The Highway
Posted By: Link Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:09 PM
I have found one passage of scripture in which Paul 'discoursed' all night long with a group of believers before he left the next morning. This passage does not demand that a sermon was preached. Paul may have been holding a discussion.

From studying scripture, I do not find that the early churches were instructed to have one Sunday sermon. Rather, I find the following instructions for what to do in meetings.

I Corinthians 14: 26. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Hebrews 10:
24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.


Notice that when they met together, they exhorted one another.

From reading scripture, we can see that the early churches met together primarily in homes and ate a holy dinner together, and different members spoke to edify the assembly.

Any comments.
Posted By: Link Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:28 AM
Let's do away with the Sunday sermon and bring in mutual edification. Let's do away with these traditions and let the brethren use their gifts in the meeting.
Posted By: John_C Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:37 PM
In Chapter 21 Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day , the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) cites the sound preaching, and conscionable hearing of the Word, with understanding, faith, and reverance as being one of the principles of Worship. The sermon is part of the Worship service.

It cites verse 2 Timothy 4:2, Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine.

Other verses cited include: James 1:22; Acts 10:33; Matt 13:19; Heb 4:2; and Isa 66:2.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:33 PM
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Link said:
Let's do away with the Sunday sermon and bring in mutual edification. Let's do away with these traditions and let the brethren use their gifts in the meeting.

Do all have gifts of teaching?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:41 PM
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John_C said:
In Chapter 21 Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day , the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) cites the sound preaching, and conscionable hearing of the Word, with understanding, faith, and reverance as being one of the principles of Worship. The sermon is part of the Worship service.

It cites verse 2 Timothy 4:2, Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine.

Other verses cited include: James 1:22; Acts 10:33; Matt 13:19; Heb 4:2; and Isa 66:2.

Does preaching the word necessarily mean preaching a sermon though? Can't we preach the word through dialogue or through other means rather than in the form of a speech or lecture?
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:01 AM
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Link said:
Let's do away with the Sunday sermon and bring in mutual edification. Let's do away with these traditions and let the brethren use their gifts in the meeting.
First, all preaching was not done only in homes. The Scripture states it was done in (1) cities (Jonah 3:2), (2) in the wilderness (Matt 3:1), (3) in synagogues (Matt :23, 9:35; Mark 1:39; Acts 5:42), etc. What is significant here is that it was done in the synagogues, which greatly influenced early Christian worship. Jesus himself preached in the synagogue. Look at His format:

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Luke 4:16-22 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day stood up to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth: and they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
Clearly, in this set of verses Jesus stood and read a text and then taught the text. Though there are several ways the Gospel may be shared, it was shared in specific ways in specific arenas.

Second, not everyone has the gift of preaching/teaching. While talking over the scriptures one on one may be of great benefit there is also the call of Scripture not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together so each may use his gifts to the edification of the church as a whole. The common way for the gifts to be used in the NT Church was when the congregation was assembled;

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1 Cor 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [pl] edification, and exhortation, and consolation.

5 Now I would have you all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy: and greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

23 If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad?

24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he is reproved by all, he is judged by all;
While not everyone has the same gifts and they should be used in an orderly fashion;

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1 Cor 14:26 What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

33 God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,

40 But let all things be done decently and in order.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ; from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love.
Lastly, history records that sermons are the way the church originally taught! You can read the ECF—Justin, Polycarp, Ignatius, Origin. The oldest homily (app 96-97 AD) known to exist at this time is the so-called Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians (you may enjoy this book: Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers, by Andrew Louth and Maxwell Staniforth, Penguin Classics). While the authorship of this document is in dispute, nevertheless its being preached is not. In addition, the term homily has been in existence before the time of “Origen (c.185-253), to a didactic commentary, without formal introduction, division, or conclusion, on some part of Sacred Scripture, the aim being to explain the literal, and evolve the spiritual, meaning of the text.” History clearly records for us that the sermon was a known way for preaching the Gospel! This all shows continuity in methodology.

There are several other Bible verses that could be discussed in all this, but time, time, time.... <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/broke.gif" alt="" />

Your analysis of the situation is that of the emerging church who merely believe in sages to guide one along one’s life journey.

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"One of the most significant crises is that our seminary system prepares people more and more effectively for a world that no longer exists," McLaren says. "What's needed? Poets, prophets, sages, dreamers, soul-friends who build and lead communities. These kinds of leaders can only be prepared, I think, in some hybrid experience of life in a vibrant local church in the presence of mentors, enriched by intensive experiences in mission and community, along with guided study in church history, thought, art, theology, spirituality, leadership, etc."
Once again Brian McLaren is unscriptural. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/3stooges.gif" alt="" /> Let's do away with these emerging imposters and bring in mutual edification to the body of Christ.
Posted By: Tom Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:59 AM
Kalled said:
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Does preaching the word necessarily mean preaching a sermon though? Can't we preach the word through dialogue or through other means rather than in the form of a speech or lecture?

I could answer that but after reading what J_Edwards already said in this thread, I would be just repeating what he said. Not only that but it would not be said as well as he put it.
So I think you will find your answer in his post.

Tom
Posted By: sandra Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:45 AM
Paul like the other early church members was a Sabbath keeper, correct?
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:51 AM
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Link said:
Notice that when they met together, they exhorted one another.

From reading scripture, we can see that the early churches met together primarily in homes and ate a holy dinner together, and different members spoke to edify the assembly.
Link,

A correct understanding of Scripture and in this particular case in the matter of the "Sunday sermon", one must exercise prudence through the use of the Analogy of Faith, i.e., comparing Scripture with Scripture. The two texts which you quoted, 1Cor 14:26 and Heb 10:24, 25 do speak of what some assemblies were doing at the time that Paul wrote them. However, there is no mandate in those passages which would direct the Church as to a universal polity for the Church. To find out what should be done, one must consult biblical passages (didactic) which deal specifically with this subject. Those can be found in the Pastoral Epistles where Paul sets forth particular elements concerning the structure of the Church, e.g., the ordaining of Elders and Deacons, their authority and responsibilities. Paul told Timothy that he was to "preach the word" (2Tim 4:2) which is to be distinguished from teaching (Col 1:28) in that it includes an authoritative aspect to it where Scripture is read, then expounded and then applied to the assembly of believers. For this reason, Christ appointed some to be "pastors and teachers" (Eph 4:11; cf. Jer 3:15; 1Cor 12:29; 1Pet 5:1-3) for the purpose of instructing, guiding and even discipling those who professed Christ.

Perhaps it would be beneficial to you to read through some classic works on Ecclesiology, e.g., The Church of Christ by James Bannerman, The Scriptural Doctrine of the Church by D. Douglas Bannerman and Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

In His grace,
Posted By: Peter Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:40 AM
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Paul like the other early church members was a Sabbath keeper, correct?
What do you mean by Sabbath? Do you mean that he worshiped on the sixth day of the week or that he worshiped on the first day of the week?
Posted By: Link Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:28 AM
I will write a generic reply to the thread so far.

On 'preaching,' from what I have read, there are three Greek verbs translated 'preach.' All of them are used in reference to proclaiming the Gospel to unbelievers. (With one possible exception in an instruction to Timothy to 'preach' the word.) So when we talk about 'preaching' in the Biblical sense, we should think primarily of evangelistic proclamation to primarily unbelieving audiences, rather than a style of speaking used in church. What goes on in church is generally 'teaching' rather than 'preaching' if we look at the way the word 'preaching' is used in scripture (in English translation)

The way 'preach' is used today, it can refer to giving a discourse behind a pulpit, or in some Fundamentalist circles in the south, to talking really loud behind a pulpit. (In some churches in the South they consider talking calmly to be 'teaching.' wink

Jesus spoke in the synagogue. From what I have read from Edersheim, a Judean synagogue might have up to 7 people speaking in it in one meeting, doing things like reading scriptures, giving a discourse, translating the discourse, and explaining the discourse or translation thereof. There was apparently some forum, even in Hellenistic synagogues for commenting or disputing as we see in Acts. The synagogues at this stage were not headed by a 'rabbi' who functioned as a Jewish version of a Protestant pastor. There was the archisynagogue role, but also elders and other functionaries. But archisynagogues were apparently not pulpit hogs. Regular Jewish men in the congregation could preach sermons, though travelling rabbis were probably coveted speakers as well.

We must keep in mind, however, that the Bible does not instruct us to follow synagogue liturgy in our church meetings. I Corinthians 14 contains the most detailed instructions on how to conduct ourselves in the parts of our meetings where there is speaking. The passage implies an 'open forum'-- open to a certain extent with certain restrictions on how the speaking is to be conducted. We can also look at examples in Acts. The format for speaking allowed for Agabus to stand in some context and prophecy of a coming famine. In a meeting of the church in Acts 15, the church came together to consider a certain matter. Certain believing Pharisees stood and presented their (wrong) idea about Gentile circumcision. Apparently more than one of them spoke. Considering other evidence, it is possible that the meeting of the apostles and elders that happened after this in Acts 15 could give us some insight into how the other meetings were conducted as well, with different men standing to speak in an orderly manner.

In Acts, we read of 'sermons' in synagogues, but keep in mind the synagogue was a place where the apostles carried out evangelistic activities. If some of the early churches organized as Jewish synagogues (James 2:2?) instead of, or inconjunction with, organizing house churches, then it is likely that they had their own modified order of worship, especially since Paul seems to be arguing in I Corinthians that the Corinthians had to conform to a universal set of church practices for all churches. ('as in all the churches of the saints' and 'What? came the word of God out from you or came it unto you only?')

If we do want to imitate the style of the synagogue, then keep in mind that one archisynogoges invited guests in their synagogue, Paul and Barnabas, that if they had a word of exhortation for the people, to speak.

From what I have read, the Greek word for 'homily' did not refer specifically to an uninterrupted religious speech that followed certain rhetorical rules, as it came to mean over time. No one has asserted this yet that I have seen, btw.

I would also like to point out that I am not against teaching based on verse by verse exposition in a church meeting. When I suggest we do away with the Sunday sermon and replace it with mutual edification, what I am arguing for us more than one speaker per meeting, according to the instructions given in I Corinthians and other passages, rather than one sermon per week.

I do not doubt that the three-point sermon is very ancient. It goes back to at least the days of Aristotle, who taught that method of organising ideas in his 'Rhetoric.' The three-point speech was the educated Greek means of writings for centuries before the birth of Christ. When Christianity came to Greek speaking areas, it makes sense that some of the Greeks would have used this manner to present teachings. I do not see any three-part sermons or letters that follow this pattern in the New Testament, however. I view this as a cultural means of expressing ideas, one that is quite popular nowadays, but not as a divinely inspired method for organizing sermons.

By the way, I only found out what the emergent movement was a few months ago. I read that some emergent churches are going in this direction, too. But what I am saying is older than the emergent movement. It dates back to the first century. Also, groups like the Quakers, Plymouth Brethren, churches in circles associated with Watchman Nee in China, perhaps some of the Anabaptists, and various house church movements hold to this idea as well, because they are taught in scripture. (I think the many of the Brethren ended up with a time of exhortation and planned sermons as well. I know of some very Fundamentalist house church people who hold to similar beliefs. I have never read any books by McLaren, and most of what I know about him is that a lot of people on Christian discussion forums do not like some of his ideas about the Bible and other religions. I am concerned with having Biblical meetings, not with being 'emergent.' I happen to believe that Biblical meetings are culturally universal and apply to all cultures, not just post-moderns. If emergents happen to believe in something Biblical, I do not believe we should reject that thing just because it agrees with the 'emergent' movement.

And no, not all have gifts of teaching. But teaching is not the only speaking gift. I Corinthians 14 mentions several things that can be shared, psalms, teachings, revelations, tongues, and interpretation. So speaking (or singing) in a church meeting should not be limited to teaching. Paul gives specific instructions for how to speak in tongues with intepretation and how to prophecy in an orderly manner, instructions which he said were commandments of the Lord. May we disobey these commands and replace them with a hymn sandwich liturgy (hymns, offering, communion, hymns.) Romans 12 also mentions the gift of exhortation.

Again, when I say get rid of the Sunday sermon, I am not saying get rid of teaching the Bible. I am saying get rid of the idea that one person should give a really long sermon, and everyone else be silent. Instead, we should follow the instructions the Bible gives for church meetings.

Pilgrim wrote
>>The two texts which you quoted, 1Cor 14:26 and Heb 10:24, 25 do speak of what some assemblies were doing at the time that Paul wrote them. However, there is no mandate in those passages which would direct the Church as to a universal polity for the Church. To find out what should be done, one must consult biblical passages (didactic) which deal specifically with this subject. Those can be found in the Pastoral Epistles where Paul sets forth particular elements concerning the structure of the Church, e.g., the ordaining of Elders and Deacons, their authority and responsibilities. Paul told Timothy that he was to "preach the word" (2Tim 4:2) which is to be distinguished from teaching (Col 1:28) in that it includes an authoritative aspect to it where Scripture is read, then expounded and then applied to the assembly of believers. For this reason, Christ appointed some to be "pastors and teachers"<<

I find it to be potentially dangerous to take Paul's commandments to churches and pick and choose which apply today. The author of Hebrews commanded believers not to forsake assembling together. Most of us gladly accept that command as applicable to the church today, because it is one of the few, or only, command in scripture telling us to assemble. Why should we then reject the part that says 'exhort one another.' Notice the passage does not say whether they were exhorting one another, but commands them to do so. Why would the command not to forsake assembling apply, but the command to exhort one another not apply?

Also, why would the instructions to Timothy to preach the word apply today, but not the commands to the church in Corinth? That seems to me to be a rather arbitrary way of applying scripture. One could argue that many passages you believe are binding are not 'mandated' for the church.

For my reasoning that Paul was arguing based on a universally applicable format for church meetings, see above. I would also like to add that Paul both commended and rebuked the Corinthians for following the ordinances he had left them. He instructed the Thessalonians to hold to the traditions he taught as well. Apparently there was an apostolic way of doing things they were required to follow. Since Paul commanded churches to follow his traditions, his way of doing things, that is a good argument that following such traditions are mandated. When we instructions from Paul on how to have meetings, we need to pay attention, especially if these instructions are called commandments of the Lord.

>>Paul told Timothy that he was to "preach the word" (2Tim 4:2) which is to be distinguished from teaching (Col 1:28) in that it includes an authoritative aspect to it where Scripture is read, then expounded and then applied to the assembly of believers. For this reason, Christ appointed some to be "pastors and teachers"<<

Paul did tell Timothy to preach the word. Maybe that took the form of a traditional homily on the scriptures, but maybe it did not. The way 'word' is used in the New Testament, it is highly unlikely that Paul had in mind confining Timothy's preaching to expounding texts of scripture, especially since the New Testament scriptures were not completed and compiled in this time. Timothy preached a message he had heard, orally, from Paul and possibly others, and preached it to others. (II Timothy 2:2.) Paul made use of the Old Testament in his preaching. It is possible that Timothy 'preached' like Paul did in the synagogue, using the OT. But if the passage _could_ have been applied this way, that does not mean that it _must_ be understood this way.

And it may be a bit anachronistic to read the idea of a modern-style sermon (with three points or a verse by verse homily) back into Paul's instructions here. I do not see any basis for your assertion that preaching is distinguished from teaching because it is supposedly more authoratative. Christ 'taught' with authority, and not as the scribes.

Another point to consider is whether Paul has in mind Timothy's evangelistic and in-church ministries together in this verse, and is instructing Timothy to engage in evangelistic preaching as well. Paul did exhort Timothy to do the work of an evangelist.

Since other scripture indicates that various brethren could speak in a church meeting, and Paul's and Peter's instructions for the saints to faithfully use their spiritual gifts (Romans 12, I Peter 4), then it makes sense that Timothy's preaching of the word would be included in the church meeting along with these other activities.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:47 PM
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And no, not all have gifts of teaching. But teaching is not the only speaking gift. I Corinthians 14 mentions several things that can be shared, psalms, teachings, revelations, tongues, and interpretation. So speaking (or singing) in a church meeting should not be limited to teaching. Paul gives specific instructions for how to speak in tongues with intepretation and how to prophecy in an orderly manner, instructions which he said were commandments of the Lord. May we disobey these commands and replace them with a hymn sandwich liturgy (hymns, offering, communion, hymns.) Romans 12 also mentions the gift of exhortation.

The revelatory gifts—including tongues and (necessarily) their interpretation—have ceased. There is no new revelation, because no need for it. That leaves us with the singing of "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs"—which not a single orthodox church today entirely neglects—and teaching and exhortation. Teaching and exhortation occurs in numerous formats in orthodox churches, but in the primary liturgical service, it is done through the preaching of a sermon by a man especially trained in the exposition of Scripture. What's wrong with that? Is it not "decently and in order"? Should we have it so that everyone can raise his hand to ask questions in the midst of the sermon, with the possibility of everything being sidetracked to address obscure or irrelevant points? Questions can be asked after the service, can they not? Questions can be asked before the service in Sunday school, which most orthodox churches also have.

All you're doing is taking up on the anti-authoritarian errors of the Anabaptists and other sectarians. You won't get much of a hearing from us, because we aren't interested!
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:59 AM
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An unchained melody retorted,

On 'preaching,' from what I have read, there are three Greek verbs translated 'preach.' All of them are used in reference to proclaiming the Gospel to unbelievers. (With one possible exception in an instruction to Timothy to 'preach' the word.) So when we talk about 'preaching' in the Biblical sense, we should think primarily of evangelistic proclamation to primarily unbelieving audiences, rather than a style of speaking used in church. What goes on in church is generally 'teaching' rather than 'preaching' if we look at the way the word 'preaching' is used in scripture (in English translation)
Who in the Church is saved? Do you know who and who is not saved in every congregation in existence? Preach means;

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1) to be a herald, to officiate as a herald 1a) to proclaim after the manner of a herald 1b) always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed 2) to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done 3) used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers

LN Lexicon
When one is preaching the Word (2 Tim 4:2) he should be doing the work of an evangelist as well (2 Tim 4:5). The Word is preached in matters of salvation and sanctification, etc. It is the Word of God that not only initially saves us, but continues its redeeming work in God’s elect. Moreover, the term carries with it the definition of one officiating as a herald. Someone is in charge!

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An unchained melody retorted,

Jesus spoke in the synagogue. From what I have read from Edersheim, a Judean synagogue might have up to 7 people speaking in it in one meeting, doing things like reading scriptures, giving a discourse, translating the discourse, and explaining the discourse or translation thereof. There was apparently some forum, even in Hellenistic synagogues for commenting or disputing as we see in Acts. The synagogues at this stage were not headed by a 'rabbi' who functioned as a Jewish version of a Protestant pastor. There was the archisynagogue role, but also elders and other functionaries. But archisynagogues were apparently not pulpit hogs. Regular Jewish men in the congregation could preach sermons, though travelling rabbis were probably coveted speakers as well…. We must keep in mind, however, that the Bible does not instruct us to follow synagogue liturgy in our church meetings.
Hummmm, why such a distorted and inaccurate assessment of Jewish history? Have you read “all” of Edersheim’s, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, or just a few paragraphs? Edersheim states;

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The reading of the prophets was often followed by a sermon or address, with which the service concluded. The preacher was called "darshan," and his address a "derashah" (homily, sermon, from "darash," to ask, inquire, or discuss). When the address was a learned theological discussion— in academies— was not delivered to the people directly, but whispered into the ear of an "amora," or speaker, who explained to the multitude in popular language the weighty sayings which the Rabbi had briefly communicated to him. A more popular sermon, on the other hand, was called a "meamar," literally, a "speech, or talk." These addresses would be either Rabbinical expositions of Scripture, or else doctrinal discussions, in which appeal would be made to tradition and to the authority of certain great teachers. For it was laid down as a principle (Eduj. i. 3), that "every one is bound to teach in the very language of his teacher."
Edersheim and others reveal that the Christian Church (CC) was inhabited by converted Jews and even Jewish leaders that brought much of the Jewish tradition into the worship of the CC. Although there are differences, there are also similarities. A synagogue service in the times of Christ was made up of five parts. Selected individuals would read (at different times); (1) The Shema’ – two opening blessings for morning and evening, one closing blessing for morning and two for evening, (2) The Prayer (Shemónéh ‘esréh), (3) The Torah, reading of the law, (4) The Prophets, parallel to the pericopic reading of Torah is a pericopic reading from the Prophets, and (5) The Scripture Lesson (the sermon). Even by the time of Christ, the exposition of Scripture was part of the synagogal liturgy (Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:21; 6:2). The five-part service included prayers, psalm-singing, blessings, readings from the Scriptures, and commentaries on the sacred passages. Each synagogue had as its leader the "head of synagogue" (Mark 5:22). The leader presided over the services in the synagogue. Can we say there is some overlap with the present day church? Moreover, some early Christian worship may have been carried on within the synagogue; for James implies that the Christian community to whom it was written was still worshipping there;

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James 1:1-2 My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there come in also a poor man in vile clothing;
James does not mention the format change of the service that would have been run by a Jew! Your view asserts that there was no real church in OT times and sees that “all” OT worship of the true and living God as false worship.

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An unchained melody retorted,

I Corinthians 14 contains the most detailed instructions on how to conduct ourselves in the parts of our meetings where there is speaking….. In a meeting of the church in Acts 15, the church came together to consider a certain matter.
And may we ask why 1 Cor 14 was written? Was it to commend the Corinthians for having such an accurate form of worship that they should not change it? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" /> Is it not in this chapter that Paul writes, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (vs 33) and “Let all things be done decently and in order” (vs 40)? I wonder why? You had better re-read Acts 15, they were not having a church service!!! A Worship service is conducted differently then a mere meeting.

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An unchained melody retorted,

I do not doubt that the three-point sermon is very ancient.
And who here stated anything about a 3 point sermon. We believe, at least most of us, in exegetical preaching of the Word of God. This may contain several points. However, there is nothing unbiblical about a one point, two point, or three point sermon in and of themselves.

As far as your tongues devotional that is being covered in another set of posts and thus I will entertain them later in the appropriate place. But, I did receive a Word of Knowledge that says that you should not post anymore. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Eeeeeek.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Link Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:04 PM
J Edwards

From I Corinthians we see that church meetings are for the edification of the saints. We are to be sensitive to our witness to unbelievers if they happen to show up. The apostles generally preached in venues where unbelievers were.

Also, the church is able to distinguish brethren from non-brethren for the purposes of communion, so why should this be a stumbling block when it comes to distinguishing in terms of who speaks?

The Corinthians did not have church meetings down. But we can get an idea of what an ideal meeting should look like from I Corinthians 14. In I Corinthians 14:26, Paul was supportive of these things going on in church, but they had to be done unto edifying. He gave specific instructions on tongues and prophecies.

Notice he never told everyone to sit down and shut up listen to the one elder assigned to speak that week. I know there are some Reformed people who argue for a 'non-miraculous' manifestation of the gift of prophecy in this age. Are there any people who hold to this view on this forum?

If there is no one gifted to prophesy or speak in tongues in this church, still keep in mind the fairly open format of the I Corinthians 14 meeting. If you have 10 teachers in your church, why should only one speak in a meeting, particularly week after week, only that one person speaks. The apostles appointed elders 'apt to teach' from within the congregation, back before Sunday school was invented. How did they know who was 'apt to teach?' And how can new teachers-- and potential elders--mature in their gift if there is no opportunity.

There is also scripture reading, singing, and various other activities that can be shared by various members of the congregation, rather than just having one (or two or three) do it.

On singing, I Corinthians 14:26 would indicate they sang solos. So would Tertullian's apology, which says that one by one they went up to sing a song from their hearts or from the scriptures to the Lord after they ate the Agape. I read an article by a retired Classics (Greek and Latin)professor that 'speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs' could have referred to taking turns singing solos as well.
Posted By: Link Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:38 PM
J Edwards wrote,
>>James does not mention the format change of the service that would have been run by a Jew! Your view asserts that there was no real church in OT times and sees that “all” OT worship of the true and living God as false worship. <<

This is slippery slope reasoning, at best. I have asserted no such thing, particularly not the latter.


Also, you mentioned a 'worship service' earlier. I do not see where scripture commands us to have 'worship services' or even uses the language 'service.'

The word most often translated 'worship' means 'prostration.' It is no wonder we are not told to have prostration services. Not that there is anything wrong with prostrating to the Lord.
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Thu Nov 17, 2005 4:49 PM
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Also, you mentioned a 'worship service' earlier. I do not see where scripture commands us to have 'worship services' or even uses the language 'service.'
And the Bible does not tell you to have electricity in a Church or even in-door plumbing. As matter a fact it makes no mention of computers either. You had better sell all your Church property move to the desert and get off-line or the boogy man is going to get you. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Eeeeeek.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Link Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:00 AM
And that is not my point either. I did not say it was wrong to have 'worship services.' I just pointed out that this is not the type of language the New Testament uses.

The church met to eat the Lord's Supper and to have meetings in which the saints were edified through use of the gifts of the Spirit. In the epistles, we see that this was done, or was to be done, through mutually edifying meetings in which the saints were to exhort one another. The scriptures were also to be read.

I suppose some might see this as a 'worship service' but if there is no prostration, it is not literally proskuneo. 'Service' probably comes from the concept of liturgy. I am not against having aspects of liturgical worship, but I do not see it as specificaly commanded as exhorting one another is.
Posted By: J_Edwards Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:43 AM
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The church met to eat the Lord's Supper and to have meetings in which the saints were edified through use of the gifts of the Spirit. In the epistles, we see that this was done, or was to be done, through mutually edifying meetings in which the saints were to exhort one another. The scriptures were also to be read.
Originally the gifts were manifested in many places. They were manifested just walking down the streets, stopping, and healing, etc. Paul was bitten by a snake, he was ship wrecked and had a word of knowledge beforehand, etc. However, that is not the nature of your original question is it (Is the Sunday sermon Biblical?)? Paul TOLD the Corinthians that their "services" were not being conducted properly and for them to be changed.

PS: We use many terms to describe things in Scripture that cannot be found in the text (Trinity, Infralapsarianism, Sublapsarianism, etc)--but it does not mean they are the wrong terms. Communication is imperative and thus words of many sorts must be used.
Posted By: Link Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:17 AM
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J_Edwards said:
Originally the gifts were manifested in many places. They were manifested just walking down the streets, stopping, and healing, etc. Paul was bitten by a snake, he was ship wrecked and had a word of knowledge beforehand, etc. However, that is not the nature of your original question is it (Is the Sunday sermon Biblical?)? Paul TOLD the Corinthians that their "services" were not being conducted properly and for them to be changed.


That is true, and I did not assert that they were not used outside of church meetings. We do see in I Corinthians 12 that the gifts he spoke of were for the edification of the body. In chapter 14, Paul instructs the Corinthians, not just elders, to be zealous for spiritual gifts that built up the church (assembly.)

The Corinthians did need to change what they did in their gatherings. But how were they to be changed? Notice Paul did not say ‘Sing hymns, then have one man speak, and everyone else be quiet. Take up the offering. Have communion. Sing hymns. Then go home.’

We can see from Paul’s instructions in I Corinthians 14 that he expected that an individual reading his letter might offer up a prayer in church, and that he should do so in a manner that edified the assembly (v. 16.)

We also see that Paul was favorable toward the idea of ‘all’ prophesying in church. (v. 24, 31.)

Verse 26 says,
“How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.”


Did Paul tell them it was wrong for them to do all these things in church? No. He just stipulated that they be done in an edifying manner. Then he proceeded to give them instructions for how to speak in tongues and interpret, and how the prophets were to prophecy, and those sitting by could prophesy in an orderly manner.


Paul’s concept of order here is particularly important when we consider that the book of Hebrews instructs us to ‘exhort one another’ in our meetings. Where else does scripture go into detail on what we should do in our meetings? Sure, the instructions here are few, but should we follow what instructions are given? Shouldn’t we try to follow what is there, rather than relying solely on tradition?


Quote
PS: We use many terms to describe things in Scripture that cannot be found in the text (Trinity, Infralapsarianism, Sublapsarianism, etc)--but it does not mean they are the wrong terms. Communication is imperative and thus words of many sorts must be used.


It was not my point to forbid terms that do not show up in translations of the scripture. I would like to discuss whether the concepts are scripture. Does the Bible teach us to have ‘worship services?’ We are to come together to break bread. When we come together we should exhort and edify one another.


Singing psalms and giving thanks to God can be edifying, and we might define them as forms of ‘worship’—if not proskuneo per se.


As for ‘services’ some argue that in Acts 13:1, the ‘ministering’ they were doing was performing a liturgy. I am not convinced either way on that.
Posted By: li0scc0 Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Dec 28, 2005 4:42 PM
Well, we know that when Paul spoke/preached all night long, it was from Saturday afternoon through Saturday night, and into Sunday morning. Because it says he preached into the night on the first day, and the only "night" on the first day was Saturday night (since the first day starts at sundown on Saturday through sundown on Sunday).
So, if we say Paul preached here, then we can say he preached on a Saturday afternoon/evening/night.
Posted By: knoxandcalvin Re: Is the Sunday sermon Biblical? - Wed Dec 28, 2005 8:49 PM
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Link said:
I have found one passage of scripture in which Paul 'discoursed' all night long with a group of believers before he left the next morning. This passage does not demand that a sermon was preached. Paul may have been holding a discussion.

From studying scripture, I do not find that the early churches were instructed to have one Sunday sermon. Rather, I find the following instructions for what to do in meetings.

I Corinthians 14: 26. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Hebrews 10:
24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.


Notice that when they met together, they exhorted one another.

From reading scripture, we can see that the early churches met together primarily in homes and ate a holy dinner together, and different members spoke to edify the assembly.

Any comments.
but the early church is a result of a sermon. PETER ONE Acts 2:14-42
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