God, publicly and in society with others, is the proper expression, towards God, of man’s social nature.  The very law and light of nature tell us that the public worship of God is a standing and permanent ordinance for the whole human race.

From: The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church by James Bannerman; reprint (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2015), p. 341.  Originally published in 1869.  First republished by the Trust in 1960.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s