Presentation on theme: "Maintaining Our Unique Identity I AM STILL WORKING ON MEMBERS THAT HOLD A TRADITIONAL VEIW. WES CLAIBORN."— Presentation transcript:
Maintaining Our Unique Identity I AM STILL WORKING ON MEMBERS THAT HOLD A TRADITIONAL VEIW. WES CLAIBORN
The strength of the church (called out) has always rested upon its unique identity and distinction from: –The world (2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,) –Religious groups (Mt. 15:8-9) Each faithful member is responsible to uphold the distinct character of the Lords church. –A local church can loose its uniqueness by adapting human names, creeds, practices and organizations.
Key Issue: With so many cults, sects and denominations (division) in religion, how can we determine which is the New Testament church? What are the dangers and remedies for maintaining our unique identity?
How is the church measured? Re. 11:1 – Measuring the church, the alter and worshippers. The temple of God (church) is measured by: –Its origin – Da. 2:44; Mt. 16:18; Ac. 2 –Its foundation – Isa. 28:16; Mt. 16:18; I Co. 3:11; Ep. 2:20 –Its organization – Ph. 1:1; Ac. 20:28; I Tm. 3:8-13; Ep. 3:21; 4:11-16 –Its name (universal/local) – Hb. 12:23; Ro. 16:16 –Laws of admission such as faith (Hb. 11:6), repentance (Ac. 17:30), confession (Ro. 10:9-10), baptism (Ga. 3:27), conversion examples (Acts)
How is worship measured? Identifying marks (Col 3:17, Jn 4:24) –Apostles doctrine (Ac. 2:42) –Prayer (I Tm. 2:8) pray to Mary –Kind of music (Ep. 5:19; Hb. 13:15) –Lords Supper (Ac 20:7)once a year –Plan of raising money (I Co. 16:1-2; II Co. 8-9) bake sale, rental property
How are worshippers measured? The worshippers - them that worship therein are measured by: –Name: saints, elect, sons, children, etc. Christian (Ac. 11:26): ian = belonging to –Character: holy priesthood (I Pt. 2:5), obedience to God (I Jh. 5:3), kind, patient, longsuffering with one another (Ep. 4:2) Right Attitude according to truth (Jh. 4:23-24) If we are right in these things, then we cant be the wrong church.
Key Issue: What are the dangers and remedies for maintaining our unique identity?
Dangers Modernism (II Tm. 4:1-4) –Common among denominations (i.e. social, M&D, gays, deny hell) –The devil employs governments, educators, and religionists to destroy the fundamentals of the Bible (i.e. virgin birth, inspiration of the Bible, evolution, etc.). The Gospel is not modern! Its ancient !
Sectarianism (I Co. 1:10-13) –What is a sect? Who or what is sectarian? Loyalty to man or a group (Martin Luther / Lutherans). –Church creeds fuel religious division. –Religious division is over human opinions and doctrines, not over what the Bible teaches (Mt. 15:8- 9). –Jesus prayer and plea is for unity, not division (Jh. 17).
Dangers Calvinism –Includes all the false tenets of John Calvin and adapting any or all of them. Westminister Confession of Faith is used by many denominations and contains the tenets of Calvinism. –Many religious groups teach aspects of Calvinism or The deadly TULIP. –BEWARE: Many members of the church came out of denominationalism. Aspects of Calvinism have impacted the Lords Church! (i.e. once saved, always saved, Rev. 2-3)
The TULIP - Domino Theory DescriptionSummaryDefinition T Total hereditary depravity Inherited Sin Babies inherit the sin of Adam and are totally depraved and therefore unable to respond to the gospel message of Christ. U Unconditional election Predestination God had a master list of those who will be saved and those who will go to hell before creation in Gen 1:1. The list is unchangeable. L Limited atonement Christ didn't die for all mankind Christ did not die for all men but only those on the "saved list" I Irresistible grace Feelings you are saved God sends the Holy Spirit only those on the saved list which removes their depraved nature inherited from Adam and creates within them a saving faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit thereafter guides them directly to understand and correctly interpret the Bible. P Perseverance of the saints Once Saved always saved A child of God once saved, cannot be lost.
Dangers Lose sight for our distinctive pleas (I Pt. 4:11) –How can we plea, if we are ignorant of the oracles? –Our plea is to restore New Testament Christianity. If we practice the same things, then we will be the New Testament Church (Lk. 8:11; Jh. 17:17; I Tm. 3:15). –Our plea is, To speak where the Bible speaks and to keep silent where it is silent.
INHERITED MEMBERSHIP –We should raise children properly (Ep. 6:4). We must impart knowledge which produces conviction. –We must be concerned about 1 st and 2 nd generation Christians (Ph. 3:1-6) and growth by member moves. –Many peoples faith is based on what their parents or others taught, and may not be the truth. –We follow God, man or self.
Dangers Worldliness in the church (Ro. 12) HATE EVIL LOVE GOOD –We must adhere to the standard in Ro. 12 or the standard of the world (I Co. 5). –…the worry of the world, and deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful… (Mt. 13:22). Tendencies toward compromise (Hb. 2:1-3; Jude 3) –Lack of personal courage – Contend earnestly for the faith. –Compromise looks like hypocrisy - Peter (Ga. 2:11-15). –Many modify the truth in order to protect others feelings in order to be considered popular.
Lack of personal consecration (II Tm. 2:2; Ga. 2:19) –Preaching canned sermons –Laziness of Bible class teachers and students –Not teaching others by word or example –Only study and read the Bible at church services (i.e. 3x a week). –All of our time & money is spent on recreation, movies, TV, friends, etc. and not spiritual things. –Unwilling to make necessary sacrifices
Remedies Maintain our identity of separation (II Co. 6:17; Mt. 5:20) – How? –In Speech: Speak where the Bible speaks (I Pt. 4:11) –In Doctrine: Sound Doctrine (Ac. 2:42; Ti. 2:1) –In Work, Worship and Organization (Jh. 4:24; Ph. 1:1) Maintain our identity of warfare (II Co. 10:4-5) –Case Studies: Paul, Peter, Stephen –Is there not a cause? (I Sm. 17:29) –We must take a stand against sin, and false teachers and false doctrines (Ep. 6:10-17).
Remedies Maintain our identity of sound preaching –Pauls example (Ac. 20:26-27) –Not preaching truth for fear of driving away visitors. We must speak the truth in love (Ep. 4:15). –We should use the pulpit and classes to expose false doctrines of various denominations, popular social practices (i.e. immodest dress, drinking, M & D, gambling, etc.) –We must preach and teach the whole counsel of God such as the fruit of the spirit and the condemning the works of the flesh (Ga. 5:19-23). –We should be concerned about preaching the truth and less concerned about whether someone judges the message negative or positive. Preach the word! –Sometimes speaking the truth in love hurts - "You are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth." (Jh 8:40; Ep. 4:16)
Final Thoughts Maintaining our unique identity requires: –Conforming to the pattern of the work, worship and organization of the New Testament church. –Prevent dangers by maintaining separation, warfare and sound doctrine. The church is a divine organization built by a divine pattern which must not be corrupted. –We are laborers together with God (I Co. 3:9) –Everyone must take heed how they build (I Co. 3:10) –Dont defile the temple of God (I Co. 3:17) What are we doing to help maintain the unique identity of the church?