Identifying The Church - Worship
It is an amazing thing that there are those who profess to know the Bible, yet who contend that God has left man free to improvise his own worship system. Like Jeroboam, the son of Nebat (1 Kings 12:25-33), they are innovators. Tragically, so many members appear to be untaught as to exactly why we worship as we do. The apostle affirms that faithful “worship [is] by the Spirit of God.” The phrase “by the Spirit of God” signifies by the instruction of the Holy Spirit. The passage parallels John 4:24, which affirms that worship must be regulated by the truth, which is Scripture (John 17:17).
Jehovah God made Himself known to man that man might worship the ONE TRUE GOD. Since it was necessary for Jehovah God to reveal to man who we worship (Himself), then it is also necessary that we understand the how or pattern of true worship. Jehovah did not tell Israel to worship Him and then leave them alone to decide how to do so. He revealed how, and punished those who would change, in the least, His ordained worship (Lev.10:1-2; Deut. 4:2; 12:32). The same thing is true concerning the Lord’s church… spiritual Israel. We have been told how to worship God and we dare not “offer strange fire” (Leviticus 10:1-2).
SINGING: We are commanded to sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; etc.), and we have examples in the New Testament where such was offered to God in worship (Acts 16:25). When we sing we are identical with the church revealed in the New Testament. The use of mechanical instruments of music in worship to God is not authorized in the New Testament age. If you believe otherwise, please give the New Testament scripture (Book, Chapter and Verse). Their use is an example of offering “strange fire.” The one who is not content to abide in the “teaching of Christ, does not have God” (2 John 1:9).
LORD’S SUPPER: We are to partake of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day (Acts 20:27). This was the reason for the saints in Troas coming together. The scriptures do not furnish command, example, or necessary inference that anyone ever observed the Lord’s Supper at any other time. God has placed an importance on a weekly memorial to remember our Lord’s sacrifice till He returns.
PRAYER: Prayer was an important part of the worship of the church, and an important part of the life of each individual Christian. Prayer is a privilege reserved for God’s children (“Our Father . . .” – Matthew 6:9), and is not to be used as a substitute for obedience to God (1 Peter 3:12; John 9:31).
CONTRIBUTION: Upon the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:2) we are to give liberally (Romans 12:8), cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7), purposefully (2 Corinthians 9:7), as we have prospered (1 Corinthians 16:2). Our giving is not to be “grudgingly, or of necessity” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Nor is there any precedent in the New Testament for the Lord’s church to be financed by money-making schemes (cake sales, dinners, rummage sales, car washes, etc.).
TEACHING: We are to teach the word of God as revealed by the apostles (Acts 2:42; 20:27; Matt. 28:20). Our teaching is not to be the doctrines or commandments of men (Matt. 15:9; Rom. 1:25; Gal. 1:6-9). Therefore, we have no man made creeds or creed books and speak only from the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).
The devout Christian, who wishes to respect the Lord’s authority, will worship as He has commanded — without the nuisance of what man wants in his worship or thinks is best for God. Amen?
--- With brotherly affection, Andy