The written portion of this article is a redo of a previous one that you may have seen elsewhere. The joy that can come from corporate worship is too important for me to leave you with that article. In retrospect, even I found it to be too general and, to put it bluntly – boring. Although the video below is the same, most of what follows is (what I hope will be) a better demonstrate of the power of husbands and wives delighting in Christ together by active participation in the same Bible-believing church. As I noted before, CM 301 (parts 1 and 2) emphasized the structure of love for our individual love for Christ. Understanding and embracing corporate worship is for Christian couples’ unified love for each other because of our primary love for Jesus. Let’s consider some of alternatives in three categories.
You may remember that Jesus fulfills the three offices (roles) that God chose to lead and care for His people: the prophet, priest, and king. And these represent three essential areas of life that are developed and blessed through corporate worship. Godly prophets in the Bible taught truth; godly priests facilitated heart-felt worship (love) based on His truth; and godly kings took action to protect and provide so His people can live in truth and love. As Matthew 22:37-40 implies, this is “whole” living in Christ.
But suppose a couple receives poor teaching in church about God and His will. For example, they might only be taught about God’s love but rarely if ever about His holiness. The implied message could be, “what we do doesn’t matter, since God will just keep forgiving us with no consequences.” Like misaligned tires on the front of your car, if they are on even slightly different paths that will result in a rough ride at best or an eventual disaster at worst. Couples need to be on the same path and the true path. For good intentions mean nothing if we’re off course from God’s revealed journey for us.
Or suppose a church teaches the truths of God’s whole Word and how they fit together in one plan of holy love, but the hearts of the people are depressed, grumpy, and even openly and unapologetically hypocritical. How can the couple grow in hope and joy from worship and fellowship with people who (apparently) do not have hope and joy to give? A good gym and staff will produce members growing in physical fitness. A good church will produce members growing in joy and holiness.
Lastly, suppose the couple goes to a church (or no church) and they learning the truths of God and feeling the joy of God, but they’re not serving others in God’s love. Wouldn’t those individuals truly be self-centered or lazy or both? If a doctor and nurse know truths about diseases and feel compassion on the sick but do not help through their understanding and compassion, what good would that be?
Discuss these passages about the need to love God and others with our head, heart, and hands.
- Hebrews 6:1 says staying in “elementary doctrines” is like living on baby food.
- Pharisees knew truths about God but would not trust Jesus. (John 5:39-40)
- And God’s Word repeatedly reminds us that real love serves sacrificially. (Matthew 21:28-32 & 23:1-4, Romans 12:1-21, James 2:16, Revelation 2-3.)
You can see other articles and the embedded videos in this series here.