WALK THE OLD PATHS: THE WORK OF THE CHURCH
WE NEED TO WALK IN THE OLD PATHS CONCERNING THE WORK OF THE CHURCH
There is much misunderstanding about the nature of the work of the New Testament church. It is not the work of the church to provide entertainment. It is not the work of the church to engage in social or political issues. These are things that one may do on his own, but they are not the work of the church.
The work of the Lord’s church consists primarily of three areas of activity. (1) Benevolence. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27) “Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.” (Galatians 2:10)
Several fallacies have been taught in the past years about helping the needy. Some have taught that congregations cannot cooperate or work together in assisting the needy. The example found in Acts 11:27-30 shows this to be in error. This is a clear-cut example of congregations working together to help the spoor saints in Judea. Another error taught is that the only ones who may be helped with the church’s treasury are saints. This is found to be false from reading 2 Corinthians 9:13. “Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.” The collection that was taken (Acts 11:27-30) was used not only for the saints, but for “all men.”
(2) Evangelism. Preaching the gospel to every creature is the primary task of the new testament church. “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
(3) Edification. It is not enough to teach and to baptize, but we must continue to “teach all things.” (Matthew 28:19-20) This is the method whereby the church is edified or built up. (See Acts 20:32; Ephesians 4:16) The reason for Bible Study Sunday morning and Wednesday night is to edify the church. One purpose of Gospel Meetings is to build up the church – to keep the saved, saved.
To restore New testament Christianity, we must put strong emphasis on the work of the church. We will continue this discussion next week. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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