Identifying Marks of the New Testament Church • There is a NT church. • Matthew 16:18, 1 Timothy 3:15 • It can be identified. • An identifiable group of people 1 Corinthians 10:32 • Doctrinally different Matthew 22:23-34, Revelation 2:15, Acts 17:18f
Origin and Establishment • Founded by Jesus Christ according to God’s eternal purpose. Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 3:8-11 • Established in Acts 2. • Psalm 2, Isaiah 2, Daniel 2, and Joel 2
The Seed Principle Genesis 1:10-13 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
The Parable of the Sower Luke 8:11 11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
The Seed Principle Demonstrated Acts 11:19-26 19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. 22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.
The Seed Principle Demonstrated Acts 11:19-26 23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Identifying Marks of the NT Church • Name • Doctrine • Work • Worship • Organization • Practice
Name(s) of the Church • Universal sense (the body of the saved worldwide) • Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. • Matthew 16:18 …upon this rock I will build My church…
Name(s) of the Church The church is called the kingdom of Christ. • Matthew 16:18-19 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,… • Colossians 1:13, He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,…
Name(s) of the Church The church is called the body of Christ. • Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. • Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church,
Name(s) of the Church Local congregations: • 1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. • Romans 16:16 …The churches of Christ greet you. • 1 Timothy 3:15 …I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God,… • Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith • Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Name(s) of the Church What the seed (the word of God, Luke 8:11) produced: • The church • The kingdom • The body • Churches of Christ • Churches of God • The House of God • Household of faith • Household of God
Name(s) of the Church What the seed (the word of God, Luke 8:11) did not produce: • Baptist Church • Methodist Church • Presbyterian Church • Roman Catholic Church • Jehovah’s Witness • Seventh Day Adventist • Mormon Church Ad infinitum, ad nauseam… Where are the Scriptures naming these organizations?
NT Names Worn By Individuals Acts 11:26, 29 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples…29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. Romans 1:7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to besaints …
NT Names Worn By Individuals Galatians 6:1Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter
Names for Individuals the Seed (the word of God, Luke 8:11) did not produce: • Baptist • Christian Scientist • Mormon • Methodist • Jehovah’s Witness • Seventh Day Adventist • Lutheran Ad infinitum, ad nauseam Where are the Scriptures for these names?
Do Names Matter? • Abram to Abraham – Genesis 17:5 • Sarai to Sarah – Genesis 17:15 • Jacob to Israel – Genesis 32:28 • Isaiah 62:2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name. • Cf. Acts 11:26
Human Names = Sectarianism (Division) = Sin 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
Human Names = Sectarianism (Division) = Sin 1 Corinthians 1:13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? They could not be “of” Paul, Apollos or Peter because: • These men were not crucified for them. • They were not baptized in the name of these men. They were all of Christ!
None can be of: • John Smyth – Baptist Church • Mary Baker Eddy – Christian Scientist Church • Joseph Smith – Mormon Church • John Wesley – Methodist Church • Joseph Franklin Rutherford – Jehovah’s Witness • Ellen G. White – Seventh Day Adventist Church • Martin Luther – Lutheran Church
Human Names = Sectarianism = Sin 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?
Human Names = Sectarianism = Sin Romans 8:1-7 Thereis therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Human Names = Sectarianism (Division) = Sin Romans 8:1-7 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. Enmity - a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism.
Human Names = Sectarianism (Division) = Sin • 1 Corinthians 3:4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? • Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; • Enmity - a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism.
The Seed (word of God, Luke 8:11) Human Creeds + Churches of Christ Christians
It takes a different seed. + = Baptist Churches, Baptists
It takes a different seed. + = Catholic Churches, Catholics
It takes a different seed. + = Mormon Church, Mormons