The purpose of our worship to God is not to entertain ourselves. Therefore, what we do in worship is not based on that which appeals to our physical senses, but must be based upon what pleases God. From the beginning, God has made it clear how He wants to be worshiped and, as His faithful servants, we have no right to amend this decree to satisfy our own needs.
Jesus said, “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
Consequently, to worship God according to truth is to worship Him according to His Word, because His Word is truth (John 17:17). Therefore, we must not include any item not found in His Word.
Just as the first century church did around 2000 years ago, the Church of Christ in Ashlea Gardens gathers on the first day of the week to participate in five acts of worship. These are singing, praying, preaching, giving, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
The only music we use in worship service is a Capella singing. This is because the New Testament does not authorise the use of mechanical instruments in worship. Indeed, of the eight New Testament references to music in worship, none mentions the use of mechanical music instruments.
- “And when they had sung a hymn, they went our to the Mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30)
- “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God…” (Acts 16:25)
- “Therefore I will praise Thee among the Gentiles, and sing to thy name” (Romans 15:9)
- “…I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:15)
- “…Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart” (Ephesians 5:18-19)
- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16)
- “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee” (Hebrews 2:12)
- “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise” (James 5:13)
There are many examples and instructions on prayer in the New Testament. Jesus tells us how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15. Because Jesus is our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) and high priest (Hebrews 4:14-16), our prayers must be addressed to God in the name of Jesus (John 16:23). In our prayers we should give thanks to God and praise His name. We can also pray for our needs and the needs of others.
God has commanded us to teach His Word to the saved and sinners (Matthew 28:19-20) and the early Christians “devoted” themselves to teaching (Acts 2:42). According to Romans 10:17, faith is acquired by “hearing the word of God”, and it is only through studying God’s Word that we can teach others, overcome false teachings and grow stronger in Christ (1 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:1-5)
The church obtains the necessary funds to do its work when Christians give of their means. 1 Corinthians 16:2 tells us who is to give: “each one of you”; when to give: “on the first day of every week”; and how much to give: “in keeping with your income”. but “cheerfully”, because this please God (2 Corinthians 9:7)
The Lord’s Supper
Jesus instituted this supper on the night of His betrayal (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). As Christians, we observer it in memory of His death, bringing to our remembrance the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus on the cross for our sins (Matthew 26:26-28)
The Lord’s Supper consists of two emblems: unleavened bread (bread without yeast) and fruit of the vine (grape juice), which symbolise Christ’s body and blood respectively (1 Corinthians 10:16)
In accordance with the New Testament teaching, we observe the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week, as was practised by the first-century Christians (Acts 20:7)
The text does not specifically state the first day of every week, just as the command to observe the Sabbath was simply “remember the Sabbath day” (Exodus 20:8). As the Jews understood this to mean every Sabbath, by the same reasoning we understand “the first day of the week” to mean the first day of every week.
Additionally, the writing of respected historians such as Neander and Eusebius show that early Christians partook of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday