What Was The First Century Church Like?

What was the 1st century church like? Are there churches still like this one?

The First Century Church

You don’t even have to go to the church historians or the writings of the early church fathers to know what the first century church was like. Of course, you are free to do that, but we can learn much about the church by reading the Book of Acts, more specifically, Acts 2:42-47 in this case. Three, you can see what the primitive church did. To begin with, the early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42), so they saw studying the apostle’s doctrine as being of first import. What was “the apostles’ teaching?” Surely, it was the very same things that Jesus taught them which were the same things that Jesus said they were to teach others, or as Jesus said, they are to be “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:20). That is the apostles’ doctrine. Next, notice that they continued in fellowship. The early church didn’t live the Christian faith out in isolation. In fact, there are dozens of “one another’s” in the New Testament, indicating that we were made for fellowship and relationship, but only if the apostle’s doctrine was taught.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2017/03/24/what-was-the-first-century-church-like/

How Can A Church Make Sure Its Theology Leads To Doxology?

Short video

http://ftc.co/resource-library/conversations/how-can-a-church-make-sure-its-theology-leads-to-doxology

Some journeys require patience

https://mustardseedbudget.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/some-journeys-require-patience/

What We Lost When We Lost Our Hymnals

~ Tim Challies

don’t think we should go back to using hymnals. But I do think there’s value in considering what we lost when, over the course of a relatively short period of time, we gave up hymnals for PowerPoint projection. Not all of us, mind you, but most of us. It’s worth considering because it helpfully shows what we stand to lose when we switch from one media to another, and especially when we do so quickly and without due consideration.

If we were to go back in time twenty or thirty years, we would find that most churches had hymnals. They had hymnals because it was the best way of providing each member of the congregation with a copy of the songs. You’d hear it in every church: “Take out your hymnal and turn to hymn 154…” And then hymnals went the way of the dodo and we began to look instead to words projected on a screen. Here is some of what we lost along the way.

Continue at: https://www.challies.com/articles/what-we-lost-when-we-lost-hymnals

We’ve Lost Our Vocabulary of Wonder About Heaven

In 50 Days of Heaven, I write:

If we are honest, we must admit that we are not daily and consciously looking forward to Heaven, much less to a New Earth. We’ve reduced Heaven to an otherworldly state, and we’ve ignored the clear biblical promise of a redeemed universe over which we will serve as God’s delegated rulers. We’ve become blinded to the truth, and we’ve lost our vocabulary of wonder and our anticipation of the great and glorious plan that God has in store for us. Jesus said of the devil, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Some of Satan’s favorite lies are about Heaven.

A reader recently asked me, Can you elaborate on what you mean by “we’ve lost our vocabulary of wonder”?

Read more: http://www.epm.org/blog/2017/Mar/29/vocabulary-wonder-heaven

You Might Be a Pharisee If . . .

by Cameron Buettel

The odds are good that someone, somewhere, at some point has called you a Pharisee. The odds are even better that you’ve slapped that label on someone else.

It’s no surprise that the name “Pharisee” carries a leprous stigma. They’re the villains virtually every time they appear in the pages of Scripture. Jesus never had anything good to say about them. And their heavy-handed, legalistic authority made them a scourge to all of Israel—even other pious Jews.

In the evangelical vernacular, “Pharisee” is the umbrella term used to describe the gatekeepers of Jewish religion in the time of Christ. There were different ranks and factions—Scribes, Lawyers, Rabbis, Sadducees, Pharisees, and others—but all of them collectively represented the pharisaical religious system.

However, in modern usage the term cuts a much wider swath. And it’s that haphazard use that’s in focus for us today. God’s people need to break the habit of “playing the Pharisee card”—particularly to deflect confrontation or dismiss a rebuke. The fact is, there are modern Pharisees lurking among the church today. We do need to be able to spot them. But we also need to be careful how we deploy this potent pejorative.

To that end, let’s consider three biblical earmarks of these corrupt characters.

If You Supplement Scripture with Man-Made Rules, You Might Be a Pharisee

Continue: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170329

10 Results of the Resurrection

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

Here are ten amazing things we owe to Jesus’s resurrection:

1) A Savior who can never die again. “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again” (Romans 6:9).

2) Repentance. “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel” (Acts 5:30–31).

3) New birth. “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

4) Forgiveness of sin.If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).

5) The Holy Spirit. “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing” (Acts 2:32–33).

6) No condemnation for the elect. “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).

7) Jesus’s personal fellowship and protection. “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

8) Proof of coming judgment. “[God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

9) Salvation from the future wrath of God. “[We] wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 5:9).

10) Our own resurrection from the dead. “[We know] that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence” (2 Corinthians 4:14; Romans 6:4; 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:20).

~ Devotional excerpted from “What We Owe the Resurrection of Jesus”