Today, we continue our look at the history of some departures from the way of Christ and attempts to return to His way. We are looking at much more modern history that more directly affects some of us and our thinking today. We will pay special attention to what has caused division among those who on some level agree about the need to follow Christ rather than men.
We are looking at history of “the church” in the sense of those who claim to be following Christ but there are many departures from the way of Christ as well as some attempts to get back to His way. This history shapes the thinking of the world regarding the church and also affects our thinking, so it is useful to know.
Introduction It was around 400 years from the time of the first king in Israel to the time of the Babylonian captivity. If you count when God was the king before Saul was anointed, you have about 900 years of the kingdom of Israel or Judah. It would not be hard to think that this kingdom would truly last forever. But then the captivity happened. The temple was destroyed. The nation was truly and fully conquered.
How is a church to supply the needs of its members? We already have discussed much of it in the previous section on giving. But in cases where the church is supplying the needs in another church or supplying the needs of an evangelist working somewhere else, how should they do that after they have collected the money?
How can a congregation work to edify its members? Romans 15:1-7 shows that edification is something that is done by each member, working together in one church. This is very connected with what we talked about under unity — we don’t do what we want, we do what our brethren want when we see that it will edify them. The end result of that edification is unity and glorifying God. 1 Corinthians 8:1 tells us that it takes love to edify. We have to focus on other people, not ourselves.
Unifying the church is a hard work because it involves relationships. Of course, this also means that when done right, it is one of the most satisfying works because of the good relationships between brethren.
Organizations like World Bible School are based on the pride of men thinking that they can create a better system than Christ created in His church. How did Jesus really design His church do its work? In this article, we examine this idea in contrast man's designs.
When the church began, as we read in Acts 2, we find that God was adding daily those who were being saved. How did people come to be saved? They heard the preaching of the gospel and obeyed it. It has always been the responsibility of the people of God to teach others the truth. This is a responsibility for each Christian (as part of the universal church) and a responsibility for the local church.
The local church not only has the responsibility to supply the spiritual needs of the members, but also the physical needs. If you remember, at the beginning of the church the members of the church in Jerusalem had all things in common and made sure that nobody was missing anything they needed. The church even daily supplied their widows with food (Acts 6).
Simply defined for our purposes, edification is the building up of the body of Christ. It is clear that edification is a work that Christ demands from His church as a whole. In this article, we look at some examples to hopefully get a clear understanding of what it means.
Determining what is the work of the church is not a simple task. First, one has to read through the whole New Testament and look at the commands and examples that are given. Usually an attempt is made to categorize each command or example to simplify understanding the basic end results and group specifics under those categories.