Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.


"The New Testament Church"





Part I.

Churches today are as diverse in action and practice as they are in doctrinal teaching. Many modern day churches have the look of sporting facilities, cafeterias, and corporate headquarters. All engaging in activity as varied as to be better recognized as earthly human organizations than the church that the Lord purchased with His own blood.

So, what did the New Testament church do?

In this study, we want to look at the activities the church under Apostolic direction and teaching engaged in and to learn that this is what God intended for His church, bought with the blood of Christ, to practice (then and always).



First and foremost, we know that the church is simply the “called out” of the world and placed in a covenant relationship with God through Christ. They were “called out” to be a special people with a certain mission, note:

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light


We first proclaim the praises of Him by the faithful life we live to Him as His special people; however, we see at the beginning of the church, that Christians also assembled together for the collective purpose of proclaiming the praises of Him who has called them out!

Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”


The “they” that are mentioned here are those who in the previous verse had been baptized into Christ for the remission of their sins. This act transformed them from their previous sinful lives into a state of being “set apart” to God. Here in this verse we see that they engaged in acts of worship!

This is the first mention of some of the acts of worship the early church practiced.


First, we learn that the saints learned the doctrine of Christ from the Apostles as part of their worship.

Second , we learn that collective worship is done in fellowship (joint participation). That is, Christians were to worship together!

Third, we learn that they engaged in a meal during this worship. This meal, along with all the spiritual practices they engaged in, was not a meal for the satisfaction of the flesh, but a meal that commemorated the Savior (See: I Corinthians 11:17-34, where Paul rebukes Christians in Corinth for making this spiritual meal, common). In addition, this meal in our text is mentioned separately from the common daily meals the saints engaged in Verse 46 .

Fourth, we see that these Christians engaged in prayer. Prayer is unto God, through Christ Jesus our Lord (as He ever lives to make intercession for us – Hebrews 7:25).


Next, as we look at the things the New Testament church did in worship, we have to look at when they did it.

Acts 20:7 “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”


First, we have to recognize that it was the first day of the week. The weeks of both Jew and Gentile during this time was the same as ours, seven days. It was the first day, in honor of the day the Lord raised from the grave that these saints met.

Second, we again see that saints came together to worship!

Third, we have again mentioned the spiritual meal (the Lord's Supper), that they engaged in this day of worship.

Fourth, we again see that Christians learned the doctrine of Christ as part of the worship service.


As we continue to look at the New Testament church, we learn some other things that the church did in worship.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”


As the church grew and worked according to Apostolic instruction, the Apostle Paul added the giving of the assembled saints to the worship of the church.


First, note that it is to be done on the first day of week, when the saints assemble for worship.

Second, we learn that when Paul wrote back in his second letter to this church that he reminded them of this duty, but included something we need to understand which makes it worship to give, note:

2 Corinthians 8:5 “And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”


Paul using the Macedonians as an example of the mind set necessary to accomplish this particular command, asserts that they gave not only of their means, but first of themselves.

This is the very definition of what it means to present ourselves in true worship to God, note:

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this worl, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”


Note: I highlighted the part that states that we are not to be conformed to this world as well. This tells us that the worship of God is according to what pleases Him and not us. This eliminates all the transformers out there who think that they have a better idea than God of what pleases Him!


Finally, in addition to assembly, learning, the Lord's Supper (by the way, they commemorated the Lord in this memorial on the first day of the week when they assembled, how many first days of the week are there? One every week, right?), prayer, and giving; we learn that there was also one more thing that Christians did in worship, note:

Ephesians 5:19 “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,”

Colossians 3:16-17 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”


The Apostle Paul writing to these churches expands their understanding of the learning process to be engaged in when we worship. Note that in both passages, they were to admonish one another in song, which is a collective work.

It is also important to realize that in both passages Paul uses the word “Psalms”, which means songs accompanied with instrumental music. Paul was well aware of what the word meant, so he included the verb “sing” (action word), as the command to accomplish this worship.

The only instrument to be included in this act of worship is the heart; “melody in your heart”, and “ grace in your heart”.

Remember, that we are not to be transformed to this world! Instruments in the worship service are there to please men, not God! Christians are to worship God in spirit and truth (John4:23-24). Our song service is spiritual; spiritual songs emanate from our hearts, not our fingers.


The first portion of this lesson is rather lengthy, so we will continue this in part 2.