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THERE AM I
'What an awesome place this is! This is nothing else than the house of God! This is the gate of heaven!' Jacob's words, spoken in the cool stillness of a Bethel morning convey the patriarch's wonder at the realisation that he had spent a night in the presence of God. It is a central conviction of this book that his words apply with equal force to the 'house of God' in this dispensation - 'which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth' (1 Tim. 3:15). This book provides a careful, contextual examination of the key passages of Scripture that outline the purpose, pattern, and practice of a New Testament assembly. It demonstrates from Scripture that the assembly belongs to God and is for God, and emphasises its unique significance. It considers a range of important subjects, including the Lord's Supper, headship, the exercise of gift and the earning of reward, and rule in the assembly. This book provides a lucid overview of a subject that must be of vital importance for every believer who wants to be where the Lord is.
About the year AD 30 the Saviour sat by Jacob's well, in the dusty heat of a Samaritan afternoon. With none of His disciples nearby He engaged in conversation with a sinful woman whose physical thirst was far surpassed by a deep spiritual longing. As she listened to the Man Whom she would shortly recognise as the Christ, she heard the Saviour speak of the Father's desire for true worshippers who would worship Him in spirit and in truth. Among the many goals encompassed in God's purpose for His people, there is nothing that rises higher than this. We are called to work, to watch, and to wait, but above all we are called to be worshippers of our God. The chapters of this book consider the principles and pattern of Scripture in order to help us understand how we can ensure that God does not seek our worship in vain.
Mark Sweetnam is in fellowship in the assembly at Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland. He is an Assistant Professor of English with Digital Humanities in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin, specialising in seventeenth-century literature and the history of evangelicalism. He is the author of a number of books including Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth: God's Word in Human History (published by John Ritchie), The Dispensations: God's Plan for the Ages, Worship: The Christian's Highest Calling, and To the Day of Eternity: Future Events in Bible Prophecy, There Am I: The Purpose and Pattern of the New Testament Church (published by Scripture Teaching Library).