Acts 15:1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.“
1. They say that the Lord’s Supper can only be taken out of one cup. 2. They are against having a located preacher. 3. They are against having simultaneous Bible classes and having women teaching some of those classes. 4. They are against preaching schools especially if they have a board of directors. 5. They are against the church funding an orphan home or giving to anyone other than a needy saint. 6. They are opposed to church cooperation as they feel it will violate their autonomy. 7. They are against eating in the building and having a kitchen attached to the building.
Bible authority can be determined in 3 ways: 1. Divine Command 2. Approved Example 3. Necessary Inference We must use the whole counsel of God!
Example of necessary inference: • Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some… • We are to meet • No exclusive pattern is given • We can meet in a rented or paid for building or a home etc… • This is a matter of human judgment.
Does the Bible teach that we can only partake of the Lord’s Supper from one cup? Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. Metonymy: a figure of speech in which the name of one thing is used in place of that of another associated with or suggested by it. Examples: She drank the whole cup. The pot is boiling.
Biblical examples: Genesis 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God. The earth represents the people. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son: The world represents the people. The cup represents the fruit of the vine.
Lord’s Supper • Divine Command • Unleavened bread • Fruit of the vine • Expediency • One cup • Multiple cups • Short glass • Tall glass • Serving tray
Is there authorization for a located preacher? 1. There is need for the gospel to be preached. Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 2. There is a need for preachers. Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
3. Paul was a located preacher. • Ephesus for 3 years (Acts 20:31) • Corinth for 18 months (Acts 18:11) • 1 Corinthians 9:13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? 14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. • Galatians 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
Can we have simultaneous Bible classes and have women teach some of those classes? Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you …. We are told to teach but the HOW is left up to us. It can be done individually, Bible classes, TV, radio etc…
Acts 20:28 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. See also (Heb. 13:7,17; 1Thess. 5:12-13) • The Eldership makes many expedient decisions. • Best use of church money • What time we meet • Divided Bible classes
Acts 5:25 So one came and told them, saying, "Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!“ Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Bible class isn't any different than saints studying with someone in a home or in some other place.
Bible class is for the specific purpose of studying God’s Word. Worship Service is for the specific purpose of worshiping God. This includes singing, praying, exhortation, giving and partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
Authorization for women teachers 1. Philip’s 4 daughters Prophesied (Acts 21:9) 2. Older women are to teach the younger women Titus 2:3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things -- 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
3. Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him as a child. 2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures… 4. Aquilla and Priscilla taught Apollos privately (Acts 21:26)
Limitations of when a women can teach 1 Timothy 2:12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. A women can’t teach over a man but she can teach other women or children.
Is there any authorization for preaching schools? Christians can be trained in many ways. 2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. The command is teach but the HOW is left up to us.
Timothy could teach them or they could be taught in a school. Acts 19:9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
Is there authority for the church to give to orphan homes or to a non-saint? James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself (1438) unspotted from the world. Orphan: offspring whose parents either are no longer alive or no longer function as parents (as the result of having abandoned their offspring)
Who is James written to? James 1:1 … to the twelve tribes.. (referring to the church). James 1:26 If anyone (singular)among you(second person plural, referring to the church) thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. 2 For if there should come into your assembly…
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Who is it written to? Galatians 1:2 To the churches of Galatia: Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good… Galatians 6:11 See with what large letters I have written to you (second person plural, referring to the church) Good is to be done to ALL saints and sinners.
1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself (1438), and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. Who is the letter written to? 1 Corinthians 1:2 to the church of God which is at Corinth... James 1:27 … visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself (1438) … “himself or oneself”(1438) does not exclude the church from James 1:27
1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. Galatians 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 2 Corinthians 9:13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,
Acts 20:35 "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' “
Matthew 5:43 " You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Acts 14:15 "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 16 "who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 "Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
Acts 6:1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 1 Timothy 5:16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows. 1 Timothy 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.
The widows are to be relieved but the HOW is up to us. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, “visit” means to “look upon or to care for” We are to visit them but the HOW is up to us.
Providing a home for an orphan is God ordained. Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Incorporation or having a board of directors is nothing more than conforming to the law of the land (Rom. 13) If incorporation makes an orphan home not a home, then incorporation makes a church not a church.
Is there authorization for church cooperation? Acts 11:27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. See also 2 Cor. 8:1-5; Rom. 15:26-28
Acts 15:23 They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law" -- to whom we gave no such commandment -- 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. 30 So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.
Multiple churches supported Paul as he preached to the church at Corinth. 2Cor. 11:8; Phil. 4:15 So what have we established? There isn’t an exclusive pattern on how one church can help another. Helping another church doesn’t violate your autonomy.
The New Testament Pattern • Physical Needs • Food • Clothing • Supplies • Money for these needs • (Acts 11:27-30, 2 Cor. 8:1-5,Rom. 15:26-28) • Spiritual Needs • Preachers • Exhortation • Letters • (Acts 15:23-32) No exclusive pattern means one church can help another church with Physical or Spiritual needs based on their own personal judgment.
What is the difference? • Paul received support from churches (2 Cor. 11:8, Phil. 4:16) • His support was delivered by men (2Cor. 11:9, Phil. 4:16) • A Preacher receives support from churches • His support is delivered by mail to his church then to him • For the purpose of evangelizing and not being a burden on his church • For the purpose of evangelizing and not being a burden on the church at Corinth
Is it wrong to eat in the church building and to have a kitchen attached to it? 1 Corinthians 11:22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. Paul is not condemning a common meal, he was condemning them for making a mockery of the Lord’s Supper.
Inconsistencies of the anti-brethren: • Many of them have a water fountain in their building • They have church services in a person’s home and still allow eating in that home
The Problem: • They don’t seem to fully understanding what the church is • Brick and mortar is not the church and it is not holy • The Christians are the church and they are holy (1Cor. 3:16)
The churches met in: • Homes (Rom.15:6; 1Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15) • An Upper room (Acts 20:8) • The temple (Acts 2:46) • Other places (Acts 19:19) • The emphasis shouldn’t be on the meeting place but on the people who make up the church.
Acts 20:7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. 9 And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him." 11 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed.
Vrs 7 breaking bread = Lord’s Supper; all partook Vrs 11 Paul by HIMSELF eats a common meal. The Greek word for “eat” means to taste and enjoy a meal. The Greek word used here for “eat” is never used in reference to eating spiritual food. It was common practice for Christians to meet together and share a common meal and worship in the same place. Acts 2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
Some anti-brethren would say it’s ok to have a kitchen if an individual pays for it instead of it coming out of the church treasury. If it is a sin to buy a kitchen with church money, it would also have to be a sin to buy a kitchen with an individual’s money.
A church doesn’t have to have: • A kitchen • Running water • Bathrooms • Electricity
Anti-brethren say it’s ok to: • Buy or rent a building • Have pews • Have song books • Have bathrooms • Have a preacher’s study • Have carpet etc.. • By the same authority it should be ok to: • Have a kitchen • Have a place for fellowship
Inconsistency of the anti-brethren: • It is ok to build a preacher’s home with a kitchen from the church treasury. • If it is ok to build a preacher’s home with a kitchen, it should also be ok to build a church building with a kitchen.