Loving Christians Attend Worship

Worship.JPGLoving Christians want to be at church every time the congregation meets. They love worshiping God and being with others who worship him. They don’t allow other activities in their schedule to keep them from attending. They even don’t allow out-of-town visitors to keep them from worship. They want to be with Christians in worship even when they are away from home. They try to find a congregation and worship wherever they go.
Why are these people so insistent on going to worship? Here are four reasons:
First, they desire to express their love to God. Worship is one of the means we say to God, “I love you!” When we worship, we are meeting with God. Matthew 18:20 reminds us that wherever two or three are gathered together, “there am I in the midst of them.” When the church meets, God meets with them.
Second, they believe being with the church glorifies God. Psalm 29:2 says, “Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” There is a difference between a person who claims to follow Christ and one who publicly meets with his saints. Those who attend show their love and loyalty to the Lord; and those who forsake the assembling give their support to other things.
Third, attending worship is an interactive experience between believers. In Hebrews 10:24, the writer encourages us “to stimulate one another to love and good works.” The example of love shown by other Christians makes our own hearts bolder to love and to do more.
Fourth, worship builds us up in Christ. William Temple said, “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.” The more we give our hearts to God, the more we grow in faith and love, the more we become like God, and the more we are willing to serve God before other.
Let’s determine to be loving Christians and attend worship at every opportunity.

Four reasons why loving Christians insist on going to worship.

6 thoughts on “Loving Christians Attend Worship

  1. Phil,
    What do you mean that ?loving Christians attend *worship*?? What do you mean that ?loving Christians insist on going to *worship*? Do you not know that worship is the loving Christian?s way of life twenty-four hours a day? (Romans 12:1)
    The subject of worship is one of the least understood subjects among many Christians. As a result of this failure to comprehend the theme of worship, one discovers multiple divisions within Christendom. These divisions come out of a sincere desire to be true to the Word of God. Generally today, when one speaks of worship, one associates worship with five acts performed on Sunday morning in a prescribed manner. These acts are: singing, praying, preaching, communion, and giving. Each fellowship of believers claims to worship God according to the teachings of the New Testament.
    Many Christian fellowships are alienated over the ?elements? in a so-called worship service. Unless one understands the true nature of worship, one cannot bring an end to divisions within the Christian community. The Presbyterians are divided over the ?elements? or ?parts? in the so-called worship service. On the other hand, the Churches of Christ are also divided over the ?pattern? to be observed in a so-called worship service, which is the same philosophy advanced by the Puritans?biblical forms and patterns. Both groups came out of the English Puritans. As a result of this background, the Reformed Movement became a movement with emphasis upon book, chapter, and verse for the elements in a worship service, which is a holdover from Catholicism. The Reformed theologians used the Bible as a blueprint or pattern for a worship service but the problem is the Bible does not have a blueprint or pattern for a New Testament worship service.
    As early as 1728, William Law called attention to the fact that there is not one command in all the Gospels for public worship. Phil, can you show one precept that is found in the word of God that speaks of public worship of the NT church? I do not deny that what one does on Sunday morning between the hours of 9a.m. and 10a.m is not worship. The issue is: Has God ordained a worship service with five elements or rituals to be performed in a prescribed manner in order for one to worship in spirit and in truth? Can you show one word that is translated ?worship? in the New Testament that is employed in association with a so-called corporate worship service performed on Sunday morning? Can you show me a command in the New Testament to go to a so called ?worship service?? Can you show me a book in the New Testament that speaks of a worship service? Is there a mention of corporate worship in the New Testament? Are worship acts outlined in the Scriptures? Christians are commanded to come together, but this coming together is to strengthen and encourage one another in the faith. Is this gathering ever called a worship service?
    Do the Scriptures ever speak of the Christian assembly as a worship service? Worship is not a stop-and-go experience; it is a way of life twenty-four hours a day for the loving Christian. Paul, in writing to the Romans, speaks of presenting one?s body as a living sacrifice, which is one?s spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1). Loving Christians are to worship God with their lives. The loving Christians true worship demands ethical behavior twenty-four hours a day, not just one hour a week. Worship for the loving Christian is a quality of the heart; it is an act of service. Loving Christians have no right to separate worship and service. It is true that God gave to Moses certain rituals associated with the Tabernacle, but for the loving Christian, his/her worship is strictly associated with one?s way of life, not with rituals that consist of five acts performed on Sunday morning (see John 4:21-24). Your concept of worship is the very opposite of what Jesus said to the woman of Samaria. Worship is not like a water faucet that one turns off and on. The true worship of the loving Christian is a way of life twenty-four hours a day. (Romans 12:1)
    Jesus describes the loving Christian?s true worship to an expert of the Law?loving God and loving one?s neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40). The point is that loving Christian?s worship, devotion, and ardent love are to be directed toward God rather than toward oneself. Your perspective on worship places great emphasis on specific acts or practices at sacred geographical locations, not holiness as one?s way of life (Romans 12:1-2). In the New Testament, is worship ever applied in any specific way to Christian assemblies?
    Let’s determine to be loving Christians, make worship a way of life, 24 hours a day (Romans 12:1-2), and to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ at every opportunity.
    Phil, I am praying for you.
    Thomas Edward

  2. So, Thomas, everything we do is worship, huh? Is going to the bathroom worship? Is having sex with one’s wife worship? Is playing baseball worship? Your definition of worship is a bit broad. No, there are clear avenues of worship in the scriptures. You need to study further on this subject before coming to such ridiculous conclusions.

  3. Thomas,
    It is helpful when you disagree with something to ask a question rather than make an assumption.
    No one is suggesting the Christian life is a box to be opened only on Sundays. Having translated the book of Raomans and having taught it numerous times, I am well aware of Romans 12:1-2. I would also point you to Hebrews 13:15-16. No one is arguing here that loving God belongs only at church.
    The point of my article is to encourage all those who would drift away from church to return, to be more faithful to the Lord. I am sorry I did not get that across to you.
    William Law, though a fine man, is just a man and here is clearly wrong. The word church itself refers to a “called out assembly.” Acts 20:7 speaks of the disciples gathering on the first day of the week for the purpose of “breaking bread,” an act of worship. Romans 15:6-9 speaks of the brethren collectively “with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The commands of Ephesians 5:19 and Col. 3:16 cannot be fulfilled by a person alone–they require a plurality of people.
    When Paul writes to the church at Colossae, he expects that the people will be assembled in church when they read the epistle to them (Col. 4:16).
    Communion is a Biblical term and speaks to the communion faithful Christians have with each other and with the Lord in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to eat with his people in the kingdom (Matt. 26:26-29).
    How can you have communion if indeed you do not gather with the saints.
    From 1 Corinthians chapter 11 to chapter 14, the Scripture refers to the assembled church. “When you gather as a church.” In 1 Tim. 2:8, “in every place” is a technical for the place that the church gathered.
    God does not call us to be “Lone Ranger” Christians. We are fellow citizens with the saints and are part of God’s family. Let us worship with the family.
    I will also pray for you, Thomas.

  4. Dear Thomas,
    It appears to me further, Thomas, that you have an ax to grind rather about churches of Christ more than you hav about the topic here.
    Please inform us of the how the church of the days of the New Testment worshiped? We know they sang, prayed, communed, gave of their means, and heard the word of God spoken. These things are beyond dispute.
    The fact that people want to introduce non-Biblical forms of worship today does not change what the Christians of the first century did. Those who argue the way you do usually want to bring in instruments of music. I don’t know whether that is your goal or not; but not everything we do is worship. We certainly can glorify God by acts of worship and by how we live; but this does not mean everything we do is an act of worship.
    The Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 came to Jerusalem to worship. No one assumes that he never worshiped in prayer and song at home. But there were some things that belonged uniquely at the Temple. In the same way the Lord’s Supper is a communal act of love, remembrance, and thanksgiving for the gift of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus. This supper does properly belong at the gathering of God’s people.
    Obviously the Christian life ought to be filled with love and service, with personal devotions and thanksgiving. This private love, however, does not substitute for gathering with God’s people on the Lord’s day to observe the Lord’s supper.

  5. Good article Phil.
    It is always good to be reminded of the need to encourage and exhort one another while we praise and worship God.
    Though Hebrews 10:25 is often quoted I believe the key is found in the words of verse 24 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”

  6. I have just learned about your e-zine, in fact this term was new to me today. Jimmy Jividen and Phil Sanders are my kind of saints; as director of Star Bible Publications for 43 years, their writings were among our books and tracts. I hope and pray your policies are parallel to their convictions. And about the name Matheny, what is your father’s name? I know others who preached by this family name. Would you like an article I wrote? It exposes dangerous changes among us. God bless you.

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