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  • Writer's pictureJohn Aziza

A VISION FOR BIBLICAL CHURCH

Updated: May 22, 2023


If Jesus were to plant a Church in your local area, what might that look like? Thankfully, the New Testament isn't mute on this matter. By reading the book of Acts, we gain a pretty clear portrait of what the first century Church was like. Yes, the very same one established by Christ and His disciples. But what about today? Does the example of the first century Church still apply in the 21st century? Absolutely! In fact, we can be certain that the same characteristics that defined the early Church should likewise be present in every New Testament Church, regardless of time and place. The following are just a few of those characteristics for our consideration:


1. THE WORD OF GOD IS HELD IN SUPREME RESPECT AND GOVERNS EVERY AREA OF LIFE (2 Tim. 3: 16-17; 2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 4:12)


2. FERVENT PRAYER IS THE LIFESTYLE OF EVERY MEMBER AND CHURCH LEADERS EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER OFTEN (Mat. 26:41; Jas. 5:16; 1 Thes. 5:17)


3. MEMBERS FAST OFTEN FOR MEN'S SOULS (Act. 13:3; 2 Cor. 11:27)


4. INTIMATE FELLOWSHIP IS PRESENT THROUGHOUT THE WEEK BETWEEN ALL MEMBERS (Act. 2:46)


5. A LOVE FOR GOD AND MAN ARE PLAINLY VISIBLE (Gal 4:14; 2 Cor. 13:12)


6. THERE IS A HEALTHY FEAR OF GOD IN THE ASSEMBLY AND MEMBERS CONFESS THEIR SINS ONE TO ANOTHER (Act. 5:11; 1 Tim. 5:20; Js. 5:16)


7. EVERYONE IS ENCOURAGED TO BE BAPTISED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OPERATING IN THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS (Luk. 24:49; Act. 19:1-6; 1 Cor. 14:26)


8. EVANGELISM IS THE PRACTICE OF EVERY MEMBER (Act. 28:31; 2 Tim. 4:2)


9. EVERYONE IS CHARITABLE AND GIVING. NO ONE CLAIMS EXCLUSIVE OWNERSHIP TO MATERIAL POSSESSIONS SINCE THEY BELONG TO GOD ANYWAY (Act. 2:45)


10. NO TITHES AND OFFERINGS. INSTEAD, DONATIONS FOR POOR PEOPLE ARE COLLECTED (1 Cor. 16:2-3)


11. NO WOMAN PASTORS (1 Tim. 2:12)


12. NO ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED (Rom. 11:21-22)


13. NO DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE (Mat. 5;19; Mk. 10; Lk. 16; 1 Cor. 7:10-11; see here)


14. "NO NAMES AND FRAMES"/NON-DENOMINATIONAL FELLOWSHIP (1 Cor. 3:4-6)


15. SIMPLISTIC CHURCH STRUCTURE OR HOUSE CHURCH (Acts 12:12; Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15)


16. PASTORS MEET ALL BIBLICAL REQUIREMENTS (1 Tim. 3; Tit. 1)


17. CHURCH DISCIPLINE IS IMPLEMENTED--SERIOUS SIN WHERE PEOPLE ARE UNWILLING TO REPENT RESULTS IN EXCOMMUNICATION SO THAT THE CONGREGATION STAYS PURE. BUT YOU ARE ALLOWED TO COME BACK AFTER BEING HUMBLED AND REPENTANT (1 Cor. 5)


18. FULL ACCOUNTABILITY BETWEEN MEMBERS (Eph. 5:21)


19. NO PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT--EVERYONE IS IMPORTANT (Mat. 23:8; Act. 10:34; Gal. 3:28; Jas. 2:2-6)


20. A BIBLICAL STANDARD OF HOLINESS IN CLOTHING IS ENCOURAGED SO THAT SEXUAL SIN AND A SPIRIT OF VANITY IS AVERTED (1 Tim. 2:9-10; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:16)


21. PASTOR/LEADERSHIP IS OPEN TO CORRECTION (1 Pet. 5:5)


22. THE TEACHINGS ARE SUPER CONVICTING AND LIFE CHANGING, YET NOT HARSHLY PREACHED (Eph. 4:15)


23. CORRECTION COMES WITH GENTLENESS AND MEEKNESS, UNLESS A SHARP REBUKE IS REQUIRED! (Gal. 6:1; 1 Tim. 5:20)


24. NO SUGAR-COATED TEACHING (2 Tim. 4:2)


25. NO FACE COVERING RESTRICTIONS OR COVID VACCINE MANDATES (THIS IS IN THE PIPELINE FOR MOST CHURCHES)


26. ALL ARE REQUIRED TO LIVE HOLY, AND HELP IS AVAILABLE IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING


27. THE FELLOWSHIP IS FUN AND ENJOYABLE, YET ALSO SERIOUS (Ecc. 3:1, 4)


Note: To learn more about how the New Testament defines Church, and to better appreciate all of its biblical features and characteristics, please refer to my detailed article teaching on this subject (located here).




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