Tag: Ecclesiology

Ecclesiology (Part five)

ECCLESIOLOGY (Part five)

What Have We Learned?

INTRO: Ecclesiology is the study of the Church, The Early Church. GOD STILL WORKS THROUGH THE LOCAL CHURCH. THE CHURCH IS NOT A SOCIAL CLUB BUT IS HERE TO FULFILL THE WILL OF GOD.

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

God’s will:

2Pe 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

THE BIBLE IS OUR HANDBOOK.

Rev 21:5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

I.) THE WORK OF THE CHURCH IS TO:

a.) GLORIFY GOD. (Do I glorify God?)

Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Eph 3:21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Psa 29:2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Rom 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

b.) EVANGELIZE THE WORLD. (Am I a one on one evangelist?)

Act 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

God gave me the gift of the Holy Spirit for my EMPLOYMENT and NOT MY ENJOYMENT.

c.) INSTRUCT BELIEVERS (Do I try to teach others what I know of the Bible?)

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

This is done in our Sunday Schools, our Teen Church, our Wensday Night Services, our Bible Colleges, etc.

d.) BAPTIZE NEW CONVERTS. ( Do I partake in the Baptisms)

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

Notice this verse says “NAME” not “names”.

THE APOSTLE PETER SAID:

Act 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

e.) ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER. (Am I an encourager or a discourager? How does my own life reflect my salvation?)

1Th 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Rom 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

Never Discourage another saint of God.

f.) SHOW THE WORLD THE GOODNESS OF GOD. (Do I show the World the goodness of God?)

2Th 1:11  Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Th 1:12  That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Matthew Wrote:

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

h.) REFRAIN THE WORLD FROM SIN. (Do I hate sin and keep my life as clean as possible?}

2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

i.) LOVE THE LORD FERVENTLY. (Do I really love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, body, and soul?)

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

If the first love of the Church is not Jesus Christ then, well these words speak for themselves.

A good Bible story from Luke:

Luk 10:38  Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
Luk 10:39  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
Luk 10:40  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
Luk 10:41  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Luk 10:42  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

From the Apostle Paul:

Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Php 3:16  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

II.) THE JUDGEMENT OF THE CHURCH:

1Pe 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
1Pe 4:19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

a.) JUDGED ON THE SOULS THAT HAVE BEEN LED TO THE LORD. (Do I judge that new born Christian?)

Pro 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

b.) JUDGED ON HOW WE HAVE USED THE GIFTS GOD HAS GIVEN. (How well do I use my talent for the work of God?)

Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Mat 25:16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
Mat 25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
Mat 25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Mat 25:20  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:22  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
Mat 25:23  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Mat 25:25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
Mat 25:26  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Bible says:

Luk 12:47  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Luk 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

c.) JUDGED ON HOW WE HAVE TREATED OTHER CHRISTIANS.(How well do I treat my brothers and sisters in Christ?)

Mat 10:41  He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

The Lord Jesus Said:

Mat 5:23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Jesus also said:

Mat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Mat 18:18  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

d.) JUDGED ON IF WE HAVE SUFFERED FOR THE LORD. (Have I suffered in any way for the Lord, is my light dim?)

Mat 5:10  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Mat 5:13  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

e.) JUDGED ON HOW WE HAVE SPENT OUR TIME.(If I give my tithe in money, do I give my tithe in my time remembering that an offering is an offering only if it is above my tithe?)

Col 4:5  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Eph 5:14  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Eph 5:16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Eph 5:17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Though Christ knows we must rest awhile:

Mar 6:31  And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

f.) JUDGED ON HOW WELL WE HAVE SUPPORTED OUR CHURCH.( How well do I support all the functions of the Church I attend?)

Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Heb 10:24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

WE MUST REMEMBER THERE ARE MORE THAN ONE BOOK AT THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST:

Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

AND WE WILL FACE OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AT HIS JUDGEMENT SEAT:

2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2Co 5:11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

AGAIN:

Rom 14:10  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

A God that knows how many hairs are growing on every one of His children’s heads surely knows what we are doing every minute of the day. Does He have that rod of iron ready to beat on us? No! He tells us all these things in Love and He wants the best out of each and every one of us. He wants to reward all His children!

Let’s pray!

Ecclesiology (Part four)

ECCLESIOLOGY (Part four)

Intro: Ecclesiology is the Doctrine of the Church. This lesson is about the Church at Corinth. The Gospel spreads into what is now Greece. The city of Corinth was a large city of about 200,000 people even at this time of the Apostle Paul. Corinth was a wicked city full of wealth and luxury. They had no need for anything. It is easy to see why this church struggled with numerical growth but more important SPIRITUAL GROWTH. THIS CHURCH WAS KNOWN FOR IT’S PROBLEMS.

But Our Lord Jesus did say:

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

a.) This church was founded by the Apostle Paul on his second missionary journey.

Act 18:1  After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

  b.) The Apostle Paul was aided by Aquila and Priscilla.

Act 18:2  And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
Act 18:3  And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

Notice all Jews were rejected from Rome at this time by Claudius.

Claudius (lame). Fourth Roman emperor, reigned from 41 to 54 A.D. He was nominated to the supreme power, mainly through the influence of Herod Agrippa the First. In the reign of Claudius, there were several famines, arising from unfavorable harvests, and one such occurred in Palestine and Syria.

Act 11:28  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
Act 11:29  Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
Act 11:30  Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Claudius was induced by a tumult of the Jews in Rome to expel them from the city. The date of this event is uncertain. After a weak and foolish reign, he was poisoned by his fourth wife, Agrippina, the mother of Nero, October 13, A.D. 54.

  c.) The Apostle Paul PREACHED In the Jewish synagogue.

Act 18:4  And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

God said:

Act 5:19  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
Act 5:20  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

But we are not to JUDGE others:

Mat 7:1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

again:

Luk 6:36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Luk 6:37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

  d.) The Apostle Paul led a notable person to the Lord.

Act 18:8  And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
Act 18:9  Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

We cannot be intimidated by those who rule over us. They need the Gospel of Jesus Christ also.

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

For All Have Sinned:

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

  e.) The Apostle Paul PASTORED this church for 18 months.

Act 18:11  And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

  f.) The Apostle Paul got fed up with this church.

Act 18:6  And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

Paul said (I’ll just go to the HEATHEN).

Gal 1:16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

Gal 2:9  And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

At this time a HEATHEN was anyone that was not a JEW.

  g.) THIS CHURCH EXPERIENCED TOTAL CONFUSION. PAUL WROTE TWO LETTERS BACK TO THIS CHURCH TO STRAIGHTEN THEM OUT. I & II CORINTHIANS. NOW PART OF OUR BIBLE SO WE CAN LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES.

     1.) They were CONFUSED on LEADERSHIP:

1Co 1:12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1Co 1:13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1Co 1:14  I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
1Co 1:15  Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

There is only one LEADER OF THE CHURCH.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

We worship The Almighty Living God and NOT SOME PERSONALITY BEHIND SOME PULPIT.

     2.) They were confused about BAPTISM.

1Co 1:17  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

They were more concerned about WORKS AND RITUALS TO BE SAVED.

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

     3.) They were confused about LOVE:

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

They were CARNAL NOT SPIRITUAL.

1Th 4:9  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

     4.) JUDGING EACH OTHER caused confusion.

1Co 4:3  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
1Co 4:4  For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
1Co 4:5  Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

God did not call us to be a Judge but to be a WITNESS.

Joh 13:15  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

1Pe 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

     5.) They were confused about IMMORALITY.

1Co 5:1  It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

See the word “commonly”. Everyone knew what was happening and did nothing.

1Co 7:37  Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

     6.) Taking each other to court in the Secular World caused confusion.

1Co 6:1  Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
1Co 6:2  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
1Co 6:4  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
1Co 6:5  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
1Co 6:6  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
1Co 6:7  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
1Co 6:8  Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

Jesus Said:

Mat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Mat 18:18  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

     7.) They were confused about MARRIAGE.

1Co 7:1  Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
1Co 7:2  Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
1Co 7:3  Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
1Co 7:4  The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
1Co 7:5  Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
1Co 7:6  But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
1Co 7:7  For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
1Co 7:8  I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
1Co 7:9  But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
1Co 7:10  And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
1Co 7:11  But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
1Co 7:12  But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
1Co 7:13  And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
1Co 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
1Co 7:15  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
1Co 7:16  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
1Co 7:17  But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

     8.) They were confused about CHRISTIAN LIBERTY.

1Co 8:9  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

We are saved by GRACE:

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Our Liberty:

Rom 8:21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Gal 2:4  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Gal 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

1Pe 2:16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

But we Should not:

Rom 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

     9.) They were confused about THE WORD OF GOD.

1Co 10:1  Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1Co 10:2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1Co 10:3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1Co 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
1Co 10:5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1Co 10:6  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

     10.) They were confused about COMMUNION.

1Co 11:20  When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
1Co 11:21  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
1Co 11:22  What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
1Co 11:23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1Co 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
1Co 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
1Co 11:33  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
1Co 11:34  And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

     11.) They were confused about SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

1Co 12:1 through 1Co14:40

Just Believe:

Rev 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

     12.) They were confused about the RESURRECTION.

1Co 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1Co 15:9  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co 15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1Co 15:11  Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
1Co 15:12  Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1Co 15:14  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1Co 15:15  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
1Co 15:16  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1Co 15:19  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1Co 15:20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

     13.) They were confused about GIVING.

1Co 16:2  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

This money was to be collected on Sunday the Day of The Lord. (The Day the Lord Arose from that borrowed tomb. He didn’t need it for very long).
 
The TITHE Is still 10% but until you give more than 10% you have not made an OFFERING TO GOD.

Let’s pray!

Ecclesiology (Part Three)

ECCLESIOLOGY (Part three)

INTRO: God works through the local church.

Heb 12:22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

The church is called out of this worldly system:

Rom 1:3  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Rom 1:5  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Rom 1:6  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

God still blesses the church and blesses through the church:

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Jas 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The Gospel still spreads through the persecution of the church.

I.)  THE CHURCH AT THESSALONICA:
 
    a.) This Church was founded by the Apostle Paul on his second missionary journey.

Act 17:1  Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
Act 17:2  And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Act 17:3  Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

When the Apostle Paul went to a new city and found a synagogue he would if allowed go into that synagogue and with their own scrolls of the old testament he would preach to them Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Isa 48:12  Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
Isa 48:13  Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
Isa 48:14  All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.
Isa 48:15  I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
Isa 48:16  Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.
Isa 48:17  Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
Isa 48:18  O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

   b.) There was a great harvest of souls.

Act 17:4  And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

We must remember a DEVOUT GREEK would have been one who was ingrained in Greek Mythology. For them too come to Christ was a truly the miracle of salvation.

   c.) They began to accuse the Apostle Paul.

Act 17:5  But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
Act 17:6  And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

Aren’t you glad that the Gospel of Jesus Christ STILL TURNS THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN. HE TURNED MY LIFE AROUND.

    d.) They took a stand AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.

Act 17:7  Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
Act 17:8  And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.

The Bible also says:

Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

This could happen in America and any other nation one day soon. The Bible says:

Pro 20:18  Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

   e.) The Apostle Paul wrote two back to this church.

1Th 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 1:2  We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
1Th 1:3  Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1Th 1:4  Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
1Th 1:5  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

2Th 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th 1:2  Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

   f.) This church had a reputation for being witnesses, EVANGELIZING.

1Th 1:7  So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
1Th 1:8  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

2Ti 1:8  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

   g.) The Apostle Paul called Timothy to be Pastor of this church.

1Th 3:1  Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
1Th 3:2  And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
1Th 3:3  That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

You can also see from these words of Paul that we will all SUFFER AFFLICTIONS as did Paul.

   h.) There were some LAZY MEMBERS in this Church.

2Th 3:9  Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
2Th 3:10  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

This came to man from God way back in Genesis:

Gen 3:17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

You know if someone does not eat they will soon die.

   i.) There were some BUSYBODIES in this Church.

2Th 3:11  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

This is robbing from God.

1Pe 4:14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

   j.) There were some disobedient people in this church.

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

We must be forgiving. We must remember there is no perfect church and that ONLY JESUS CHRIST IS PERFECT.

Mat 5:23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

   k.) THE LESSONS LEARNED:

     1.) THERE IS NO PERFECT CHURCH, THEY ALL HAVE FLAWS.

     2.) LOVE EVEN THE WRONG DOERS.

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

     3.) BE SEPARATE:

2Th 3:5  And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
2Th 3:6  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

II.) THE CHURCH AT BEREA:

Berea was a large city in Macedonia.

Act 17:10  And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

   a.) This was a great church but WITHOUT RECOGNITION.

We do not have to be RECOGNIZED BY MAN TO BE A SUCCESS WITH GOD.

Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

    b.) They lived in a PURE FASHION.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

More noble means they had INTEGRITY.

Psa 26:11  But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.

   c.) They were NOT NEGATIVE MINDED.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, [in that they received the word with all readiness of mind], and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

They had a ready mind

The Bible says:

Pro 2:1  My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
Pro 2:2  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Pro 2:3  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
Pro 2:4  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Pro 2:5  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Pro 2:6  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

   d.) They STAYED IN THE WORD.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and [searched the scriptures daily], whether those things were so.

They searched the scriptures dailey

The Bible says:

2Pe 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

   e.) THE LESSONS LEARNED:
 
     1.) ALL PHYSICAL THINGS ARE TEMPORARY.

The city of Berea nor the Church at Berea exist anymore.

2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

     2.) THOSE THAT ARE TRUELY GREAT DO NOT SEEK RECOGNITION.

John the Baptist had these words:

Joh 3:27  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Joh 3:28  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
Joh 3:29  He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.
Joh 3:31  He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

2Co 4:5  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1Co 10:32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

     3.) YOU WILL NEVER AMOUNT TO MUCH UNLESS YOU STAY IN THE WORD.

Jesus Christ said:

Joh 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Paul wrote:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

again:

Col 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Col 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Col 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Let’s pray for the Church!

Ecclesiology (Part Two)

ECCLESIOLOGY (Part two)

INTRO: In Review, Ecclesiology is the study of the Church of the Living God, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.

The Church was BIRTHED in Jerusalem. The Church was SPREAD THROUGH THE PERSECUTION OF THE SAINTS OF GOD. The CHURCH must be a PREACHING CHURCH:

JESUS CHRIST HAS THESE WORDS FOR US ALL.

Luk 14:23  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

AND WE MUST BE FRIENDLY TO ALL LOST BUT NOT TO CONFORM TO THEIR WAYS.

Mar 5:19  Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I.) The Church at ICONIUM:

This area was later called Konia and is now in modern day TURKEY. The Gospel is spreading.

Act 14:1  And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

There are some things that God hates, and there are some things that are abomination to Our Lord God. Listen to what He says and see what happened at this Church.

Pro 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

We must notice that (he that soweth discord among the brethren) is number seven and is an abomination to the Lord.

   a.) This Church was a SOUL WINNING CHURCH:

Act 14:1  And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, [that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed].

Our Lord God has these words for us:

Pro 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. 

We should GO OUT LOOKING FOR THE WOUNDED, THAT NONE BE LEFT BEHIND:

Eze 39:28  Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.

   b.) This Church took a public stand:

Act 14:2  But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
Act 14:3  Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

No Matter What Others May Say, We Have This Truth Of God:

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

   c.) There were great signs and wonders:

Act 14:3  Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and [granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands].

In our day we can be Disciples but The Apostles of Jesus though also Disciples were granted powers that none since them have NOR CAN HAVE!

Mat 10:1  And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Mat 10:2  Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Mat 10:3  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Mat 10:4  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

There are no more Apostles:

Act 1:15  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
Act 1:16  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Act 1:17  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
Act 1:18  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
Act 1:19  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
Act 1:20  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
Act 1:21  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Act 1:22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Act 1:23  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
Act 1:24  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
Act 1:25  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Act 1:26  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

There are none that fit this description in our day. The Apostle John had these words for us.

1Jn 1:1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
1Jn 1:2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
1Jn 1:3  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

You can see there ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BE ANY APOSTLES IN OUR DAY AND THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH APOSTLETIC POWERS. These men touched Jesus Christ. Jesus touches US ALL BUT WE CANNOT  TOUCH HIM UNTIL WE GET TO HEAVEN.

   d.) There is a reason for the bad things that happen to us all:

Act 14:4  But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
Act 14:5  And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
Act 14:6  They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
Act 14:7  And there they preached the gospel.

Notice through persecution of the saints of God, the Gospel was preached to others exactly when God wanted it to be Preached. God’s will was done.

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

   e.) The lessons we can learn from this Church:

(1) The Bible gives us EXAMPLES to learn by.

(2) It is BETTER TO BE SOUL WINNERS.

We cannot be ASHAMED TO BE A CHRISTIAN:

Mar 8:38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Rom 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

AND BLESSINGS COME TO THE FAITHFUL:

Pro 28:20  A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

Rev 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

II.) The Church at LYSTRA:

This was a ROMAN COLONY. This also is now in Modern Turkey. A Roman Colony was actually people that were transplanted from Rome itself. A Roman detachment would be assigned for their protection. As in any military town there are usually many evils and Lystra was an evil city. THESE PEOPLE WERE CONFUSED.

Act 14:6  They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:

   a.) This Church was organized by the Apostle Paul:

Act 14:12  And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.

   b.) This Church was a REJOICING Church:

Act 14:8  And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
Act 14:9  The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
Act 14:10  Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

God says:

Psa 47:1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Rejoicing in the Lord may not mean we are saved but GOD SAYS IT’S OK TO REJOICE AND EVEN COMMANDS IT.

Psa 98:4  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
Psa 98:5  Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
Psa 98:6  With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

COMPARE THESE VERSES:

Isa 55:12  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Luk 19:37  And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
Luk 19:38  Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
Luk 19:39  And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

AND JESUS SAID:

Luk 19:40  And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

   c.) Society is IGNORANT OF SPIRITUAL TRUTH:

Act 14:12  And [they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius], because he was the chief speaker.

These people thought Paul and Barnabas were Mythical gods. Notice that this belief came from and continues to come from those that WORSHIP THE HOST OF HEAVEN. (The muslim worship Allah, really the old moon god)(This comes from the days of Nimrod and The Tower of Babel).

Proof:

Deu 4:19  And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

Deu 17:2  If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
Deu 17:3  And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
Deu 17:4  And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:

Jer 8:2  And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

God will still give them up:

Act 7:42  Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?

   d.) THERE ARE DIFFERENCES IN HEARING:

Act 14:11  And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.

PAUL WAS PREACHING JESUS CHRIST, GOD IN THE FLESH. THESE PEOPLE WERE SO CONFUSED THEY THOUGHT PAUL AND BARNABUS WERE gods COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN. THEY DID NOT LISTEN TO WHAT PAUL PREACHED.

   e.) Most people are FICKLE:

Act 14:11  And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, [The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men].

IN THIS VERSE THESE PEOPLE HAD SUCH A HIGH OPINION OF PAUL THEY CALLED HIM A god.

Act 14:19  And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

IN THIS VERSE THESE SAME PEOPLE HAD STONED PAUL AND LEFT HIM FOR DEAD.

   f.) The Lessons we can learn from this church.

(1) If you are in the WILL OF GOD, YOU CAN EXPECT A FIGHT WITH THE DEVIL.

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

(2) DON’T FOCUS ON PEOPLE BUT ON GOD!

Psa 107:39  Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.

Psa 119:133  Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
Psa 119:134  Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.
Psa 119:135  Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.
Psa 119:136  Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

III.) The Church at PHILIPPI:

Act 16:11  Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;
Act 16:12  And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

The Macedonia call from The Holy Spirit to Paul:

Act 16:9  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Act 16:10  And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

We must follow the lead of The Holy Ghost.

THERE WAS NO JEWISH SYNAGOGUE IN PHILIPPI.

   a.) This Church was organized in the HOUSE OF LYDIA. SHE IS THE FIRST PERSON IN THE BIBLE THAT WAS SAVED IN WHAT WE NOW CALL EUROPE. The Gospel continues to spread around the world.

Act 16:14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
Act 16:15  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

   b.) Paul exposed the SOOTHSAYERS IN THIS CITY:

Act 16:16  And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Act 16:17  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Act 16:18  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Act 16:19  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Act 16:20  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
Act 16:21  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Act 16:22  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Act 16:23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Act 16:24  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

GOD HAS THESE WORDS:

Mic 5:12  And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:

   c.) REMEMBER THE EARTHQUAKES:

Act 16:25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Act 16:26  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Act 16:27  And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Act 16:28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Act 16:29  Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

ISAIAH HAS THESE WORDS:

Isa 29:5  Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
Isa 29:6  Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

REMEMBER THE CROSS ON CALVARY:

Mat 27:50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
Mat 27:51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
Mat 27:52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
Mat 27:53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Mat 27:54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

REMEMBER THE DAY OF RESURRECTION:

Mat 28:1  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Mat 28:2  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

THERE ARE FIVE EARTHQUAKES IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

FIVE IS THE NUMBER OF GRACE.

THE WORD EARTHQUAKE IS USED SEVEN TIMES IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

SEVEN IS THE NUMBER OF COMPLETION.

   d.) THE ENTIRE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS WAS WRITTEN TO THESE PEOPLE:

Php 1:1  Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

   e.) The Lessons we learned from this church:

(1) Bad things always have a purpose.

Paul beaten and thrown in jail.

Act 16:19  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Act 16:20  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
Act 16:21  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Act 16:22  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Act 16:23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Act 16:24  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Salvation comes to the jailer and his family.

Act 16:27  And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Act 16:28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Act 16:29  Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Act 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

(2.) EVERY PERSECUTION IS WORTH IT!

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

The Bible Says:

Psa 37:12  The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
Psa 37:13  The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
Psa 37:14  The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
Psa 37:15  Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
1Pe 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Amen

Ecclesiology (Part one)

ECCLESIOLOGY (Part one)

INTRO:

Ecclesia = Church

Ecclesia, the Greek word for church, originally meant an assembly called out by the magistrate, or by legitimate authority. It was, in this last sense, that the word was adapted and applied by the writers of the New Testament to the Christian congregation.

Ekkleesia in the New Testament never means the building or house of assembly, because church buildings were built long AFTER the apostolic age. It means an organized body, whose unity does not depend on its being met together in one place; not an assemblage of atoms, but members in their several places united to the One Head, Christ, and forming one organic living whole. The bride of Christ the body of which He is the Head.

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many.

Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

OUR LORD JESUS HAD THESE WORDS TO THE APOSTLE PETER ONE DAY:

Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

WE SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED AS SOME ARE. JESUS DID NOT SAY UPON THE APOSTLE PETER HE WOULD BUILD HIS CHURCH. JESUS REFERED TO THE STATEMENT THAT PETER SAID:

( Thou art THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD).

THIS IS THE ROCK THAT JESUS SAID HE WOULD BUILD (HIS) CHURCH. THE CHURCH IS BUILT AND STANDS UPON OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

THE CHURCH BEGAN ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST (fifty days).

Act 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Act 2:16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Act 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

AND PETER SAID:

Act 2:29  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
Act 2:30  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Act 2:31  He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Act 2:32  This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Act 2:33  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

WE KNOW THAT THE HOLY GHOST WAS USED IN MANY WAYS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND IN THE DAYS OF JESUS IN THE FLESH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. THE HOLY GHOST HAD NOW COME TO STAY AND ABIDE INSIDE THE BELIEVER.

THE SMALLEST CHURCH:

Mat 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

THE BIBLE MENTIONS SOME TWENTY THREE CHURCHES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THESE LESSONS WILL COVER SOME BUT NOT ALL OF THE EARLY CHURCH. WE CAN STILL LEARN FROM THESE GROUPS OF THE EARLY SAINTS OF GOD.

I.) THE CHURCH AT JERUSALEM:

This the first church mentioned in the New Testament.

Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Act 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Act 2:43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Act 2:44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

   a.) THIS WAS A PREACHING CHURCH.

SALVATION GIVEN BY THE GRACE OF GOD IS SIMPLE AND THE PREACHING OF THE WORD OF GOD SHOULD HAVE A SIMPLE MESSAGE:

Rom 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

     b.) THIS WAS A GROWING CHURCH.

Act 1:15  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
Act 1:16  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

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

Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

OUR LORD SAID:

Luk 14:23  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

     c.) THIS CHURCH WAS FIRST PASTORED BY JAMES. (The HALF BROTHER of our Lord Jesus Christ). James is a half brother because:

1.) Jesus was the adopted son of Joseph. [His Father was the Holy Ghost (God)].

2.) James was the son of Joseph and Mary.

Act 15:13  And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

Act 12:17  But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.

Act 21:18  And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.

Gal 1:19  But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

Gal 2:9  And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Gal 2:12  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

     d.) This Church was in ONE ACCORD:

Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
 
     e.) This Church had the POWER OF GOD ON THEIR LIVES:

Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Act 2:43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Act 2:44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

Act 5:11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Act 5:12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.

     f.) These New Saints of God were PRAYER WARRIORS:

They had prayed through:

Mat 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Mat 6:7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Mat 6:8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Mat 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11  Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Psa 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

Isa 65:24  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Eph 3:11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
Eph 3:12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Eph 3:13  Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
Eph 3:14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

     g.) This Church was GROUNDED IN THE WORD:

Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

1Pe 2:1  Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
1Pe 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
1Pe 2:3  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Compare:

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Heb 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

Compare:

Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

2Th 1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

2Pe 3:17  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Psa 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psa 19:8  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psa 19:9  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

     h.) This was a PURE CHURCH:

Act 5:1  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
Act 5:2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Act 5:3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Act 5:4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Act 5:5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
Act 5:6  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
Act 5:7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
Act 5:8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
Act 5:9  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
Act 5:10  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
Act 5:11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

     i.) THIS CHURCH SUPPORTED MISSIONS:

Act 11:22  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

Act 13:2  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Act 13:3  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
Act 13:4  So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
Act 13:5  And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

II.) THE CHURCH AT ANTIOCH (Syria):

Act 11:20  And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.

     a.) This Church was founded because of the PERSECUTION OF THE SAINTS OF GOD:

Act 11:19  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

     b.) The First Pastor of this Church was BARNABUS:

Act 4:36  And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

Act 11:22  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

     c.) PAUL was the first ASSISTANT PASTOR of this Church:

Act 11:25  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
Act 11:26  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

     d.) THE FIRST LOVE OFFERING WAS TAKEN AT ANTIOCH:

We can see that love offerings were a definite part of the early church.

Act 11:29  Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
Act 11:30  Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

And a continuing process:

Rom 15:25  But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
Rom 15:26  For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
Rom 15:27  It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.

     e.) IT WAS IN ANTIOCH THAT PAUL AND BARNABUS RESIGNED TO GO INTO MISSIONARY WORK:

Act 13:1  Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Act 13:2  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
Act 13:3  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
Act 13:4  So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
Act 13:5  And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

     f.) PAUL CAME BACK TO THIS CHURCH LATER TO PREACH AGAINST ” LEGALISM “:

Gal 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Gal 1:1  Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Gal 1:2  And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
Gal 1:3  Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Gal 1:4  Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Gal 1:5  To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Gal 1:13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

THIS HAS BEEN A CONTINUING THING THROUGHTOUT THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AND CONTINUES MORE AND MORE IN OUR DAYS NOW:

Compare:

Act 13:10  And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

Act 15:24  Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

2Co 2:17  For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2Co 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

1Tim 4:1-3
Tit 1:10-11
2Pe 2:1-3
1Jn 4:1-3
2Jn 1:10-11
Jud 1:4

     g.) The Title “Christian” was first used at ANTIOCH:

The TITLE CHRISTIAN was not given to the early saints  as a title of respect but as a title of REBUKE. ARE YOU PROUD TO BE CALLED A CHRISTIAN?

The name “Christian,”  is used contemptuously, could not have been applied by the early disciples to themselves, but was imposed upon them by the Gentile world. There is no reason to suppose that the name “Christian” of itself was intended as a term of scurrility or abuse, though it would naturally be used with contempt.

Act 26:28  Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

1Pe 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

NOTE:

There were two Churches of Antioch. The other one was ANTIOCH OF PISIDIA. THESE ARE NOT THE SAME CHURCH LOCATIONS.

Act 13:14  But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

IT IS THIS ANTIOCH THAT IS KNOWN AS THE TURNING POINT OF THE GOSPEL TO THE GENTILES.

Act 13:46  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Act 13:47  For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
Act 13:48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Amen