Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! (Psalm 95:6)
GOD REVEALS HIMSELF MORE CLEARLY IN CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP THAN IN NATURE
* Some say you can worship God just as well on the golf course, at the lake, in a stadium, on a hike or bike through the woods, or in the privacy of your own home or backyard as you can with His people at church.
* At first this sounds true because it is true that God reveals Himself through nature.
* In our modern times you can sit out home and listen to better preachers and better worship.
* So why gather with a local body of believers?
* Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
* God has revealed himself most completely in Jesus Christ and in Scripture, much more than through creation.
* You will not hear about Christ and you will not hear the God-breathed words when you worship God in nature, but you will when you worship with the church.
* Creation reveals God as Creator, but not as Savior.
GOD IS GLORIFIED MORE IN CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP THAN IN PRIVATE WORSHIP
* so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)
CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP IS MORE EDIFYING THAN PRIVATE WORSHIP
* In the public worship of God we can experience:
* The preaching of God’s Word.
* The spiritual gifts of Christians.
* The prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
* Congregational praise
* Others are edified
* And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
* Unbelievers Can Perceive God’s Presence
* Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
JESUS REGULARLY PARTICIPATED IN CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP
* And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. (Luke 4:16)
CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP IS MORE LIKE HEAVEN
* But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to uncountable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)
BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC WORSHIP OF GOD
* each believer in Christ is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)
* You are God’s field, you are God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:9)
* Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
* For you are the temple of the living God. (2 Corinthians 6:16)
* Congregational worship surpasses private worship, but it does not replace it.
WHAT CHANGES FOR SUNDAY?
* Prepare your hearts: Read the passage beforehand
* If you love God, how can you neglect worship in the church?
* Arrive eager