7 reasons worshipers need the church

 

old-white-church-shirley-helton

Recently I heard someone say that they love to worship, but they don’t love the church. They don’t see why a worshiper needs the church at all. After all, can’t we just worship as individuals? Here is my response:  

While it is true that everything a redeemed person does should be done with both an attitude of worship and with the goal of glorifying God, there remains a special and specific role for the gatherings of the local church.

For example, Paul tells Felix that while he used to worship by “going to Jerusalem,” now he worships “according to the Way, which some call a sect” (Acts 24:11, 17).  In other words, Paul’s worship was in his heart, but in tune with the worship of other Christians.

This is exactly what was described earlier in Acts, when the church first started. Thousands were saved, and immediately became worshipers of the true God. That worship was evident in the fact that they “were continually devoting themselves” to meeting together  (Acts 2:42). Acts 2:46 describes how this wonder and worship continued as they left the Lord’s Day gathering, but was fostered by their repeated meeting together (“in the temple” and “house to house”). Verse 47 describes how these meetings were marked by them “praising God.”

So how is a Christians’ worship fostered specifically in the gathered church? Clearly the Lord’s Day gatherings of the congregation are the focal point of corporate worship. The structure of the Pastoral Epistles highlights this. Worship is seen in the corporate gatherings because there, under the authority and leadership of the elders, the church takes on a life of prayer (1 Tim 2:8), work (v. 10), and instruction (v. 11). This is where the preaching of the word happens (1 Tim 5:17, 6:2; 2 Tim 4:2). In that context, the elders lead the corporate gatherings which gives rise to the Lord’s Day worship service.

Scripture gives seven basic components of this corporate worship gathering (fellowship, the ordinances, Scripture reading, giving, prayer, singing, and most notably preaching). But it is assumed that all of these happen under the leadership of the elders, and together make up the corporate worship of the church.

  1. Fellowship as corporate worship

The early church had their corporate worship service marked by fellowship (Acts 2:42). This fellowship grew out of the preaching of the “teaching of the word,” and was seen in the acts of the ordinances and prayer. When a congregation strives for holiness, their weekly gatherings for worship are marked by this “fellowship of light” (2 Cor 6:14). In fact, this corporate fellowship is an act of worship because it flows out of the union each individual Christian has with members of the trinity  (Phil 2:1; 1 John 1:3 also ties this Trinitarian fellowship to the preaching of the word: “We proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”)

This fellowship is seen when likeminded believers, united in the pursuit of holiness, join together to celebrate what God is doing in their lives (1 John 1:6-7). It is in this context that the commands to mutually edifying speech become practical in how they create an atmosphere of worship (Rom 12:16, Col 3:9, Jas 4:11, 5:9).

The rest is at: http://thecripplegate.com/7-reasons-worshipers-need-the-church/

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