Boston area faith leaders gather for an ecumenical celebration Jan. 21, 2017 at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The day began with lunchtime workshops, followed by an interfaith prayer service.
Pilot photo/ Mark Labbe

Why Christians Must Gather as the Church to Worship

It is becoming increasingly popular today to assume that since the essence of worship is the language of the gospel, then it follows that worship is all of life, and there is nothing distinct or significant about corporate gatherings of worship.

Several problems with this perspective exist, however, deserving careful consideration. First, the nature of the church must be defined biblically. While it is true that “church” in the New Testament sometimes refers to the universal number of believers in Christ, (See, for example, Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 1:22–23, 3:10, 3:21, 4:4, 5:23–27, 1 Corinthians 10:32, 11:22, 12:28, Colossians 1:18, 24, and Hebrews 12:23.) it most often refers specifically to a local gathering of such believers. For example, Paul addressed letters “to the church of God that is in Corinth (1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 1:1), “to the churches of Galatia” (Gal 1:2), and “to the church of the Thessalonians” (1 Thess 1:1).

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