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Divine Authority

Divine Authority

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Divine Authority

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  1. Divine Authority Lesson 10 The Individual Christian, The Local Church and Benevolence

  2. What We Have Learned In The Previous Lesson • Local churches are to be independent and autonomous, overseeing their own decisions and treasuries • Independence safeguards a local church from error • Acts 15 does not prove local churches have the right to meet and settle matters for other local churches

  3. What We Have Learned In The Previous Lesson • Concurrent cooperation is when two or more work together independently to accomplish the same goal • Collective cooperation is where two or more work together under centralized oversight to accomplish the same goal • New Testament authorizes only concurrent cooperation between local churches

  4. Introduction • Benevolence not primary work of local church • Much erroneous thinking and practice in this area • Wrong ideas about benevolence • Confusing roles of individual Christians and local church in benevolence • Wrong ideas about authorized methods of local church doing benevolent work

  5. Purposes of This Lesson • Clearly define benevolence • Examine role of individual Christians in benevolence • Examine the role of a local church in benevolence • Identify where churches of Christ have departed from the New Testament pattern on benevolence

  6. The Individual Christian, The Local Church and Benevolence • What is benevolence? • Individual Christian and benevolence • The local church and benevolence • The New Testament says nothing about…

  7. What Is Benevolence? • Word not in New Testament but idea is • Idea – aiding those who are in physical need of food, clothing, shelter and medical care • Does not include recreational or entertainment activities

  8. The Individual Christian And Benevolence • Individual Christians have a wider ranging responsibility in benevolence than that of a local church • Local church responsibility involves collective action where individual Christians agree to work together in various ways • New Testament reveals patterns for these responsibilities in benevolence

  9. The Individual Christian And Benevolence • Provide for our families • Provide for needs of other Christians • Provide for needs of our neighbors, lost and saved

  10. Provide For Our Families • Eph 4:28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

  11. Provide For Our Families • 1Ti 5:3 Honor widows who are widows indeed; • 1Ti 5:4 but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

  12. Provide For Our Families • 1Ti 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

  13. Provide For Our Families Except When… • 2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. • 2Th 3:7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you,

  14. Provide For Our Families Except When… • 2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. • 2Th 3:11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.

  15. Provide For Our Families Except When… • 2Th 3:14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. • 2Th 3:15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

  16. Provide For Needs of Other Christians • Gal 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. • Gal 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

  17. Provide For Needs of Other Christians • Local church not to assume individual Christian’s benevolent responsibilities • Local church provides benevolence if Individual Christians are unable to provide for their families or other needy Christians

  18. Provide For Needs of Other Christians • 1Ti 5:16 If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.

  19. Provide For Needs of Our Neighbors, Lost and Saved • Mat 22:37 And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' • Mat 22:38 "This is the great and foremost commandment.

  20. Provide For Needs of Our Neighbors, Lost and Saved • Mat 22:39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' • Mat 22:40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

  21. Provide For Needs of Our Neighbors, Lost and Saved • Gal 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. • Gal 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

  22. Provide For Needs of Our Neighbors, Lost and Saved • Jam 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

  23. Provide For Needs of Our Neighbors, Lost and Saved • In helping people, we must be careful not to contribute to organizations that spread religious error • This in some cases can be hard to avoid especially when purchasing essential healthcare from religiously based organizations such as hospitals

  24. The Individual Christian And Benevolence • Provide for our families • Provide for needs of other Christians • Provide for needs of our neighbors, lost and saved

  25. The Local Church And Benevolence • Local church benevolent work authorized • Local church cares for own members • Local church cares for saints in several local churches • Several local churches care for saints in one local church

  26. Local Church Benevolent Work Authorized • Individual Christians bear primary responsibility in benevolence • Local church responds when individual Christians cannot fulfill their responsibilities • Local church is limited to providing benevolence in only authorized ways

  27. Local Church Benevolent Work Authorized • 1Ti 5:16 If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.

  28. Local Church Benevolent Work Authorized • 1Co 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. • 1Co 16:2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.

  29. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 2:44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; • Act 2:45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

  30. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 4:32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. • Act 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

  31. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 4:34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales • Act 4:35 and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.

  32. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 6:1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.

  33. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 6:2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. • Act 6:3 "Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

  34. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 6:4 "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." • Act 6:5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.

  35. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 6:6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. • Act 6:7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

  36. Own Needy Members Jerusalem Church Acts 6:1-7 Local Church Cares For Own Members

  37. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Each member’s contribution voluntary • Once given, money under control of local church not individual • Local church restricted to using money only as God has authorized through apostles’ teaching

  38. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 5:1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, • Act 5:2 and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet.

  39. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 5:3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? • Act 5:4 "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."

  40. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 5:5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it.

  41. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Jerusalem church cared for their own needy members • No indication they collected for the poor in general

  42. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 3:1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. • Act 3:2 And a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.

  43. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 3:3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. • Act 3:4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, "Look at us!" • Act 3:5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

  44. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 3:6 But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!" • Act 3:7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.

  45. Local Church Cares For Own Members • Act 3:8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

  46. Local Church Cares For Saints In Several Local Churches • Act 11:27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. • Act 11:28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.

  47. Local Church Cares For Saints In Several Local Churches • Act 11:29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. • Act 11:30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

  48. Local Church Cares For Saints In Several Local Churches Local Church Antioch Church Local Church Local Church Acts 11:27-30

  49. Local Church Cares For Saints In Several Local Churches • Some wrongly conclude Antioch church sent money to Jerusalem elders who then distributed money to other local churches in need • If true, would violate local church autonomy where elders must oversee their own work not work of another local church

  50. Local Church Cares For Saints In Several Local Churches • Act 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. • 1Pe 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;