Ryan Martin on corporate worship

The church assembles for worship, part 1


For millennia, the church understood the purpose of its gathering to be for worship. Today some scholars argue that “Christians worship everywhere,” that there “was no chapter and verse” (so to speak) that indicated that the early church thought of its assembly as a time for worship.

This should be a warning to us on the dangers of exegesis. Sometimes we want the Scriptures to affirm certain theological themes that are true in a way that satisfies our own strict requirements, but failing to allow the Scriptures to affirm those themes in its way.

I believe that there are several passages in the New Testament that point to the assembly as worship. Here I want to highlight a few of them off and on over the next few days.

The first is the phrase “house of God.” While this phrase undoubtedly meant to give the church the nuance of the meaning of the Graeco-Roman household, I do not believe that it can be so easily divorced from its Old Testament referent, traces of which we see in the Gospels.

In 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul says that he wants Timothy to know how to behave in the “household of God,” clearly equating this phrase with the church, as we see in the following phrase, “the church of the living God.”

Comment: I only excerpted a small portion of his article. Read the whole! Thanks Ryan!

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