New Testament Order of the Assembling of Ourselves Together.
How to "take part" in church meetings.
[Preached at Community Bible Chapel in Hico, TX by Andy Neckar]
1 Cor 14:22-40
The order of church service is that one common language be spoken so that everyone understands. If a new Christian is present, or an unbeliever comes in out of curiosity and there are many different languages being spoken, and all trying to speak at once, there is nothing but commotion and confusion. And God is not the Author, or creator of confusion.
1 Cor 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
God is the Author of peace and of things done in order -- in most churches? How 'bout ALL churches of the saints.
Now-in verse 24 the apostle Paul is saying that if all prophesy, and that is speaking under inspiration, or telling it like the inspired Bible says, a new Christian will learn and an unbeliever will be indoctrinated. He will be enlightened. (that is thoroughly and completely) And he will be questioned. He will be interrogated. He will be examined by all as to his spiritual condition and his position.
Verse 24 tells us that the stranger that comes in will be thoroughly convinced that we are Christians and he will be touched and he will worship God.
WHY-because the secrets of his heart will be revealed to him as he is brought to examine himself as a result of hearing God's Word in the assembly.
Who takes part in a church service? Does everybody sit and listen to ONE MAN like you do here. This is NOT the church I intended and it is NOT the church God intended.
These portions of scripture provide the most inner view we have of the early church at worship. What a difference is found here with the formal and inflexible order of service that controls most churches today.
First, "Clearly the early church had no professional ministry"
Second, in the service itself "there was clearly no fixed set of order at all"
All things were done in order, but the order of things was not to be done routinely, or customarily.
The early believers did not come to the worship meeting to hear a sermon from one man or simply to receive; they came to give.
When they came together everyone had a song.
Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Everyone had a doctrine. (instruction- to teach-something to help other believers learn, or reinforce something they already know.)
Everyone had a revelation. (a disclosure-an enlightenment)
During private study of God's Word the Holy Spirit will reveal truth to each of us as we go along. We grow in faith from truth to truth. We are to share these truths with others at the assembly.
Tongues were a sign of conversion in the early church and which has ceased. No tongues, no need of an interpreter.
We are to let all things be done unto edifying. This is instruction, enlightenment. This is to BUILD UP THE BODY OF CHRIST.
Verse 29 says to let the inspired speakers speak. This is those who understand the scripture. Not just ONE MAN, now. What does God say? TWO OR THREE.
What about the other prophets? They are to judge. They are to discern the truth of the speaker. They are to differ, if need be. They are to contend, if need be. They are to AMEN if needed.
Verse 30 says if anyone listening has something worthwhile to say (as revealed by the Spirit) on the subject the prophet is speaking on, the speaker is supposed to let the listener have a say.
Verse 31 says that ALL may speak, one by one and no more than two or three at a meeting. The church (assemble) needs the WHOLE BODY, not just a member or two. If the Whole Body needs to learn and be comforted then the Whole Body needs to exercise the gifts of the Spirit.
What good does it do to the Whole Body to exercise only the fingers or only the hand?
Verse 32 says that the spirits or minds of the inspired speakers are in subject to the other inspired speakers.
This is telling us that ONE MAN is to put himself under subjection to another LIKE MAN in the SAME CHURCH, or assembly of believers.
Verse 34 says that women cannot speak in terms as "inspired speakers". They are not included in the two or three prophets that are to speak at the meeting. It is a shame for them to teach the assemble. It is God's law that this is the way it is.
If they have no husband let then ask their father, or brother. This is IF husband or father or brother is saved. If no husband or father or brother is saved, I believe they can ask the speakers.
Verse 36 says do not act like you are the only church with a handle on salvation. Others get the same truth of God that you do. If you be a TRUE CHURCH, then YOU and YOUR CHURCH is no more special than the other TRUE CHURCHES.
Verse 37 says that if we think we have the gift of prophecy, or if we think we are not a natural person but a regenerated person then we should admit that what Paul says is true and comes from God. This goes for the rest of the Bible too.
Verse 38 says if anyone be so ignorant as to not believe the Bible, let him stay ignorant. We are not to waste our time on him.
Matt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Matt 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
We don't have time to argue. We preach the truth and they can take it or leave it. We must go on.
The pastors, bishops, or leading elders are the ones to see that things are done decently and in order, and the others should listen to them and obey them.
How to Dress for Church Meetings, and Everyday for that Matter
Let us read 1 Cor 11:1-19
Now--why did God put that in the Bible? I can say this much. He put this in the Bible for us to obey because it is IMPORTANT to Him, that's why. THIS is the way GOD wants a Christian man and woman to wear their hair.
If you cannot seem to obey this command, then WHY do you say you BELONG to Christ? Are you a liar? If you belong to Christ, then Christ OWNS YOU. Do you not have YOUR WAY with the things you own? If you do not belong to Christ, then wear your hair anyway YOU want and forget about what God says. You are none of His and you don't belong here either.
1 Tim 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
The word shamefacedness means bashfulness. It means "through the idea of downcast eyes" towards men. It means modesty toward men and reverence toward God Who gave this commandment.
The word modesty means, humility, decency, meekness, restraint and chastity.
The word chastity means innocence, purity and virtuous-- which is moral and chaste --which is self-restraining.
Now lets look at the word sobriety in 1 Tim 2:9. This word means self-control. It means to be discreet, which means to be cautious on how you dress. It means to be mindful about how you dress. What does God say about it? What will other Christians think or say about it? What will other young men think about you parading your legs and thighs and bare underarms and chest and shoulders?
1 Tim 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Women are to wear that which becometh, that it that which is characteristic of a modest Christian woman. She is to dress in a way that exhibits, shows and gives evidence of a woman that is professing, or declaring respect for herself and reverence towards God with good works.
Here is an O.T. verse speaking the same as the N.T. By the way--the O.T. was given to us as an example.
Deut 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination (hatred-loathing) unto the LORD thy God.
Christian churches are full of people like I have spoken of here today and it will not be so in this church. We meet together to worship and praise God and give thanks to Him and to edify each other and instruct each other and we will not meet in any other fashion.
We will not have division here in this church. There will not be some of us trying to live in obedience to God and other fellowshippers doing what they think is right, nor doing things because they see nothing wrong with it.
We will not meet together and offend others by not doing as we know God wants us to. We are here to EDIFY each other, but what improper dress and behavior does is AGITATE.
We are not here to annoy, disturb or upset one another. Now--if God does so, remember it is GOD. WE are not the ones annoying, disturbing or upsetting.
As I see it--We're gonna meet together the way GOD SEES IT.