Monday, November 17, 2008

Why we gather as a congregation?

Last night I spoke from 1 Timothy 2:1-6; here is a quick recap. Have you ever wondered why God wants us to assemble as local churches even though every Christian is a part of the universal church? The statements in verses 1-6 are the grounding principles of our ministry and our corporate assembly as a church. Paul explains why we meet together as a congregation.

1. We congregate because of the need to pray for all peoples (verses 1-2). The message is clear that when the church assembles we should devote time to prayer and prayer is not discriminatory. Paul tells Timothy to pray for “all men”, meaning men of every kind. We are to corporately submit to the Lord through prayer and those prayers should be for the gospel of God to go to all peoples.

2. We congregate because God desires salvation for all peoples (verses 3-4). The inference that Paul makes from these verses is that we should care about what and who God cares about. God doesn’t just desire salvation for Americans. So we need to ask ourselves how we carry out God’s desire to see people of every ethnic group saved. We are to corporately spread the gospel and grow in our passion to spread the gospel.

3. We congregate because Christ died as a ransom for all peoples (verses 5-6). Christ bought people with his blood on the cross. Our mission is to go be the agent of redemption for what Christ purchased. We wouldn’t be here if Christ hadn’t bought us. When we assemble we need to proclaim the majesty of Christ and when we scatter we should live out the majesty of Christ so to gather in those others for whom Christ died.

We are wasting time and space if we abandon these principles to cling to a “country club” mentality. If we aren’t a church that submits itself to the Lord’s sovereignty and are faithfully obedient to the Lord’s commands then we have no business meeting as a church.

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