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WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN A NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH?

Discussion in 'The Church Forum' started by marksman, May 5, 2020.

  1. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    You would? This is what it involves.

    NUMBER ONE. Acts 2. men and brethren what shall we do. Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sin and you shall receive the holy spirit.

    In other words, there is an entrance fee. It starts with repentance to deal with sin in your life. If you are an unbeliever, you will have sin so starting with repentance is essential as it means that is dealt with. Once you have repented, you can then have it washed away through baptism. That is total immersion in water.

    Those two things open the door to the Holy Spirit of God to come into your life and take over. He will give you the power to live a sanctified and separated life.

    NUMBER TWO. You have repented, been baptized and received the Holy Spirit, what comes next. You have become part of God's ecclesia, God's family, so you start meeting together and living like a family. You don't leave your existing family. What you do is meet from house to house each day with others who are part of God's ecclesia and take part in four things.

    The first is teaching. We want you to know just how you live as a new believer so we will teach you how that is done. Those that have been with Jesus will teach you.

    The second is fellowship. That is an important part of your growth as you can bounce things off each other and let everyone know how you are going on a day to day basis. You will learn a lot by doing this. And it helps to get to know each other in a more intimate way.

    The third is eating together. Have a meal when you meet together. Everyone brings something to contribute to a meal. Having a meal is good because it opens the door to conversation.

    The fourth thing is to pray together. Help one another by bearing one another's burdens in prayer. You will all have different things to deal with on a day to day basis so prayer is one way you can help each other overcome the issues you are confronted with.
     
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  2. Windmillcharge

    Windmillcharge Well-Known Member

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    And everything is based solely on the account of one church in the NT, we do not know how the other churches behaved, other that some of them like churches today behaved very badly.

    The way the NT is written is not as a manual how to do church rather it is how to be a Christian and how not to do church.
     
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  3. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    Thank you for those thoughts. When you say everything, what do you have in mind?

    What I have posted is no more than an introduction which I intend to build on, bearing in mind I have spent two years studying various facets of the New Testament Church (NTC) so I will build line upon line.
     
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  4. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    The first church -- immediately after Pentecost -- is the model church. What other churches did or did not do has no bearing on the subject. Those with discernment can see exactly what a New Testament church is supposed to be by studying Acts 2 (and also the book of Acts), given the fact that the Holy Spirit caused Luke to record that which needed to be recorded.
    Sorry but you are seriously mistaken. Among other things, the New Testament was in fact written to provide a *manual* to future churches as to how to organize and conduct themselves.

    Just as God gave the Israelites and the nation of Israel a *manual* to determine how they should direct themselves, the Holy Spirit gave the NT for that purpose to the Church (and local churches).

    So what we find in Acts 2 is how God establishes churches.
    1. The Gospel is preached to all and sundry in the power of the Holy Spirit.
    2. Sinners are converted and baptized immediately.
    3. Believers then continue steadfastly in (1) receiving doctrine from the NT, (2) they fellowship together, (3) they observe the Lord's Supper regularly, and (4) they meet for corporate prayers.
    4. The Christians are in perfect harmony, and share their material possession with others with great generosity and unselfishness.
    5. We also see in Acts that this church had elders and deacons, and looked after widows (and orphans).
    6. We also see that they had missionaries going out with the Gospel and establishing churches.
     
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  5. Marymog

    Marymog Well-Known Member

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    Hi Marksman,

    Interesting post. I think I get the gist of what you are saying.....:cool:

    I am confused about the above point. Maybe you can clarify? How can we today, 2000 years later, be taught by those that have been with Jesus since they are all dead?

    Mary
     
  6. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    Thank you for your opinion. As always you are right and we are wrong.
     
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  7. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    it is in a thing called the New Testament.
     
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  8. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    As I took the time to study the NTC in-depth and discussed it with all and sundry, many people were confused as to what I was talking about. For them, Christianity was all about Sunday morning meetings in a building and an occasional meeting during the week. In one church (Baptist) the minister actually gave an excellent series of talks from Acts 2. I told him I thought they were great (they were as he chose the biblical interpretation, not the Baptist one). I asked him what we were going to do to follow up on the series and he said nothing. You could have blown me down with a feather. After such a great and biblical series and we were going to do nothing.

    A few months later he resigned from the church and we never saw him again.

    Acts 2 46-48 does throw a lot of people and most churches ignore it in preference to denomination doctrine and experience. A couple of years ago I read about a church in India of approx 100,000 members. They had no building to meet in as they didn't need one because they all met in homes.
    A church of that magnitude that met in homes would have been so exciting as the dialogue and fellowship must have been extraordinary. They were a true Acts church.

    Some people contest that the Acts church was not the pattern church. it was only one specific example of the church. There is no doubt it was quite unique in one sense as all startups are unique in one sense. Often new businesses have their greatest growth when the founder of the business is in charge. When he retires and the son takes over, the initial enthusiasm wanes a bit and business can decline. When he retires and the grandson takes over, very often that is when the business fails as the grandson does not have the same passion for the business as the grandfather did.

    In many ways, the church is no different. In my locality, I have seen churches come and go depending on who was in charge and their passion for it.

    I have noticed that churches that change their ministers regularly rarely grow beyond a certain point. As they change it might go up or down a few because of the personality of the minister but rarely is their exponential growth. In these situations, there is no concept of the church as a family, just a group of people that want to keep the denominational name alive.

    The NTC was atypical from the point of view that it was not a Christian church. It was a branch of Judaism that was known as "The Way." As a result, they met on Saturday because being Jews they would work on Sunday and they met daily from house to house for their fellowship, teaching, prayer, and meals together. The breaking of bread had nothing at all to do with Communion/Lord's Table/Eucharist/etc. That was introduced later by the catholic church and it continued in the protestant church at the Reformation.

    It is important to realize that having meals was a big thing in the Jewish way of life. One might say, any excuse for a party. That is one of the reasons why important dates in the Jewish calendar were celebrated with a meal as in the Passover, Sukkur, Tabernacles, Yom Kippur, Hannukah etc.

    In one sense the NTC was started at the Passover meal just before Jesus was being crucified because he said he was creating a New Covenant in his blood to replace the Old which they had been living under which was celebrated with the blood of animals. The New Covenant came about when he shed his blood for us on the cross.

    At the Passover meal, he told them that they no longer needed to celebrate the Old Covenant. When they met together for Passover, they were to celebrate the New Covenant in his blood as he was the long-awaited for Messiah. How often did they do that? Once a year, not once a week or once a day as Catholics do.

    Although they were the first expression of the church, they didn't suddenly drop all their Jewish celebrations and invent so-called Christian ones. This is evident by the fact that the Jewish church in Acts 15 was still demanding that those who joined them were circumcised, which was a Jewish requirement.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  9. Marymog

    Marymog Well-Known Member

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    Soooooo we are not really being taught by those that have been with Jesus. We are being taught by men who has their interpretation of what was taught by those that have been with Jesus.

    At first I thought maybe you were promoting Apostolic Succession......now I see you are not.
     
  10. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Paul only knew Jesus spiritually...a divine visitation. And we are NOT to know any man according to the flesh. So then we can speak with witnesses of Christ. Jesus is still alive and still visits people.
     
  11. Stan B

    Stan B Well-Known Member

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    Enoch>2. Sinners are converted and baptized immediately.

    That is not how the very early church operated, nor is it Scriptural. There is no NT edict requiring immediate baptism! From the very Early Church Fathers, the practices of the early church. Since they had no Bibles to study, they made sure the 'catechumen' (candidate) knew what they were undertaking, to that end. This is before Rome introduced their hocus pocus pagan magic sprinkle stuff for babies.

    1. They were required to take a six-month course learning about what they were undertaking;

    2. At the time of their baptism, they were required to recite the creed, and give an account of their beliefs before they were emersed the waters of baptism.

    Enoch >> 3. (3) they observe the Lord's Supper regularly . .

    In the very early church, it was commonplace to have bread and wine at home along with their evening meals.

    Enoch >> 4. The Christians are in perfect harmony, and share their material possession with others with great generosity and unselfishness.

    I suppose the communist system worked within their commune, but cultures differ. As I look around me, I would be hard-pressed to find anyone around who isn't at least a millionaire! So where I give tends to harmonize with my culture.

    Enoch >> 5. We also see in Acts that this church had elders and deacons,

    I am sure the growing church in Iran, who are confined to secret house churches, don't have deacons and elders!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
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  12. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Stan but you are seriously mistaken. The Great Commission given by Christ makes it crystal clear that those who believe are immediately baptized. And we see this throughout the book of Acts. So in order to refute what you have said, let's go back to Acts (but first to the words of Christ).

    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Mt 28:19)

    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.(Mk 16:15,16)

    CHRISTIAN BAPTISM ON THE SAME DAY OR SHORTLY THEREAFTER

    Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)

    But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)

    And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. (Acts 8:36-38)

    And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink... [followed by the visit of Ananias] And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. (Acts 9:9,18)

    Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Acts 10:47,48)

    You should go through the book of Acts, and see that this is the exact pattern of Christian baptism. No delays and no arguments. Even though Simon the Sorcerer made a false profession, he too was baptized, then exposed by Peter.
     
  13. Stan B

    Stan B Well-Known Member

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    Repentance and belief is necessary for salvation, but the Bible never says baptism is necessary for salvation, any more that it was necessary for the thief on the cross.
     
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  14. Marymog

    Marymog Well-Known Member

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    Are you suggesting that when Jesus visits people TODAY he is enlightening them about things that he didn’t enlighten the Apostles about?
     
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  15. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Of course. The apostles weren't ready at the time...and they learned many things subsequently that are not recorded in the gospels or epistles.

    Jesus said that the Spirit would come to teach us all things. And that is very true.
     
  16. Marymog

    Marymog Well-Known Member

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    Ummmm......Not true. He was speaking to the Apostles when he said: He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

    He didn’t say the spirit will come and teach ALL Christians for all eternity. That makes no sense.

    Thank you for your time.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  17. Marymog

    Marymog Well-Known Member

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    Are you referring to John 21:25?
     
  18. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    And I guess by that remark, no one else does. Otherwise known as self-righteousness.
     
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  19. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    We are being taught by men who has their interpretation. By men who HAVE their interpretation.

    At the Passover meal, the eldest male would recite the deliverance from Egypt by the children of Israel, every year. They did not have newspapers, TV and radio in those days, and even if they did, they would still recite the story every year

    That is how the Jews learned. By repetition. The New Testament is nothing more than a book that repeats what was passed on by the disciples. The basic essentials never change. What changes is people's interpretation of it.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  20. Stan B

    Stan B Well-Known Member

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    I think the relevant Scripture in this regard, was given by John before the crucifixion:

    "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." John 16:13

    I believe that the promise of the Holy Spirit who was about to come, would guide us in all truth as we study Scripture.
     
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