By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North - Shreveport, La.
NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP CONCEPTS
Lesson 2 of 3
THE ASSEMBLY: IT'S PURPOSE
In our study on worship we have repeatedly seen that the Bible does not speak of
worship in the context of a christian assembly.
Once this Biblical concept is understood, it causes the question to be raised,
"What is the purpose of the assembly?"
If the concept of worship that we have studied is true, and it is, then what goes
on in the assembly IS worship.
It is important, however, to understand that we should not speak of worship as if it were:
Confined to a certain time period
Confined within the walls of a building
Confined to a certain day
Our concept is more often to gain and receive from worship more than it is to give and share.
If we come ONLY to receive, God's purpose for the assembly is not and cannot be fulfilled.
In this lesson, let's investigate the purpose of the N.T. assembly.
A TIME OF GIVING AND RECEIVING
Consider how to spur (provoke) each other toward:
Love - feeling with service for others before yourself.
Good works - doing for others before doing for yourself.
Do not give up meeting together.
Encourage one another.
v. 24 - Let us consider
This is an everyone involvement - not just the preacher, elder, etc.
v. 25 - Let us spur (provoke)
Again, everyone involved
v. 25 - Let us not give up meeting together
v. 25 - Let us encourage
1 Corinthians 14:26 - All things for edification.
The impact of this verse is when the church is assembled together -- everyone is to do
his/her part to bring about a general edification.
This demands that we give as well as receive.
QUESTION: Does a mechanical, methodical assembly allow the total operation of these
"Let us" commands?
Would it not demand a more "personal" type of coming together?
Would it not demand that the assembly be structured so that every member could give
as well as receive?
A TIME OF COMMUNION - FELLOWSHIP.
The Lord's Supper
1 Corinthians 11:17-33
NOTE: The Lord's Supper will be discussed fully in the next lesson.
A time to share in the lives of the family.
This is why announcements have value.
This is the purpose of the bulletin.
This is the purpose of our "invitation" time
A TIME FOR PRAYER, SINGING AND TEACHING
A time to come together and share in prayer.
Remember: This must be in an edifying manner. The time and place for long complicated prayers is when you are in your "prayer closet."
1 Corinthians 14:26
Most of our singing is done to and toward each other
Even though these do not speak primarily of an assembly, the principles still apply.
1 Corinthians 14:26
Acts 20:7 - Paul used the time to teach
THE ASSEMBLY IS FOR CHRISTIANS
Evangelism is for the outside:
Not designed primarily for the assembly.
Acts 3:11ff - in the temple
Acts 4:23ff - before the priest
Acts 6:8ff - in the synagogue
Acts 7:1ff - Stephen before the Sanhedrin
Acts 8:4 - everywhere
Acts 8:26ff - on a roadway
NOTE: This does not mean that the assembly cannot be used as a time for evangelism.
It is a time for family to deal with family needs.
Share - (joy, sorrow, hardships, victories, etc.)
A place of emotional healing
The challenge: Find a N.T. assembly of the church that differs from these concepts.
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