Below are sermons exposited from the Word of God by Dr. Caldwell over his twenty years of faithful leading and serving the flock at Founders Baptist Church. These sermons will help us to think carefully and biblically about the men the Lord has called to shepherd His people as under-shepherds.
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Why Do We Have Two Different Worship Services On Sunday?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell has a question or two for Dr. Philpot, who would ordinarily be asking the questions. Dr. Caldwell states that Founders Baptist meets twice on Sundays, holding both a morning and an evening service with different messages. Why do they do that? How do churches determine how often they should meet? Is there specific criteria for determining this, and who makes those decisions? In addition to these questions, he also asks, how should we think about churches that don’t do church this same way? Dr. Caldwell asks Dr. Philpot to walk us through these questions, helping us to understand and reason biblically.
Dr. Philpot explains that when the church began in Acts 2, the Apostles and disciples of the Lord Jesus began to meet on the first day of the week, which was Sunday. This was the day they chose to gather to meet and worship because it was the day Jesus rose from the dead. Saturday is no longer a day of rest for them, which was the Old Testament pattern; they are now under the Lordship of Christ. So they came together on Sundays to celebrate and commemorate His resurrection, along with celebrating and proclaiming the gospel He brought. And in their doing this, they came to deem it the Lord’s Day. So one of the reasons that Founders Baptist Church meets twice on Sunday is because it is a day for worship, not just an hour to worship. Dr. Philpot says it should be an all-day experience for the people of God. It should be a day wholly dedicated to the worship of God, involving reading and hearing the Scriptures, praying and singing the Scriptures, and practicing the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. It is a day we want to set apart from all other days of the week, patterning what the Apostles and disciples did from the Church's inception.
Other churches do different things on Sunday evenings. Some hold or encourage gathering in small groups or maybe encourage their members to do family worship that evening. Dr. Caldwell says they are doing the same thing in principle that Founders does, yet it’s different from having two formal services. Why is this? Dr. Philpot explains that gathering corporately, twice on Sundays, is the way the elders of Founders have deemed the best way to teach the church and worship. He also believes nothing can substitute for the preached Word for the people of God on Sunday. Doing these other things on Sunday evening, separate from the full body of Christ, is just not the same as the command given to be preaching the Word of God to the people. It is a dedicated time set apart to exposit and explain the Word of God in a setting where all those that belong to that local body will be hearing the same thing from one expositor. Yet, this will be a church-by-church decision that will take place among the elders of individual churches. Therefore, we do not sit in judgment of churches that do not do it the way we do.
Dr. Philpot shares that churches and those who lead in those churches need to make decisions that are best for their context and for those who gather there with them. Those who are members and those who become members need to willingly submit to the decisions made by their elders, even if there are things they wish were different. The elders believe that how they have structured the Lord’s Day is the most effective way to teach and instruct the people of God in worship. Yet, he also shares this caveat – believing that if we are neglecting to worship on the Lord’s Day, then we would be in disobedience to the Word of God.
Attending church and being a member of a local body of Christ should not be lightly considered. Ephesians 4 and many other New Testament passages make this clear. Along with a healthy understanding of these things, we also need to know how vital biblical elders are to our local body. The author of Hebrews tells us to obey our leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over our souls, as those who will give an account. As we think about these questions and answers Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Philpot have discussed in this podcast, where might we need to rethink what we have thought about church and those that lead us there?
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
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