A REC Slides for Eccl Forum Final

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Transcript of A REC Slides for Eccl Forum Final

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    Last time:

    We considered our previous ch experiences and how they

    affect us.

    We began trying to describe and define the Church and the

    church.

    We considered membership in various contexts

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    Are we Cpers or CSErs- planters of local churchesor establishers of church services?

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    How do we read the Bible to learn what is prescriptive or normative about

    leadership and oversight in the local church?

    A few examples: 1Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 and Acts

    20:17-38, Mark 10:40-45.

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    It seems that we have to choose from 3 approaches to Scripture and

    Church:

    How much of what the Bible says about church is prescriptive or normative

    for a local church's life, practice and order.

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    Concerning the local church's life order and practice, the Bible says

    1. Only very little that is normative or prescriptive- pragmatism hopefullyprinciple pragmatism...whatever seems wise and best, we are free when it comes to

    local church life, practice and order, so long as what we do is consistent with the Word,

    which doesn't tell us very much about how to order local church life and practice.

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    2. Some very important normative or prescriptive things-

    Scripture prescribes some essentials for local church life, practice and order, but noteverything is prescribed. What is not prescribed we are free to adapt according to

    wisdom and what works best in a culture and context.

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    3. Everything that is important for local church life, practice andorder is normatively prescribed in Scripture, is clearly prescribed in

    Scripture and we have very little freedom to adapt or introduce anything

    into the local church life, order and practice which is not prescribed in

    Scripture.

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    Three degrees of relevance for practices from narrative portions like Acts-

    1. Prescriptive I Cor. 1:10 , 2 John 10-11.

    2 a. Descriptive and not normative

    Acts 4:32-35 or 2b. descriptive and possibly/likely normative-

    Acts 20:28 with Acts 5 (negatively normative?)

    Acts 17:10-12 Bereans (Luke's intent)

    3. Representative patterns repeated consistently in Acts 14:23, Titus 1, Acts 20:28

    and assumed in Epistles Phil 1:1-2.

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    Normative-Scriptural texts that are binding upon local churches are normative. Norma=rule

    that must be followed.

    -

    Prescriptive- passages or text that tell us how things are to be in the local church.

    -Proscribed-that which according to the Scriptures is forbidden in the local church.

    -

    Descriptive- Passages describing the NT church but which do not contain commands or

    imperatives, but rather report the life and practice of a NT church or churches. (They may or

    may not be normative.)

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    One pattern in Acts is that believers are gathered into

    communities...Acts 2:38 gospel is communicated ,41 taught and baptized,

    gathered into churches/kingdom communities 42-46

    Was this a starter church????

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    Starter church-

    a group of believers gathering regularly with the aim of becoming a true, regular church. A

    starter church will not necessarily be ordered according to all the biblical guidelines. Over

    time with patient teaching, training, prayer and guidance, a starter church may become a trueand regular church. In a pioneer CP setting, almost all true, regular churches will pass through a

    'starter church' phase as it matures, learns and grows. Presumably it was starter churches in Crete

    to which Titus was sent by Paul to put things in order.

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    Recruiting workers from the harvest is a pattern in Acts and the NT andso training and multiplication were integrated into the church-planting

    approach! 2 Tim 2:2 confirms the pattern.

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    We also see interdependence of churches as a pattern in Acts and rest of

    NT.

    Acts 15, 11, I Cor 16:2, 2 Cor 8, Philippians and Romans, Col 4:16

    letters from apostles were shared and read to one another.

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    Also read for what is implied or assumed or can necessarily be inferred about church life.

    I Corinthians 5 assumes/implies some kind of identifiable church membership...we cannotknow our covenant duties to one another if we don't know who is in and who's out in the local

    church. Gal, esp to those of household of faith.

    Galatians 1:6-9 who has final authority or final responsibility in the local church...? local

    church itself.

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    Lets look at some definitions and place them on theHow much does the Bible say about church?

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    Maximalist Definitions Minimalist Definitions

    Aim for the guidelines...not settle for less than Sound Biblical

    Contextual Churches.

    Lets look at some definitions and place them on theHow much does the Bible say?

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    Disagreement is not necessarily opposition!

    But let's be willing to learn and adjust according to

    Scripture, letting it be our guide.

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    The church is the gospel made visible.

    John 13:34-35.

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    I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church.

    4 marks = unity, holiness, universal, Scriptural/Gospel.

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    Who said/wrote this?

    In many ways a church is simply a group of peoplewho are living lives of love.

    MED in GMV p. xvii

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    We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers,

    associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel ;

    observing the ordinances of Christ ; governed by his laws ,

    and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word ;

    that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons,

    whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

    New Hampshire Confession of Faith Of a Gospel Church

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    A Church is a group of believers in Christ who meet for

    biblical worship, learning and mission.

    DCPI

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    A Christian church is an assembly of believers in Christ,

    organized into a body, according to the holy scriptures,

    for the worship and service of God.

    John L Dagg

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    A local church is a fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ

    committed to gathering regularly for biblical purposes under a

    recognized spiritual leadership.

    Ott /Wilson/Warren Global CP

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    A local church is a manifestation in time and space of the ultimate, heavenly-eschatological

    assembly of Gods redeemed humanity. Each local church represents what it means to be

    Gods people by assembling together in one place for worship, encouragement, and

    accountability; by being a community shaped by the Scriptures; by observing the symbol-laden

    acts of baptism and the Lords supper; by maintaining its purity through church discipline; and

    by seeking to make disciples of all nations. All of this is to be done under the leadership of

    elders, the service of deacons, and the rule of the congregation.

    Grant Gaines

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    The Belgic Confession chapter 29 on the marks of the church:

    The true church can be recognized if it has the following marks: The church engages in

    the pure preaching of the gospel; it makes use of the pure administration of thesacraments as Christ instituted them; it practices church discipline for correcting faults.

    In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God, rejecting all things contrary

    to it and holding Jesus Christ as the only Head. By these marks one can be assured of

    recognizing the true churchand no one ought to be separated from it.

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    The church is the fellowship/partnership/koinonia of

    people who have accepted Gods rule and reign over them

    and entered into that Kingdom Reign of God.

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    Churches that proclaim the true gospel are true churches; those that do not are

    not, but churches that preach the true gospel but