How Should We Then Worship? Part 2 of 3

by R.C.Sproul

When we move to the “where” question, it doesn’t appear to matter that much. We recall Jesus’ discussion with the woman at the well when He said that the New Testament church has no appointed central sanctuary where all true worship must take place. It’s not necessary for Christians to migrate to Jerusalem in order to offer authentic worship to God. Yet at the same time we notice throughout biblical history that people met together in a variety of locations, including house churches in the early years after Christ’s ascension. The house church phenomenon of the first century was not something intended to avoid institutional churches or to seek an underground church as such, but it was basically built on the foundation of convenience because the church was so small that the number of believers could easily meet in a home. As the church grew in number, it became necessary to find a place where a larger group could assemble for the solemn worship of God, as an act of corporate praise and celebration. So today it would seem that the obvious answer to the “where” question is that we should be worshiping together with other Christians as we gather in local churches.

The “when?” is also a question that is given attention biblically. Obviously, it is the obligation of the believer to worship God everyday, at all times. But God appoints special times and seasons for the gathering of His people in corporate worship. In the Old Testament, that special time was established early to be on the Sabbath. The term sabbath means seventh, or a cycle of one in seven. In the Old Testament economy, it was on the seventh day of the week. After the resurrection and the split of the Christian community from Judaism, it was changed from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week, though the seven-day cycle remained intact. We understand that when the Christian community meets in solemn assembly, the communion of saints means that not only are Christians joined together locally in their own particular congregations, but that the worship of God goes beyond the walls of each individual church and incorporates churches around the nation and around the world, who, for the most part, are meeting at the same time. But the “where” and the “when” questions pale into insignificance when we return our attention to the “how” question. And the “how” question is ultimately determined by the “who” question.

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Filed under Theology - الهیات مسیحی, Worship Training - تعلیم پرستش

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