WORSHIP I am sometimes ridiculed for insisting that…

I am sometimes ridiculed for insisting that assembly worship follow the example of the early church. But I make no apology – Jesus Himself says our worship “must be in spirit and in truth.” While I know there is some disagreement as to what that means, I hold to the traditional view that contextually the “in spirit” was directed towards the Jews who were generally lacking in that regard and the “in truth” was directed towards the Samaritans who were lacking in that area (See B. F. Westcott on John in Cook’s Commentary for more complete explanation). In view of this, what better means to discover the method of worshiping in truth is there than duplicating the worship that was introduced and taught by the apostles. Doing so I conclude that there were five elements involved: prayers, reading and exhortation, singing praise, communion and giving. Shortly after the death of the last apostles, around AD 150, Justin Martyr wrote in defense of the faith a description of early assembly worship. I believe it is significant to note that these same five elements are mentioned; whereas there is no mention of the exercise of any spiritual gifts, which had evidently faded from use by then. It is also significant that he points out that these things were those that Jesus taught his apostles to be passed on to the church. Here is what Justin wrote:
• Justin Martyr: “On the day called Sunday, all gather together and the memoirs of the apostles or the prophets are read, then the one presiding instructs and exhorts. Then we all pray. When our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the one presiding offers prayers and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. They who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected helps all who are in need. Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead. Having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you.”

#five-avenues, #just-a-minute, #worship