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Alan

The Local Church.

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On 11/5/2019 at 10:08 AM, Alan said:

The End Note on Second Timothy – The First Bishop of Rome”

The end note on the book of Second Timothy, on the Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly called the King James Version of 1611, says, “The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.”

Considered by most saints, the book of Second Timothy, is the last book of the New Testament written by Paul the Apostle. The Apostle Paul is in prison, he is about to be beheaded by the Roman Government, and is giving his son in the faith, Timothy, some last instructions, doctrinal information, admonitions, encouragement, and a final farewell.

The author of the end note is not known and it is not considered written by Paul in the Epistle nor is it considered inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is though, considered an historical fact noted by someone in the history of time to actual events and of whose name will be revealed in the courts of heaven.

“The second epistle unto Timotheus ...” the Apostle Paul wrote two epistles to Timothy.

“… ordained ...” Timothy was ordained into the ministry. The Apostle Paul had previously wrote to Timothy to be very careful in ordaining a man into the ministry. Paul wrote, “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins, keep thyself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22 The context of 1 Timothy 5:22 is of an elder, or the pastor, of a church (1 Timothy 5:17-21). Furthermore, in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (along with Titus 1:5-9), the context is that a man who is ordained into the ministry needs to meet the qualifications of the pastor.

Only the Local Church has the Authority to Ordain

 

Bro. Alan is right on the money with this lesson. Only a local New Testament Church has the authority to ordain, and that ordination is to be accomplished through the oversight of other pastors to assure that a man meets the qualifications laid out in Scripture. I might mention also that it is my personal belief that this ordination by a local church is also an affirmation of God's call of a man to the ministry by a local church.

So then, if ordination is to be carried out only though and by a local church, this begs the question of ordination by any organization outside of a local church being valid at all. 

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20 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Bro. Alan is right on the money with this lesson. Only a local New Testament Church has the authority to ordain, and that ordination is to be accomplished through the oversight of other pastors to assure that a man meets the qualifications laid out in Scripture. I might mention also that it is my personal belief that this ordination by a local church is also an affirmation of God's call of a man to the ministry by a local church.

So then, if ordination is to be carried out only though and by a local church, this begs the question of ordination by any organization outside of a local church being valid at all. 

Throughout this series of lessons on the local church, it is my contention that a lot of what goes on, including the ordination of men and women that are not qualified, in the denominational headquarters is not, repeat, is not, according to what is written in  the New Testament. So, in the sight of God, the ordinations, the baptisms, the methodology, "bishops", false doctrine, religious hierarchy, ecumenism, etc... by the denominational headquarters, are  not valid and will not stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

 

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James 2:1-4, “Respect of Persons in the Local Assembly”

Writing to the saints in a local assembly, the Apostle James said, “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not them partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?” James 2:1-4

Introduction

By way of context, the Apostle James is exhorting those brethren in the church not to respect other people that come to church by their outward appearance, position in the community, wealth, poverty, or other judgmental attitudes.

The story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 was told, among other reasons, not to judge by the outward appearance and whether or not a person was wealthy or not.

The Lord Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1

The Lord Jesus condemned those who sought the prominent positions in the synagogues. “And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues.” Matthew 23:6 The Lord Jesus is condemning the respect of persons, partiality, a judgmental attitude towards the poor and a submissive attitude towards the rich in the synagogues in His era. The Apostle James is trying to get rid of these same attitudes in the local assembly. According to the Apostle James, respecting people of wealth, position in life, the outward appearance, and partiality in a local assembly, are among the same faults that were in the Jewish synagogues, and are evil thoughts.

I would like to note that the situation that was in the synagogues in the time of Christ is strikingly similar to the assembly that the apostle James writes too.

The Assembly was Not called a House Church

“For if there come unto your assembly ...” In all of the references to an assembly of believers in a house in the Epistles, the Apostle writing the epistle carefully mentions the owner of the house and the passage clearly indicates that the brethren are meeting in a house. In this passage of scripture, James 2:1-4,  no mention of any believer is mentioned nor is it mentioned that the saints were meeting in a house.

Assemblies that were House Churches

1. In Romans 16:3-5 Paul the Apostle was very careful to mention that Priscilla and Aquila had church services in their home. Romans 16:3-5, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epænetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.See also 1 Corinthians 16:19

2. In the book of Philemon, Philemon was a personal friend, and a helper in the ministry, to Paul the Apostle. In a honour to the spiritual maturity, character, and devotion to Paul the apostle, Philemon is one of the finest examples of the act of grace towards an offender of the Lord Jesus.

Philemon 1-2 states, “Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow-labourer, and to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house.” The assembly of saints that assembled at the house of Philemon was a house church. The apostle Paul is very careful to give honor those individuals who have willingly offered their house as a church building.

3. The apostle Paul mentions Nymphas and the church tin his house, “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.” Colossians 4:15

A Building for the Assembly of the Saints

In this passage, James 2:1-4, and by way of context, the entire book of James, the apostle James does not mention it was a house church nor an individual in which the house was assembled in. Therefore, it is highly probable that the assembly of saints were in a building that was either rented, or bought.

In the gospels it is plainly evident that the Synagogues were separate buildings that the faithful Jews met in in order to worship God. The Lord Jesus, and later the apostles, and the early church, met in the synagogues initially.

In fact, in Luke 7:1-10, the Lord Jesus commended the faith of the Roman Centurion highly for his donation of enough funds to build a synagogue. “And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue…. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.” Luke 7:4-5 & 9

In the Old Testament economy, those who loved the Lord, and had faith, willingly donated funds, like the Centurion, in order to build a building in order to worship the Lord God.

After the Jews in the synagogues rejected the message of salvation, it would be natural for the early Christian saints to follow the practice of the Jews in the Old Testament economy and desire a building as a practical method to meet in instead of a house. As with the saints in the Old Testament economy, those saints who love the Lord, and have faith, like the Centurion, will willingly, and lovingly, give of their funds to build a building for the worship of the Lord Jesus and the proclamation of the Gospel.

Edited by Alan
grammer (3)

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What??? No bake sales, rummage sales, yard sales? No begging the community for funds to build a building for the church to meet in?    :4_14_202:

I am a firm believer in a church's members supplying building funds, there is no need, nor is it right to expect the community to provide or asked to provide funds for this.

My church in Alaska consisted of about forty people at the time that building a building for the church was necessary. All funds for this purpose came directly from God's people as The Lord put it on their hearts.

As a mission church we met in the pastors house. Within two years we had enough money to build a small 24X24 foot building to meet in. In another year this was added on to for SS rooms for the children.

Within the next five years we built a decent size church building, added it onto the original 24X24 foot, which then became all SS rooms because we had grown. Our building projects were all paid for by our congregation, we never borrowed a cent for any purpose. All labor was performed by the men of the church, since we had a lot of tradesmen in the membership.

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28 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

My church in Alaska consisted of about forty people at the time that building a building for the church was necessary. All funds for this purpose came directly from God's people as The Lord put it on their hearts.

 

Amen and amen.

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Jim,

Thank you for the testimony of the the building of the church in Alaska. Your testimony is a living example of the early church and how they may have first started in homes, grew in size and faith, and were able to hold services in their own building. So, your testimony is an welcome addition to this study on the local church and encouragement to all of us.

Is it possible that you have some photos of the different add-on's of the church that you would like to show us? Or, maybe a before and after picture of the church?

Brethren,

Does anybody have a similar testimony of how a church was started at a home? or a rented office front?any pictures? I am sure that your testimony would also be a welcome addition to this study and an encouragement to all of us.

Alan

 

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Alan, as I wrote that testimony I was thinking of adding any pictures. I searched for them for some time so I could include them in that reply, but to no avail. My old computer died about a year ago and I think any pictures I had are still on it. I thought I transferred everything on the old computer, but must have missed some.

If I am able to find any pictures of the church they won't be many, but I will revisit this reply and add them. Just don't hold your breath waiting for them, it could be some time before I find them.

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23 hours ago, Alan said:

Does anybody have a similar testimony of how a church was started at a home? or a rented office front?any pictures? I am sure that your testimony would also be a welcome addition to this study and an encouragement to all of us.

We had originally wanted to start a church out of a house a few years ago but we lived with relatives and could not afford a house in the area we were called to at the time. So we rented a small 250 SQ office space with our tithe and then started soul winning and inviting. From there as we grew, we would move to larger offices in the same building. Starting in an office was a blessing because we could expand our space without constantly moving and changing the church information and only paying for the space we needed. Two years into it we made a quick video for our sending church's missions conference. 
 

Unfortunately we ended up having to move back to Michigan but God was able to open up for our congregation to merge with another church in town that needed help and we were able to help them start a soul winning program with our former members. It was also worked out so that we did not have to worry about the church property that we had in the offices because the office owner was contacted by an other Baptist group that wanted to start a church in the same location after our contract was up and they ended up being able to use it all to start a new church in the same space.

Edited by John Young

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John,

Thank you for uploading your testimony on how your sending church sent you to start Edgecliff Baptist Church and give us a living example of New Testament church planting. I appreciate your soul-winning efforts, tract ministry, using new technology (YouTube videos of your services), and dedication. Also, even though, due to health reasons, you had to go back to your sending church you merged your congregation with the other IFB church in the area to provide your members with a good church to join. 

Your testimony on starting a new church was a blessing to my heart and I am sure to other folks also.

Looking forward to other testimonies, pictures, or videos concerning a how a new church was started and eventually was self-sustaining and in a more permanent location.

Alan

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