Mike Cosper on Gathering for Worship

“These passages [1 Cor. 3:16, Eph 2:19-22, 4:11-13, 4:14-16]… show us a church that gathers in the midst of the world’s pressures, under the hopeful warning of Christ’s return, encouraging one another and building each other up through the presence of God’s Spirit by immersing itself  in God’s Word, singing and proclaiming the gospel.  The fruit of the gathering is not just a strong individual, but a strong church, united in faith.

“In this sense, the gathering is unique not as an encounter with God (it is that, though God’s presence is a constantly available comfort and help to the Christians); rather it’s unique because it is an encounter with the people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, spurring one another along in the mission of God.  Christ in me meets Christ in you…

“We gather because we have work to do–to remember the gospel and hold fast to our confession…

“When we gather, we sing to each other.  We declare the truths of the gospel to one another.  Our presence and our participation is not merely for the sake of our individual relationship with God, demonstrating our confidence and hope, but it’s also for our brothers’ and sisters’ sake…

“As the church gathers, it proclaims to the surrounding world that Jesus is King, that he alone saves, and that he is their only hope…

“[quoting Timothy Keller] We are not to simply communicate the gospel to them [unbelievers], but celebrate it before them…”

Mike Cosper “Rhythms of Grace

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