Sunday, August 03, 2014

The "Worship Assembly" is Foreign to the New Testament

The concept of a "worship assembly" is foreign to the New Testament.

The assembly in Heb 10:25 is an "irritate one another to love and good works" assembly (v. 24).

The assembly in 1 Cor 11:17ff is one in which we're supposed to focus not on ourselves, but on the body, on each other, making sure the poor get a portion of the community meal.

The assembly in Acts 20 starts as a long-winded lecture, but concludes as an all-night discussion (see the Greek for this distinction if your English translation doesn't make it clear).

Concerning the assembly in 1 Cor 14, we're specifically told that "all things in the assembly must be for edification" (v. 26); we're not told that things in the assembly are to be for worship. The entire description in this chapter is that "all of you ..., one by one" can use his God-given gifts to build up the others, so that "all may learn, and all may be exhorted" (v. 31). When the unbeliever comes in, he's not convicted by the preacher's sermon; rather he's "reproved by all", "judged by all", revealing the secrets of his heart, bringing him to a new-found conviction to worship God (vv 24-25).

Our modern day assemblies are not geared so that each person contributes something that "irritates" the others to love and to good works and to being built up.

In the New Testament, we see sermons preached to non-Christians in the streets and in the pagan temples and in the Jewish synagogues, but in the assemblies of Christ, the sermon gives way to an "everyone participation". Until we do this, our assemblies may be "our way", but they're not what we see in the New Testament.

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