“Visits to chief’s palaces in tribal regions of Africa are always preceded by a short talk about procedural and protocol matters… As the briefing ends and it is time for you to enter the chief’s presence, you will be amazed at how all these protocols are taking place just like clockwork. The way in which everyone in the chief’s presence stands up or kneels down or claps at appropriate times tells you that you are not in the presence of an ordinary person. You are in the presence of royalty.” (p. 125-6 Conrad Mbewe, God’s Design for the Church)
This illustrates the way we ought to approach God in our gatherings. God has given us specific instructions about how we are to approach him in worship week after week. So what has God called us to do when we gather for worship?
- Read the Word (1 Tim. 4:13 – devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture)
- Preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:1-2 – preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.)
- Pray the Word (1 Tim. 2:1 – I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people)
- Sing the Word (Eph. 5:19 – be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart)
- See the Word How do you see the word? God has given us two glorious pictures of the gospel!
– Baptism (Rom. 6:1-4) symbolizes our spiritual death to sin as we go under the water and our new resurrection life in Christ as we rise up out.
– Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-26) symbolizes Christ’s body broken for us and his blood shed for the forgiveness of sins.
“When we go into God’s presence, we are going into the presence of a King. In fact, he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. What should happen when we are in his presence is revealed in the Bible.” (p. 135)
Grace be with you all,