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Sunday, April 19, 2009

On Being A New Testament Church Part 4: Fellowship

Continuing from my previous post on Being A New Testament Church I would like to take up were I left off. Verse 42 of the Second Chapter of Acts states that, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayers".
In my opinion their actions are centered on "fellowship". We could say it this way,” And they did not give up fellowshipping around the apostle's teachings with communion and prayer".
First, they did not give up fellowship. Not because of a busy schedule and not because they did not like someone in the church.
Second, they fellowshipped around Bible study. The lecture type of preaching is good for individual growth. Bible study around fellowship is good for the spiritual growth of the church group. Not just the teachings of the original apostles, but contempary apostles mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 in which there is not reason to mention that these will teach according to the scriptures.
Third, they fellowshipped around meals, which included the "Breaking of Bread" or communion. This service is invaluable in the spiritual growth of the Church. As the early Christians shared there meals together, this observance helped them to stay focused on the whole purpose of being together.
And fourth, they fellowshipped around prayer. More than just having a small prayer time during a service, but fellowshipping around the prayer time; sharing, uplifting each other in prayer.
These four focuses in fellowship are all part of the "becoming a New Testament Church". The verses after 2:42 shows the fruits that define a NTC.
In truth the fruits do not define us when we meet, but when we as a Church operate as individuals and as a part of the Body of Christ on Earth. Have you ever met a person that lived like a non-believer and then found out that they attended a church? It is hard not to judge the Church by those individuals and the Bible teaches that we should not do so, but we see the fruits of the Church. And I believe that if the principles in 2:41-42 are lived, then the Church will not have to worry about being judged by non-believers. And we can truly believe that we are New Testament Christians therefore making up a New Testament Church.
In conclusion I must admit that no group of scriptures in themselves will point out a formula for building a New Testament Church, but only a group of people who love Jesus and are committed to serving Him together, lead by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God will ever become what the New Testament Church was and did.
Or better still will become to Latter-day Church


Jeff Williams said...

Cool, I was thinking about asking Chris and some guys from work about having a bible study once a week before work at UPS. Jeremy (@jcrook84 on twitter) said he would like to do it. Haven't talked to Chris yet. Daniel said he would like to also, i think. I was thinking about making it a point not to argue, but to simply read threw the bible, and stick with what we read about.

Wayne said...

A great place to start is in the book of Eph. there are a lot of stuff for the workplace.