Many people feel today that there is no need to “go to church”, or to meet together with the Saints in fellowship and worship. How mistaken they are – the Bible is most concerned with believers in their walk and worship TOGETHER. “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the Light, we have FELLOWSHIP ONE WITH ANOTHER and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanest us from all sin”. (1 Jn. 1:7)
Now the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IS NOT A BUILDING OR AN ORGANISATION or a DENOMINATION….. But THE BODY OF CHRIST. “And he is the Head of the Body, the Church…” (Cor. 1:18).
1 Cor. 12:27 tells us: “Now ye are the Body of Christ and members in particular”. Christ and members in particular”. The Church constitutes, therefore, the born-again children of God for “Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25).
You and I, individually and collectively, are the Church, and as members of the Body of Christ (which is the Church); we must be united in worship of Him, who is the Head of the Church. The Church meets in the building!! Cf. Rev 2 and 3 (“The Church “(i.e. Believers) in Smyrna, Pergamos, etc.) Rom. 16:5 “GREET THE CHURCH THAT IS IN THEIR HOUSE…”
WHY GO TO CHURCH ?
- TO KEEP AN APPOINTMENT.
Exhorts us not to forsake “the assemble of ourselves together, as the manner of some is …….” And the New Testament records clearly the day chose for the meeting together of the Saints.
Jn. 29:19 – they met together “the same day (of the resurrection), being the first day of the week…”
The 7thday was the memorial of creation (Ex. 20:11) and of the Passover (Beut. 5:14, 15).
The 1stday of the week – the Lord’s day – is the memorial of the New Creation, brought about through the death and resurrection of the GREAT PASSOVER LAMB, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 5:7). From that time to this, through the Centuries, Christians have hallowed the first day of the week and they have met on that day for worship and service.
Acts 2:1-4– it was on the First day of the week that the Holy Spirit came.
Acts 20:7– the Early Church met on the 1stday for worship and to break bread.
1 Cor. 16:1, 2– they met on the 1stday to present their offerings to the Lord.
- TO MEET THE LORD
Every time we meet together in the Name of Christ the promise of Matt. 18:20is fulfilled: “for where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them”.
Notice John 20:19-25 – the believers had met together by appointment, but Thomas had failed to keep the appointment – and he missed seeing the Lord “Who came and stood in the midst”. (Hi had another chance – see v.28!) it is not the presence of the preacher, or the crowds, nor anything else that is important – but the Person of Jesus Christ in our midst, and like certain Greeks of old in John 12:21 our heart’s cry must be “Sir, we would see Jesus”.
He is the Head of the Body and where the Body is He will always be found!
- TO GROW IN GRACE THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD AND FELLOWSHIP.
Acts 2:42 “and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of dread, and in prayers”. The Early Church ser a clear example.
The IMPORTANT OF FELLOWSHIP cannot be stressed enough. Heb 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but EXHORTING ONE ANOTHER, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching”.
God said in the Garden of Eden: “it is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18) and Eccl. 4:9, 10 declares that “two are better than one… for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when He falleth; for he hath not another to help him up”.
Gal. 6:2 “Bear you one another’s burden….”
James 5:16 “Pray one for another…..”
We need each other and remember, “Love is the fulfilling of the Law” (Rom. 10:13).
“He that loveth his brother abideth in the Light” – 1 Jn. 2:10.
N.B. Mal 3:16 “Then they that feared the Lord Spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it…..”
MINISTRIES AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS given to the Church, 1 Cpr. 14:12 tells us are for the deification of the Church.
Eph. 4:11 “and He gave some, apostles… prophets…evangelists… pastors …teachers…” – because the Church of Jesus Christ needs these ministries in order to mature. It is essential that we meet together and take advantage of these wonderful gifts of God for growth.
The Lord has always sought to keep His people together in fellowship and under the ministry of His word. Even in O.T. times they were required to encamp around the Tabernacle and Later to have a Temple were they could meet together regularly.
Consider 1 Cor. 12:12-28 – each member of the body has need of the other.
- TO RECEIVE FROM THE LORD.
Scripture is full of the blessings the Lord wishes to bestow on His people. For the purposes of this study, therefore, let us look at just a few blessings the disciples received from the Lord when He met with them in John 20:19-25.
- The comfort of His Word. v .21
“Then Said Jesus to them…” when we meet with the Lord he speaks to us. Jesus said His sheep “know His voice” (Jn. 10:4).
- The Assurance of His Love v.20
“…He shewed them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord hath no man than this, which a man laid down his life for his friends”.
- The Gift of His Peace.
v.19“Peace be unto you”… and again in
v.21“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you”.
cf, Rom. 5:1“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Eph. 2:14 “For He is our Peace….”
Cf. also Phil 4:7, Jn.14:27, Isa. 26:3.
- The Knowledge of His Will.
v.21“As My Father hath sent me, even so SEND I you”.
Not only does the Lord give guidance and instruction, but He grants wisdom and understanding. The Psalmist in Ps. 73 was depressed over the apparent prosperity of the wicked, when the righteous appeared to suffer so “… until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I their end” (v.17).
- The Power of the Spirit.
v.22“Receive ye the Holy Ghost” – fulfilled in Acts 2:4. (Note Acts 1:4, 5, 8).
DAVID CONCLUDES OUR STUDY:
“I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME, LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD”.
PLEASE do not neglect your fellowship with other saints.
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