The Weekly Gathering of Believers

Paul defines the duties for Timothy regarding the Christian weekly meeting in 1Tim. 4.13: Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Reading was more than one or two verses, instead, it was the source of access to the word of God in that time. While the scriptures are accessible to all today, an extended section of reading often helps everyone to situate the text in the contextual setting. “Preaching” was exhortation, or better, applying the text to listeners today. Teaching should be the historic faith once for all delivered and generally codified by the Church Councils: Nicaea, Chalcedon, Dort, and others, along with confessions such as The Second London Confession of 1689.

This pattern was how the synagogue also functioned, and, was designed by God, at least, in a sense. When God ordained that the tribe of Levi would not have a discrete territory, but, rather be dispersed in cities belonging to the other tribes, it provided for teaching these other tribes God’s word. This occurred on the Sabbath, a day of rest. Resting in the scriptural sense was not unmitigated ease, but, a refocusing to things which matter spiritually. The day of rest was for breaking off the cycle of secular work and being refreshed both physically and spiritually.

The difference with the Christian Lord’s Day gathering from the synagogue, was the observance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism was a confession to the church and others of the dying to self, and, identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The Lord’s Supper was now the cultic observance of the New Covenant replacing the fulfilled Jewish Temple sacrifices by Jesus: By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear (Heb. 8.13 NIV).

5 Questions for Your Church Search

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