환원운동사 영어특강(The Church in the Bible and in History)
이 자료는 신시내티 크리스천 대학교 및 대학원의 총장을 역임했던 하비 C. 브림 2세(Harvey C. Bream, Jr.) 목사가 1989년 9월 10일부터 13일까지 총4회에 걸쳐서 플로리다 올랜도에 위치한 사우스이스트 그리스도의 교회에서 행한 환원운동사 강연 내용입니다. 테이프를 자주 사용하여 상태가 나빠진데다가 용량이 워낙 크기 때문에 음질을 낮출 수밖에 없었지만, 하비 C. 브림의 뛰어난 스피치와 정확하고 빠른 발음의 환원 운동사 강연을 영어로 직접 들어 보실 수 있는 기회를 마련해 보았습니다.
여기에 소개한 강연 텍스트는 “제1강, 신약성경교회, 어떻게 시작되었는가?”<The New Testament Church: "How It All Began">의 전문으로써 그리스도의 교회의 성격을 올바르게 밝혀주는 매우 중요한 내용입니다. 그리고 이 영어 텍스트는 조동호 목사가 녹음을 듣고 받아 적어 옮긴 것이므로 오류가 다수 있을 수 있음을 밝혀 둡니다. 잘못된 곳이 발견되면 즉시 연락 주시기 바랍니다.
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<INTRODUCTION to Harvey C. Bream, Jr. spoken by the minister of Southeast Christian Church in Orlando Florida on September 10, 1989>
We invited for you. There, in this series of messages Harvey C. Bream is a minister of Forest Dale Church of Christ in Cincinnati Ohio. He is formerly a president of Cincinnati Bible College, chancellor of that same institution. He is formerly an evangelist at large he has preached some 300 and some revival meetings, weeks and camps and hundreds of those. And he is a father of four children. He is a family, a primary family of preachers. I had to get this out to remember and get straight his father, his brother, three brothers in law, two sons and an uncle, two nephews, son in law and three grandsons potential preachers and he didn't have had a chance. We're delighted to have Harvey to come to share with us. He has formerly serve an evangelist at large for the Christian Restoration Association in Cincinnati Ohio and has helped establishing three congregations, one of which was Forest Dale Church which he has returned as a preaching minister after his retirement as a chancellor of Cincinnati Bible College in 1989. And we're delighted to welcome brother Bream as he comes to share with us. Let's give him a fine floating welcome as he comes to teach the Word of God.
Harvey C. Bream, Jr.,
The former president of Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary
RESTORATION THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
PART 1 INTRODUCTION
I hope you brought your Bible and New Testaments with you and you look at the outlines that have been distributed. Perhaps you want to turn those references in advance because we're going to pass them rapidly. We won't read all of them. We will make loosen some of them. By the way this series of study I hope it doesn't exhaust you; it is not really exhaust you at all. We're just exciting the suggestive scriptures and texts and hope you want to go to your concordances and you're more definitive study all these matters we're going to be sharing together from night to night.
The overall theme of this series of lectures which we're going to be sharing is entitled, “The Church in the Bible and in History, Restoring New Testament Church.”
My basic proposition is this. The restoration principle that is a return to scripture is still valid in the 20th and 21st century which we're entering. Restoration principle has practicality and validity for today. I went to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for definition some of terms we will be using frequently throughout this series. And you might follow with me. Notice that the term is "Restore." It means “to reestablish; to put back into existence or use; to put back; to bring back to or put back into the former or original state; to repair.” Another term will be using many times, "Restoration: a putting back into an unimpaired or much-improved condition; a representation of original form.”
One of the favorite spots my wife and I like to visit is Williamsburg Virginia. Perhaps some of you had enough to visit that historical spot. The reason is so fascinate is because it has been endeavored to restore that great colonial city of Williamsburg. And they had done a master job trying to put back into exact place. All that is original dwelling as they were originally constructed gives an insight into the colonial lives of that then and age. So that's we'll talk about, we'll talk about Restoration. Now the term history is simply “a systematic account of events.” Now let's make a composite and see what's come up with. Restoration History is the systematic account of events relating to the bringing back into its original state, the church of Christ and this, as the means to unity and the answer that Jesus prayed in John 17:21.
I. The term, restoration, implies that something has been lost; the original has been impaired.
Now the very term, restoration, implies something that's been lost. I remember the boy hearing an old illustration some of our pioneer preachers used to use about a lady who had a favorite recipe that just tickled palate for her family. So she wanted to set about a task preparing for particular dinner and she looked for the recipe but couldn't find it anywhere. So she tried to recall her memory of ingredients she all used and the amount of those ingredients and how she could combine them. But lo and behold, it wasn't just turned out the way that she had before. And every succeeding effort ended in similar failure. Until after some time has passed she cleaned the house and moved cabinet, her work cabinet back from the wall dusted behind it. And lo and behold this recipe was slipped behind the cabinet, between cabinet and the wall. She was delighted of course and she took it out and dusted it all and laid it down before her and she followed instruction using the same ingredients and same amount and same way and lo and behold had same result as in the beginning. And that's what we talk about here in the matter of restoration.
II. How are we to recognize that which is to be restored? Where is it to be found?
Of course, the basic question which we can find is this. How are we to recognize that which is to be restored? Where is it to be found? And this question is really essentially by the fact that the annual publication, entitled, the American Yearbook of Christian Church, revealed there are in America today over 300 major denominations. This is not included in many less denominations and many causes and isms that continually are springing up. Now a man will be intellectually honest in searching for truth. It will be coming upon him to study all of the teachings and practices and all of various denominations. It probably will take most of the lifetime if he is conscientious in pursue of such a study. And at the conclusion of such a study he perhaps will be more confused when he began.
Our proposition I believe is fair and intellectually honest. I think, first of all, it has seen in another old illustration. A young businessman walked into a bank and handed his business card to a receptionist. And after he couldn't have an appointment to see the bank president, he said, “Tell your president that from modesty of five dollar I will teach him how to recognize all counterfeits.” The receptionist took the card and handed it in to his president who was sitting behind a bright shiny and mahogany desk. He listened to it. He thought, "Well, that certainly is modesty. Five dollars, perhaps I can see to myself and my bank thousands of dollars." So he had to usher a young man in who said, "Come close to desk" before him." And he expected this young man would open his briefcase and spread out on desk before him all his various counterfeit bills to teach him how to recognize them. And to, to a surprise, young man who simply reached and pulled in a bill for out of pocket withdrew a dollar bill for that bill for laid it on the desk before the bank president and said, "Sir, if I can teach you how to recognize earmarks of all that is genuine automatically by contrast, you will recognize all that is counterfeit."
And so our plea is this. Instead of studying all of various religious groups which will take enormous amount of time and perhaps end up more confusion than the outset, my proposition is to take that would all accept as the genuine. And we open up the pages of New Testament together and study the earmarks of the church as revealed in the New Testament scriptures. Studying the things New Testament church taught and New Testament church practiced and the way that they practiced them, we can examine to recognize the earmarks of all that is genuine automatically by contrast, we will recognize all that is counterfeit. And this is an amazing, the practicality of that proposition.
Several years ago, I was in the revival meeting in one of largest cities in Maryland. An Episcopal lady has been attending our services. A very refined cultural woman has been seemingly enjoying the services and we were asked to visit her home. A very lovely home, one of the loveliest home in which I have ever privileged to walk into. And this lady as we began our conversation said, "I've been enjoyed your services from night to night." And she said, "I noticed," because the previous night there were several baptisms, she said, "I noticed when you baptized you immersed people." She said, "I was sprinkled." She said, "Can you explain that to me?" And I noticed because the first thing I do as I was going to her home I observed the thing around a kind of literature and other things and I saw laying on the coffee table very conspicuous place the Bible and it was obviously a worn Bible. And I said, "Well to answer that question." I said, "I see your Bible, Let's see your Bible." I had to say. I picked it up. And I said, "I assumed you believe the Bible as the Word of God." She said, "Well, I always believed that." I said, "Let's see what Jesus talked in his last words on earth. It must have been very important in these last words. And turn over Mark 16 chapter and 15 to 16 verses. And I handed her over her own Bible and by the way I observed those two verses have already been underlined by pen. I said, "You read what Jesus said?" She read it aloud. "And Jesus said unto his disciples, 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized." She stopped there. She backed up and read it again. "He that believeth and is baptized." She looked up and she said, "I didn't believe when I was baptized. I was just a baby." I said, "What did Jesus say?" She read it again, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” I said, "Now let's see Jesus' apostle to whom was given a command to obey Jesus. So I turned over the second chapter of the Book of Acts when the church was established and the doctrine was preached for the first time. Now Peter had just finished a sermon and the crowd asked what to do. Let's what Peter told them to do. And I handed it to her and read Acts 2:38. She read it, "Peter said unto them, Repent ye and be baptized every one of you." She was a sharp lady. She stopped before she finished reading and backed up and ready to read it again out aloud. "Repent ye therefore, and be baptized." She said, "I didn't repent before I was baptized." She said, "I was just a baby." I wanted all of conversions in the Book of Acts was just like that. I'd never told a thing. I just let her read the scriptures. Let the scriptures answer. When we've got through that study, here was the first question. I hadn't even said a word about it. She said, "Where did sprinkling come from?" By her recognizing the earmarks all that is genuine automatically she recognizes all that is counterfeit. I said to her, "I can't not answer you that question from the scriptures. I can answer that question from the study of church history." And I launched about half an hour discourse covering church history. It takes me four lectures to give this whole things to you. I gave it to her to learn half an hour in her home that day. And that evening she was baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ.
I had the same experience somewhere in Michigan City Indiana in a meeting. A Roman Catholic lady and a Methodist husband had been attending our services upon invitation of one of neighbors. On the first Thursday night of revival she and her husband kindly held back until most audiences departed. She came up to me. She said, "Mr. Bream, my husband and I have been enjoyed we've been hearing you these nights we've been attending the meetings. She said, "We especially appreciated all the scriptures you used in your preaching." She said, "We have been thinking about becoming members of the Christian Church." She said, "But it's a hard decision." She said, "I have been reared all my life." She said, "I was reared in combat." I said, "You have a few minutes of time." They said, "Yes, we do." So we stepped out the church foyer and entered in a side room. I said, "Do you believe the Bible as the Word of God?" They both said, "We believe it all our lives." I said, "Do you believe Jesus Christ as the Son of living God?" Again they both in firm said. "We always believed that." "Now I am perfectly candid and honest with you." I said, "Roman Catholic Church tradition, Roman Catholic dogma, is accepted on a par or equally authoritative with scripture." I said, "I accept the Bible alone as my only authority in religion." I said, "You're willing to adapt that position if you believe the Bible as the Word of God? You're willing to accept what you admit this God's Word as your authority in religion? Husband and wife with one another they said, "We are." I said, "You're willing to do whatever you find Jesus asked you to do?" They both said, "We are." The work was done. They had accepted the Bible as the Word of God. They accepted Jesus as God's Son. They're willing to accept the Bible as only authority. They're willing to do whatever they find Jesus had to say. I followed the same procedure. I turned Jesus' last word on earth. I handed the Bible to them there and in Mark 16:15-16, just let the lady read it aloud. And in the same procedure, She read, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." She stopped. And she said, "I didn't believe when I was baptized. When I was told to be baptized I was a baby." I said, "What did Jesus say?" She read it again; I wanted the Day of Pentecost when the church was established. Peter was in the same procedure. She came to the same conclusion with the other lady whom I alluded. We went to the conversions. And finally I said to them, "Is this what the Bible teaches?" They both without any hesitation said, "Yes." That's what the Bible teaches." I said, "Is this what now you're willing to do?" She began to back up and said, "Well you know, I told you that I have been really a Roman Catholic all my life. We're in combat and this is a hard decision." I said, "Yes, you said that you accepted the Bible as your only authority. You said what Jesus said you're willing to do what you find he asked to do. They said, "Will you excuse us for a few minutes." I was happy so I left the room. About fifteen minutes passed, the door was opened toward the foyer and said, "We're ready to be baptized into Christ." About 10:30 o'clock at night we walked into baptistery with that couple and so motivated the gospel
That is our proposition: Going back to the original. Going back beyond all denominationalism both Protestant and Catholic and endeavored to restore the church as revealed in the New Testament scriptures in its doctrines and in its ordinances and in its lives or fruits. And so the New Testament affords the answer to these questions for we recognize that which is to be restored and where it is to be found. So now let's begin with looking at how it all began the New Testament church.
THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
I. Jesus spoke of the church (Matthew 16:18) - a future event.
Recalling the 16th chapter of Matthew Gospel, Jesus had gone with disciples to upper parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked. "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" They said, "Well, some say you're Elias, Jeremiah, one of the prophets. John the Baptist." And Jesus remembered and said, "Whom say ye that I am?" Remember Simon Peter replied and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
Now notice the note and tense the Lord used. He referred to the church as a future event. The church was not established by the John the Baptist. The church was referred to as a future event. John the Baptist had already deceased at the time Jesus made this statement, "upon this rock I will build my church." So it was a future event.
Now the Pentecost is cited by the apostle Peter as the beginning of this event. Recalled the church by the first 9 or 10 years had been almost exclusively Jewish. Until the apostle Peter had a vision when he was in the house of Simon a tanner there in Joppa and Cornelius Roman soldier as you find according to 10th chapter of Acts had hourly prayed and seen a vision of an angel appearing to him saying, "Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter who shall tell thee words, whereby shall be saved thou and all thy house." So all of a sudden Peter understood what the significant the vision was and he came to Cornelius' house and preached the gospel. And when he preached and recalled the Holy Spirit came upon them, and then they began to speak with other tongues. Peter said, "Why how can we forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as same as we?" Well, words got back down Jerusalem to the church there that Peter had gone and preached the gospel to the gentiles and baptized them into Christ and brought them in the church. They were waiting for him and calling him on the carpet. And Peter in his defense of action he had taken, if you turn to Acts 11th chapter where Peter gives the defense before the church in Jerusalem for this which was just done in the 15th verse, he said, "When the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning." Here Peter is referring all the way back to the day of Pentecost. You see this. Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, this baptism of the Holy Spirit, this speaking in tongues was obviously not a common occurrence.
The only other time in here Peter cited was something that happened way back to the beginning. Pentecost, that was born out in the second chapter of Acts when here in fulfillment that Jesus promised to the apostles in John 14 through 16 and he promised again he gives in Acts the first chapter when he told disciples, "You tarry in Jerusalem until you shall be endowed with power from on high.” And in the first and second chapters of Acts now when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with together one accord in one place. There came suddenly from heaven a sound as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now some happened of course and began a mocking here and said, "These are men of drunk." But Peter stood up with the eleven and said, "These men are not drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. And "listen." He said, "For this is that. This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh." And the one he had quoted that great Old Testament prophecy hath poured forth which was being fulfillment and very presence and because later on in this sermon and read this in the second chapter of Acts and said, "Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye now see and hear." And here 9 some years later Peter says concerning the house of Cornelius justification going into them, "yes, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as on us at the beginning." And that satisfied the Christendom in Jerusalem. They glorified God. To all from the gentiles now the gospel has been preached.
II. Characteristics of the church to be restored.
A. Its creed, cf. Matthew 16:16; Acts 8:37; 1 Timothy 12, 13; Romans 10:9, 10.
Now let us look at six of the major characteristics of this church that we will lovely see the restored. The first of them of characteristics are creeds. Did the New Testament church have a creed? Yes, it did. Now that word, creed, is not a New Testament word. It's a Latin word. Oh, you Latin scholars remember the word, 'credo'? Translated that Latin word means 'I believe.' So creed is what you believe. Now what is the creed of New Testament church? We have already quoted, Peter's confession that was in the parts of Caesarea Philippi, Matthew chapter 16 verse 18(16), "Thou art the Christ, the Son of living God." The 8th chapter of Acts, do you remember one Phillip who preached a treasurer of queen of the Ethiopians who had been up to Jerusalem for to worship and now a way back home? There is 35th verse of 8th chapter of Acts. He read beginning at the same scripture because here this eunuch reading out of 53 chapter of Isaiah and Old Testament messianic prophecy and Phillip called up, "Do you understand what you're reading?" He said, "How can I, except some man should guide me?" Phillip was invited upon chariot and he read the scripture again and turned to Phillip said, "Who is the prophet talking about, himself or someday else?" The 35th verse is this. And beginning at the same scripture, Phillip preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" And Philip said, "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Here you find again a confession of faith. Turn over here to 1Timothy the 6th chapter the 12th to 13th verses. You also find the apostle Paul reminding Timothy of the confession. The profession, the good profession he made before many witnesses. And also Paul here writes to Timothy and alludes to a good confession Jesus Christ made before Pontius Pilate. We call that incident. In Romans the 10th chapter 9th to 10th verses, Paul says that if we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in our heart that God has raised him from the dead, we shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Now notice. There is no mention in the New Testament about Apostles' Creed. Apostles never saw the Apostles' Creed. They never wrote it. It came to existence after the deceased of the apostles. No Nicene Creed. Nicene Creed is not formulated until 300 years later. We'll come to that later on our study. The only creed of the New Testament church was the fact that Jesus was Christ, the Son of Living God.
B. Terms of admission - conversions - Acts 2,8,9,10,16; etc.
Now what other characteristics are we interested in of the New Testament church? Secondly is a term of admission. Now hear this tonight, if we just get this close to our confused religious world, the terms of admission in the New Testament church are identical with the terms of salvation. That which saves man automatically at one of the same time makes him a part of the church. Completely foreign to the New Testament is the concept that a man can be saved and later on join in the church of choice. That terminology is completely foreign to the scriptures. That which saves man makes him automatically a part of the Lord's church, Lord's body.
That is pointed out in the conversion. The very first conversion is; we call it out, on the Day of Pentecost which we've already cited. And notice what that concluding verse is. 47th verse says in the second chapter of Acts. They were praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be or being saved. There is no such thing that you're joining in the church. We hear people use that term, "I join in the church." My friends, if you'd join in the church, you'd join in the Lord's church. The only way you can be come up with Lord's church is the Lord adding you when you comply with his gracious conditions of pardon of sins. When you obey the gospel in faith, then the Lord adds you to his church which is the body of Christ.
Also you find the same in the 8th chapter of Acts. These are all the conversions. The 8th chapter of Acts you about read conversion about Samaritans, read about conversion of Simon of sorcerer. You also read about conversion of Ethiopian eunuch. In the 9th chapter of Acts you read the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. And you also have read in the 22nd and 26th chapters of Acts in two latter councils Paul himself is rehearsing the kind of conversion, You also read in the 10th chapter about conversion of Cornelius Roman soldier, in the 16th chapter of Acts, of course, the conversion of Lydia the business woman and Philippian jailer. And that which saves all of these people automatically made them a part of the Lord's church, the church revealed in the New Testament scriptures. So that's not two separate actions but the simultaneous actions.
C. Names employed.
A third characteristics of the church trying to recognize the earmarks of all that is genuine here are the names that employed. Now again this is not an exhausted study. You want to, I hope, you will be challenge and motivate to do more exhausted study and research on all these subjects extremely preferable to you.
1. Collectively, cf. Acts. 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:15; Colossians 1:18,24; Ephesians 1:22,23; Romans 16:16; etc.
But collectively, overall believers referred to as in Acts 20:28, Apostle Paul when he is speaking to the elders of the church at Ephesus. He refers to "the church of the Lord." Paul, when he writes Timothy in the First Timothy 3:15, refers to "the church as the church of the living God." And in Colossians 1:18 and Ephesians 1:22-23 Apostle Paul refers to the church as the Christ's body over which he is its head. There is a relationship: Christ is the head of the church and the church is his body. In Romans 16th chapter 16th verse, Paul when he writes to Christians in the church in Roma simply uses this citation, he says, "All the churches of Christ salute you." So this is the terminology that is used collectively.
2. Individually, cf. Acts 11:26 (Isaiah 62:2); Romans 1:7; 1Corinthians 15:6; Galatians 3:26.
Now individually, for many years the disciples, the first of all, who were referred to simply is "Disciples." Those who believed in Jesus to obey the gospel were referred to disciples. Then you come to Acts 11th chapter and in the 26th verse is the first time you find the word "Christian" appeared. And it says, "And the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch."
And most scholars attributed this as a fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy uttered about 700 years earlier in the Prophet Isaiah in the 62nd chapter the second verse referred to the fact that the Gentiles will also be a part of the Kingdom and he said that God would call his people by a new name, a name which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Here it comes to Acts 11:26 and the disciples were called. And that word translated "called" is only used several other places in the New Testament and every incidences referred to is divinely calling. Disciples were called divinely so Christians first at Antioch.
Now Romans 1:7 you find other terminology used for Christians. You find this usage frequently throughout the New Testament referred to "Saints." Somebody came up to you and said, "Say, you're a saint." Would you embarrass by that terminology. "Oh, no, no. I'm not a saint." What's happened? See you happened to our terminology. Now most people think being a saint means that you're holier than I and you're almost perfect and similar to saint.
A more common idea and concept of saint is first of all you have to be dead before you'll be a saint. All you have to have is attribute to you certain special deed or saint could also be purchased by a particular amount of money. That is what is happened to church history. You have to be dead first. Then you have to attribute to you certain special works of miracles. And then or otherwise it could be you made a saint by a certain amount of money you would give. But that is not a New Testament terminology. Every Christians, my friends, if you're a Christian, you're a saint. A saint is merely somebody who is set apart to serve and you are that as a Christian.
Also you find in the First Corinthians 15:6 and many many other places scriptures. I‘m just exciting to suggest texts here where you're referred to all "Christian" and referred to "Brethren." That chose our relationship in the family as brethren in Christ.
In Galatians 3:26 the apostle Paul refers to us and says, "Children of God." He says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. For as many of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” So these are terms that were used as regard to all this individually.
D. Ordinances observed.
Now a fourth characteristics of the church in the New Testament are the ordinances observed. All Christendom recognizes two primary ordinances as first of all baptism and secondly the Lord's Supper.
1. Baptism – Matthew 28:18-20 (Mark 16:15,16); Acts 2:38; 8:38,39; 22:16; Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27; 1Peter 3:21; etc.
Now I'll not belabor the matter of baptism and disappoint responding the Great Commission we refer to it, Jesus' last word in Matthew 28:18-20. We've already quoted Mark 16:15,16, Mark's record of Commission. We also cited Acts 2:38. We also cited Acts 8:38,39, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:2-5. By the way we haven't referred to this yet. Here Paul beautifully describes baptism when he says. "Are ye ignorant, know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted or united with Him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” If you read Roman Catholic translation of the Bible Douay Version in the footnote to Romans 6:4, Roman Catholic Douay Version says this, "Here Saint Paul alludes to the primitive manner of baptism by immersion." I use that Douay Version many many times in sharing the gospel with the people. So we have all these scriptures on the matter of baptism. The First Peter 3:21 was that Peter cites Noah and his family how they were saved by water. He says which also after two likenesses that now save us not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, on the taking bad getting rid of physical uncleanliness, but he says the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Now some people would say because of the fact we use all these scriptures. "Well, you people believe in water salvation? Do you believe in baptism regeneration? You claim that baptism is essential or necessary to being saved. Then you must be a baptism regenerationist. You believe that water saves. We believe no such thing because the Bible doesn't teach any such a thing. It doesn't teach baptism only saves, any more than faith only saves or repentance only saves. It is a part of the conversion process. It is a man that endeavored to separate it in separable. You know it's like trying to ask a question, "Tell me what is most important leg of three legged stool? And so it is a conversion process. They all join in together.
2. Lord’s Supper – Matthew 26:26-28; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30; cf. Acts 2:42.
Then we come to the Lord's Supper. We're all familiar of course with initiation by our Lord in upper room at night which was betrayed as recorded in Matthew 26:26-28. In the New Testament we find the practice the apostle Paul, you remember one of the missionary journey recorded there 20th of Acts 7 verse, had come to the city of Troas. They tarried there 7 days. And the reason that they tarried 7 days because he says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples were met together to break bread, Paul discoursed unto them and intended to depart on the morrow and continued his speech until midnight. So Paul waited there at Troas until the brethren had assembled together to observe the Lord's Supper.
Also we find in the First Corinthians 11:23-30. For the apostle Paul gives most definitive discussion of this matter of the proper observation of the Lord's Supper and significance to we Christians. I like Acts 2:42 also. Acts 2:42, you remember right after Pentecost, we read 3,000 were added, then we come to 42nd verse and says, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
When I was in school, I didn't do too well in geometry. But I do remember one thing, I'll start geometry like this, "Things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other." Some of you remember that geometry? Now if you apply to this text, you'll end up with same thing, things that are equal to the same thing. Here you have an, I'll get this to write here, continued steadfastly, continued steadfastly. That's the thing which they are equal. Now what's equal to this? Continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. So things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. I know that today the very common practice in religious world is to legislate the observance of the Lord's Supper to particular times. Some would observe it monthly; some would observe it semiannually; some would observe it annually. And usually the rationale is, "Well, too frequent observance makes common." I often wonder, "Does that mean that preaching every Sunday makes too common? Ah, does that mean that praying every Sunday makes too common? How many churches would say that taking offering every Sunday makes too common? And yet we come to the very center to focal point of all Christianity is about death, burial, resurrection of Jesus. We would say and conclude that it's too frequent observance to make too common. No friends. Things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. They continued steadfastly. This is the apostolic precedence we have in the New Testament. This is the characteristics of the New Testament church.
E. Polity (organization and government).
A fifth characteristics is polity. The word, polity, simply means organization or government. I'm convinced most problems in our churches and our churches are played with problems today. It's because we have ceased studying the matter of New Testament church polity. I think most all the problems, the politics cropped up in the local churches, and the tensions cropped up in local churches is due to the fact we do not understand what the New Testament teaches on the various functions in the church and the relationship between among these various functions and offices in the church. It will eliminate a proper understanding and New Testament church government will eliminate most power struggles in most congregations. But if you don't understand appreciation the New Testament teaches on this subject, you're going to have problems.
1. Members – Acts 2:41-47.
Now the basic unit, basic unit in the organization of the New Testament church are the members. Again Acts 2 we cited that 41-47 that, which makes you Christians, makes you members. The first function that we find here outside the apostolic office and prophetic office that in the local church here were those who serve in the particular function and meet a particular need according to the 6th chapter of the Book of Acts. You remember here the apostle Peter and the other apostles have been busy with task of meeting the needs of widows that never ended ministries. And some Greek widows thought they're being discriminated against favor of the Hebrew widows. And Peter called congregation and he said, "Brethren, it is not fit that we should leave our task of the study of God's word, preaching, and praying." He didn't take that was the mini of task that was a less important task. It is vitally important task. So much so they know the clever men he said, 'You should select among them, men who were full of the Holy Spirit, men of honest report, men of wisdom." That's the clever men who took to perform this particular ministries. That Peter in the back was saying is "poor stewardship for we apostles to spend all our time waiting on tables because that's not what God called us to do." And so it's same understanding that we have to have local church. There is an identity crisis in our church these days. Most Evangelist preachers don't know what the function is anymore because so many demands made upon them. Most elders don't understand what the function is the church. Most deacons don't. And you have this identity crisis, too.
Now you find overlapping sometimes functions. But God has ordained every one of these functions and given each one a primary area of responsibility. And a man of function is properly met that area, then you won't have time to do all these other things. Let me illustrate. When I was a president of a Bible College, I strolled on the hall some days. And I found our students just for too accurate sometimes and heading the waste disposal containers. Now I would look at that the waste things and saying well of being meet my dignity as a president to go over them down to students to pick up that scrap papers and throw away in waste disposal. Whom besides that we paid maintenance crews for? No, many many times I walked down corridors and picked up scraps and put in waste disposal then. But now if I turn and go all over the campus and the dormitories cleaning up all the leaves and everything in around and trustees would call on the carpet, "Hey, Harvey, that's not your job description. That's not we're paying you for we've got a maintenance crew handle that. Also I did a lot of typing but I've been all my life time typing. Again the trustees said, "Harvey, what do you think we have that secretarial pool for? Again I love to teach. In fact I have taught classes in the Bible Colleges a number of years and still teach classes in the Bible College. But I spend all my time teaching 14 to 16 hours. The trustees would call me again and said, "Now Harvey, that is not what we called you as CEO for. We have faculty to take care of that." So you see here. I can do something these other things. But my primary area of responsibility is to meet the chief ministerial officer. To function that capacity may be some overlapping. So this in the church, elders have a particular function, Deacons have a particular function. Evangelist has a particular function. Now we have identity crisis today. And that causes a lot of confusion in our churches.
2. Deacons – Acts 6:3-6; 1Timothy 3:8-13; etc.
So the elders you, by the way deacons you read about the First Timothy 3:8-13. They performed particular ministries. By the way they brought in existence to meet a need, not to fill in office, but to meet a need.
3. Elders – 1Timothy 3:17; Titus 1:5-9; etc.
4. Evangelists – 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus.
Same as the elders, and First Timothy their 3rd chapter refers to bishops and Titus 1:5-9 and First Peter 5:1 you'll find them referred to as elders; also Ephesians 4:11 you will find them referred to as pastors; Titus 1:5-9 you will find the terms elders and bishops used interchangeably. These are titles that were used interchangeably with reference as same function. It's just show you how great identity crisis is today increasingly I'm observing and is becoming increasing phenomena. Preachers have been referred to as pastors. Now it's not that ministers cannot serve as the pastors. If he's qualified and the congregation sees fit to select him to serve as a pastor. But by the very fact that evangelist or preacher does not automatically make him a pastor. And if a evangelist is really functioning as an evangelist should function, he won't have time to do all the work that is telling being a pastor. And the same way here what this term signifies actually is an elder, a man of maturity, friends, wisdom, grounded in faith. He's also referred to as a pastor, one who can shepherd the flock, guide the flock, feed the flock, protect the flock. He is referred to as a bishop because he exercises overseeing over the congregation, rule over the congregation. And again the American concept of ruling over being a bishop is not the New Testament concept. In our churches they many church things over man is a bishop or elder and pastor and then he rules with an iron fist, and he rules by mandate. And he has an inherent authority engaged in jumping and jumping. That is not New Testament concept. Peter explicitly said to what he says, "Not as lording it over God's heritage, but it is an ensamples to the flock."
I learned a great lesson when I made a visit to the holy land about 11 years ago. I strolled every morning, that is, we would go out. I'd observed Bedouins as they're leading their sheep and their and their, their goats out to pasture. Now, by the way, it's interesting. They still have old camel skin huts and tents over there. You think you're really back to an old world? But I noticed. It was my observation that on every one of those tops, on every one of those camel skin tents it was for tuning television antenna. Heh, Heh, They had that. But here was my observation, these Bedouin shepherds were out in front leading and the flock was following and there....driver. That is not the biblical concept of the shepherd. And I have contended this. You have elders, pastors and bishops. These men who by their examples are vitality in their lives morally and spiritually, their knowledge of God's Word, their liberality, their faithfulness, then you'll have a congregation that is willing to submit that type of leadership and follow that kind of example. That's what the New Testament talks about here.
5. Consideration of the apostolic and prophetic offices (ceased).
So then you have the consideration of apostolic office and of course the apostolic office obviously cannot be perpetuated contrary to many popular ideas because being an apostle you have to be an eyewitness of resurrected Lord. And the prophetic office ceased because after the revelation was completed, there is no need for additional revelations. And we'll get in that a little bit more. But I use the old illustration. When you build a house of building, you rack scaffolding. That helps you to get structure up. Then after you completed the structure, you won't need the scaffolding standing. Your neighbors will go around and talk about here. And the continuing election of that scaffolding around your completed structure wouldn't mark beauty. So the scaffolding is removed after the structure is completed. So after the revelation has been given, there is no more need for the prophetic office. No more revelations were needed.
F. Discipline or rulebook (constitution).
And we'll come to that herein are sixth character of New Testament church characteristics: Discipline or rulebook. By the way the only constitution for the New Testament church is New Testament. Many of our churches are in drawing up constitution. I can draw up by laws. Could by laws govern the areas that the scriptures do not speak? Many areas are, for instance, we don't know how the New Testament church were about the selecting elders and deacons so for. That's the area of expediency. So these areas congregation, that's well to have by laws so all things will be done decently and in order. But were the scripture speak faith and doctrine, that becomes the constitution of the New Testament church.
1. 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2:15; etc.
Second Timothy 3:16, I like where the apostle Paul says, “Every scripture inspired by God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete and furnished completely unto every good work.” In Second Timothy in the second chapter back going back to chapter earlier than 15th verse. Here is one of most needed admonitions in the 20th century churches I believe where here Paul says to Timothy, “Study or give diligence to present yourself or to shew thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling a right the word of truth.” Also in Second Timothy 2:2 earlier in that same chapter Paul also said this to Timothy, “The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” It is charge to Timothy in the Second Timothy the fourth chapter by the all this scripture down my own jotting down to go over them. In Second Timothy the fourth chapter beginning the first verse when Paul charge Timothy, "To preach the word;" he said, "be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when men will not endure the sound doctrine; and having itching ears; and will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside unto fables." Also we find here in the Second Peter the first chapter the 20th and 21st verses, the apostle Peter says this, "No prophecy of the scripture is private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men's faith from God being moved by the Holy Spirit.” Then and Galatians 1:6-12 the apostle Paul said this, it's said, "We, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any other gospel than which we have preached, let him be anathema." He come along again later on he says almost same meaning. He says, "If any man preaches unto you any other gospel than which ye have received, let him be anathema." In Jude third verse, we read this word, "Contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints.” Then of course John concludes his Revelation in the 22nd chapter begins 18th verse. These words specifically referred the book which he had written. But the principle is applicable. He says, "If any man adds the words of the prophecy of this book, it should be added to him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book, he shall be taken out of the book of life"
And so here there is no more revelation. And any way, any revelation that claims to be a latter day revelation, my friends, cannot be in contradiction to what the Holy Spirit has already said. The Holy Spirit will not contradict himself. He is not going to give a revelation different from that which he has also already revealed. Otherwise, gives works not be as it refers to as the word of truth. Truth can not contradict itself. It still is regarded as truth. So God gave the revelation. So 'Discipline or rulebook' for the church is God's completed revelation
2. All sufficient
It's all sufficient. Anything that has more has too much, anything with less does not have enough and that which professes to contain the same as the scriptures is unnecessary. And so the creeds, books, discipline that in existence today were never be a phasis for common agreement among believers in Christ. There have always been the sources for vacation and division and confusion. And so here we come to the Word of God as only and all sufficient rulebook both in faith and practice. The Word of God, Bible is the only common meeting ground upon which all believers can stand.