B.A.S.I.C NEWSLETTER #177
I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.’
With the LordIn the Kurnool District of the BELC the Lord has taken home His servant in the Word, G. Samuel, age 48. He was an active pastor in outreach. He started the church in Yerraguntta and then turned it over to another of our pastors to preach there while he went on to another village to work. Both of these villages have no other church except ours. In Shantinagar there are 42 believers. We see how we must make good use of our time while here before we are called home. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
THE UNIT CONCEPT OF FELLOWSHIP
(part 1 of 2)
We in the CLC and our sister churches hold to what has been called the ‘unit concept’ of fellowship. This is simply the teaching of Scripture that to have religious fellowship we must agree on God’s Word and not just on a part of it. And the exercise of fellowship includes all phases of it just as unity in the Word assumes agreement on all the Word.
When Paul said farewell to the Ephesian elders he stated, “…I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:27 Later in defending himself before Felix Paul states, “…according to the Way…I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the law or written in the prophets.” Acts 24:14 This holding to all the Word is our position also. Exercising our religious fellowship is based on this unity on the Word. This unity in the Word Paul wrote of repeatedly to congregations – 1 Cor. 1:10, Phil. 1:27,2:2, Rom. 15:5-6.
Fellowship means to draw near to Christ(1 Cor. 10:16) and to stay clear of error and those who practice it(2 Cor. 6:14-18). Scripture never says a little error can be tolerated. Far from it we have the illustration to warn of the danger of a little in leaven in a lump of dough that goes throughout the whole lump though the leaven is a little thing. Gal. 5:9 The warnings of our Lord are clear and serious about false teaching and false teachers. Mt. 7:15, 24:11,24
The most important fellowship relationship we have is with our God. 1 Cor. 1:9 Then secondly our fellowship is with one another. 1 Jn. 1:3 We devote ourselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship. Acts. 2:42 How could we be loyal to our Lord if we allowed some teaching contrary to what He taught through the Word? This is not just human reasoning, as it comes from God’s Word. Rom. 16:17-18 Error or false teaching is what comes from man’s mind in opposition to what God says. Jer. 23:16-17 We measure what is taught by the Word as the standard. If what others teach is in conformity with the Word we seek fellowship, but if not we remain separate. 2 Pet. 2:1, 1 Jn. 4:1
In searching the Word on this whole question we see the applications of the ‘unit concept’.
- Preaching – We cannot invite a pastor from a different church to preach to our people as he does not agree with us on the Word. We believe in infant baptism. A Baptist pastor would preach against that.
- Teaching – There are a great variety of teaching situations within the church. Only those can teach for us who hold to all the Word. It is one thing to talk with someone, but quite another to speak to a group as a representative of the church.
- Communion – When we stand together to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord in/under/with the bread and wine, it is a visible sign of our unity. We cannot honestly give communion to another unless there is the agreement. There are serious warnings about not doing this properly. 1 Cor. 10:14-20, 11:27-30
- Worship Leaders – Anyone may come and hear the Word in our worship services, though to conduct our worship means to be one with us. The safeguard that only the truth will be preached is that there is agreement on the truth.
- Prayer – We may pray for anyone and everyone of course. If invited by someone into their house to pray for them, we gladly go and speak to God. But for someone to lead us in prayer and to pray as if he is the leader and not be agreed is not right.
- Support of the Word – We do not give our support to the preaching of false teachings even if this is accompanied by part of the truth. While we can give a Bible and Christian literature to anyone, we do not give support to other churches other than those we are united with.
- If the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, we will apply it as we live our lives in Christ. We can associate with people in many ways as in social activities, political events, daily work and so on. In religious associations we have God’s Word to direct us very specifically.
If we have clean water to drink, it is healthy for us. Add a little dirt to it and it is no longer clean and healthy for us. So it is with error. Or think about poison. You could receive it in small portions that might not kill you right away, though it’s long term effect is deadly. Error is like the camel who first puts his nose in the tent. If tolerated, he will eventually be in the tent wholly and the camel driver out. That is the way error works, first its nose then more to come. Some people think they will not be effected by error, it they do not hold to it, but belong to a church that does allow it. We have a saying that if you lie down with dogs, you can get up with fleas.
What a joy to seek to follow the whole counsel of God. We do not waste time arguing with one another over what the Bibles says, due to disagreements. We put our time and effort into preaching, teaching and spreading the wonderful news of God in the context of the Word.
Apples of Gold in a Setting of Silver (7)
“We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it” — P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene
“In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been” — Robert Moffat, who inspired David Livingstone
“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” — David Livingstone
“Sympathy is no substitute for action.” — David Livingstone, missionary to Africa
“Can’t you do just a little bit more?” — J.G. Morrison pleading with Nazarenes in the 1930’s Great Depression to support their missionaries
“Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us.” — Keith Wright
“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.” — C.T. Studd
“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” — C.T. Studd
“Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.” — C.T. Studd
“No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” — Oswald J. Smith
“Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.” — Oswald J. Smith
A PASSAGE EXPLAINED = John 13:26 John 13:26 “So when He had dipped the morsel, He gave it to Judas…” Some think that Judas received communion, but that is not correct. In v. 30 we read that ‘immediately’ after receiving the morsel Judas went out. When Jesus gave communion He gave the bread and then He gave the wine. While the ‘morsel’ can be a bit of bread, in the institution of communion recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke, the bread is not dipped. By putting all four Gospel accounts together we get a better picture.