We have set aside our Sunday mornings in the month of January to consider the importance of worship as God’s gathered people. One handy resource for me during this month has been J.C. Ryle’s little 31-page pamphlet entitled Worship: It’s Priority, Principles, and Practice, published by Banner of Truth and available on WTS for just $1.40. I’d like to post some of Ryle’s thoughts on worship here for the next few Sundays. Here is a good word on the importance of gathered worship.
“Public worship, I am bold to say, has always been one mark of God’s servants. Man, as a general rule, is a social being, and does not like to live separate from his fellows. In every age God has made use of that mighty principle, and has taught his people to worship him publicly as well as privately, together as well as alone. I believe the last day will show that wherever God has had a people he has always had a congregation. His servants, however few in number, have always assembled themselves together, and approached their Heavenly Father in company. They have been taught to do it for many wise reasons, partly to bear a public testimony to the world, partly to strengthen, cheer, help, encourage, and comfort one another, and above all, to train and prepare them for the general assembly in heaven. ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov 27:17) That man can know little of human nature who does not know that to see others doing and professing the same things that we do in religion, is an immense help and encouragement to our souls.”
J.C. Ryle, Worship: Its Priorities, Principals, and Practice, 6.