3. The New Testament Church—Its Meeting(s) | balamut.info
Sam Storms explores the place and purposes of prophets and Make a year- end gift today Taken from the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, general editor, D. A. . the gift of prophecy likely ceased with the death of the last apostle or the to the corporate meeting of the church with a “word of instruction” and. 29 And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. for the church today is considered irrelevant and impotent by far too itself: “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching. It must be apparent to all that if God has a special church in the world today, He will reveal it clearly and explicitly in His holy Word. I ask only that you study it prayerfully and with an open mind. Only one person can meet this description —Jesus Christ. In symbolic Bible prophecy a day always stands for a year. You will.
Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Neither apostles nor miraculous gifts was needed any longer.
They had served their temporary purpose Mark Miraculous gifts functioned as scaffolding while the church was under initial construction, and were removed once the structure had been completed 1 Corinthians 3: Consequently, people now have access to everything they need 2 Peter 1: Apostles, quite simply, are no longer needed!
This claim is unbiblical. No person living today can meet the qualifications given in Scripture for being an apostle. Christ has selected no one living today for the apostolic role. No one living today possesses the miraculous capabilities of an apostle. We should not be surprised that people would falsely claim to be apostles. Paul described some of his opponents in these words: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works 2 Corinthians Further warning was issued to the Galatian churches: Anyone claiming to be an apostle today who teaches anything in addition to the New Testament is clearly not an apostle of Christ! Peter added his voice on the same subject: No wonder John admonished: Catholicism maintains that Peter was the supreme bishop, even over the other apostles, and that every pope since Peter is an apostolic successor to Peter.
The pope is selected after literally hours and days of deliberation by cardinals in the Vatican. The only apostle in the Bible that was not handpicked by Christ in person was Matthias. Yet he was not selected by mere men deliberating and debating his potential. He was selected by the casting of lots—which was simply another way for Jesus to do the selecting Acts 1: It is incredible to think that any human beings living today would presume to appoint apostles.
In pinpointing the credentials of an apostle, Luke Acts 1 made it abundantly evident that to qualify as an apostle a person would have to have seen the Lord and been an eyewitness of His resurrection.
That is why Paul was careful to state: What alleged modern-day apostle could make such a claim? The New Testament also makes clear the fact that an essential characteristic of an apostle was that he had been selected by Deity.
When Jesus was on Earth, He handpicked the first twelve apostles. After His departure from Earth, the disciples cast lots to select a successor to Judas. Their method allowed no input from mere humans—except in the recognition that two men possessed all the qualifications necessary to be an apostle.
Casting lots allowed God to do the selecting. More broadly, those who worked with these major apostles were also called minor apostles. This fell under their jurisdiction but was not their primary function.
Their main function was to establish the faith. Jesus Christ died once and for all to become the chief cornerstone of the Christian faith Eph. The purpose of the apostles was to establish the faith and build a doctrinal foundation on which the church would be based.
They were specially commissioned by God to do this. People incorrectly apply these verses to us and teach that the Holy Spirit could reveal anything to us, including answers to a test.
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This promise was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit inspired the apostles to write what Jesus said and what was yet to be said e. Thus it was important for them to have physically seen Him. Later on Paul was commissioned as an apostle to the Gentiles in the same way Peter was apostle to the Jews Gal. To put is loosely, the primary job of the apostles was to give us the New Testament.
Are Apostles and Prophets still for the Church Today?
Every book in the NT was written by an apostle or a close associate of the apostles. And this is not to mention the energy which is consumed in heating, cooling, and lighting the church building.
Because it is impossible for every family to attend every church meeting of the week, they must choose some and omit others. Even though they know that the meeting they miss is important, whether it be a prayer meeting, a communion service, or a teaching session, they simply cannot attend all. So, to whatever extent they do not attend every service, they are short-changed. There is something about the combination of elements in the meeting of the church that is missing when each of these elements is isolated to themselves in different meetings.
When all of the elements of the church meeting are combined there is a variety, a sense of expectation, a vitality which makes one look forward to coming again. Such was not the kind of meeting which electrified the early saints and turned the world upside-down. The various elements of the meeting of the church are decidedly interrelated and cannot be successfully separated.
Worship does not happen in a vacuum, or upon command.
It is a response to God, His attributes, His faithfulness, His lovingkindness, His working in our lives. When we teach the Scriptures at one time and worship at another we are performing a kind of abortion on the Word of God in my estimation, for just when we have been elevated and inspired by the teaching of the Word of God, just when we have been reminded of His character, and kindness, and goodness, we are told to stand for the benediction.
This is the time for prayers of praise, for hymns of praise, for partaking gratefully of the elements at communion which symbolize His work on our behalf. You cannot effectively separate these various elements of the church meeting. The Meeting of the Church: Let me reiterate the absolute necessity of the meeting of the church if we are to carry out New Testament principles as we should. Take the principle that every Christian has been given a spiritual gift or gifts for the benefit of the whole body 1 Cor.
The meeting of the church gives an opportunity for men to discover and to develop what might be called the vocal gifts in a way that few other meetings allow. Surely there are other avenues of discovering and developing spiritual gifts, but the church meeting is a vital one.
Indeed, in many churches of the New Testament church, it may have been the only opportunity for public expression, for there were perhaps no other church meetings.
How is it practically manifested through the church? What greater and more obvious way than to come together as a church and look to Him to lead men to teach, to exhort, to share a song or a portion of Scripture as they are divinely led.
This does not mean that they have not prepared during the week, but there has been no careful and meticulous coordination of the variety of participations in the meeting.
Because there is no one visible leader who is directing every detail of the meeting, it becomes evident that our Lord Himself presides over the meeting through His Spirit. The headship of Jesus Christ over His church is visibly apparent by the fact that the men take the leadership in the meeting of the church 1 Corinthians This is why Paul instructs the men to lead in prayer and in the teaching when the church is gathered for worship, and why the women are to learn quietly 1 Timothy 2: This is also why men serve as elders, and not women.
Now what greater opportunity to demonstrate the priesthood of every believer than in the meeting of the church.
Are Apostles and Prophets still for the Church Today?
Men may exercise their priesthood by verbally praising God and by proclaiming His Word, and by making intercession for men. Here, indeed, is a corporate exercise of the priesthood of every believer. The priesthood of every believer is demonstrated in the passing of the elements during communion, and in the prayer offered for the offering. Since the priesthood of every believer removes the Old Testament distinction between laity and clergy, leading in communion and in the offering is the privilege and responsibility of every man.
At the meeting of the church, the saints gather as the body of Christ.
Meet Today's Prophets and Apostles
Each member comes in dependence upon the rest of the body. Each member comes to be strengthened and encouraged and edified by the other members of the body. Each is reminded of the unity of the body when partaking of the one loaf 1 Cor.