The Worship of the ONE TRUE CHURCH
John 4:23-24 "But an hour is coming, andnow is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth"
Each and every person in the world has the responsibility to worship and praise Almighty God. Yet very few actually worship Him the right way. Many peoples measure their worship by emotional feelings. They measure themselves by how "religious" they are and oft times by how many "praise the Lord's they can utter in a day.
Each person has an individual responsibility to worship God. There are many ways that it can be done. But the many ways also have to be authorized by God in His word. When people become presumptous, they introduce different forms of so-called worship. However it is not a worship that the Lord accepts. The only worship the Lord will accept is that done in spirit and truth.
This is broken down into two parts.
The spirit deals with the inward person and the truth deals with the external person's actions. In order to please God you must have BOTH. Many have tried to emphasize one over the other and neither will work over the other. Many people do things that are not authorized, but claim that they are doing it for God. Though they satisfy their own feelings and wishes, it does not honor God to offer strange worship. Notice the many examples in the Old Testament.
Many more examples could be offered. What we need to learn is the fact that God DID specify what worship He would accept. Every time someone offered something else, God was displeased.
Even today God is telling us how He wants to be worshipped, and as of old times, many are rejecting God's desire and deciding for themselves how they are going to worship God. As God saw fit to destroy those of old, it is fitting that God will destroy those who do not obey Him according to the truth as revealed in His word.
We also are taught that the early disciples gathered together for the purpose of worship. Thus we have a collection of saints as a corporate or collective body. There are also instructions placed upon the collective corporate (or public) worship service that we offer to God.
Let us look to the Bible to see what worship was practiced by the early church under the guidance of the apostles and Holy Spirit inspired individuals.
We know that they gathered together on the first day of the week. We have two verses that specify an act of worship on that day as the disciples came together. Acts 20:28 discusses the Lord's supper, and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 discuss the contribution for the saints.
Jesus commanded to partake of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine (grape juice) on a continual basis to remember Him and the sacrifice that He was about to make. Jesus also commanded us to do this in rememberance of Him until He comes again.
Matthew 26:26-28 "And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said 'Take, eat; this is My body.' And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."
The apostle Paul quoted these same instructions in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 and then immediately said:
1 Corinthians 11:26 "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes."
Speaking of the Lord's supper the apostle Paul also described it this way;
1 Corinthians 10:16 "Is not the cup of blessing which we bgless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread."
We also are told the time of the observance of the Lord's supper.
Acts 20:7 "And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight."
By logical reason, we see that God specifies the first day of the week for the observance of the Lord's supper. Anyone who offers it on any day other than the first day of the week is acting presumptously. We partake of unleavened bread because it was instituted during a passover feast, and leavened bread was not allowed in those feast of the Jews. And we partake of the fruit of the vine, as Jesus used the example many times of the endurance, viability, and strength, and especially the purity of the fruit of that vine. Also grape juice, called wine in bible times, would be allowed to be offered during the passover feast. As we read 1 Corinthians 11, we also know that we must be of the right spirit, attitude, and frame of mind, and quality of character. Otherwise, we will be wasting our time, and our communion with Christ will be in vain.
Another example of worship is found in the mutual edification by singing. As we read in:
Ephesians 5:19 "speaking to one another in spalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;"
Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."
Though there are no prohibitions to using mechanical instruments of music, there is neither example or authorization for such. Anyone who adds such is acting presumptously and placing their souls in danger.
Prayer is extremely important in the life of the Christian. It is our lifeline by which we communicate with God, and prayer is an indicator of our faith. If you do not pray very much, you really do not have a strong faith.
It just goes to reason that since prayer is so important to God that he allows prayer in His worship. We also have examples in the scriptures of these commands.
Acts 2:42 "And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 "Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:25 "Brethren, pray for us."
1 Timothy 2:1-3 "First of all, then, I urge that entreatings and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,"
Teaching is also a part of worship. As we saw that Paul taught them on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), and as we have instructions to Timothy to pay heed to the reading of scripture in 1 Timothy 3:15, so we are to receive instruction as to our lives and our walk with Christ.
Also the collection for the saints or the weekly contribution is given as an instruction in the early church. Though the reason for the contribution is different, we do have the precedence to make the following statements:
Any collection on a day other than the first day of the week would be wrong for a congregation to do. An individual has the freedom (and responsibility) to share his good fortune with those who are needy.
Our giving is to the Lord and His work. Thus we support the preaching of the gospel and in many places, brethren have built or rented a building for the purpose of gathering together to worship God. Bills need to be paid and each congregation will deem the most appropriate way of handling their own finances (within the framework of God's will).
Friends, these are the ONLY examples of God-approved worship in the ONE TRUE CHURCH. Any worship of another sort is not authorized by God, and those who participate in such will stand judged of presumption on their part. That is just any way of saying that the people are guilty of outright sin against God.
Return to the ONE TRUE CHURCH