Worship in the Assembly
While the book of Acts gives examples of early churches gathering for worship—Scripture reading, preaching, prayer, and the Lord’s Table—the rest of the New Testament further emphasizes this central purpose for church meetings. In particular, several ways in which the New Testament authors describe the church and what it does when it gathers clearly identify the church as a place for worship. First, the New Testament explicitly defines the gathered church as God’s temple. In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul vividly describes the nature of the church as a building God is constructing, “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph 2:20–22). Likewise, Paul [more]