Saturday, August 10, 2013

MIRRORING THE EARLY CHURCH

Good Evening to All!

I really enjoy reading my Bible.  The thing is, as in any book, I like to get to the “meat of the matter” in a hurry.  I used to read it by starting at Genesis and working my way through all of the way to Revelation, but I found a better way for me.
I know that the Old Testament is important to read because it is actually full of “types and shadows” of the coming of Christ.  It leads the way.  The thing is, I enjoy starting in Acts, because it is clearly a “text book” on how today’s church (or the body of Christ) is suppose to live.    I wanted to specify about the church being the body of Christ because I wanted to make sure you understand that I am not speaking of a building full of people.  I am not speaking of denominations, or religions.  I am speaking as a member of the Body Of Christ which He calls the “church”.  From this point on, I will just refer to it as the “church”.
I hope you took notice that I said LIVE.  I used this term because we can “act” any old way, but to LIVE  the way God shows us in Acts means we are to be examples of how we, as God’s children  are suppose to represent Him to the “world”.   
His light should shine through us.  when the “world” looks at us , they should see God’s manifestation through our actions, our mannerisms, our attitudes and even the way we dress and speak.

The church of today  should mirror the Early church which God brought about in Acts.  We should do this in every way.    The disciples turned their world UPSIDE DOWN, with their courage, prayers, and faith doing God’s will and spreading His Word by literally taking the chance of being killed for it. 
 
They understood how important it was and is to get God’s Word out to others. 
God did not create us and place us on this earth to just take up space.  He had a purpose.  That purpose was to have someone who would love Him and do His will
not because He controls us, but because we love Him. 

We find it so easy to show our love to our mothers and dads, or our spouses and children by doing things for them, making them happy and doing what we know they want us to do.  Why is it so hard for us to do that for our Savior?  He actually died for us, so that we would not be eternally separated from Him.  So that we would be able to stay out of that fiery pit for all eternity, yet so many of us don’t understand. 

Yes, we are saved by grace, but that does not mean it’s a free pass.  Grace teaches us how to live for God.  All through Acts, it uses the term “grace” as a verb.  A word of action and power.  In Romans, it talks about grace as well.  Before I get into this discussion in more detail, let me say that While grace, and our salvation is given to us as a gift from God, He still expects us to honor Him and show Him that we appreciate what He did for us by our living for Him and abiding by His will.  Too many people think that because our salvation is described as a "gift from God", that we owe Him nothing in return.  He purchased us with His blood.  We are bought with a price.  Therefore, our lives are not our own to do with as we see fit.  He wants us to show Him our love and appreciation by having a relationship with Him, talking to Him, praying and living for Him.    Gpd's Word  tells us that just because we have grace, we should not go on sinning.  Romans 5:17 says “for if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who received God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!  Romans 5:20 says, “the law as brought in so that the trespass might increase, but where sin increased, grace increased all the more,  (21) so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:1 goes on to explain, what shall we say, then?  shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  We are those who have died to sin:  (repented); how can we live in it any lo0nger?  (3) Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his  death?  (4)  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that , just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 
 
It goes on through Romans, explaining that we are not to sin, but to live for God (my words). 
This is what grace helps us to do.  The point I am trying to make is that we need to love God and show God our love for Him just as we would our earthly family.  Acts shows us how to do this by giving us a look into the disciples’ actions and love for Christ and His church.  Acts is NOT a History Book.  It is an on-going textbook for life.  It does not say Amen at the end as ALL of  the other books do, meaning it is not finished.  It was written for today’s church just as much as it was for the early church.  God’s will for us has not changed.  God has not changed.

The "early church" understood what it meant to live for God.  They lived it 24/7.  They depended on Him for everything and their faith is unmatched.  Our church today is too "watered down".  It is too busy worrying about public opinion (much like the Pharisees were).  Our faith in the One who matters has waned.  We now seem to depend more on lawyers and doctors more than God.  We should go to God first.  During the time of the early church, they KNEW where their help came from and they honored Him for it, by showing their faith in Him.  We cannot say the same today.

I hope you have found some insight for reading the Bible during the reading of this post.  If nothing else, maybe it has touch a curious speck in your brain to see if what I am saying is truthful.  Please check me.  Look up the scriptures in Acts and Romans.  Prove me and see that I am telling God’s truth. 

Good Night to All and May God Bless!


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2 comments:

Frank Blasi said...

Dear PJ,
I know of a church which has questioned the Resurrection, whose members had committed fornication, and who had also abused the Holy Communion, and one member had threatened to take another brother to Court. And oh yes, should I forget; the congregation was threatening to split into four groups, each heading in a different direction.
You are right, PJ, we need to go back to New Testament times...
But wait - to church referred to here WAS of the new Testament - the church at Corinth.
An excellent post.
God bless.

settledinheaven said...

Hi Pj,

When I read the book of Acts I see especially emphasized the authority the churches of the Lord were given and the historical account of how they exercised that authority as they took the gospel into the world. Their obedience and their faults.

In many of Pauls writtings I can see the doctinal truths and teachings of correction that were given to encourage their faithfulness.

It has always been a blessing to me to read the different letters to the churches during the same time period I read the book of Acts. I've found it give sme a more complete understanding of what is taking place in Acts and what they should have done differently.


Lord bless you PJ.

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