Appropriating the Means of Grace
The means of grace highlight the necessity of the church in the Christian life. The Lord has not designed us to live the Christian life alone. It has been remarked that believers are like hot coals. Alone they go out, but together they fan into a flame. Public worship is the place where we enter into the special presence of the omnipresent God (Pss. 113:4; 139:7). When the Father gathers His family together, Christ speaks to them through the preaching of the Word (Rom. 10:11–17; Eph. 2:17) as we offer our prayers by the Spirit and enjoy God’s presence in the sacraments. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves (Heb. 10:25) means more than simply being with other Christians. The public assemblies of the church under its officers are where we receive means to sustain us in salvation. We must appropriate and use the means of grace by faith, preparing ourselves to receive them and studying their nature and use from Scripture.