Our Public Assemblies

TEXTHeb. 10:25

INTRODUCTION:

A.      THE ASSEMBLY IS A BLESSING AND RESPONSIBILITY.

B.      THE PURPOSE OF OUR ASSEMBLY IS THREE-FOLD:

          1.       To express praise and devotion to God and Christ.

          2.       To exhort and encourage our brethren to greater service( Heb. 10:24-25 ).

          3.       To receive such encouragement ourselves.

C.      IN THIS STUDY WE SHALL:

          1.       Briefly describe the ACTIVITIES that we engage in during our assemblies.

          2.       Suggest how we can get the most out of our public assemblies.

I.      THE ACTIVITIES OF OUR ASSEMBLIES.

A.      PRAYER.

          1.       Several examples of group prayer in NT( Acts 4:23-24; 12:5, 12 ).

          2.       The value of such prayer is implied in James 5:16.

          3.       The value of all prayer is seen further in Phil. 4:6-7.

                   a.       Thus prayer not only blesses (praises) God

                   b.       But also blesses (benefits) those who pray!

          4.       To get the most out of public prayers, make them your own!  Say "AMEN!"

B.      SINGING.

          1.       Commanded( Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 13:15 ).

          2.       Praising God, teaching one another, making melody "in your hearts."

          3.       The emphasis is not on how we sound, but what we say and how we feel.

          4.       To get more out singing in public, sing often in private!( James 5:13 ).

C.      PREACHING THE WORD.

          1.       Teaching was part of public worship in the early church( Acts 20:7; 11:26 ).

          2.       For it is by the Word of God that we can grow spiritually( 1 Pet. 2:2 ).

          3.       How we listen to the proclamation of God's Word is an indication of our

                   devotion to God

                   a.       We should be quick to hear what God's Word has to say( Acts 17:11 ).

                   b.       It is important to receive God's Word with a proper attitude of

                             meekness and willingness to receive it( James 1:21;  Mark 4:23 ).

D.      THE LORD'S SUPPER.

          1.       A memorial feast instituted by Jesus Himself( 1 Cor. 11:23-26 ).

          2.       It should be done in a worthy manner( 1 Cor. 11:27-29 ).

          3.       Done properly...

                   a.       It honors Jesus ("This do, in remembrance of Me").

                   b.       It renews us to greater faithfulness( 1 Cor. 11:28-32 ).

                   c.       It strengthens our oneness in the body of Christ( 1 Cor. 10:17 ).

                   d.       We share in the "body and blood of the Lord"( 1 Cor. 10:16 ).

E.      THE COLLECTION.

          1.       The New Testament pattern for the church( 1 Cor. 16:1-2 ).

          2.       That for which money is needed:

                   a.       Needy saints( 1 Cor. 16:1-2 ).

                   b.       Preachers and teachers of the word( 2 Cor. 11:8,9; Phil. 4:10-18 ).

                   c.       Provision for worship and work( Heb. 10:25 ).

          3.       Ahead of time for any contingency and ongoing needs( 1 Cor. 16:1-2 ).

          4.       How much should one give?

                   a.       "As he may prosper" ( 1 Cor. 16:2 ).

                   b.       With "a willing mind" "according to what one has"( 2 Cor. 8:12-13 ).

                   c.       "As he purposes (plans) in his heart"( 2 Cor. 9:7 ).

                   f.        "Cheerfully", not "grudgingly" or "of necessity"( 2 Cor. 9:7 ).

                   g.       Keeping in mind the principle of "sowing and reaping"( 2 Cor. 9:6,8 ).

          5.       The key to proper giving( 2 Cor. 8:5 ).

II.     HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF OUR ASSEMBLIES.

A.      KEEP IN MIND WHO IS PRESENT...

          1.       Our brethren in Christ.

                   a.       People like you, who appreciate the encouragement of other Christians.

                   b.       So take the time to visit with them before and after the assembly

          2.       Frequently visitors.

                   a. Who naturally draw conclusions about the congregation during their visit.

                             1)      Will they conclude we are really disciples of Jesus?( John 13:35 ).

                             2)      Will they say "God is truly among you"?( 1 Cor. 14:25 ).

                   b.       So take the time to welcome them and visit with them( Heb. 13:2 ).

          3.       And especially our Lord( Matt. 18:20 ).

B. "YOU GET OUT OF IT WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT."

          1.       Preparation beforehand makes a big difference.

                   a.       Such as praying and meditating upon what you are going to do.

                   b.       Planning what you can do to make the assembly more edifying (such as

                             welcoming and visiting).

                   c.       In other words, come to serve, not to be served.

          2.       The more you come, the more interest you show, the more you will grow!

                   a.       This is true in any endeavor (e.g., physical exercise, hobbies)

                   b.       "How often do I have to come?" is an indication of spiritual immaturity!

                   c.       Our attitude ought to be like that expressed by David in Psa. 122:1.

CONCLUSION

One of the greatest spiritual blessings we enjoy in Christ is the fellowship we share in our public assemblies.  Let's all do our part to fully utilize that blessing!