God’s Due Worship | John Calvin

The Necessity of Reforming the Church is John Calvin’s short treatise to Emperor Charles V explaining why the Reformation was necessary. Therefore, it is a powerful summary of why the Reformers saw the need for a reformation in the first place.

The following quotation is of Calvin describing the natural progression of true worship. I share it primarily to note that the outward acts of worship, which most call worship, come at the end of Calvin’s progression. Instead, the core and heart of worship is simply acknowledging that God is God. Let worship, as in all things, beginning with God and work outward in our lives.

Let us now see what is meant by the due God. Its chief foundation is to acknowledge him to be, as he is, the only source of all virtue, justice, holiness, wisdom, truth, power, goodness, mercy, life, and salvation; in accordance with this, to ascribe and render to him the glory of all that is good, to seek all things in him alone, and in every want have recourse to him alone. Hence arises prayer, hence praise and thanksgiving—these being attestations to the glory which we attribute to him. This is that genuine sanctification of his name which he requires of us above all things. To this is united adoration, by which we manifest for him the reverence due to his greatness and excellency; and to this ceremonies are subservient, as helps or instruments, in order that, in the performance of divine worship, the body may be exercised at the same time with the soul. Next after these comes self-abasement, when, renouncing the world and the flesh, we are transformed in the renewing of our mind and living no longer to ourselves, submit to be ruled and actuated by him. By this self-abasement we are trained to obedience and devotedness his will, so that his fear reigns in our hearts, and regulates all the actions of our lives.

P. 16

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