Ask Your Preacher
It says that we must keep the Sabbath holy – which means for us to give back to God our time, relax in His presence, and get a day off just for Him. Why do we keep working on Sundays?
Dear Rest Up,
Saturday is the Sabbath day… but Christians don’t have to worry about keeping the Sabbath. The word ‘sabbath’ means ‘rest’. The Sabbath day was a day that the nation of Israel was told to rest, stop working, and make holy to the Lord (Ex 31:15). The Sabbath was part of the Old Testament law – a law that Christians are no longer under (Gal 3:23-25). We are specifically told not to let anyone bind the Sabbath on us (Col 2:16). Christians worship Christ on the first day of the week – Sunday (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2). We are not bound by the strict rules of avoiding all work like the Jews were, but we are told to treat Sunday as “the Lord’s day” (Rev 1:10).
Where is the authority to entertain oneself with musical instruments? If God doesn't like something, why should I?
Dear Radio Silence,
The Bible never says that God doesn’t like musical instruments; it just teaches that when it comes to worshipping God, we should use our voices as our instruments (read “Instrumental To Worship” for more details on a cappella worship). God also doesn’t want us going to the zoo as a part of worship, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t like animals! Just because something isn’t part of worship, doesn’t mean that it is inherently wrong the rest of the time.
Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading? Does this refer to preachers not getting paid? Or people in the ministry serving? Not being compensated? Forgive me, but I don’t have the context of what Paul is saying here.
Dear Cattle Call,
In 1 Cor 9:9, Paul says, “Don’t muzzle an ox when he is treading out the grain.” Oxen were often used to break up the grain and grind it using a giant wheel or other similar methods that employed animal power to break up the grain. In the Old Testament, God commanded that an ox that was being used to work the grain should be allowed to eat while it worked (i.e. it shouldn’t be muzzled – Deut 25:4). In 1st Corinthians 9, Paul is comparing that command given for the benefit of working animals to the attitude we should take toward those who are preaching the gospel (1 Cor 9:10-11). Just like an ox that treads the grain deserves a bite of that grain from time to time, preachers who dedicate their lives to the gospel have every right to be paid for their work (1 Cor 9:14).
What is the purpose of the communion? We call it “Nattverd” (this question was received from the Netherlands – AYP). I know it is to connect and participate in Jesus’ sufferings, but could you please tell a little more?
Natt-Sure About Nattverd
Dear Natt-Sure About Nattverd,
Christ told us that whenever we take the Lord’s Supper, we should do it in remembrance of Him (Lk 22:19). In the book of Acts, we see how often the church observed the Lord’s Supper. In Acts 20:7, we see that christians ‘broke the bread’ in remembrance of Christ on Sundays. That is when they did it, so that is when we do it.
In 1 Cor. 11:26-29, we are told that we should use the Lord’s Supper to contemplate and examine whether our lives are genuinely dedicated to Christ. We can know whether our lives are faithful by the fruits we are bearing (Matt 7:16-20). When you get ready to take the Lord’s Supper next Sunday (Acts 20:7), ask yourself what kind of life you have lived this week. Examine your life and whether or not it genuinely belongs to Christ, and you will have fulfilled the commandment of 1 Cor 11:28.
Paul says that we are to take the Lord’s Supper when the church is gathered together (1 Cor 11:20). Taking the Lord’s Supper each Sunday is an act of worship done by every congregation of the Lord. Christ commands that we do it in remembrance of Him (1 Cor 11:23-28), the church gives us the example of doing it on the first day of the week, and Paul teaches that we should examine ourselves during the Lord’s Supper.
What can a church do when they outgrow their building but do not have the money to build or buy a new one?
Busting At The Seams
Dear Busting At The Seams,
What a wonderful problem! Church buildings have always been an expediency for a local church to assemble and fulfill the commands found in Heb 10:24-25, Acts 20:7, and 1 Cor 16:1-2, etc. The word ‘expedient’ means ‘convenient or practical’. The command for the church to assemble has to be fulfilled somehow, and church buildings have often been a convenient and practical way to do that… but in your situation, the building is no longer practical or convenient.
A congregation doesn’t need to own a building to be faithful. Renting out a school gymnasium, movie theater, or other facility is just as Scriptural and in your case, probably more expedient since it is cheaper than purchasing a facility. The issue of where and how to meet is a matter of wisdom, not right or wrong. A congregation that is getting too big for the space they are in can do everything from starting a second congregation in a nearby town to renting a larger facility for Sunday worship. It is just a matter of what is the most convenient and practical solution to a problem that is really a blessing.