Watch our Livestream 10am Sundays Give Online

Participation and Order in the Gathering

July 30, 2023

Teacher: John McLeod
Scripture: 1 Cor 14:26-40


  1. Biblical Participation in the Gathering
  2. Biblical Order in the Gathering
  3. Biblical Authority in the Gathering

Scripture Reading

1 Corinthians 14:26–33 (ESV)

  • (26) What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
  • (27) If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret.
  • (28) But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.
  • (29) Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.
  • (30) If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent.
  • (31) For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,
  • (32) and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.
  • (33) For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.


What does it mean for us to Be God’s People? As I mentioned last Wednesday night, being God’s people means that God is our Father and we are his children. Being God’s people means that we have been brought from death to life. It means we have been forgiven for our sins, and that we will inherit eternal life. It means that God has chosen us, called us, and justified us, and that he will sanctify us completely and glorify us in the future.

But what about the verb “being?” The question is not simply about what we are by definition. This sermon series, “Being God’s People” is trying to get at what it looks like for us to actively live as God’s people.

If you were to depict church in a drawing or painting, what would it look like? What would you draw?

  • Would you paint a fancy building with stained glass windows?
  • Would you draw an impressive oak pulpit with a preacher behind it, and the backs of everyone else’s heads?
  • What about a congregation with lifted hands, singing to the LORD together?
  • Did any of you imagine us sharing in the Lord’s table together, or a potluck meal?
  • Would any of you have depicted the lobby during the 10 minute break or after the service?

Being God’s People is a very active idea. We’re not focused merely on what it means to exist as God’s people.

We are currently at the end of a six-week mini-series on chapters 12-14 about Spiritual Gifts in our study through the book of 1 Corinthians. In a particular way these chapters have been describing a specific aspect of Being God’s People, that is, that we have the Holy Spirit.

The entire letter from Paul to the Corinthians describes what it means to be God’s people, but these chapters specifically are describing what it means for us to be spiritual people—born of the Spirit, speaking and serving in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, many spiritual gifts can and should be exercised throughout our daily lives as we live life alongside one another and in the world. But, our text this morning is specifically dealing with how we use spiritual gifts in the context of our weekly Sunday gathering together.

A few weeks ago when we began this three-chapter series in Chapter 12, I encouraged us to let the text speak for itself about Spiritual Gifts. This particular area of theology and practice is often seen as controversial or questionable in our day. And many Christians who agree with much of our church’s theology have questions about our Continuationist pneumatology—that we believe all of the spiritual gifts in the New Testament are for the church today and until the Lord returns.

Again, today, I encourage us to let the text speak for itself. These verses give us a relatively rare glimpse into what a gathering of God’s people should look like. Paul doesn’t just describe a church meeting, he tells us “do this” and “don’t do this” when we gather.

We only read vv. 26-33 at the beginning, but we will work through the remainder of Chapter 14. Our sermon points this morning are:

  1. Biblical Participation in the Gathering
  2. Biblical Order in the Gathering
  3. Biblical Authority in the Gathering

Pastoral Prayer

Lord, be glorified in this gathering of believers today. We gather in your name and for your glory. We gather to hear and obey your word. We gather to give you thanks. We gather to build up your church. We gather to confess our faith. We gather to confess our sins. We gather to receive your grace. We gather to proclaim your gospel. We gather so that we might make it to the end. We gather because we need help. We gather because our help is needed. Bless us today and use us for your glory. Amen.

I. Biblical Participation in the Gathering

1 Corinthians 14:26 (ESV)

  • (26) What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

As I mentioned in my introduction, this is a somewhat rare glimpse into a public gathering of the church in the New Testament. We see various glimpses of the church gathered in the book of Acts, but we don’t have a comprehensive description of what they did or direct instruction about what they were supposed to do.

Here, Paul begins, “When you come together…” In other words, when you gather together as a church this is what is supposed to happen and why. Paul has used this phrase earlier in the letter to speak of when the Corinthian church gathered together to eat the Lord’s Table.

I’ll put a list of other New Testament references in the sermon notes that you can go back and check later that lists either narrative segments from the book of Acts and what the Christians were doing in the gathering, or indications in other epistles about what is supposed to happen in the gathered church. But, this is passage in front of us is the most explicit and extended reference in all of the New Testament about what the church does when it gathers.

It is true that Paul is correcting things that had gone amiss in their gatherings in this whole section of the letter. However, his instructions and corrections are recorded for us to learn from as well.

The Diversity and Breadth of gifts

Paul lists five unique elements of worship in this verse.

  • hymn, lesson, revelation, tongue, interpretation

If you’ve been paying attention over the last few weeks, you’ll notice right off that this list is slightly different than the list of gifts that we’ve encountered so far. I think we’re on safe ground to say that a “revelation” could include things like prophecy, word or wisdom, or word of knowledge, since these are all three revelatory gifts.

1 Corinthians 14:6 (ESV) — Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?

I don’t think necessarily that Paul is mentioning everything here that happened in their public gathering. For instance, he doesn’t mention the Lord’s Supper here, yet we know from Chapter 11, that the Lord’s Table was part of their gathering. He doesn’t mention prayer in this verse, but he has mentioned it earlier in this chapter. He doesn’t mention scripture reading, but it was very likely a part of their gathering.

He does mention a hymn, and he mentioned “singing praise” back in vs. 15. The “lesson” is the same word for “teaching” back in verse 6. This indicates that not all of these speaking gifts for the church need be spontaneous (which is good for this teaching, since I think it’s much more coherent than it would have been if I had only taught this passage spontaneously this morning).

The “revelation” could mean something that was revealed spontaneously. Verse 30 indicates that this could be the case. However, this does not necessarily preclude a revelation that someone received at a different time from being shared in the public meeting on the Lord’s Day.

The first thing I want us to notice, though, is the diversity of gifts.

The broad participation of the church members

Second, we should pay attention to the broad participation of the church members. I don’t think we could read this passage and come away with the idea that the majority of the church is passive, while a few highly gifted leaders do all the gifts.

“When you come together, EACH ONE has…” (v. 26). Or later in verse 31.

  • 1 Corinthians 14:31 (ESV) — For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,

It is interesting that “leaders” are not mentioned by their name or office. But that may be expected since Paul is criticizing how many in Corinth were attempting to be treated as the “super-spiritual” ones by their particular givings, namely tongues.

The Regulative Principle and TCOF

When we discuss what things ought to happen in worship, we are talking about the different “elements” of worship. This passage gives us quite a few, but others are mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament.

Every church has to make some decisions about what to include in their worship liturgy. Different church traditions may emphasize different elements of worship. If we quickly tried to think through the elements of our service this morning, we might come up with a list like this:

  • singing hymns and spiritual songs
  • call to worship
  • prophecy
  • prayer
  • giving
  • greetings and fellowship
  • scripture reading
  • preaching

On various Sundays we may add things like:

  • the Lord’s Supper
  • Baptism
  • testimony

There are different ways of thinking about which elements should be included in worship. We would overall subscribe (along with most Reformed churches) with the “Regulative Principle” which says that we only do in worship what is prescribed in the Bible. It’s not up to our imagination. Here is what our Confession of faith says in chapter 24.

TCOF 24.1

… But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by him alone, and is so limited by his own revealed will that he may not be worshiped according to the imagination and devices of men nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures. (TCOF, 24.1)

Later in this section the Confession lists out the elements of worship which we see in scripture.

TCOF 24.5

The reading of the Scriptures, preaching, and hearing the Word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in our hearts to the Lord, as well as the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, the giving of tithes and offerings, expressions of fellowship and Christian affection, stirring up one another to love and good works, and the exercise of spiritual gifts are all parts of the religious worship of God. These are to be performed in obedience to him with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear. Moreover, solemn humbling with fastings and thanksgivings on special occasions ought to be used in a holy and religious manner. (TCOF, 24.5)

How does Cornerstone stack up?

So, based on what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14, how is Cornerstone doing? Certainly we have more of some that others, which I believe is acceptable. We haven’t had someone speak in tongues in a couple of years or more. But, we do make the prophecy microphone available for prophetic words and tongues every week.

Though much of our “service” is led by elders or other leaders who have planned or prepared, we still have a great deal of member participation in our worship gathering.

One way to consider this is remembering that our “gathering” includes more than the planned segments from 10:00-10:45 and 10:55-11:35. Much of the ministry that happens member to member happens before the official service starts, or during the break, or after the meeting.

We obviously have room to grow and increase in our using our spiritual gifts to build up the body, but a lot of good things are happening.

But this is a good reminder to us all that the reason we have the prophecy microphone down front is so that we can obey and put into practice what we read in this chapter of scripture.

One of the reasons Paul encourages this diversity is so that all may learn and all be encouraged (vs. 31).

II. Biblical Order in the Gathering

How that we’ve looked at the diversity and broad participation in worship, let’s consider the exhortations to have boundaries and order.

Freedom Compared to Worship in the Old Testament

Before we consider what is actually restricted and limited in worship, it’s helpful to remember that God knows how to be very specific about how we are to worship him. The Old Testament is filled with prescriptions for exactly when, where, and how Israel was to worship. This day of the year, only in this place. Only these specific persons from this particular family tree can do these specific actions with these particular implements. And everything and everyone had to be ceremonially clean and set apart for the task.

Worship in the New Testament is very different. The access to God has been provided by Christ fulfilling the ceremonial law.

Hebrews 10:19–22 (ESV) — Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

The fact that Jesus has opened the way for us to worship God freely does not mean that God’s word doesn’t regulate our right worship of him.

In our passage we’ll see three specific ways in which God puts guardrails on specific elements of worship.

The first is speaking in tongues in vv. 27-28.

Order and Speaking in Tongues

1 Corinthians 14:27–28 (ESV)

  • (27) If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret.
  • (28) But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.

Paul has addressed the appropriateness of speaking in tongues without interpretation earlier in Chapter 14, but here he makes it very clear what is and is not allowed in the public gathering. This is not just Paul’s preference, but a command.

First note, that Pauls says “if” any speak in a tongue. This is slightly different language than he uses for prophecy, “let two or three prophets speak” (v. 29).

Then Paul makes it clear that there are only to be two or three expressions of tongues, and there are not to be multiple persons speaking in tongues at the same time.

Finally, if there is not interpreter, the person with the tongue must keep silent, he must not share it publicly, but speak to himself and to God. Paul isn’t saying that the tongue itself is wrong, but that it’s not meant to be used publicly where it would be unintelligible.

These instructions from Paul make clear some very important aspects of tongues-speaking. Contrary to some of the Corinthian pagan worship rituals or modern day expressions of various charismatic groups, tongue-speaking is not some out-of-control ecstatic experience where the person has no control over what is happening or being spoken. The Holy Spirit gives the gift of tongues, but the individual Christian maintains the volition to speak it or to keep silent.

At Cornerstone

It is our practice at Cornerstone to allow a tongue at the prophecy microphone if there is someone to interpret. If someone comes to the microphone, we have a pastor there which asks why they’re coming. If someone says they have a tongue, we ask if they have the interpretation. If they don’t, we invite them to pray for the gift to interpret. We also might let the congregation know that someone has a tongue and ask if anyone believes that have the gift of interpretation.

Order and Prophecies

Paul also gives guidelines for the use of prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:29–33 (ESV)

  • (29) Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.
  • (30) If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent.
  • (31) For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged,
  • (32) and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.
  • (33) For God is not a God of confusion but of peace…

It’s not totally clear if “let two or three prophets speak” is a limit to the meeting or “at a time.” I lean toward “at a time” before the church weighs what is said. The main reason for my leaning toward this interpretation is vs. 31, “for you can all prophesy one by one…”

Verse 30 connects prophecy back to the word “revelation” which we say in vs. 26. This is not referring to the “Book of Revelation,” but to the fact that prophecy is speaking something that “God revealed” to you. If you remember from our earlier sermons, we gave Wayne Grudem’s definition a few times which is that prophecy is “speaking something that God spontaneously brings to mind.” One of the major differences between this and scripture is that in the giving and writing of scripture, God guarantees that the actual words are inspired. With NT prophecy, it appears that the person can misunderstand, or fail to communicate what God has revealed to them perfectly, and therefore the prophecy needs to be weighed.

We believe that the canon of scripture is closed. There will be no new scripture written. We are not to add to it, nor take away from it. However, Paul indicates for us here that this does not then mean that God does not still reveal truth to believers through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We do believe there is a difference between the prophetic ministry in the OT, and this prophetic ministry in the New Testament. We’ve taught on those differences in other contexts, and I won’t be delving into this too much today.

However, one major difference is right here in our text. In New Testament prophecy, the listeners are to “weigh what is said.” We would never have imagined that in the Old Testament, where to reject the word of the prophet was to reject the very words of God.

Weigh what is said

  • 1 Corinthians 14:29 (ESV) — Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.

The first interpretive decision we have to make is who the “others” are. The two main views are that “the others” could refer to “the other prophets” or “those listening,” that is, the congregation.

We believe it is referring to the congregation. For one, apart from vs. 32, we don’t see “prophet” used in this passage to define a group of people. Instead, there are people operating in the gift of prophecy, who have had something revealed to them which they share in the meeting. And, according to vs. 31, that group of people is not limited in the congregation.

What does it mean, then to “weigh what is said?” Basically, it means that the congregation judges, evaluates, and makes distinctions whether this prophetic word lines up with the revealed will of God in scripture.

For those who teach that New Testament Prophecy is a threat to scriptural authority this command to weigh what is said doesn’t make any sense. The typical argument would then state that the ministry of the prophecy was only needed until we had the completed New Testament. But, Paul doesn’t make that argument here. Instead, he believes the church does have what is necessary to weigh what is said to the church, by the scripture they do have AND by his own authoritative writings and commands.

Paul’s understanding of prophecy necessarily puts it under the authority of scripture.

1 Thessalonians 5:19–21 (ESV) — Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.

Just as with tongues, this is not some ecstatic, out-of-body experience for the one prophesying. They have the ability to “be silent” as well. There is not to be disorder and confusion, but

  • 1 Corinthians 14:32 (ESV) — and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.

A word about modern-day abuses of Spiritual Gifts

Depending on how much experience you’ve had in the charismatic movement or charismatic churches, you have likely witnessed or heard of spiritual gifts being exercised in very different ways that what Paul describes here.

I would simply point out that this is not a reason to become skeptical of spiritual gifts, or tongues, or prophecy themselves. Pauls solution in Corinth was not to forbid them, but to correct their use of them so that the church would be built up.

Order and Women Speaking in the Gathering

There is one more way in the text that Paul restricts their public gathering.

1 Corinthians 14:33–35 (ESV)

  • (33) … As in all the churches of the saints,
  • (34) the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.
  • (35) If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

This is a difficult passage to interpret. Commentators are all over the place in their explanations. I actually laughed at D.A. Carson’s remark on these various interpretations.

The solutions that have been advanced are, like devils in certain instances of demon possession, legion.

  • D. A. Carson, Showing the Spirit, 122.

The basic conundrum in the passage comes from the fact that Paul has already expressed that it is appropriate for women to pray and prophesy in the public meeting if their heads are covered (see 1 Cor 11:4-6). Even in the context here, he says “you can all prophesy one by one” and does not indicate in any way that he’s only referring to the men. (Remember that the Joel prophecy referenced by Peter at Pentecost says “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.”)

There are many questions we could ask of these verses:

  • How do these verses fit in the context of what Paul has been talking about?
  • What kind of speech is beign forbidden?
  • How is this connected to submission?
  • What submission is being spoken of here?
  • What is the Law that Paul refers to?

I’ll attempt to answer some of these, but as a spoiler, after reading a LOT of words on this issue, I think the ESV Study Bible basically got this right. Here is what it says:

Since Paul seems to permit wives to pray and prophesy (11:5, 13) as long as they do not dishonor their husbands by the way they dress (11:5), it is difficult to see this as an absolute prohibition (cf. Acts 2:17; 21:8–9). Paul is likely forbidding women to speak up and judge prophecies (this is the activity in the immediate context; cf. 1 Cor. 14:29), since such an activity would subvert male headship. Law also says. Paul is probably thinking of the woman’s creation “from” and “for” the man (see 11:8–9; Gen. 2:20–24), as well as a general pattern of male leadership among the people of Israel in the OT.

  • Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible, 2213.

First, the context. Paul is in the middle of talking about judging prophecies. It makes most sense to me that the kind of speech he is forbidding is women speaking up to judge prophecies.

Second, silence within this context does not necessarily mean refraining from any speech. We’ve already seen that those desiring to give a tongue, but have no interpreter are to keep silent in the church. Also if one is giving a prophecy and another person speaks up, the first prophet is to be silent. I don’t think Paul intends for us to think those individuals do not speak in the assembly at all.

Third, Paul tells us that the issue at stake is not merely order in the public gathering, but submission. Whatever kind of speech that he is forbidding seemed to be an indication that wives were not submitting to their husbands and this was coming out publicly in the meeting. Perhaps the wives were interrupting and criticizing a prophecy that their husband gave. We cannot know for sure. Needless to say, if Anne or Connie or Stacey jumped up in the middle of Daniel, Mike, or I preaching to contradict us, I don’t think the church would be very blessed by that. (That’s what Monday is for!)

We may have additional questions like: What about a woman without a husband? Is it appropriate for a woman to ask questions of elders or others outside the public meeting in a way that does not dishonor her husband?

I don’t think Paul’s command here should be taken to forbid such conversations among brothers and sisters in God’s church.

Finally, Paul doesn’t tell us what “Law” he is referring to, but in other writings he appeals to the created order from Genesis 2.

1 Timothy 2:11–13 (ESV) — Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve;

At Cornerstone, we do encourage women to prophesy, to pray, to read scripture, to give announcements, to participate on the worship team, and in many other ways. We do not, however, permit women to teach or exercise authority over men.

We have looked at biblically diverse participation in the gathering, as well as biblical order in the gathering. Let’s briefly hear Paul’s appeal to biblical authority in the gathering.

III. Biblical Authority in the Gathering

1 Corinthians 14:36–40 (ESV)

  • (36) Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached?
  • (37) If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.
  • (38) If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.
  • (39) So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
  • (40) But all things should be done decently and in order.

To be truly spiritual is to be under God’s authority

It seems that the prevalence of Spiritual Gifts in Corinth had made them arrogant, and made them question whether they really should submit to Paul’s Apostolic authority over them.

This is a good reminder that no amount of spiritual gifts, or religious experiences should deter us from relying on and obeying what has been revealed in sacred scripture. In fact, the more spiritual we are, the more we should love and obey the Word of God.

As a side note, I hope you noticed Paul’s self-awareness that he was writing authoritative scripture.

  • 1 Corinthians 14:37 (ESV) — … the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.

Paul began this portion of his letter appealing to the authority of Jesus as Lord.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:3 (ESV) — … no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

Now he ends this section in the same way, making the appeal that his letter to them is the “command of the Lord.” He is not giving them (or us) just an opinion; rather, he is writing binding, authoritative scripture. And this scripture is the judge of all truth claims or religious experiences.

A commitment to biblical authority should not lead one away from the right use of Spiritual Gifts

Most cessationists that I know or have read or listened to deny the validity of tongues and prophecy in order to preserve and protect the authority of scripture.

However, a high view of scripture should actually have the opposite effect. Paul began Chapter 14 like this:

  • 1 Corinthians 14:1 (ESV) — Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

Now he ends this section with a similar command.

  • 1 Corinthians 14:39 (ESV) — So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

It seems to me to be a strange way of honoring scripture to apply this by avoiding prophecy and forbidding tongues.

Conclusion / Application

Now that we have come to the conclusion of this section of Paul’s letter dealing with Spiritual Gifts, how should we respond? I’d like us to consider:

How do you personally approach the public gathering?

  • Is it to be entertained? Are you wanting to hear good music and an informative talk?
  • Is it just to see your friends?
  • Is it merely to be ministered to and to receive from the spiritual gifts of others?
  • Do we come prepared to minister to others?
  • Do we come with a hunger and eagerness to be used by God to build up the church?
  • Certainly, there are seasons in which we are spiritually needy and have very little to give to others, but this should not be our default posture all of the time.

1. Preparing and Participating

What do you do to prepare for the Sunday gathering?

  • Do you feed on scripture throughout the week so that you are full and overflowing with God’s truth and promises?
  • Do you pray for others throughout the week, and come with an eagerness to know if God has answered your prayers?
  • Do you pray for those who you expect to be leading or serving in different aspects of the meeting, like the elders and worship leaders or AV crew?
  • Do you get plenty of rest so that you’re ready to serve others, including your family on Sunday morning?
  • Do you ask God to give you speaking gifts such as prophecy, tongues, interpretation, words of wisdom or knowledge—along with the discernment of when and how to use them?
  • Do you pray that your gifts of service, helps, giving, administration, and mercy may be used that day to bless others?
  • Do we all embrace the great privilege that is ours as God’s children to help one another grow into maturity?

Ephesians 4:15–16 (ESV)

  • (15) Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
  • (16) from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Remember that among us there are speaking gifts and serving gifts. Both are necessary and used by God to build up the body.

2. Confession of Faith and Q&A this week

If you have questions about our Continuationist commitments, I invite you to join us this Wednesday evening at 7:30pm. We will be looking at Chapters 5 and 10 in the Trinity Confession of Faith, and Chapter 10 is about being Empowered By the Spirit. We’ll also have a short time of Q&A at the conclusion of that teaching. If you already have questions, it’s always great to know them ahead of time so that we know we’re answering what you’re asking.

3. Ask for Prayer / Pray together with others

Throughout the whole New Testament, there is a strong link between prayer, the laying on of hands, and the blessing and empowering of the Holy Spirit. Each Sunday our prayer team is down front to pray with individuals after our service. Avail yourself of this means of grace. There is a particular grace available to us when we ask for prayer. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Asking for prayer, and praying with others is a very specific way to humble ourselves before God. Asking for prayer is not limited to Sunday after the meeting. Pray in your home groups together, meet with someone for coffee and pray together. Invite others to your home and pray together.

Let us ask and seek and knock together, that the Lord might visit us through the renewing and empowering work of the Holy Spirit!

Closing Prayer

Thank you, Father, that you are both holy, majestic in power, and sovereign over all, and yet you are also near to your people through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Renew us. Fill us. Empower us for ministry. Give us boldness through your spirit to share the Gospel. Stir us up with spiritual gifts so that we all might learn and be encouraged. We ask this in Jesus’ name,


Addendum: When Christians Gather — References and comments

  • Acts 2:42-47 - Apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, prayer, sharing resources, praising God
  • Acts 3:31 - gathered for testimony and prayer
  • Acts 12:12 - gathered to pray for Peter
  • Acts 13:1-3 - worshiping, fasting, ordaining missionaries
  • Acts 13:44 - gathered to hear the word of the Lord (evangelistic meeting in the city)
  • Acts 16:13 - gathered at a place for prayer
  • Acts 17:11 - gathered in Berea to explain and examine the scriptures
  • Acts 18:11 - stayed 18 months teaching the word of God among them
  • Acts 19:5-6 - Ephesus - water baptism, baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, prophesying
  • Acts 20:7 - Troas - Gathered on the first day of the week to break bread (Lord’s Supper). Paul preached until midnight.
  • 1 Cor 11 - The Lord’s Supper
  • Eph 4:15 - speaking the truth in love
  • Eph 5:19 - addressing one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord, giving thanks
  • 1 Thess 5:16-21 - rejoice, pray, give thanks, do not despise prophecies, test everything, hold fast to what is good.
  • 1 Thess 5:26 - greet with a holy kiss
  • 1 Tim 2 - supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings
  • 1 Tim 4:13 - public reading of scripture, exhortation, teaching
  • 2 Tim 3:16 - teaching, reproof, correction, training
  • 2 Tim 4:2 - preach, reprove, rebuke, exhort
  • 1 Pet 4:10-12 - use your gifts - speaking, serving

Recent Messages

Here are some other recent messages.

Cornerstone Fellowship Church logo

We are a church built on the Bible, guided and empowered by the Spirit, striving to make disciples, and pursuing holiness in the context of robust biblical relationships.

Email Updates & Newsletter

Times & Location

10am on Sundays

401 Upchurch St, Apex, NC 27502

© 2024 Cornerstone Fellowship Church of Apex