Scotland’s Forgotten Reformation
The Reformation of 1560 had huge significance in Scotland. The first part of this programme explores the attempts to unravel the biblical teaching and worship established by the Reformation in the 20 year period leading up to 1638. Only through coming to a better understanding of the issues and events that paved the way for Scotland’s Second Reformation and the National Covenant, can we begin to realise the astonishing relevance they still have for us today.
Scotland’s Forgotten Reformation tells a story of dramatic events that changed the nation. Why do you think that this history has been largely forgotten?
Do you think God wants us to learn about the Church’s past? (Deuteronomy 6:21–25; Job 8:8-10)
The principle that only what God commands can be used to worship Him, is sometimes called “The Regulative Principle of Worship.” Is this a new idea to you?
Read Mark 7:1-13
What authority do the Pharisees and scribes as Church leaders cite for requiring the religious ceremony of washing hands? (v5) Is it God’s or man’s?
Look at Matthew 15:3
How serious were they making this to be?
How could their absolute insistence on hand washing even come into conflict with God’s commands about preserving our lives and bodies? (v3)
Sometimes people say we can do anything in the worship of God as long as it isn’t forbidden in the Bible. Hand washing wasn’t forbidden in the Bible but why did Jesus not turn a blind eye to it? Hand washing is also something quite innocent and hygienic in itself. Why does Jesus resist this being imposed by merely human authority? (v7)
How did their tradition of washing reject God’s commandment? (v8-9)
Look at verse 11
Corban means a gift offered to God. The scribes and Pharisees vowed that their goods and possessions would go to the temple after their death to prevent having to give money to their parents while they were alive. This was despite the 5th commandment (v10). How can human traditions and commands actually prevent people from keeping God’s commands? (v9-13) Can you think of any examples of this today?
What happens to the commandments of Scripture when this is done? (v13) Can you think of ways in which human requirements in worship eventually come to displace what God has required – so that adding to God’s commands leads to taking away?
What does “in vain” mean? (v7) How does submitting to human authority in God’s worship affect our worship? (vv.6-7). These verses show that it is not just mere lip service in worship that makes it empty but also human commandments. God not only cares that we worship Him, but also how we worship Him.
Even though the Pharisees might have claimed that their tradition of washing was broadly in line with Scripture why was this not enough?
What authority is being asserted when people introduce things into the worship of God on the basis that “it works” or will appeal to certain groups of people?
What is the danger of church leaders giving themselves authority to invent doctrines, commandments or practices from their own imaginations?
What freedom does this give to the individual Christian when they are not to believe or do things simply on man’s authority?
“Today much confusion in churches arises from people asking the wrong question. They are asking what is acceptible and attractive to themselves, rather than what will please God.”
Rev. David Campbell
What does the Bible teach us about God’s priorities for worship?
- Exodus 30:9, 33, 38
- Leviticus 10:1-3
- Deuteronomy 12:30-32
- 1 Samuel 10:8 and 13:8-13
- 2 Samuel 6:3-8
- 2 Kings 16:10-16,
- 2 Chronicles 26:18-21
- Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5; 29:23; 32:35
- John 4:24
- Hebrews 12:28
Nothing is more sacred and more important than the worship of God. So what does a service of reverent worship grounded upon Scriptural principles look like? This booklet explains more and will be helpful for those who conduct public worship as well as those seeking for worship that truly honours God.
(A5 Booklet – 30 pages)
This leaflet addresses the vital matter of worship. Who determines how God is to be worshipped? Scripture makes it clear that God is the only One who can determine how He is to be worshipped.
You can view the leaflet and download for free at the Reformation Scotland website by clicking the button below. Hard copies of the leaflet can be ordered in bulk quantities.
(A5 Leaflet – double sided)