What We Believe
The New Testament law of worship is set forth in John 4:24, "God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth." No worship, according to this utterance of Jesus, can be right unless it is done in spirit and truth.
ALL THE CONGREGATIONS OF THE Lord's church whose meetings described on the pages of the New Testament had a common worship pattern 1 Corinthians 7:17. Immediately following the account of their conversion in Acts 2, we read that they "continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers" Acts 2:42. Using these avenues or channels through which their worship flowed up to God, they met regularly at specific time intervals for meaningful spiritual services.
We should worship in these same ways today. In fact, it becomes wrong for us to attempt to worship HIM in any other way There is no higher insult to God there for man to use for "doctrines the commandments of men" in worship to Him Matthew 15:9.
There are five acts of worship specifically authorized by the Lord. We urge you to seek out these scriptures for yourself. Here they are outlined:
In rejecting the use of instrumental music in worship, Churches of Christ do not do so just not to be peculiar nor because of any expense involved. To us it is a matter of principle rather than expediency. We have sought out the correct answer to the all important question: Does Jesus Christ authorize the use of instrumental music in worship of God? From our investigation of the divine word, there is neither command, ordinance, nor example for this practice. Every single New Testament reference to music in divine worship pertains to singing only.
Here is the record of the music mentioned in the New Testament: (1) "And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives" Matt. 26:3. (2) "But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God" Acts 16:25.(3) "Therefore will I give praise unto thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name" Romans 15:9.(4) " I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also" 1 Corinthians 14:15. (5) "Speaking one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord" Ephesians 5:19. (6) "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God" Colossians 3:16. (7) "In the midst of the congregation will I sing thy praise" Hebrews 2:12. (8) "Through him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of the lips which make confession to his name" Heb. 13:15. (9) "is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful Let him sing praise James 5:13.
Prayer is the way by which man speaks to God. When we pray according to the will of God He hears us, 1 John 5:14 and He answers our prayers 1 Peter 3:12. Prayer is not the battering down of God's reluctance. It is acknowledging our trust in Him and our dependence on Him. We should always pray in faith, believing that we shall receive what we ask for. But we should always say "Not my will but Thine be done" Luke 22:42. We should ask our prayer in the name of Christ, for He is our mediator before God 1 Timothy 2:5; Ephesians 5:20.
It is worship to give to God to give financially to the church of Christ. The church in the city of Philippi sent financial contributions to help the apostle Paul preach the gospel. And Paul said of that contribution that it was "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God Philippians 4:15-19. By our giving we help preach the gospel, we enable the church to have a fund from which to aid the poor 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, and finance whatever physical facilities (such as rent on a building in which the church can assemble) or teaching aids the church may need (such as Bibles, tracts booklets, etc.). The Lord loves a cheerful giver 2 Corinthians 9:7 and looks upon our giving as proof of the sincerity of our love" 2 Corinthians 8:8. The Jews under the law of Moses were commanded to give a tenth of their income to the Lord. The Lord has not set an exact amount which the Christian is to give. He has placed man on his honor, and has only commanded that he "give liberally" Romans 12:8 and according as he has been "prospered" 1 Corinthians 16:2.
4. COMMUNING - THE LORD SUPPER
The Lord's Supper is a solemn occasion. Jesus instituted the communion service to commemorate His suffering and death for sin. Every Christian (without exception) partakes of the Lord's Supper every Sunday (without exception) in the memory of the sacrifice of Christ He made for our sins. The purpose of the Lord's Supper is described best by the Lord Himself when He said "Do this in memory of me" 1 Corinthians 11:25. The bread is "communion of the body of Christ" and the fruit of the vine is a "communion of the blood of Christ" 1 Corinthians 10:16. It is a memorial which preaches Christ's death: "For often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come" I Corinthians 11:26. The church at Troas came together on the first day of the week for the purpose of breaking bread: " And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow" Acts 20:7.
The Lord's Supper does not take away sin, but it is done to "show forth" to the world the fact that the Christian believes in the sacrifice which Christ made for sin. It is a positive sin to miss the assembling of one's self which other brothers and sisters in Christ and to forsake the service in which the Lord's Suppers is observed Hebrews 10:25. If one is ill and cannot attend the solemn service held each Lord's Day or the first day of the week Acts 20:7 he should partake of the emblems alone.
5. STUDY GOD'S WORD (PREACHING & TEACHING)
Studying the word of God is the highest form of worship. The disposition to want to know the will of God so as to be able to do the will of God brings the highest blessing the Lord has to bestow John 7:17. The Holy Spirit placed the mark of nobility upon disciples in the city of Barea because they "searched the scriptures daily" Acts 17:11-12.
GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION
1. Hear - Mark 12:29, Luke 11:28
2. Believe - Mark 16:16, Hebrews. 11:6
3. Repent - Acts 2:38, Luke 13:3-5
4. Confess - Romans. 10:9 & 10, Matthew. 10:32 & 33
5. Baptism - Matthew. 28:19 & 20, Acts 2:38
6. Be faithful until death - Rev. 2:10, I Cor. 15:57