John 4:23-24 (NKJV) 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Worship is reverence paid, or adoration expressed. Worship to God is expressing praise, honor, glory, reverence and love to God. God wants his people to worship Him on a regular basis. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) That tells us the object of our worship as well as the manner of our worship. "In spirit" tells us that it is not to be empty ritual or ceremony. It must be from the heart and it involves the mind, soul and sprit. "In truth" means by God's direction, according to the truth. Jesus said , "Sanctify them through thy truth. Thy word is truth." (John 17:17) We must let the word of Christ dwell in us richly (abundantly). (Colossians 3:16, 17)
This truth means that our worship is not to be according to what we want or what we like, but according to God's instructions for worship. When we add things to our worship that are not authorized in the Bible, but we like them and want them, we are worshipping self and not God. King Saul assumed that he could worship God acceptable, even though he was disobeying God. However, Samuel told him "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." (1 Samuel 15:22b)
The only way to worship God acceptably is to worship "in truth". "For we walk by faith and not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7) It is easy to forget that worship is giving, not getting. When we forget that difference, we find ourselves adding things to the worship that give us pleasure and satisfaction rather than giving glory and honor to God by obeying His will. For this reason, you have a right to expect the Eastern Meadows Church of Christ to follow the Bible in the following avenues of worship.
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16) Worshipping "in truth" means that we simply sing without any additions.
"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) Praying "in truth" is praying according to God's word of truth, without any additions or subtractions.
"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." (Acts 20:7) If we eat the Lord's Supper "in truth", we partake of it each Sunday, because that is all "the truth" says about it.
"Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) Regular weekly giving is God's plan for church work. Giving, as part of Christian worship, must be done "in truth".
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2) "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." (Acts 20:7) If the preaching is "in truth", it will be preaching the word of God and not the creeds and doctrines of men.
You have a right to expect the worship at the Eastern Meadows Church of Christ to be "in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." (John 4:23)
The prophet Zephaniah describes a beautiful scene of reconciliation in which God rejoices over his restored people with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17). God sings to express his joy and, when he created mankind, he chose to endow us with this same trait. Having been made in his image (Genesis 1:27), we naturally share God’s inclination to express our feelings of joy through song (James 5:13). In fact, since the foundation of the earth was laid, God’s creation has employed his gift of song to recognize and proclaim his majesty (Job 38:4-7; Isaiah 44:23, 49:13, and 55:12).
Moses (Exodus 15; Deuteronomy 32), David (book of Psalms), and many of God’s prophets (e.g., Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk) composed songs of praise to God. When God established his first covenant with the nation of Israel, singing was prescribed as a central component of worship (1 Chronicles 9:33; 15:22, 27). Jesus, our perfect example, repeatedly demonstrated the importance of worshipping God in song (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Romans 15:9; Hebrews 2:12) and, following the establishment of the church, Jesus’ disciples continued this practice of singing praise to God (Acts 16:25).
God blesses us with different abilities (Matthew 25:15-30). Some Christians may “sing like a lark” while others find they have difficulty “carrying a tune in a bucket”. Thankfully, God does not judge the value of our worship by man’s standards, but by his own. What if the widow had withheld her offering because she was embarrassed by her poverty or because she felt her contribution was not worthy of God’s consideration (Mark 12:41-44)? We know, in fact, that her giving was deemed to be of greater value than that of those who gave out of their abundance. So it follows that the singing of a less talented (i.e., “poor”) singer can please God as much as (or perhaps even more than) that of more capable (i.e., “rich”) singers.
While singing with technical precision can create aesthetically pleasing sounds, singing offered to God as worship must constitute more than the audible sum of its parts (e.g., melody, harmony, rhythm, poetry). When we sing to God, it is critical that, in addition to our voice, our spirit and our mind also be engaged (1 Corinthians 14:15). In fact, we see that, when God rejects singing, he does so, not because it is out of tune (or otherwise lacking in some way that is perceptible to our ears), but because the attitude of the singer is unacceptable or because the singer is not in a right relationship with him (Amos 5:23).
Singing is not an optional aspect of the worship assembly. To the contrary, God expects each and every one of his children: 1) to blend our voices together, raising songs of praise to him and 2) to do so with a joyful heart. Singing in a corporate worship assembly not only allows us to publicly display our adoration for God; it also provides Christians with a means whereby we can edify (1 Corinthians 14:26), teach, and admonish one another (Ephesians 5:18-21, Colossians 3:16), thereby strengthening the congregation of the Lord’s people.
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! (Psalm 95:1-2 ESV)
Prayer is the means by which we communicate with God. Luke listed prayer as an avenue of worship in Acts 2:42: "And the continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Through the avenue of prayer, we have the opportunity and privilege to speak to God. We can thank Him, praise Him, glorify Him, and honor Him. We can make requests of Him on our behalf and the behalf of others. We can cast our concerns and burdens upon Him. In a worship assembly, we are led in prayer by a brother who speaks his prayer publicly, and the rest of us follow him silently as we pray together. This allows us to worship reverently and orderly.
We come together as a community of believers each first day of the week, gathering around the Lord's table each Sunday to participate in the communion meal. That was the day of our Lord's resurrection, as well as the day that the first believers participated in communion as a body (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; John 20:1-2, 19-20).
Each Sunday we as believers "proclaim" the Lord's death in our participation in the communion meal (1 Cor. 11:24-25), expressing our belief that Jesus died for each one of us individually. Each Sunday we witness the evidence of Jesus' death. Jesus reveals his crucified body to each of us through the bread and the cup.By our participation (koinonia) in the communion meal each first day of the week (1 Cor. 10:16-17), we personally share in Christ's sacrifice, as well as the benefits of his body and his blood, visibly acknowledging that our individual and corporate identity has been transformed and shaped by Christ's death and resurrection.
By our participation (koinonia) in the communion meal each first day of the week (1 Cor. 10:16-17), we personally share in Christ's sacrifice, as well as the benefits of his body and his blood, visibly acknowledging that our individual and corporate identity has been transformed and shaped by Christ's death and resurrection.
By our participation in the communion meal each first day of the week, we express our gratitude to God for his grace and mercy, renew our covenant allegiance to our Lord Jesus Christ, and offer visible testimony of our confidence in a glorious future.
Sometime during the Sunday worship service, the congregation will have an opportunity to make a material offering to the Church. In the US, this is usually accomplished by passing collection plates throughout the audience. In other countries, the collection may be made in some other way such as having the congregation pass by an offering box and each person putting in his offering. Non-members or visitors are under no obligation to make a contribution although they may if they desire. The collection is used for various purposes such as paying the church's utilities, the minister's salary or providing aid to the needy.
There are several New Testament passages that teach what constitutes the kind of giving God expects. Our giving should be on the first day of the week and according as we have prospered. (l Cor. 16:1, 2). Our giving should be according as we have purposed in our heart and cheerfully. (ll Cor. 9:7) God has lovingly given us everything that we need even to the giving of His only begotten Son (John 3:16), shouldn't we return His love by giving according to His instructions?
When visiting Eastern Meadows church of Christ, you can expect to hear plain Bible preaching as part of our worship to God. Since the Bible is inspired of God and the revelation of God's will for man, it must be the basis of all preaching in our worship. We believe the Bible is our sole guide in all matters of faith and practice.
We strive to worship as the New Testament church did in the first century. Preaching was an important part of worship then and now (Acts 2:42, Acts 20:7; II Tim. 4:2; Rom. 10:14-15).
In each worship period, we hear lessons from God's word. We are instructed in the way God wants us to live and encouraged to obey him. Often the lesson preached will simply be a study of a Bible passage explaining what it means and how we are to apply it in our lives.
8460 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36117
We would like to invite you to join us at Eastern Meadows Church of Christ for our Bible Study time together. We have classes for all ages. Also join us for our Worship Services. We hope to see you there.
Bible Study: 9:00 AM
Worship Services: 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM
Bible Study: 6:30 PM