The regulative principle of worship is the Reformed practice of doing only what God commands in public worship. The Reformed approach differs from others who require obedience to what God commands, but who also allow practices not forbidden in the Scripture.
The Biblical foundation for this practice is Ex 20:4-6; Dt 12:32 and Heb 12:28. The passage in Hebrews declares that by God’s grace, “we may serve [Him] acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” The regulative principle of worship addresses the questions, “who defines what acceptable worship is and what does it look like?” The answers are obvious: God defines acceptable worship and reveals His mind in the Bible.
Our confession summarizes the position in chapter 22, paragraph 1,
“The light of nature shews that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good, and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.”