Articles

How To Identify The New Testament Church (Part 4) {By the names the members wear}

In our last discussion concerning the identification of the New Testament church, we discussed the importance of the name of the church. In this discussion, we want to consider the importance of the names that the members wore. To begin with, the preacher should wear a Biblical name. Consider some of the names which are worn by many who would identify themselves as ministers of the gospel. There is the title “reverend.” The word reverend is found only one time in the English translation of the Bible. “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name” (Psa. 111:9). The word “reverend” means to be feared or to tremble at. As used by the Psalmist, it refers to someone who is to be held in awe, or to be worshiped. The Bible is clear that man can not be worshiped (Acts 10:25-26). God, however, can be worshiped and is worthy of our worship (Jn. 4:24; Rev. 19:10). There is not one example in the Bible of a respected minister who referred to himself as a reverend. One never reads of “Reverend Paul, “Reverend James,” or “Reverend Peter.” They referred to themselves as servants of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1; Jam. 1:1; II Pet. 1:1). Preachers should not and must not be referred to as “Reverend.” There is the title “pastor.” Though many ministers refer to themselves as a pastor, the Bible places a very clear distinction between the word pastor and preacher, implying that they are two different works. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Eph 4:11). The term “pastor” comes from a Greek word which means shepherd. The Bible teaches that “elders” are pastors. Consider the resemblance of their work. In Jeremiah 23:1-2, the “pastors” were given the responsibility to take care of the “sheep” or “flock.” In Acts 20:17, 28, the “elders” were given the same responsibility. Such reasoning reveals that the titles “elders” and “pastors” are referring to the same class of individuals. The minister or evangelist of the church is not a pastor unless he has been appointed to the office of an elder. Then there is the title “father.” The audacity of a mere man wearing the name “father” is indeed repulsive. For Jesus himself clearly warned, “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matt. 23:9). According to the Bible a preacher is identified as a minister, a preacher or an evangelist (Eph. 4:11). The only other permissible name that he could wear would be elder or pastor, if and only if, he is qualified and he has been appointed to that office. Not only is the name of the minster an important identify characteristic, the names which Christians wore in the first century, is likewise important. How were they identified? They were called “disciples” (Acts 20:7), “saints” (I Cor. 1:2), “Beloved of God” (Rom. 1:7), “brethren” (I Cor. 15:6), “Sons of God” (Rom. 8:14), “children of God” (I Jn. 3:1), “heirs of God” (Rom. 8:17), “royal priesthood” or “priest” (I Pet. 2:9), and finally, they were called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). These are the names Christians wore in order to identify themselves as members of the New Testament church. Notice if you will, that one will not find an example in the pages of God’s where there was a hyphenated Christian (Christian-Baptist, Christian-Methodist, Christian-Episcopalian, Christian-Presbyterian, etc…) While these thoughts may seem fruitless to many, they are of utmost importance when it comes to identifying the New Testament church. In the words of the apostle Peter, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet. 4:11).

Articles

Wait on the Lord

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen tine heart: ...

Daily Verse

2 Chronicles 20:17

"You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.” In the beginning of 2 Chronicles 20, the people of Moab, Ammon and many others are coming against king Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah to do battle. As you can imagine, this multitude of people caused the king to be overwhelmed with fear. When Jehoshaphat turned to the Lord for help, notice how the Lord responded, “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you.” Life is filled with both physical and spiritual battles, which we encounter sometimes on a daily basis. Too often when we come face to face with those battles, we are overwhelmed with fear and our natural reaction is to run. The problem with running is that problems often follow us. What then should we do? Follow the advice given to Jehosphat. Learn to stand still and face our enemy head on! How is that possible? We must realize that the battle belongs to the Lord.

Calendar

2017/01/22

4th Sunday Fellowship Meal and 1:30pm Singing