By Pastor Travis Lauterbach
What does a church service look like? Are there certain things that should happen at a service? Can the service be an anything goes occasion? What distinguishes church services from meetings of various clubs and groups?
The Bible helps shed some light on what a church service is to be all about.
St. Luke writes in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers.” This passage sets forth a fourfold purpose to Christians gathering together.
The teaching of the apostles is nothing less than the teaching of God.
Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told the apostles to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) Jesus further said that “repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations.” (Luke 24:47)
The apostles did so by declaring the Old Testament prophesies about Jesus, and proclaiming how through death and resurrection Jesus has fulfilled these prophesies to bring salvation to the world.
Jesus also told the apostles, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me for He will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14)
Paul told Timothy that “all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Thus, the message of the apostles to the churches (letters like Romans, Ephesians, 1 Peter, 1 John) is understood to be Scripture, because these men were given authority from Jesus and sent into the world to preach.
The core of a church’s gathering together is to hear and learn the Gospel, the good news that Jesus died for the sins of the world and whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.
Paul says, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)