This page is intended to describe in further detail the manner of worship at South Wake RPC.
THE LORD'S DAY
The Lord God created all things out of nothing by the power of His Word in the space of six days, and on the seventh day, God rested and blessed one day in seven as the Sabbath. So from that time to the resurrection of Christ, the Sabbath was the last day of the week. But Christ Jesus, who is Lord of the Sabbath, rose from the grave on the first day of the week, so that day is established as the Lord's Day, the Christian Sabbath. It is the holy day given to us according to the holiness, wisdom and grace of the Lord, and is to be spent in its entirety in the public, family and private exercises of worship, as well as in duties of necessity and mercy.
THE ORDINARY MEANS OF GRACE
Public worship is the great duty and delight of the Christian, for the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob (Psalm 87:2). It is in public worship, God's people come to meet with their Lord, and He has promised the blessing of His presence. Furthermore, in the worship of God, Christians partake of the ordinary and outward means through which God communicates to us the benefits of our redemption. The ordinary means of grace are the Word, the Sacraments and Prayer.
THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE OF WORSHIP
God has not left man to himself regarding how the Church is to worship. This is clearly seen in the first four commandments. In the first commandment, we are to only worship God; in the second commandment, we are to worship God in the manner He has prescribed; in the third commandment, all things by which God is revealed is to be kept holy; and in the fourth commandment, God has set aside a day for His worship.
The Regulative Principle of Worship, which articulates the biblical manner of worshipping God, is that "the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation or any way not prescribed in the holy Scripture" (Westminster Confession of Faith 21.1).
THE READING AND PREACHING OF THE WORD
In the worship of God, the Word of God is to be both read and preached. The preaching of God's Word at South Wake RPC strives to be faithfully: devotional (pointing the hearers to the glory of God), experiential (speaking to the Christian experience and conscience), doctrinal (bringing forth the instruction of truths from God's Word), and practical (applying the indicatives and imperatives of Scripture to the lives of the hearers) - for we are to love God with our whole heart (devotional), soul (experiential), mind (doctrinal), and strength (practical). We strive to have the whole counsel of God preached at South Wake Reformed Presbyterian Church, with the Law and the Gospel being brought forth from each particular sermon text. It is through the preaching of God's Word, God calls sinners to Himself and builds up the saints in faith and faithfulness.
In prayer, we come before the throne of grace to adore God for all of His holiness, seek His will, bring forth our petitions, confess our sins, seek by God's grace to persevere in faith and repentance, and confess our faith to the Lord.
THE SINGING OF THE PSALMS
God has given to His people a book of common prayer and praise to be sung to Him - the Psalms. The Psalms are the very words of Christ (Colossians 3:16), which thoroughly express His incarnation, righteousness, suffering, dying, rising, ascending, reigning and ruling. And as the Word of God is sufficient, so is this Covenant Hymnal sufficient for His people. Accordingly, we sing the Psalms exclusively in the public worship of God, without musical instruments (as they belong to the Old Covenant ceremonial law), and offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name (Hebrews 13:15).
God has given to His Church signs and seals of His grace in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Baptism is the administering of water in the name of the Triune God to new believers who have not been baptized, as well as to the children of believers who are also called holy and under the Covenant of Grace (1 Corinthians 7:14). Baptism signifies union with Christ, the cleansing our sins, regeneration from the Holy Spirit, visible inclusion in the covenant of grace, and membership in the Visible Church. The efficacy of Baptism is not necessarily tied to the moment of administration; yet the grace is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Spirit, to such that grace belongs, according to the counsel of God's will in His appointed time (Westminster Confession 28).
The Lord's Supper is the eating of bread and drinking of wine for the feasting upon Christ spiritually for the sustenance in our faith, expressing our union and enjoying communion with Christ, remembering and proclaiming His death, renewing our covenant obligations to the Lord, expressing the unity of the Church, and looking forward to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The Lord's Supper is only administered to those who discern the body of our Lord, that is who profess Christ and evidence that profession by being in good standing in the Visible Church. As it is the duty of elders to fence the Lord's Table, those who are not communicant members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America and desire to be admitted to the Table, are to be briefly interviewed by the Session regarding their church membership and profession of faith.
In the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, the Sacraments are administered by Mission Churches and Organized Congregations. As South Wake RPC is currently a Preaching Station, we are not permitted by the Church to administer the Sacraments.
The public worship of God is concluded by the pronouncing of God's Benediction, meaning Blessing, from God's Word (such as from Numbers 6:24-26 or 2 Corinthians 13:14). Just as God calls to His worship from His Word at the beginning of the service, so He sends us out from worship with His blessing. The LORD has remembered us; he will bless us . . . But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore (Psalm 115:12, 18).