A few weeks ago, we completed our summer pulpit series, "Assembly Required." If you missed any of the 8 messages, they are available on our website. Here is a recap of the main points:
1. We gather to joyfully obey the bottom-line instruction of God.
We gather because God has called us to gather. Unless providentially hindered, we are to joyfully assemble.
2. We gather to eagerly hear the life-giving Word of God.
We gather because hearing God’s Word is vitally necessary for our spiritual growth. Saving faith and sanctifying faith come by hearing God’s Word read and preached.
3. We gather to earnestly encourage the true-hearted people of God.
We gather to bless others and to serve others and to encourage others. We joyfully engage in “the ministry of attendance.” We have a strong craving for fellowship. We have a deep need to take part in the “one-anothers.” This need was imparted to us when God gave us a new heart. By way of the new birth, we have become encouragers of each other – it’s a vital part of who we are as God’s people.
4. We gather to gratefully commune with the Satan-crushing Son of God.
We gather to partake of a perpetual feast that Jesus began 2000 years ago in that upper room – an ongoing participation in the very first Lord’s Supper that will culminate in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. In this Supper we are:
· Constantly reminded of Christ’s work and the New Covenant.
· Experiencing true spiritual communion with Jesus and each other.
· Proclaiming Christ’s death as the only accepted payment for sin.
· Being reminded of our unity every Sunday.
· Called to love each other selflessly.
· Exhorted to holiness of life as we examine ourselves before coming.
· Remembering the cross and treasuring Christ every Sunday, together.
· Strengthened in our faith as we eagerly await Christ’s glorious return.
5. We gather to beautifully foreshadow the end-times redemption of God.
In other words, what we are doing every Sunday is a microscopic but clear foreshadowing of what we will be doing forever after Jesus returns. Our Sunday morning gatherings are a picture of the ultimate gathering of all of God’s people on the Last Day, when our redemption will be fully and finally complete. There is a sense in which our Sunday morning gathering is “Heaven Practice.”
I can’t wait for our next gathering!
Pressing on with you, with our eyes fixed on Jesus,