Tag Archive | Church

Session 8 – Making Disciples versus Baptizing Goats – Conrad Mbewe

Acts 16:11-15

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis,
12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days.
13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.
14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

ESV

The engine that drives the mission enterprise is the desire to find those who would worship the one true God. Should we be seeking out true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, or just finding people to join to bolster up the numbers? What are the motives to bring in the crowds? In order to make a living? In order to gain a reputation? If we don’t bring them in we may lose them?

1. What are the kind of people who need to be converted before being welcome into the body of Christ?

a. Every kind of people

i. The godless people

ii. The socially good and religious – Lydia falls into this category.

1. Lydia was a Gentile who was aligned with the Jewish tradition – “a worshipper of God”. But she was still dead in her sins.

2. It is possible for an individual to be near the kingdom but still be outside.

2. There is only one way to salvation. The Lord is the one who must bring them in. “the Lord opened her heart…” It is the supernatural work of God.

a. All are born into this world spiritually dead.

b. And no matter how religious a person may be, if they are unconverted they are spiritually dead.

c. Keeping the dead in the church building and “Christianizing” them does not make them any less spiritually dead.

d. It is only the work of God, not man, to open the eyes of the spiritually dead.

3. Conversion brings about a powerful change in a person’s life

a. Obedience to Christ – she was baptized

i. We have a church full of people who cannot come under the banner of “Jesus is Lord”

b. Others should know salvation – and the rest of her household

c. Love for others – she urged us to stay with her

d. Love for God – faithful to, or believing, in, God

So what do we do with the goats? Preach the gospel to them. God himself will convert the goats. But we have compromised in this area in order to get more and more people on the church rolls – by calling them sheep when they are goats. How can you worship one that you do not know?

 
Video available at G3 Conference

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Session 7 – Beginning Our Ecclesiology with the Self-Revealed Character of God – John Snyder

Psalm  115

1 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.

2 Why should the Gentiles say, “So where is their God?”

3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.

4 Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands.

5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see;

6 They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell;

7 They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat.

8 Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.

9 O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.

10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.

11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.

12 The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron.

13 He will bless those who fear the Lord, Both small and great.

14 May the Lord give you increase more and more, You and your children.

15 May you be blessed by the Lord, Who made heaven andearth.

16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.

17 The dead do not praise the Lord, Nor any who go down into silence.

18 But we will bless the Lord From this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!

NKJV

 

Ecclesiology and soteriology cannot be built on a false incorrect view of God.

1. God clearly explains that everything He does is for His name’s sake.

2. Everything that God does reflects His character.

3. What a religious person does reflects who they think they belong to.

a. The starting place of ecclesiology is with God.

Three characters to help us understand our ecclesiology based on the character of God:

1.  Moses
a.  From Moses we learn about the holiness of God.
i.  Exodus 3:4-5
ii.  We never help a problem by focusing on the problem forgetting about God. We cannot help deteriorating families by focusing programs on families to the exclusion of the character of God.
b.  Moses had seen something of the glory of God
i.  Thus we see the difference between Moses and Aaron in the matter of the golden calf.
ii.  Thus we see the matter of the revelation of the glory of God exclusively to Moses.
c.  Moses led the people to construct something that reflected the glory of God.

2.  Paul

a.  We learn to look at who God is and then apply this to every aspect of church life.
b.  1 Corinthians 1:23-25, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 2 Corinthians 4:7
c.  “Having a form of godliness but denying his power”
3. Rehaboam
a.  Jeraboam lead the northern kingdom astray

i. Invented a new, more convenient, adaptable form of religion.

ii. The Levis and everyone who feared the Lord leaves and goes south
b. But then Rehoboam strays as well. 2 Chronicles 12:1.

Application: Is our church any different than what we left except for the fact that we use reformed language?

Video available at G3 Conference

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Question and Answer Session – G3 2014

DM – David Miller​
TC – Tim Challies​
SL – Steve Lawson​
JS – John Snyder​
CM – Conrad Mbewe​
TF – Todd Friel

Q.​Working definition of the church.
A.​DM – A visible congregation of Christ’s baptized disciples.

Q.​What are the essentials of a church?
A.​TC – preaching, ordinances, church discipline

Q.​Should small groups give/take ordinances?
​TC – No, that should be only the church

Q.​What about a church that doesn’t want to sing?
A.​SL – That would be a church that would fall short of God-ordained things to do in the church.
​JS – There is a difference between churches with professional music and congregational music.

Q.​What are options and what are requirements for church services?
A.​SL – Scripture is silent on this issue. Opinions – regularly on Sunday morning and one or two other times during the week.
CM – everybody is not going to do everything. But the majority should be involved in the normal life of the church.

Q.​What about an assembly of people who are watching their pastor on video?
A.​TF – There is a difference between a mediated relationship and a face-to-face relationship. Preaching is a two-way communication.
TC – We are poor at seeing the cost that will come because of technology. We see the benefit, but not the cost.
SL – Some of the most important pastoring is done immediately after preaching, answering questions, meeting people, being hospitable. Also important for the church to see the pastor’s family.

Q.​How much of your library are books and how many are media?
A.​TC – a book is media. The question is mode. 1/3 is screen.
​SL – most of my reading is “real” books. Has some Kindle books.
​CM – almost all are real books. Electronic media is much more limited in Africa.
​TF – I like real books.
​DM – transitioning from books to e-books out of necessity.

Q.​What does it mean to plant a church versus expanding via a satellite campus?
A.​TC – Church restoration is important as well.

Q.​Why are there so few churches with schools these days?
A.​SL – Because it is very expensive. And is this the primary mission of the church?
​TF – But what about the holistic element of education?

Q.​The controversy over the doctrines of grace. What is the difference between Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism?
A.​SL – those who see no difference are those who know nothing of the doctrines of grace. Only the Calvinist plays with a full deck. The Hyper-Calvinist is passive, not evangelistic, not mission-minded, not burdened for the lost.
​CM – Christians are called to beware of becoming a Calvinist. There is no distinction between the two in Africa.
​JS – Calvinism when not viewed within in its biblical framework can be controversial, such as complete sanctification is controversial when it is taken out of its biblical framework. If election is taken out of its framework, it will lead to Hyper-Calvinism.

Q.​What are the big issues in the SBC?
A.​DM – Homosexual marriage. All world religions are a path to God.

Video available at G3 Conference

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Session 5 – The Founding and Founder of the Church – David Miller

Matthew 16:13-18

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

KJV

Ecclesiology – the founding of the church
Christology – the founder of the church

The Founding of the Church – Ecclesia is described three ways in the New Testament.

1. The church is the visible, local body of believers, described using these metaphors:

a. A building

b. A bride

c. A body

2. The church is an institution. In this form it is abstract. But the manifestation of the abstract is only in a local, visible body.

a. Abstract principles, i.e., “the family”, are never taken to mean a universal body. It always refer to an abstract institution that is only manifested in a local, visible way.

3. The church is a broad collection or comprehensive inclusive body which is to be gathered together at a point in time in the future. This church will be local and visible.

The Founder of the Church – three statements regarding the founder of the church:

1. The character of the founder – the Son of the living God

a. Made of the exact same stuff as God the Father

b. Has the exact same characteristics as God the Father

2. The condescension of the founder – the Son of Man

a. Speaks of the humanity of Jesus Christ

3. The Christ

a. God’s anointed one

b. Three classes of men were anointed: prophet, priest, king

i. Prophet – he has a message. Sound in doctrine.

ii. Priest – he has proper credentials.

iii. King – he has a kingdom

Video available at G3 Conference

 


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Session 4 – The Church – Chosen and Called by God – Steve Lawson

Romans 8:28-30

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

NASU

The sovereign grace of God in salvation. God formed the church in eternity past by His own sovereign will. The church sees God clearest, itself rightly, and the world correctly when standing upon the sovereignty of God in choosing and formation of the church.

The text is as close as we have to the order of salvation. It goes from everlasting past (foreknowledge) to everlasting future (glorification). And it is all the act of God – He…He…He…

1. Foreknowledge – beginning in eternity past with God and his foreknowledge. This is the conception and the birth of the church. It is the first move in our direction by God.

a. What foreknowledge does not mean – foresight. God did not look down the tunnel of time to see who would chose Christ. Five reasons this cannot be true:

i. God never looks into the future to learn anything. It is an inferior view of God.

ii. God would see that no one would believe if he looked into the futue.

iii. The text speaks only of God and what He does. There is no reference to you or me.

iv. “Whom” – personal pronoun. Not what God foresaw, it is whom he foreknew. Nothing to do with events. It is about God and his relationship to a person.

v. The word “foreknowledge” is a personal relationship knowledge performed beforehand. It is often used as a synonym to the word “chosen”.

2. Predestined – those who God foreknew, are without a single loss or single addition, predestined. The destination is determined before the journey is begun – “pro-orizo”. And what is the predestination – to be conformed to the image of His son, that is, the sanctification of the believer.

Ephesians 1:11

11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
NASU

a. We begin with the counsel. God counseled with himself.

b. Second, we see God’s will. The word is singular. A divine decision was made. Sovereign choice was made.

c. Third, there is God’s purpose. God’s divine determination to carry out his will. This is God’s resolution. And what God purposes, will, must, shall, come to pass exactly according to his will.

d. Finally, there is predestination. A designed destination. What God has purposed is irrevocable, unalterable, infallible.

3. Called – not a general call, not an open invitation. This call is an effectual call. Many hear the general call, only the elect hear this second call. It is a sovereign call to those God predestined. Four things about this call:

a. The author of the effectual call is God the Father. He is the caller Himself.

b. The nature of the call is efficacious. It is effect. It never fails to secure the effect for which it is intended. It is a divine summons. MacArthur says it is a subpoena. God draws us. God drags us.

c. The origin of the effectual call is from eternity past.

d. The outcome of the call is communion with Christ. See 1 Corinthians 1:9.

i. God appointed the day, the time, the bringer of the message.

4. Justification – all who are called are justified. Three metaphors:

a. Legal – legally declared to be without sin by God the judge.

b. Bookkeeping – the righteousness of God credited to our account.

c. Clothing – clothed in the white raiment of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

5. Glorification – the verb tense is as if it has already happened (third person singular aorist active indicative).

 

Video available at G3 Conference


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Session 3 – The Worshipping Church – Conrad Mbewe

John 4:21-25

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.

22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

ESV

 

Knowing God truly is will cause us to worship Him. God has created all things for His own glory. The most important activity that can occupy a creation is to worship its creator. God reveals even more of Himself in the grace which He extends.

We need to focus not only the doctrine of the worshipping church but also the practice of the worshipping church. Or, in other words, how does God expect the church to worship Him.

The Samaritan women in John 4 appeals to a specific argument of the day, specifically who is right? There was a fight between the Samaritan and the Jews. This same fight about who is right goes on today. We see in these verses that it matters not who is right, but what does God consider right.

Jesus solves this issue. He begins by revealing who God is. God is spirit.  An argument concerning a physical place is not relevant because God is spirit.

The hour is coming and now is…” What was different about this specific time? It was the fact that God had become man and was walking among the people. And it was Jesus Christ who would further reveal God to the true worshippers.

What does Jesus mean about worshipping in spirit and in truth? Notice the “But” in v.33. There was error in the thinking of the Samaritans. And up to that time, there was correctness in the thinking of the Jews. But all that is now changing. True worship is not about a physical place and physical means. It is a spiritual transaction and spiritual interaction.

What about truth? The Samaritan worship was not built on truth. There was no truth in the gods set up on Mount Gerazim. The Jewish worship was built upon the truth. God had revealed Himself and the Jews sought to worship according to this truth. God is seeking for worshippers who will worship Him according to the truth revealed about God, and specifically as revealed through Jesus Christ. There has been a greater revelation of truth, and those who would worship God must worship in this greater revealed truth.

Practically, this has outworkings in our worship today. Such as in our hymnody. Our hymns should be characterized by spirit and truth. And our singing must be in spirit and in truth. However, it is easy for us to end up in error at one end or the other – worshipping in spirit but not in truth, or vice versa. Also, it is possible for our worship to have neither spirit nor truth. It could be our heart is in love with the world or with self. This means we need to spend the time to prepare our hearts and our minds for worship instead of entering into worship in a flippant, unprepared manner. I must make sure that I am worshipping in spirit and in truth.


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Session 1 – The Church is God’s Will for Your Life – Josh Buice

Ephesians 4:1-16
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
9 ( In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

ESV

A working definition of the church – called out of the world, darkness, sin. Not entertainment. Metaphors for the church: family, body, flock, building, bride

Modern-day problems related to the church: attempts to redefine the church away from its central mission. Impotent pulpit. Laziness in the church.

God’s will for your life: spend your life for the life of the church.

Ephesians – a letter from Paul to a church he loves. Theology and working out of that theology.

1. The Church is called to unity (vv. 1-6)

a. It is a worthy cause

b. Live our lives to honor Christ

c. Culture does not tell us how to “do” church

d. We are held accountable to be called out from the world

e. The calling is a God-centered calling (vv.2-6)

i. Unity, or the lack thereof, is often over trivial matters

ii. Notice the alliteration: “one…”

iii. One Body – all the parts are important

iv. One Spirit – the Spirit is the bond of unity

v. One Hope – a hope the world knows nothing of

vi. One Lord – exclusivity of Christ

vii. One Faith – the faith once delivered to the saints

viii. One Baptism – obedience to the command of Jesus Christ, not an agent of salvation

ix. One God and Father who is…– declaration of the comprehensive character of God

2. The Church is Gifted by God (vv.7-12)

a. By Grace

b. The gifts of the church (vv.8-11)

i. The apostles

ii. The prophets

iii. The evangelists

iv. The preachers and teachers

c. The gifts were given to equip (v.12)

i. Lives are being given away to things that are not ministry

ii. Lives are being given away to ministries that are not connected to the church

3. The Goal is Maturity (vv.13-16)

a. God desires His church to grow in maturity (v.13)

b. The immature know nothing about Christ

i. Pastors are to blame for this

c. God desires stability in the church (v.14)

i. Pastors should work for the members to be stable in their faith

d. God desires the sanctification of the church (vv.15-16)

i. A mature church is a loving church


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Reimagining Church By Frank Viola

Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity By Frank Viola

Free Kindle book for a limited time.

Author Frank Viola gives readers language for all they knew was missing in their modern church experience. He believes that many of today’s congregations have shifted from God’s original intent for the church. As a prominent leader of the house church movement, Frank is at the forefront of a revolution sweeping through the body of Christ. A change that is challenging the spiritual status quo and redefining the very nature of church. A movement inspired by the divine design for authenticity community. A fresh concept rooted in ancient history and in God Himself.

Join Frank as he shares God’s original intent for the church, where the body of Christ is an organic, living, breathing organism. A church that is free of convention, formed by spiritual intimacy, and unbound by four walls.

Pagan Christianity? Frank Viola and George Barna was a book I reviewed back in 2008 when I first started this website.  While I didn’t agree with everything in the book it was a good impetus to go back and see what exactly the Bible does say about church, worship and living as believers.  I’m sure Reimagining Church will be similar with points that line up with Scripture and make you think and points that takes things to far.  But then if you don’t think about these things then you are not truly being Berean (Acts 17:11).


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True Church Conference 2013

True Church Conference 2013 will begin tomorrow, February 21 and run until February 24, 2013.

The Topic is Striving Toward a True Church

Speakers include:

Dr. Tom Nettles

Pastor Jeff Noblit

Bro. Jono Sims

Bro. David Miller

Bro. Don Singleton

Bro. Noel Hendrix

 

Live stream

{This is the first year in several years that my husband has not been able to attend.}


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David Miller – Christ and His Church

True Church Conference 2012

True Church Conference  live-streamed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Message 6 – David Miller – Christ and His Church

 

The text for the sermon is Matthew 16:13-18

 

A. The Founding of the Church

1. The church is a particular local congregation. The body, the building, the bride.

2. The church is an institution. This is an abstract principle. But the abstract has its manifestation in the local particular congregations.

3. The church is a reference to the broader family of God. But even this church will be local and visible.

B. The Founder of the Church

1. The character of the founder – He is the Son of the living God

2. The condescension of the founder – He is the Son of Man.

3. The Christ – He is God’s anointed one. He is God’s prophet, priest, and king.

a. Jesus Christ believed in the inerrancy of scripture.

b. Jesus believed in the literal interpretation of scripture.

c. Jesus believed in the atoning power of the blood.

d. Jesus ministers in a sanctuary made without human hands.

e. Christ alone is priest of the church.

f. Jesus Christ alone is the only potentate of the church.


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