By Ivie Powell
The attitude of “What’s in it for me?” has become so ingrained in
the public that the religious world has built facilities to accommodate
both the spiritual and the physical man. This is done all under the
disguise of “meeting the needs spiritually, physically and emotionally.”
It would not be surprising to learn many are erecting medical
facilities in their building. Thus, the whole man’s needs, spiritually,
physically and emotionally will be met all in one complex. It should not
surprise us if many of our brethren follow in like pursuit. After all,
so many have patterned their “appeal” after the denominational world!
Brethren, when the church assembles on the Lord’s day, it is for
one purpose and only one purpose, that being to worship God “in spirit
and in truth” (John 4:24)! The Lord has set forth only five acceptable
expressions in New Testament worship:
• Singing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16.
• Praying (Acts 2:42; 1 Thess. 5:17).
• Preaching (Acts 2:42).
• Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-29; Acts 20:7).
• Contribution (1 Cor. 16:1-2).
Any addition or subtraction from these five authorized areas of
worship is without Bible authority (Col. 3:17) and is a flagrant
departure from the word of God (2 John 9-11; Rev. 22:18-19)!
There are only three ways Scripture authorizes:
• Direct command (Acts 10:48).
• An approved Bible example (Acts 20:7).
• Necessary inference or implication (Matt. 3:16).
There is no doubt that orchestras, dramas, choruses, testimonials,
recreation and entertainment have an appeal to the flesh. However, New
Testament worship is not based on man’s likes and dislikes, but solely
on biblical authority (Col. 3:17)!
The diligent student of God’s word quickly observes that all of the
aforementioned are the direct result of man’s departure from God’s
word. Whenever biblical authority is set aside, then, man will resort to
his own devices, and when that takes place, biblical chaos ensues!
When speaking of worship, the attitude of some is: “What’s in it
for me?” Well, that really depends on what you bring with you. If you
bring an attitude of sincerely worshiping God “in spirit and in truth”
(John 4:24), then you will receive the following:
• You will have a greater knowledge of God’s word (2 Tim. 2:15)!
• You will be preparing for a better and happier life (Phil. 4:4; 1 John 1:4)!
• You will be assured of the hope of eternal life for the faithful (Rom. 8:24-25; Titus 1:2)!
• You will be drawn closer to God (John 4:23-24; James 4:7-10)!
• Your faith will be strengthened (Rom. 10:17; Col. 3:16)!
• You will acquire a deeper insight into the truth found only in God’s word (James 1:25)!
• You will be admonished in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16)!
• You will have the fellowship of brethren who need your strength and in turn will strengthen you (Acts 2:42)!
• You will be preparing for your eternal home with God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and all the saved of all the ages (Rev. 21:22)!
• You will be prepared for the uneven journey of the many wiles of the devil (Eph. 4:10-18).
• You will be strengthened in the Christian graces that are needed in remaining faithful (2 Peter 1:5-13)!
With all of these and many other positive aspects, why would any
Christian not want to faithfully assemble with the saints on the Lord’s
Day (Heb. 10:23-25)?
- Ivie Powell; via the
Nile Street Notes,
the weekly bulletin of the Anna church of Christ in Anna, IL; R. W.
McAlister preaches for the congregation and may be contacted through the
congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/