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Pp theassembly

  1. THE ASSEMBLY We get out of it as much as we put into it. But let us concentrate upon its purpose.
  2. Introduction • How vital is the assembly to New Testament Christianity? • Some have false expectations concerning the assembly that come from erroneous ideas concerning its purpose. • Perhaps our assemblies will never be as meaningful as they should be until we better understand the purpose for having them in the first place.
  3. The Assembly • In the worship assembly is where God meets with his people. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18.20.) • Our worship is the way of salvation. “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 4.5) and in Him there is life (John 1.4.) • We find comfort and strength in our worship. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4.19.)
  4. The Assembly • In worship we learn the wisest way to live. “Through thy precepts I get understanding... Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119.104-105.) • In our worship assemblies, we meet those who care for us. “whether one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Corinthians 12.26.) • In worshipping together we set a good example for our children. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22.6.) • At our meetings to worship God, we give for the support of God's Kingdom. “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase.” (Proverbs 3.9.)
  5. The Assembly • In the worship assembly there is time for meditation, prayers and songs. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, 0 Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19.44.) • At the worship assembly, God's word is studied. “They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine.” (Acts 2.42) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3.16.) • In our meeting to worship the Lord, God gives his blessings. “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house” (Psalms 84.4.)
  6. The Assembly Is For Worship • “In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee” (Hebrews 2:12). • Not just ritual or ceremony. • Not just for observing “the acts of worship;” but for praise, adoration and devotion to God. • Perhaps enough of our assembly time is not spent in praising God for His majesty and mercy.
  7. The Assembly Is For Teaching • It was a place where complete epistles were read and discussed by Christian teachers (Colossians 4:16). • Much of this teaching is described as putting “into remembrance” things known before (1 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:14; 2 Peter 1:12; Jude 5). • This is a vital function of our assemblies today.
  8. The Assembly Is For Edification • This is the building up of Christians (Ephesians 4:16). • The assembly is “to provoke unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24). • Christians need encouragement. • They need to know that others understand and care.
  9. The Assembly Is For Edification • This need can be beautifully supplied in the assembly, as well as in private deeds of kindness. • Some, however, have mistakenly assumed that this is the only purpose of the assembly; and this leads to disappointment if they are not “ministered unto” in every service. • They forget it is not about them, but it is all about Jesus Christ and God.
  10. The Assembly Is For Correction • Discipline is to be administered “when ye are gathered together” (1 Corinthians 5:4). • This is after all other means have failed (Matthew 18:15-17). • Reproving and rebuking has a place in the assembly (2 Timothy 4:2). • Those who sin are to be rebuked “before all” (1 Timothy 5:20). • So being taken to the “woodshed” is a purpose to be served by the assembly.
  11. The Assembly Is For Evangelism • “To the intent that now ...might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10). • The assembly, therefore, is a place for declaring the Gospel as “the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16). • It is a place to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). • Evangelism is not limited to the assembly; it should be done all the time by all the members of the church.
  12. The Assembly Is For Evangelism • Regretfully, some through the years have tried to play down this purpose of the assembly by saying, “the assembly is for Christians” or “we are to meet to edify and to go out to evangelize.” • This, however, is an erroneous concept for the following reasons: • It is a denominational concept, by which they have excluded children from their assemblies by saying that the assembly is “not for them.” • This has led to Junior Church, Children’s Church and other departures.
  13. The Assembly Is For Evangelism • This concept would not even have permitted the Pentecost sermon of Acts 2 or Paul’s great sermon on Mars Hill in Acts 17 to be repeated in an assembly of the church. • The Bible specifically speaks of unbelievers in the assembly; and unbelievers need to be evangelized (1 Corinthians 14:23). • The mission of the church is to fulfill the mission Christ had when He was on the earth; and that is specifically given as “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
  14. The Assembly Is For Evangelism • The NUMBER ONE business of the New Testament church is evangelism. • Is it conceivable that the church cannot take care of its number one business when it meets? • This idea also promotes selfishness. • It creates within us a desire to be served rather than to serve.
  15. The Assembly Is For Evangelism • This is not the spirit of Christ (Matthew 10:28; Philippians 2:3-5). • “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” (Hebrews 10:25).
  16. The Assembly • Thus every assembly does not have the same purpose. • We need assemblies for praise, for prayer and for encouragement. • We need those designed for teaching and instruction and outreach.
  17. The Assembly • Some services may include all of these purposes in one assembly. • We could have special assemblies for specific needs such as prayer, singing, or discussing the work of the church. • We need to make sure we follow the New Testament pattern of worship by following the commands and examples from the New Testament.
  18. Conclusion • Perhaps our greatest need is to realize that God is the one to be pleased, others are the ones to be served, and that what we derive from any assembly depends so much on our having the right purpose in our hearts for being there in the first place. • Couple that with putting into the assembly our own vested interest towards salvation. • Our soul depends upon the assembly as part of our life and focus upon its goals and mission. • Is the Assembly important to you?