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CATECHISM - Concerning Worship.

By Robert Barclay


      Question. What is the Worship that is Acceptable to God?
      A. But the Hour cometh, and now is, when the True Worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in Spirit and in Truth [John 4:23-24].

      Q. Seeing Prayer is a part of worship; when ought we to Pray?

      A. And he spake a Parable unto them to this End, That men ought alwayes to pray, and not to faint [Luke 18:1].

      Pray without ceasing [1 Thess. 5:17].

      Q. Hath God no respect to the Manner of Calling upon him?

      A. For there is no Difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him [Rom. 10:12].

      Q. Doth God hear the Prayers of all that call upon him?

      A. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in Truth [Psal. 145:18].

      The Lord is far from the Wicked; but he heareth the Prayer of the Righteous [Prov. 15:29].

      Now we know, that God heareth not Sinners; but if any man be a Worshipper of God, and doth his Will, him he heareth [John 9:31].

      And this is the Confidence that we have in him that if we ask any thing according to his Will, he heareth us [1 John 5:14].

      Q. After what Manner doth the Apostle then declare he will Pray?

      A. What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the Understanding also; I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the Understanding also [1 Cor. 14:15].

      Q. Must we then pray alwayes in the Spirit?

      A. Praying always, with all Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit, and Watching thereunto with all Perseverance and Supplication for all Saints [Eph. 6:18].

      Q. Since we are commanded to pray always in it, can we do it of our selves without the Help thereof?

      A. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our Infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit it self maketh Intercession for us with Groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the Hearts, knoweth what is the Mind of the Spirit, because he maketh Intercession for the Saints according to the Will of God [Rom. 8:26-27].

      Q. I perceive, that without the Leadings and Help of the Spirit, Prayers are altogether unprofitable; may not a man truly utter these things that are Spiritual, without the Spirit's Assistance?

      A. Wherefore I give you to understand that no man speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth Jesus Accursed; and that no man can say, that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost [1 Cor. 12:3].

      Q. That is strange: It seems the Spirit is much more necessary than many called Christians suppose it to be; some of which can scarce give a good Account, whether they have it, or want it: But if a man speak things true upon the Matter, are they not true as from him, if spoken without the Spirit?

      A. And though they say, The Lord liveth, surely they swear falsly [Jer. 5:2].

      Q. It is apparent from all these Scriptures, that the True Worship of God is in Spirit; and as it is not limited to a certain place, neither to any certain time, what shall we think of them that plead for the Observation of certain Dayes?

      A. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather, are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly Elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in Bondage? Ye observe Dayes and Months, and Times, and Years; I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you Labour in vain [Gal. 4:9-11].

      Let no man therefore judge you in Meat or Drink, or in respect of an Holy Day, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbath Day, which are a Shadow of things to come; but the Body is of Christ [Col. 2:16-17].

      Q. Seeing it is so, may not some Christians as lawfully esteem all Dayes alike, as others may esteem some Dayes above another? What Rule giveth the Apostle in this Case?

      A. One man esteemeth one Day above another, another esteemeth every Day alike; let every man be fully perswaded in his own Mind: He that regardeth a Day, regardeth it unto the Lord: and he that regardeth not the Day, to the Lord, he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord; for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord, he eateth not, and giveth God Thanks [Rom. 14:5-6].

      Q. But is it not convenient and necessary, that there be a Day set apart to Meet and Worship God in? Did not the Apostles and Primitive Christians use to meet upon the First Day of the Week, to make their Collections, and to Worship?

      A. Now concerning the collection for the Saints, as I have given Order to the Churches of Galatia, even so do ye upon the First Day of the week: Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prosper'd him, that there be no Gatherings when I come [1 Cor. 16:1].

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