Thu, March 16, 2017
The Church as announced by Christ, seen in the book of Acts and explained by Paul is a thing of great simplicity and rare beauty.
The church as we see it today is unsymmetrical, highly complex and anything but beautiful. Indeed I think that if some angel of God were made familiar with the church as it appears in the New Testament and then sent to the earth to try to locate it, it would be extremely doubtful whether the heavenly messenger would recognize anything now existing in the field of religion as the church he was looking for. So far have we departed from the pattern shown us in the mount.
The church as the New Testament pictures it is any company of regenerate believers met in the name of Jesus Christ. Such a company is called out from the world and gathered to Christ as a flock of sheep is gathered to the shepherd. The members of this company constitute a despised minority group standing in bold moral contradiction to the world. Their witness is Christ: His person, work, office and present position at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. They carry His gospel to the world and plead ''Be ye reconciled to God,'' then they return to their own company to worship, pray, teach and listen to the Word of the Lord as it is expounded by men of God. They also exhort, testify and exercise for the good of all such spiritual gifts as each one may possess from the Spirit.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
Devotion to apostolic teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Awesome wonders and miraculous signs by the apostles. At personal sacrifice helping other believers in need. Praising God. But no church buildings, no extensive organization, no worship teams, no multi media, no seminars. Did the early church realize what they were missing?
O Lord, may we rediscover Churchness in its simplicity and awe with manifestations of Your power and presence. In Jesus' name.