I want someone to explain to me what I’m supposed to do. As I look at religions from a 20-year-old perspective (I’m looking way back now), I see a lot of different churches. I attended many of them as a young man. Some of the services were uplifting, making me feel good and peaceful. Some services were just: “Here’s what you do; this is what you say.” I tried but didn’t get a lot from these churches. I attended Pentecostal services. Some of those services could be scary; sometimes, people would shout in a “language” that no one knew, needing an interpreter, which was usually the preacher.
Then, I attended a church that genuinely spoke from the Bible. I had never heard preaching like that, and it touched me, convicted me, and I latched on to that church. That church explained to me what I’m to be doing spiritually.
It makes a tremendous difference in what one believes. God is offended when people do something other than what He commands, James 1:22, NLT. Church worship isn’t playing time; it’s not entertainment time, and it’s not what or how I feel (although that’s truly part of worship). It genuinely makes a difference in how worship is done. The New Testament shows what God wants for worship. What those first-century folks did for worship is what we ought to be doing as worship.
Well, what did His church do? I can tell you what the New Testament shows for proper worship. I can tell you what they did and how worship is to be done today.
- They met on the first day of the week for worship. That would be Sunday. That’s the first day of the week. Those early Christians met to worship God. Acts 20:7, NLT shows them doing this. So, if they did that and their meeting was God-approved, then we ought to meet on the first day of the week as they did.
- Those early Christians sang songs from the Psalms, spiritual songs, and hymns according to Ephesians 5:19, NLT, and Colossians 3:16, NLT. If they sang, and these two Bible references command singing, then once again, we ought to sing also and without musical instruments. That may sound weird or of minor importance, but the apostles got their words from the Holy Spirit, so singing as the early church did, we know we’re doing what God wants to be done.
- The first church, Jesus’ church, was commanded to pray. First Timothy 2:1-3, NLT, and Ephesians 6:18, NLT. So, likewise, we pray as well.
- The first church members shared their resources according to 1 Corinthians 16:2. Once again, we do the same.
- Jesus’ church of the first century listened to God’s word, Acts 2:42, NLT, and Acts 20:7, NLT. This is where preachers play a role in worship, Romans 10:14, ESV.
I want a Savior that saves me from God’s judgment, wrath, and hell. What Jesus did, dying on the cross for our sins, could not be done by any other person. Jesus, God (Deity), came down from heaven to live as a man, but keeping His God-ability, to die so that God’s justice for sin would be fulfilled. Reading Romans 2:1-10, NLT explains God’s judgment and wrath; Mark 9:43-8, NLT, has Jesus describing hell. Jesus, and only Jesus, save us from hell, Acts 4:12, NLT. Second Corinthians 5:21, NLT, explains that Jesus is the offering to God for sins. We are made right with God through Jesus.
I want a mediator, someone who speaks to God on my behalf. I need someone to take my cause to the Father. Fortunately, Jesus does that for me; Hebrews 7:25, NLT, tell us He does just that. First John 1:6-9, NLT, shows that Jesus forgives our sins if we live in the light. From 1 John 2:1, NLT, we know Jesus is our advocate, someone by our side talking with the Father about our spiritual condition. In Romans 8:34, NLT, I find the Bible states that Jesus pleads for me.
I need a priest who can serve before God. Once again, we see Jesus filling that role. According to Hebrews 6:20, NLT, and Hebrews 7:26, NLT, the Scriptures tell us that Jesus is our high priest. Then again, Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT explains His function as a priest, the only priest we need. And Hebrews 4:15 shows He is the perfect man-God to serve as a high priest. Jesus faced the same temptations as we do, yet He was sinless. Jesus is the perfect priest.
I need a Savior who helps me with my prayers; In Matthew 6:5-15, NLT, Jesus teaches a model prayer and tells us the Father listens to us and gives us what is good for us, Matthew 7:7-11. The Holy Spirit also helps with our prayers, Romans 8:26-27, NLT.
I want a Savior who Built His church as He said He would. That’s right. Matthew 16:18, NLT shows Jesus speaking to His disciples. He tells them He’s going to build His church, and neither death nor Satan can ever destroy it. Jesus is the head of His church, Ephesians 1:22-23, NLT. That only makes sense. It’s His church, so He’s head over it. The Scriptures, Romans 16:16, NLT, shows Paul speaking of the “church of Christ.” The church is named after Him. It is His church, you know.
People are added to His church as they believe, repent, confess, and are baptized to wash away sins. Acts chapter two is the first gospel sermon after Jesus’ ascension. It explains how one ought to understand that Jesus is the Christ, both Lord, and King. And, if He’s the Christ, folks ought to repent and be baptized to remove personal sin, Acts 2:38, NLT, Acts 2:41, NLT, Acts 2:47, NLT.
I want a Savior who is always going to be with me. That’s a comforting thought. Matthew 6:33, NLT speaks of how one is blessed with the necessities of life as he seeks God’s kingdom. God is good to us in many, many ways. Ephesians 1:3, NLT states we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. 1 Peter 1:4, NLT, speaks of our inheritance. God is always with us, everywhere we go and through every earthly circumstance, good or bad. Our God, our Lord, and Savior is always with us, Hebrews 13:5, NLT. He will never abandon us. If you’re a Christian, you need never worry about your permanent future. If you’re not a Christian, you have a lot to think about before you pass. Remember, we are like a vapor; our time here is short. Make sure your life is right with God.