New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, April 4 2002 Vol 02 : 066
Re: [NTCP] Query
Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?
[NTCP] from a word from Andrew Storm on THE BRIDE LEAVING CHRISTENDOM
[NTCP] A vision in my city.....
Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?
Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?
Re: [NTCP] A vision in my city.....- thanks David

Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 07:19:30 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Query

Link wrote:

>I'm not a rabid anti-liturgy activist. But I don't think the use of 'taxis' in
>this verse has much bearing on the idea that early church meetings followed
>the pattern of traditional liturgy.

Link ole buddy, going back to the part of my Mar 25 post which you failed to
quote ...

>>I do not believe one's fellowship *has* to be what some would call "high
>>church" in order to qualify as an honest-to-goodness congregation. In my
>>Mar. 20 post, however, I was reacting to what I perceived to be those
>>advocating an almost leaderless, structureless church gathering, ... and
>>equating "spontaneous" with "spiritual". As if any of that were NT! But
>>even in 1 Cor. 14 (favorite chapter of some in the anti-liturgical ...

... it becomes obvious that I wasn't trying to use 1 Cor. 14:40 by itself as
proof for traditional liturgy. Only that TAXIS counters a "spineless" meeting
style, with no real organization. If that is true, and TAXIS means "an ordered
or arranged sequence" (LOUW-NIDA LEXICON), then the whole of 1 Cor. 14 lends
itself better to some sort of liturgical backdrop rather than a "Quaker-esque"
gathering because Paul demands an orderly unfolding of the church's meetings--
*especially* where spiritual utterances are employed. If some sort of liturgy
(set order of service) were necessary back then, then why guess or invent the
basics of today's liturgy when we have evidence for what they did in Jesus' and
Paul's day, as well as access to early liturgy examples in (using the
historical trajectory to aim backwards to the source) Clement (c. 90 A.D.,
FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, xix-xx; xxxiv; lix-lxi), (c. 100 A.D.)
DIDACHE, ix-x; xiv, Justin Martyr (c. 135 A.D., FIRST APOLOGIA, lxv-lxvii), ...
more. What I am suggesting is not something too rigid, but that which connects
us with our past, makes use of our roots in the ancient Church. Via the
synagogue, via the temple, via the tabernacle. Via heaven. Many other
approaches I have seen or read about on this list tend to treat NT church
meetings as something one can just conjure from one's imagination: "I feel like
God wants me to do it this way ...". If we're going to claim to be NT, let's at
least make an effort to be NT. That is my point. Nothing more, nothing less.

>The 'liturgy' that Paul described was spontaneous and Spirit-led.

No, the "liturgy" he commanded was intended to keep the "spontaneous and
Spirit-led" aspects of church meetings from degenerating into mayhem-- kind of
like the stuff you are experiencing at your parents' church. Where's the beef?
I'm going to go through some of the same culture-shock when I return to the
States (God willing) for a visit this June. I know. Just give me "the look"
when you see I'm being too critical. Please. Look forward to seeing you
(Link) there and meeting your wife. And child? Blessings. - --MICHAEL
Jerusalem

P.S. Regarding your (Link's) request for advice ("Legitimate church planting"
thread, Apr. 1 post), I say that it is a *commandment* to "test" (Gk.
DOKIMADZETE- imperative verb) prophetic words (1 Thes. 5:20, 21). What does
that guy think he is saying? When the wicked Ahaz had doubts about a
particular prophecy, God afforded him the opportunity to ask for a confirming
sign (Isa. 7:3-14). How much more for someone who is not wicked, but only
wanting to be affirmed. This would not be an act of unbelief on your part,
Link. Ask in faith. And believe that God will confirm His will to you (Jam.
1:5-8). He will not reproach you for it (Jam. 1:5). If God does not confirm
that man's prophecy by an additional sign, then only "hold fast [to] what is
good" (1 Thes. 5:21, i.e., disregard what that guy said). That is my advice.

<><><> --- <><><>


Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2002 07:16:46 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?

Dear Dan: Could not agree with you more! Amen and amen!

Sam

<><><> --- <><><>


Date: Wed, 03 Apr 2002 12:07:47 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: [NTCP] from a word from Andrew Storm on THE BRIDE LEAVING CHRISTENDOM

Hi List!

Got this today. Seems intriquing in his comments concerning going back to the
reality of NT Christianity. His comments are very relevant to the discussion
on house church.

Blessings, Sam

From: Andrew Strom.

A pastor wrote to me recently about the vision of the 'Bride Leaving
Christendom'. Here is what he said: "Could you please help me to understand
how, if the Bible refers to the `Church' as the `bride of Christ' - "how can
the `church' come out of itself?" (I'm not challenging this vision - I'm
seriously seeking to understand it.)"

As I wrote back to him, the Bride in the vision is not leaving the church (-for
she IS the church!) but she is leaving "Christendom" behind. 'Christendom' is
the religious system that has kept the church in bondage since around 300 AD.

What God is wanting to do is to take us back to the New Testament. A lot of
people don't seem to realize that the New Testament church in Jerusalem was
very much an 'open-air' move of God.

Basically, these early Christians met in the area known as Solomon's Portico or
Solomon's Porch in the huge temple courtyard. This was known as the 'Courtyard
of the Gentiles' and it was like a huge Town Square in many ways. The apostles
held massive open-air gatherings there every day - teaching and praying for the
sick, etc. It was glorious.

The only other meetings the early church seemed to have were house-meetings or
house-fellowships. This was where new believers would be discipled, spiritual
gifts would operate, and the local Christians from that area would all take
communion together, etc.

Church buildings were not invented for centuries. In fact, it was only when the
church was in serious decline and was beginning to lose everything that it had
in the beginning, that church buildings came into play. History shows us, in
effect, that the more backslidden the church became, the bigger and more
grandiose her buildings got! This was the beginning of the Dark Ages - the era
of the Cathedral. And even us Pentecostals are still building them today! But
it is not just our church buildings that are the problem - it is the whole
'system' - the separate denominations, the division between the "minister" and
the "laity", our entire structure and way of doing things. This evolved from
the Dark Ages - not the New Testament. God wants us to leave it all behind.

As I said, it seems clear from Acts that the Jerusalem church had only two
kinds of meetings: Huge open-air gatherings led by the apostles in the
'Courtyard of the Gentiles', and localised house-meetings. That was about it. I
see God calling us back to a similar model in our own day. The visions and
prophecies that He has been giving certainly line up with this.

If we look down through church history we see that again and again, God has
used times of Revival and Awakening to bring this 'open-air' emphasis back to
His church. He has always wanted a church without walls. He has always wanted a
church that is out where the people are, a beacon set on a hill, shining His
light and His love into a dying world. Thus we find that the 'Great Awakening'
of the 1700's under Wesley and Whitefield was basically an 'open-air' move. The
same with the Red River and Cane Ridge Revivals of the early 1800's. And yet
again with the Salvation Army Revivals of the late 1800's.

Slowly God has been restoring His church back to how she was in the beginning -
with all the gifts, the teachings, the ministries - and this time the basic
structure of the original church. It has taken God centuries to get us to where
we are now. And He is readying us for the final push - to get us completely
free of the 'system' that was built up during the Dark Ages. The 'cathedral' or
church-building is the centrepiece of that system.

Jesus is about to bring His true church - the Bride - out of this "system"
forever - and she will never be going back. That is what these dreams and
visions are all about. The last vestiges of the Dark Ages will be left behind,
and we will be back to a true New Testament church in every respect.

I have had people write to me saying, "But what about places where the weather
is bad for most of the year?" The point I am making is that it is not just
about being "out of doors". It is about getting out of a 'system' that keeps
the church completely divided - each with our own little 'box' to belong to,
with 'One man Pastors', Seminaries, and all the rest of the man-made system
that keeps the church in bondage today. None of it is remotely like the New
Testament, and the time has come to leave it all behind. Jesus wants His church
truly UNITED again. And it can only happen outside the 'four walls'. This is
what God is clearly saying. I have to admit, looking at the Book of Acts, it
certainly makes a lot of sense to me.

I hope that this brings greater clarity to the whole concept of the 'Bride
leaving Christendom'? Your comments are most welcome, my friends.

God bless you all.

Kindest regards in Christ,

Andrew Strom.

WEBSITES: Dreams and Visions Supersite-
http://crash.ihug.co.nz/~revival/index2.html

'NZ Revival' prophetic Supersite- http://crash.ihug.co.nz/~revival

Andrew Strom, Thunder Ministries, PO Box 12-1022, Henderson, NEW ZEALAND 1008.

<><><> --- <><><>


Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 20:12:11 +0200 (MEST)
From: David Cummings
Subject: [NTCP] A vision in my city.....

Hello all,

Please keep these needs before the Lord on a daily basis. As someone once
observed, "Things happen when we pray, that don't happen when we don't pray".

When the Lord answers your need, please be sure to let us know so that we can
all rejoice together!

Pray for:

Group Prayer List

18/03/02: I would not normally ask, but today I am going to my GP and will have
blood work done.

For 6 weeks my farsighted vision has begun to blur. I went to my optometrist
last Thursday. His conclusion was that it could be one of three things.

1. Stress
2. Cataract change
3. Diabetes

I have been receiving prayer for a complete healing. I am asking the brothers
and sisters on this list to pray for my healing. I will be getting the blood
work done this afternoon at 3:30 pm EST.

Thanks for your prayers.

Sammy

ANSWER 24/03/02: I received an email from Robert Fitts and one of his
intercessors who happens to be a doctor who practices with the doctor who wrote
"The Diabetes Cure". He suggested I take four supplements. I have done so since
last Wednesday, and already I am seeing, literally seeing changes in my
eyesight!

I know that through prayer and aligning myself to that which is good and
responsible for my body, that the Lord will perform the miracle I am crying out
for. I go to the the optometrist on 1 April, and to my GP on the 9'th of April.
The blood work results are being forwarded to the optometrist. I should have a
better idea of what is going on by then. Please continue to pray.

Blessings,

Sam -

19/03/02: I am working one on one this week in a bad area of town just 20
minutes or so from where I am staying in Denver. It is known for
prostitution,drug dealers,and other dangerous characters. Specifically I am
going to be prayer walking the motels on Colfax. I think a lot of them are
looking for something to find relief from their problems and many of them have
turned to church but the system chases them off instead of loving them. Keep me
in prayer as I do this. If God wills allow him to open doors. Pray that God
sends a strong partner in the faith to help encourage me. In what the Lord is
leading me to do. My health hasn't been the best the last few weeks and I could
use some prayer on that as well. a son in the faith,

David

25/03/02: (Please read the whole post on this, to get the full picture of the
need Dick) I ask you to pray for my heart that it would not become hardened.
I am weary and don't have a desire to fighting to get him help when he keeps
rejecting my efforts to help. I would love for Tom to be healed. I struggle
with questions of why we ask for healing but don't get what we are believing
for. God's timing is not easy to understand. I feel the Lord telling me not to
give in to Tom's threats or manipulation, but to really wait on the Lord and
let him have his way with Tom. Please pray for: Josiah 17 years old and not
walking with the Lord rightly and not desiring to see Dad, hasn't been up to
see Dad. Jacob 16 (walking with the Lord and open to seeing Dad.) Saw Dad March
23rd Hannah 14 years old (walking with the Lord but not willing to see Dad. I
made her go see him March 9th.) Gabe 12 years old. (walking with the Lord and
willing to see Dad) Saw dad March 9th and March 23rd. Mike 21years old not
walking with the Lord Jesus and not very involved with us. Haven't seen him for
several months Tom (my beloved husband of 18 years) walking in sorrow in need
of prayers of the saints of the most high. Debb (Tom's wife of 18 years)
walking with the Lord Jesus (and being carried by the arms of my heavenly
Father) Please pray that God will give me wisdom, discernment, grace, and that
His hand would be upon me, that he will keep me from evil, and that I would not
harm anyone. Ysi Christ,

Debbie~ - 25/03/02: From a victim of abuse Please pray for strength and
endurance. Pray for energy and the Holy Spirit's guidance and healing. Pray
that if God will's that this would all go away. Many say I must continue to
rest and God will give me new energy. But God is telling me to give my life
away every day and I will have a new one someday. I long for that. I wish I
could love better. I wish I had more to give. Thanks for the prayers and
encouragement.

A son in the faith, David

- Please help! My mother is old and not well. Her husband is older and had
to be put in a "home" for a couple of weeks. He has dementia and now wants to
come home and my mother cannot take care of him but will literally kill herself
trying. He gets up all through the night and takes things apart and takes money
out of her purse. They are broke. I am a single mother of two and have devoted
my life to the children I prayed for. We could move with her but she is not a
pleasant person to live with and I don't think I could live with her daily
criticism...she means well and loves her husband and I just don't know what to
do.

I am eagerly awaiting some reply. Any reply.

Darlene J. Dowling

- ----

3/30/02: pray for our landfill school project, which will rescue 2000 children
from surviving off a landfill..

Vanessa

- ----

4/01/02: I am looking for someone in Tulsa, OK to minister to a wife and
daughter. They are unchurched, have no friends, little finances, and the
husband walked out on them this weekend for another woman.

Mike S

- ----

4/05/02: We are danger. It's a good time to pray for our land, and to
continually pray for the peace, health and safety of Israel and Jerusalem. We
know that bitter days are marked out by God for that city, but let us not be
found standing on the wrong side of this battle. Better to die a horrible death
on the Lord's side, than to become rich as a traitor.

In Jesus, Jim

Thanks for your faithful support.

Dick Phil. 3:12-14 Over the last year many personal battles I have fought and
won not by own strength but by God's. This year has been tough. Satan has
attacked me on every side and in every way. People from within the body of
Christ have attacked me, and now 2 dear friends are in dire straights.

Scott Smyth, of Beijing, China a house church planter/Engish Teacher has been
missing for over 2 weeks. Some say he was arrested others rumor other things. I
don't know and only pray for his safety. He has influenced me a lot in the last
few months with his calm emails and balanced approach to spreading the gospel
and living every day life. Many within the house church movement considered his
approach radical as he did not encourage formal gatherings but rather met in
smaller groups of 3 to 5 people often through the week. Praying, breaking of
bread, and helping others share these simple gatherings and helping others love
each other. Many estimate he was directly used by God to share the gospel with
thousands of new believers in the last 6 months alone. My whole idea of church
has changed because I have heard of his radical idea of "illegitimate church"
using simple gatherings of a few people.

Lihi Avrashi, of Tel Aviv,Israel a youthful spirt to say the least and a
"fighter" is struggling to remain in Israel yet she continues to be continually
stubborn and has been meeting with some new friends also her age and Jewish and
openly sharing Christ. These simple informal gatherings could only lead to much
needed peace in the region. Part of me wants her to return to the states and
part of me hopes that she remains in Israel and is continued to be used by God
to share the gospel to a much needed area of the world. Her simple youthful
approach to christianity. and her belief that it is not a religion but a daily
way of life also has influenced my belief on church planting.

Monday Night I shut down my website after deep prayer about many things. One of
them Scott's influence on the site. His guiding hand to my often "jumpy" hand.
I tend to jump from project to project and well I am tired of it. My reasons
for having it were to reach out to people in the house church movement who get
distracted by the form of gathering and lose track of Jesus as I see this
happening so often in the "House Church Movement". But something that many
people including my house church family have encouraged me in the past few
months is this.

When you find something you love. Give it 200 Percent and don't look back. I
tend to give 10 projcets 20 percent of my time and become
spirtiually,physically, and emotionally exhausted. I can not afford to do this.
Many dear friends offer to pay my way to Israel so that I could work their and
though someday this is a desire of mine to do. Now it is not. Nor is a "house
church website", nor is church planting in the traditional sense.

However, my desire is to continue in helping the people I am helping grow in
their faith. I have heard of new church growth from a brother my age in
Minnesota who I befriended in my second church plant last year who is now
growing and multiplying the church. Even though many "house church groups" and
institutional church groups would not consider this church. Yet 2 or 3 times a
week teenagers and young college students in Northfield,Minnesota gather
together to remember Jesus and encourage one another to continually follow Him.

Likewise, in Raleigh, North Carolina a young lady who also is a dear friend is
helping plant Jesus in this same fashion in her town.

These people took this concept away from me. That is when I realized that what
I was helping with was also "church" or the beginnings of churches....Meeting
occasionally with small groups on Red Rocks Community College,and Colorado
Christian University, and also in motels with the discards of the world and the
church. The foundation has been laid. And instead of trying to plant house
churches, I am just going to plant Jesus. And I am going to do it with 200
percent. Because I love Jesus and to be honest it is all I really want to cling
to.

I sought an apostle to pour water over His hands and to be honest this
relationship is futile. We are not alike he is not man like myself broken and
crushed by the world. Humbled by his own beginnings. Our only commonality is
Jesus and I feel like his real focus is building a "network" of churches
instead of building up the Church through Jesus. I feel like this growing
network of house churches is not trying to Be Jesus so much as trying to
multiply the church. One thing that Scott Smyth taught me is that
multiplcication comes through increased quality, which comes through increased
brokeness, which leads to total reliance on Jesus. Every day I wake up and
realize that I must get down on my knees and confess my uselessness and Jesus
as my all in all my door to heaven. Many confuse this as a "wounded" reaction
to my past. I realize that I am not unlike anyone else. Mankind is all hurt by
sin, our own and our neighbors and we must all confess Jesus and take up our
cross and in doing so He will heal us. Someone recently told me to "mentor" my
elder. My elder laughed, I laughed, and many of my friends laughed. My elder
said. Don't mentor me. Mentor Jesus. I killed my heart when I was younger. You
have a great heart live with it. My friend Melanie said to me in encouraging
word to help agree with me on this issue.

I would encourage you to Mentor Jesus, to Follow Jesus just as you are trying
to do. Don't worry about being misunderstood and don't try to turn a donkey
into a horse. Some relationships aren't meant to be. Peter and Paul probably
would not have made the best of partners even though they had a common faith.

I would encourage you brothers to lay aside your useless talks of Liturgy
asside. Does God even consider this useful religion I doubt it. In fact true
religion is caring for widow in distress and loving Children. Seek this and you
will find your useful relgion.

Jesus is recorded as spending his time doing a few things......

Loving the down trodden. Healing the ones who needed healing. Rejoicing and I
assume playing with children. Dispersing the merchants in the temple. Rebuking
the "relgious leaders" who forgot how to be like children in their simple
worship of Abba

I can only think that Jesus would do the same today and I will try to live like
this:

Loving the down trodden and "discards of society" Prostitutes,tax
collectors,and rejected.... Healing the ones who need healing. Playing with
children and rejoicing with them. Dispersing the Bible salesmen,and people who
make church a business. Selling God I can not imagine God finds much joy in
this still today. Rebuking the "relgious leaders" for forgetting how to be like
children in their simple worship of Abba , Religous Leaders to focused on the
rules of church to love and forgive like children.

God has given me a vision of over100 christian gatherings in my city of 2+
million people. Living simply, worshiping God the Father through Jesus Christ
His Son and gathering as often as they so meet. And not a single one will call
it church. Yet this shall be the body of Christ. I would encourage all of your
brothers to consider planting Jesus and quit planting churches. The fields are
white for harvest, the laborers are few but I see atleast twelve or more
standing waiting to harvest with me.......

Let's go get em....

A son in the faith.......

<><><> --- <><><>


Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 21:53:30 EST
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?

Sam,

Howdy back atcha! :o)

You asked:

>>What do you mean by 'preaching'? If you mean the stuff we hear week in and
week out at the traditional institutional church , I think you are 'dead wrong'
if that is what the body must ENDURE!>When Paul 'preached' it was an
interactive dialogue, and not a one person, everyone else be quiet
monologue!>Most of our preaching style today is based on the greco-roman style
of rhetoric, of a person trying to prove a point. Not exactly body
participation is it?>

No, the kind of preaching that we need to recover to go along with the Lord's
table as part of a real meal deal, not the 'holy snack' the institutional
church has continually propagated, and the full participation of not only what
you call 'elders' and 'deacons' for you can have legitimate church WITHOUT
those 'offices'.>Paul himself declared that we ought NOT be hasty in appointing
elders (doesn't say anything about them being 'voted in' either. In my
understanding the apostles appointed elders of the churches they planted). I
have real concerns about 'preaching' when it does not allow for response,
dialogue and interaction.Sam,

Howdy back atcha! :o)

You asked:

>>What do you mean by 'preaching'? If you mean the stuff we hear week in and
week out at the traditional institutional church , I think you are 'dead wrong'
if that is what the body must ENDURE!

Boy are we agreed on this one! What I'm talking about is definitely not the
stuff we hear in the institutional church every week, the Bible as some
"owner's manual" or 12 step guide to a more fulfilled life. And it is also not
a free-for-all, a daytime talk show in which people share their own religious
experiences and opinions on things...

What is preaching? Preaching is not talking about God but it is God's talk.
Someone once wrote,

"It is one thing to talk about the doctrines of sin and grace and another to
actually be faced with God in judgment and justification. It is one thing to
hear exhortations to victory and quite another to actually experience the power
of being drawn into the plotline of God's victory over our enemies (the flesh,
the world, and the devil). Doctrine and exhortation will be involved in all
good preaching of Scripture, but preaching can never be reduced to either...
It's the kind of talk that produces a new people. It is the encounter through
which God himself takes the judge's bench, arraigns us as sinners by the
standard of perfect justice, and then finds a way, in Jesus Christ, to be both
the just and the justifier of the ungodly. All this happens to us before our
very ears."

>>When Paul 'preached' it was an interactive dialogue,
and not a one person, everyone else be quiet monologue!

I'd disagree on this one. I would 100% agree that Paul's teaching was very much
a dialogue! If I understand correctly, Midrash was a give and take method of
instruction that Paul would have engaged in teaching his disciples. One of the
strong points of the house church movement that I've seen is just this aspect,
the give and take of dialogue in a teaching environment. I have to say that
since I've been involved in the whole house church thing, I've rarely heard
someone preach.

>>Most of our preaching style today is based on the greco-roman style
of rhetoric, of a person trying to prove a point. Not exactly body
participation is it?

I think there should be a definite distinction made between preaching and
teaching. They are two very different things.

>>No, the kind of preaching that we need to recover to go along with the
Lord's table as part of a real meal deal, not the 'holy snack' the
institutional church has continually propagated, and the full participation of
not only what you call 'elders' and 'deacons' for you can have legitimate
church WITHOUT those 'offices'.

Sam, if these were not thought of an authority or leadership in the church --
why the qualifications? You can have a church without these people -- they may
temporarily be gone, or the church may be in the middle of replacing or
searching for a person(s) to be these things. But a church isn't a church
without these people. I agree with you about the Lord's Supper, but on a
different account. I also believe that Communion is too often "tacked on" to
the service, and has been lacking to say the least!

And Sam? Where in my post did I say that these were "offices?" They are people
-- people with a God given role to play in the Body, roles that were defined by
Christ and not myself thru Scripture.

>>Paul himself declared that we ought NOT be hasty in appointing
elders (doesn't say anything about them being 'voted in' either. In my
understanding the apostles appointed elders of the churches they planted). I
have real concerns about 'preaching' when it does not allow for response,
dialogue and interaction.

Sam, I think that although they were not to be hasty in doing this, I believe
the thrust of Titus is that they are to be appointed. It wasn't something they
could have put off and off until eventually in the dim future they got around
to it.

I agree with your contention about their being appointed. My opinion is that
preaching lays a foundation for teaching -- and instead of some "altar call" at
the end, why not a question and answer session? There is a lot of room for
flexibility here, Sam, so why not have a dialogue after?

Just my opinion, Sam. What do you think?

With blessings to you, Sam,

TC

<><><> --- <><><>


Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 22:17:22 EST
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?

Sam (?),

You wrote in addition to your other post:

>I'm often reminded of Francis of Assisi's famous words-> "Preach the Gospel at
>all times. When necessary, use words." As much as scripture says about faith
>coming by hearing and hearing by the word of God, it says an equal amount
>about being an example to other brethren (and future brethren) in word and
>deed. So with that said... I would want to broaden the definition of
>preaching as interaction with other people that clearly conveys the whole of
>the Gospel... the life, ministry, teaching, sacrifice and example of our
>

Sounds like Francis may have been a little confused between the message of
Justification by grace alone thru faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of
God alone, and a Christian's Sanctification, i.e., Spirit produced good works!
Scripture clearly teaches us that we have been given a wonderful message that
is to be spoken, preached:

"For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting
people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to
tell others." 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT!

To the Galatians he wrote about the message they first heard:

"Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has cast an evil spell on you? For you
used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ's death as clearly as though I'd shown
you a signboard of Christ dying on the cross. Let me ask this one question: Did
you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the law? Of course not, for the Holy
Spirit came upon you only after you believed the message YOU HEARD about
Christ." Gal. 3:1-2 NLT

He also had some choice words to people who preached a different Gospel:

"Let God's curse fall on anyone, including myself, who PREACHES any other
message than the one we TOLD you about." Gal. 1:8

I think it may be a little dangerous to redefine what preaching is....

"Since God in his wisdom saw to it the world would never find him through human
wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe... (1 Cor.
1:21) We speak WORDS given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to
explain eternal truths... (1 Cor. 2:13)"

I believe that we should be as consistent as possible in how we live our lives
as well. But it would do us well to remember that it is the message of the
proclaimed Gospel that is "the power of salvation," and not our behavior.

With respect and blessings to you, Sam, (if you wrote this one)

TC

Sam (?),

You wrote in addition to your other post:

I'm often reminded of Francis of Assisi's famous words- "Preach the Gospel at
all times. When necessary, use words." As much as scripture says about faith
coming by hearing and hearing by the word of God, it says an equal amount about
being an example to other brethren (and future brethren) in word and deed. So
with that said... I would want to broaden the definition of preaching as
interaction with other people that clearly conveys the whole of the Gospel...
the life, ministry, teaching, sacrifice and example of our Lord and Savior.

Sounds like Francis may have been a little confused between the message of
Justification by grace alone thru faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of
God alone, and a Christian's Sanctification, i.e., Spirit produced good works!
Scripture clearly teaches us that we have been given a wonderful message that
is to be spoken, preached:

"For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting
people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to
tell others." 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT!

To the Galatians he wrote about the message they first heard:

"Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has cast an evil spell on you? For you
used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ's death as clearly as though I'd shown
you a signboard of Christ dying on the cross. Let me ask this one question: Did
you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the law? Of course not, for the Holy
Spirit came upon you only after you believed the message YOU HEARD about
Christ." Gal. 3:1-2 NLT

He also had some choice words to people who preached a different Gospel:

"Let God's curse fall on anyone, including myself, who PREACHES any other
message than the one we TOLD you about." Gal. 1:8

I think it may be a little dangerous to redefine what preaching is....

"Since God in his wisdom saw to it the world would never find him through human
wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe... (1 Cor.
1:21) We speak WORDS given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to
explain eternal truths... (1 Cor. 2:13)"

I believe that we should be as consistent as possible in how we live our lives
as well. But it would do us well to remember that it is the message of the
proclaimed Gospel that is "the power of salvation," and not our behavior.

With respect and blessings to you, Sam, (if you wrote this one)

TC

<><><> --- <><><>


Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 07:37:27 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] A vision in my city.....- thanks David

Dear David: Your post deeply moved me and has caused my heart to well up with
so much affection for my Jesus. I am even more convinced of my passion and
direction by your posting. I have always gone out of the way in our gatherings
to focus on the abundant life we have in Christ Jesus. When we gather it is to
experience His life in us and through us, not to have a meeting in a living
room! Thank you for sharing your heart.

I just got an email from a serviceman in the Middle East who is seeking to
connect former Muslims together. Your comments concerning groups of three to
five people I think is very valid for places hostile to the gospel. Thanks for
your encouraging word.

Blessings, Sam

 


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #66 < Previous Digest Next Digest >

house church eldership servanthood lord's day lord's supper world missions