The goodness of worship and the reading of the word and the singing of the psalms and the communion of the saints along with the signs of the covenant found in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper all work in their own unique and significant way to show us Christ. The question is if we are interested enough to listen, be corrected, and find peace in His shed blood?
If we were to note one of the doctrines of Christianity that was somewhat missing from the shorter catechism it would be the twin blessings of the Church and her worship. It is not that the WSC did not care about it. There are certain advantages to being the Larger catechism. The opportunity has arisen in the WLC where the writers can now introduce this particular aspect of the life of the believer. Our divines are interested in helping men and women know what to do with the convictions of sin they have felt from the deep, and clear, expositions of the law they read in the Ten Commandments from Q. 91 through Q. 152. God’s work in His word is to bring people to Christ. As 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” All godly ministers have (or at least should have) the same desire, so it should surprise us not that our standards provide a warm invitation to close with the Redeemer and find peace in Him.
God has given ways, or what we call means or instruments to see that sinners might know the way to the redemption purchased by Jesus. They are not complicated, nor are they via secret handshakes or flashy showcases. The plain use of words through the power of the Holy Spirit is the manner in which He seeks that the lost might be found. Key to understanding the beauty of New Testament worship is being reminded that the shadows have passed. Our pattern for worship today is to be found in the exile life of the synagogue as we await the return of Christ. It is not the Temple of sacrifices and trumpets, but the simple exposition and praise of the word of God for men. The Church gets it wrong when it thinks it needs to gussy up the message of salvation. However, before we go too much into the explaining let’s go to the Q/A’s:
Q. 153. What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us by reason of the transgression of the law?
A. That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, he requires of us repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation.