The aim of this chapter is to uncover the substructure of worship theology in Paul’s writings. The following chapter focuses on his teaching about the gathering of the church (p. 166). After Paul came on the scene many things changed. His life was changed with a cause for Christ. From his changed life, he wrote to the church. He like Stephen, would die for what he believed.
The writings of Paul have served the church for almost two thousand years. It had given support to this new covenant structure of worship. His writings have guided the church into what it is today. It has served generation after generation of follows of Christ. It has created a lifestyle of worship for those who convert to Christianity. The death and resurrection allowed man’s worship to be accepted by God without following the Law of Moses. Paul’s teachings all point to Christ.
Now the believer could follow Christ and do what the disciples did. The Holy Spirit has led many to perform things that were only done during or shortly after Christ ascended into Heaven. Each believer had a gift and ministry to accomplish. Under the new covenant, people were allowed to be who they were in Christ and not what the old covenant demanded they be. Paul wrote about freedom in Christ.
I grew up in the church and have always heard and read about the teachings of Paul. Different times in my life I have relied on Paul’s teachings to understand a problem in the church. There have been other times when I would ignore the writings of Paul and just study the Gospels. Further study shows that Paul is actually giving structure to the belief system in following Christ. He has given order to public worship.
I believe that the old covenant gave structure to a belief system of worshiping God, but the nation of Israel didn’t get it. It all pointed to Christ, but many didn’t even notice. Without Christ, there would be no teachings from Paul. Without Christ, the Law of Moses still existed in many lives. Under the old covenant, the people worship according to the Law. Under the new covenant, we worship the Messiah.
I have learned to keep Christ central to every part of my life.
Peterson, David. Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press. 1992.