Q. 3. How, then, are these ways and means of the worship of God made known unto us?
A. In and by the written word only, which contains a full and perfect revelation of the will of God as to his whole worship and all the concernments of it.—John 5:39; Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29; 2 Tim. 3:15–17; 2 Pet. 1:19; Deut. 4:2, 12:32; Josh. 1:7; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18, 19; Isa. 29:13, 14.
EXPLICATION—The end wherefore God granted his word unto the church was, that thereby it might be instructed in his mind and will as to what concerns the worship and obedience that he requireth of us, and which is accepted with him. This the whole Scripture itself everywhere declares and speaks out unto all that do receive it; as 2 Tim. 3:15–17, with the residue of the testimonies above recited, do declare. It supposeth, it declareth, that of ourselves we are ignorant how God is, how he ought to be, worshipped, Isa. 8:20. Moreover, it manifests him to be a “jealous God,” exercising that holy property of his nature in an especial manner about his worship, rejecting and despising every thing that is not according to his will, that is not of his institution, Exod. 20:4–6.
That we may know what is so, he hath made a revelation of his mind and will in his written word,—that is, the Scripture. And to the end that we might expect instruction from thence alone in his worship, and act therein accordingly,—
First, He sends us and directs us thereunto expressly for that purpose, Isa. 8:20; Luke 16:29; John 5:39; and not once intimates in the least any other way or means of instruction unto that end.
Secondly, He frequently affirms that it is sufficient, able, and perfect to guide us therein, 2 Tim. 3:15–17; 2 Pet. 1:19; Ps. 19:7–9. And whereas he hath expressly given it unto us for that end, if there be any want or defect therein it must arise from hence, that either God would not or could not give unto us a perfect revelation of his will; neither of which can be imagined.
Thirdly, He hath commanded us to observe all whatsoever he hath appointed therein, and not to make any addition thereunto, Josh. 1:7; Deut. 4:2, 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:18, 19. And,—
Fourthly, Peculiarly interdicted us the use of any such things as are of the institution or appointment of men, Isa. 29:13, 14. So that from the Scriptures alone are we to learn what is accepted with God in his worship.
John Owen, The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, vol. 15 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 449–50.