Identity Crisis: What it Means to Be the Bride of Christ
Church is a Worshiping Community
How does CBC do what the church is supposed to do? The nature of the church as a guide to the
essential ministry of the church:
What did Jesus command? (Matt. 22:37,39; 28:19,20)
Love God, love neighbour, Make disciples
What did the primitive church do? (Acts 2:42-47)
Teach, fellowship, worship, serve, evangelize
The will of God from the word of God has shaped the way CBC functions…
From 2 commands (Great Commandment, Great Commission), 5 core essentials (Word, Worship, Growth, Prayer, Witness), 3 key practices (WORSHIP, CONNECT, REACH), 1 mission (Make Disciples), to produce 2 outcomes (Lovers of God/Neighbour, Disciple-Makers)
The Ministry of Corporate Worship (Acts 2:42,47) - “the Worshiping Church”
1. Glorifying God by Feeding the Flock (Matt. 28:20; Jn. 21:15-17; 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:1-5)
Sound doctrine (healthy vs. sub-standard, infectious, false, 2 Tim. 1:13; 2 Tim.2:17; 4:3; Titus 2:1)
Devoted themselves to the apostles teaching (Acts 2:42)—"learning, studying church” (Boice)
Jesus, the truth (Jn. 14:6)
The church, the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim. 3:15)
Until Christ returns (1 Tim 4:13)
Older women to younger women (Titus 2:3-5)
…for the most part expositionally prepared to edify believers.
“A Spirit-filled church is always going to be a Bible-studying church.” (Boice, Acts)
2. Glorifying God by Praising Him (Ps. 29; Lk. 4:16-21; Acts 2:47; 13:15-42; 1 Pet. 2:9-10)
Praising God (Acts 2:47)—Psalms; sacrifices of praise and devotion replaced sacrifices of animals
Triune God-centred, Christ-focused, Spirit-empowered, Truth-sourced, Church-building (Jn 4:24; 1 Cor. 14:26; Col. 3:16)
Does anything go—does God care what we do? The regulative/normative debate in constructing corporate worship…only what Scripture explicitly endorses or whatever isn’t prohibited.
“the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.” (Second London Confession, 1689)
What elements? – preaching/teaching of the Word, prayer, baptism, communion, an offering, testimony, singing (J. Marcellino, article-Leading the Church in God-centred Worship)
What style? – How culturally comparative? The medium is also a message. Costuming, music, added elements, technology, liturgy or loose. Phil 4:8 is instructional. Does the style move people toward reverence for God or distract or deflect from his glory? What associations, memories, emotions, understandings are evoked? (Stetzer and Towns, Perimeters of Light, 107) 1 Cor. 14:23-25 conscious of onlooker assessment.
3. Glorifying God by Prayer (1 Tim. 2:1-8)
…“all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14)--the framing moments of the church began in prayer. (31x in 20 chapters) single-minded devotion and passion toward the cause of God and his help--”resolute, obstinate persistence”
Responding to the word of God with obedience (act of worship)--you will receive power to be my witnesses (Acts 1:7-8) wait, receive, act. Learning obedience happens when we can’t see why we have to obey and we obey anyway. Company strengthens resolve.
A.C.T.S. - adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication
A - living Christ! Saving God
C - doubt, fear, cowardice, disloyalty, defection (Judas, Peter, scattered)
T - defeat of death, pending power
S - to wait, to welcome, to witness
WHY PRAY, GOD IS SOVEREIGN? God works his sovereignty through the means he has given to us. Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Prayer is intricately connected to the sovereign will of God.
4. Glorifying God by Ordinances (Coming soon!)