Come, People of the Risen King, by CCM artists and contemporary hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty, is a praise and worship song that calls all who are true believers into a community of corporate worship.
So many times I hear people from all backgrounds saying, “I don’t need to go to church to worship God. I can do that anywhere.” Generally that statement is made just before someone announces they are going fishing, golfing, hiking, or to participate in some other sport-like activity on any given Sunday morning.
Certainly we can (and should) worship God always, in all things that we do (Colossians 3:17), but if you are a true believer, and desire to obey God’s statutes, then worshiping in a corporate environment with other Christians should be apart of your weekly regimen.
“Why is that,” you may ask? Primarily because God commanded us to. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) This isn’t just a mandate to rest and relax one day a week. This is an exhortation from God for mankind to gather as one body of flesh and honor God with a spirit of adoration and thankfulness.
God created all we enjoy, and more, in six days (Genesis 1). He set aside the seventh day as a day for us to give thanks to Him for what He freely and lovingly gave us. God also rested on that seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3), not because He was tired (a truly powerful God would not become fatigued) — No! God “rested” as an example for us. To set a precedent to humanity that we are in need of relaxation, but that does not supersede our call to gather as one body and worship our benevolent Creator.
Again, you may ask, “Why?” Well, in Hebrews, chapter ten, our Creator speaks through this book’s author and says:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:24-25a)
True believers are tasked with helping each other grow into true worshipers of God. Genuine Christians cannot accomplish this duty if they remain separated from one another. True believers cannot act as one body by living separate lives. Humanity is not a group of individuals from the same species living out individual lives. No! Mankind is one species made up of many individuals. Individuals who need encouragement from each other. Encouragement to grow as one body of worshipers. This can only take place if we are faithful to gather before God on a weekly basis.
You see, corporately doting on God — gathering and loving God as He loves us — spurs us to act in kind towards each other. Part of the reason humanity struggles to love each other is because we struggle so with loving God. Sure our sinful nature is a large part of that issue, but as new creations (reborn through our faith in Jesus Christ, as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17) we can no longer act on that sinful nature. We must act as the spirit of Christ dictates for us to act. Read with me these words from the Apostle Paul, for the Colossian church:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:1-17)
You see, when we love as God loves, then we can easily imitate Christ and love each other. As the ol’ Pop-Rock act, England Dan & John Ford Coley, once sang — “love is the answer.”
So, as we think about the importance of gathering corporately and worshiping God; as we ponder why this is such an important part of our becoming true worshipers of our Creator, let’s read some words of adoration and praise direct from Scripture. Let us, together, exalt and worship Almighty God!
Exodus 15:2 — “The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”
1 Chronicles 16:29 — “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name. Bring an offering and come before Him; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness.”
Psalm 24:3-6 — “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.”
Psalm 77:13 — “Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?”
Psalm 84:10 — “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
Psalm 95:1-6 — “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”
Psalm 99:5 — “Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool; He is holy.”
Psalm 149:1 — “Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints.”
Isaiah 12:5 — “Sing to the LORD, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.”
John 4:23-24 — “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
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