Intermediate Bible Study
When one is saved, God adds him to His church. One way of knowing just which of the many churches His church is, is to examine the worship of the churches. That church today which does not have the same worship as the New Testament church cannot be the church of the Bible. When one is saved, he should be a part of, and worship with, a New Testament church. What did the early church do in its worship? How did it worship God?
One part of the worship of the New Testament church was prayer. Of course we can pray when the church is not assembled, but one thing the church begun by Jesus did was pray (Acts 2:42 and many other verses show that the church prayed together).
The early church also had the Lord's supper in its worship every week. Acts 20:7 shows that the disciples came together on the first day of the week (Sunday) to have the Lord's supper. 1 Corinthians 16 shows this was a weekly assembly (The original language in 1 Corinthians 16:2 says every week. Many later translations show this meaning). Just as in the Old Testament, God did not have to say "Remember every Sabbath" for the Jews to understand they should keep every Sabbath; so the New Testament church understood they were to have the Lord's Supper every week. Today in churches begun by men, the Lord's Supper is had on days other than Sunday. Many do not have it weekly, but monthly or quarterly or yearly. This is one way to tell a church begun by man from that one begun by Jesus.
The early church had preaching in its worship. Acts 20:7 shows that on one occasion Paul preached until very late in the night. There are many other verses that show the preaching as worship (Acts 2:42; 2 Tim. 4:1-5).
The early church also had giving on the first day of the week. 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 shows that it was common throughout the church to have a time on the first day of the week when men gave to God. This freewill gift is the only way for the church to raise money to do His work.
The early church had singing without instrumental music. The Jews in the Old Testament had instrumental music, but no where do we read of the early church having such. There is no authority today for men to use instruments in their worship to God. Neither is there authority for choirs, solos, quartets, etc. Here is a complete list of verses in the New Testament on music in the church, and not one time is instrumental music found (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:1 5; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12; James 5:13). The kind of music in the church is another way of identifying the New Testament church.