......for Christians to meet today according to the New Testament pattern of gathering?
This subject can be refereed to as 'Church truth'.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, who the Lord used to write much of the New Testament, wrote by the Spirit of God to the Colossians pointing out that he was "a minister of the gospel" 1.23 & "a minister of the church" 1:24,25. This reminds us of the importance & balance of these two foundational truths that Paul was given by revelation...that we to are to hold firmly to both the gospel truth & the truth of the church in our belief & practice. ...Church truth speaks concerning the body of Christ, that is, all believers. The local assembly (church) is the expression of this body.
We need to recognize that these two truths are interwoven together. For example, scripture assures us that the shed blood of Christ as his body hung on the tree is the only means of payment for our sins.... When the local church comes together in obedience to the Lord's dying command, "do this in remembrance of me" (the Lord's Supper-1 Cor.11 :24-26 i.e. the breaking bread- Acts 2:42) , we remember his body & his blood....... how can we separate the truth of the gospel & church truth? Moreover, the N.T. teaches us that every believer have become "priest before God". This too has been made possible by his blood shed at Calvary. (see Rev.1:5,6; 5: 9,10 also 1 Pe. 2:5,9 w/ 1:18,19)...We were redeemed (bought) by his blood both to be saved from our sins ( i.e. the gospel) & to become a kingdom of holy, royal priests to serve him (i.e. church truth)! By virtue of his blood, how can we separate these two great trues. The Lord desires for us to both worship him(we're holy priests) & witness of him (we're royal priests).
Is there really a clear pattern of how to gather as a N.T.church?
There are many man-made traditions in Christian circles today. Yet, there are also biblical traditions (see 2 Thes. 2:15). In the O.T. the Lord gave a very specific pattern for the building of the tabernacle (Ex.25:8) & later for the temple. So we in the N.T. church age should not be surprised that he expects us to follow his arrangement (his order) in the local assembly. As the priest & people of Israel in the O.T. were not allowed to re-arrange the furniture in the Lord's tabernacle, we should respect his appointed order in the local church.
What are some of these aspects of gathering?
....as to the authority We're to gather in the name (authority) of his name alone. (1 Cor.1:10-13 ; Mt.18:20) Most saints pray, baptize & preach in the Lord's name...why not also gather unto his name, alone, without a denominational name?
...as to the worship The early church broke bread (the Lord's Supper) on a weekly basis. Acts 2:42 steadfastly); Acts 20:7 "upon the first day of the week" 1 Corin. 11:25 "..as 0ft..." (not as seldom). What greater opportunity than "to remember" him in his death...this is true worship (occupied with him)....this is distinct from expressing gift i.e. teaching, evangelizing... that is ministry. Ministry is to the people. Worship (remembering Him) is from the people, but to God.
....as to the local leadership The N.T. pattern for spiritual leadership (oversight) is to be made up of a plurality of elders (pastors,bishops) -Acts 14:23; 20:17,28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thes.5:12,13; James 5:13,14- while submitting to Christ as the only true head of the Church (Col.1:18).
This leadership is to be without a clergy-laity distinction ~see Rev.2:6 & 15 "...the doctrine of the Nicolaitines, which thing I (the Lord) hates" = in Greek- 'to conquer the people') note: 1 Peter 5:3 "neither being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." Even though the elders are to take the lead in teaching (1 Tim. 3:2 "apt to teach")...a non-clerical oversight allows the functioning of an equal priesthood in the expression of gift & worship by the saints.
Notice in the N.T. that none of the Christian leaders were given religious titles nor was the description of their work put in front of their name or with capital letters or with the definite article 'the' in front of it to establish a title...Reverend, Dr., 'Pastor Tim' (see Mt.23:8-11).. believers had no religious titles ..except we do see the Lord himself afforded with titles (i.e. 1 Pe.2:25).
....as to the women's roles The women are equal in their salvational position & value before the Lord, yet the Lord has established a distinction of order as to our realm of service for him. 1 Tim.2:11-15 & 1 Corin. 14:34,35 tell us that the women are to meet in the assembly in silence & submit to the men for the teaching & leadership. The ultimate head of the Church is Christ and this is seen (by the Lord, people & the angels) in obedience to the biblical ordinance (KJV-'tradition') in 1 Corin.11:1-16. By the men uncovering their head & the women covering theirs (hat, etc.), the only glory that is exposed while the praying & prophesying is occurring is that of Christ.(the uncovered man is a picture of Christ--the covered woman is a picture of the bride of Christ--the Church...there are 3 glories & only 2 coverings in this passage) ...thus the headship & glory of Christ is seen.
...as to giving The N.T. epistles teach that the body of Christ are to be "givers", not "tithers". 2 Corin. 9:7 "as he purposeth (i.e. prayer) in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (i.e. being forced to do it) for God loveth a cheerful giver" & 1 Corin. 16:2 "as God has prospered him.." (no specific % is laid upon the N.T. believer)
...as to receiving "The just shall live by faith" not by solicitation. Asking for money in the assembly meetings (or anytime) can be a stumbling block to the unsaved (they often are blindly seeking a way of works for salvation or simply scoff at the solicitation). The Lord's work should be done by the Lord's people ."The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord:" Proverbs 15:8. also....Philip.4:18 "But my God shall supply all our need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Why do these things matter?
Each aspect of Church truth is intended by the Lord to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ instead of mere men. (Colossians 1:18; Eph. 1:20-23)
We honor him by obedience as we are "adopted sons" into the family of God, being "led of the Spirit" as our source to serve...with our motive being love... "we love him because he first loved us."
Create your own unique website with customizable templates.