An Inquiry into the Principles of Church Fellowship. -by Rev. John T. Pressly, dd Subscribe to the pamphlet program for a month here: http://covenanter…
An Inquiry into the Principles of Church Fellowship. -by Rev. John T. Pressly, dd Subscribe to the pamphlet program for a month here: http://covenanter…
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Question by : Do big churches sacrifice their principles for the greater good of the church?
Like the Mormon or other pyramid churches? When powerful or rich members hurt, abuse and stalk others in the name of god, it seems these churches turn a blind eye. Is it about money or needing to have one of their own in a position of power?
Example Mormon Judge Jacquie of AZ. ( see http://www.youtube.com/killmeyer41 ) when the church found out what she done they made her brother a bishop.
Judge Jacque Hatch
Answer by Songbird
There really are no principals in mainstream religion.
Give your answer to this question below!
The principles of the Doctrine of Christ
Written by Bro. Josh Sparks on March 15th 2009.
Jesus made a very powerful statement concerning His Church. (Matthew 16:18 ) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Peter is not the rock the church is built on neither is he the one who is building the church. Peter in verse 19 was given the keys to the Kingdom and we believe those keys were used to unlock the door of salvation to the Jews (Acts 2:38 ) and the Gentiles (Acts 10:46-48 ). Jesus declared I will build my church and the gates of hell or the grave (Strong’s G # 86)cannot prevail against it or overpower it. Paul reiteratedthis doctrine of the grave not being able to overpower the church when writing to the church in Corinth. ( 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52) 51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
The commission to Preach the Gospel was given to the disciples after Jesus had risen from the dead. We will post the 3 accounts as found in the book of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In these 3 accounts we will see Jesus command to His disciples to go was not without instructions and commands. The were some principal doctrines established and these were implemented by our Lord Jesus and not prefabricated by the thoughts and desires of men. Below is listed the passages concerning Jesus commission to his disciples.
(Matthew 28:18-20) 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
(Mark 16:15-18 ) 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
(Luke 24:46-49) 46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48And ye are witnesses of these things. 49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Jesus told his disciples to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they be endued or clothed with power from on high. Jesus spent 40 days after his resurrection with the disciples teaching them and speaking to them plainly of the father. ( John 16:25)These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. After Jesus rose from the dead he opened up their understanding of the scriptures (Luke 24:45)Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. Although the next statement I am going to make might not set well withthe religious it is still the absolute truth . The disciples walked withJesus for 3 and 1/2 years and still didn’t know Him. They were withHim and saw all the miracles and signs and the dead being raised and devils being cast out. They saw Jesus walk on the water and clam the storms and the ragging sea but still didn’t know Him. They walked with Him adnwas sent out along with the seventy (Luke 10:1) who was sent out two by two and the sick was healed and devils cast out in Jesus Name and Jesus told them He gave them power (Luke 10:19)Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. But they were granted this temporary manifestation of power through Jesusname but was not clothed with Power until they were baptized in the Holy Ghost.
In Acts Chapter 1 we see Jesus giving the disciples some further instructions concerning the Kingdom and the Power needed to establish the Kingdom through living witnesses. A witness is not a witness in word only but in demonstration as well. ( Acts 1: 1-8 ) 1The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Jesus spoke more directly to the disciples concerning the Kingdom of God and the need to receive the power of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. After they received the baptism of the Holy Ghost the church was born and men and women began pressing their way into the Kingdom of God through being born again of the water and the Spirit (John 3:5, Acts 2:38 ). This brings me to the subject I am wanting to wrote about which is this. There were certain principle doctrines or chief doctrines if you will that Jesus delivered to His disciples. These we must understand and full grasp being built upon them because they are part of the very foundational structure of the Church. ( Ephesians 2:20-21) 20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. Paul declares in ( 1 Corinthians 3:10-11) 10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Paul writing to the Hebrews outlined for us these very principle or first doctrines of Jesus Christ that must be laid which is our foundation and if it is not laid we can never go on to perfection (maturity or completeness) until these foundation principles are set in order. The church understands a few of these principle or first doctrines or teachings established by Jesus Christ and make a mess out of the others. Paul told Timothy in ( 1 Timothy 1:1-4) 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 2Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
Paul also wrote to Timothy about a time (our time) when people wouldn’t endure sound doctrine ( 2 Timothy 4:3)For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. To endure means t hold ones self up against. To put up with or to bear with. To forbear or suffer. Paul goes on to say this would result in the turning away their ears from the truth and bringing in the ear ticklers because men driven by their lusts would rather be on the pacifierrather then the meat of the truth of God’s Word. ( Hebrews 6:1-3) 1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3And this will we do, if God permit. In these verses of scripture we see the very first doctrines or teachings of Jesus Christ that make up the foundation we are built upon as the church. There are 6 principle or first teachings or doctrines we must have laid in our lives as a foundation. 1) Repentance from dead works. 2) Faith Toward God. 3) The Doctrine of Baptisms (plural which consists of Water and Spirit). 4) Laying on of hands. 5) The resurrection from the dead. 6) Eternal Judgement. These very basic doctrines must be understood and must be part of the foundation of the church. As I stated earlier we have a few of these as part of our foundation, namely, repentance from dead works, faith toward God
Ten Principles of Spiritual Growth
Here we will discuss ten Principles of Spiritual Growth. There are more but lets look at the first ten:
‘without faith it is impossible to please Him’ Hebrews 11:6 and faith comes by hearing the word of God. Again ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’ Hebrews 11:1. Based on scripture that is our evidence. This is important to realise as faith is not based on our own impressions or our own consideration of probabilities ! Faith is based on certainty. Faith will be tested as Peter says 1 Peter 1:7. Faith is dependence on God and this can only begin when self-dependence ends. For some this takes grief, loss or pain.
This is based on two questions: a) Does God accept me ? b) on what basis does He do so ? The best answer may be found in Ephesians 1:5,6 ‘ Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise and glory of His grace, wherein he hath made us accepted as beloved’ His peace and acceptance are found entirely on the work of the cross, totally apart from anything from us. God has accepted us in His son and upon that fact we must rest our faith. Our acceptance is by grace alone. Grace once given to us is not withdrawn. In fact to believe and to consent to be loved while unworthy is the greatest secret.
God makes it clear in His word what His purpose for each one of us is. Adam was made in God’s image so that there could be communion , fellowship and cooperation between them but Adam went his own way. God is still carrying out his purpose but not via Adam but via Christ. Being born into Him by faith we become partakers of the divine nature 2 Peter 1:4. When we see that all things are working together to make us more and more like the Lord Jesus we should not become frustrated. Failure may even be one gathering to Him. This turns us from ourselves to His source for our life – Christ Jesus ! God is working everyday to His Purpose so that “That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” 2 Corinthians 4:11
The reason our Father creates and allows needs in our lives is to turn us from all that is outside of Christ, centering us in Him alone. ‘Not I, but Christ’ Galatians 2:20. Matthew 5:6 is central to this ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness’ This shows our need. Watchman Nee expresses this well ‘The first thing for which He sets us here is to create in others a hunger for Himself’. In reparation there is tearing down before there can be building up. It takes a man who has discovered something of the measure of his own weakness to be patient with the foibles of others. But our own efforts can in no way prepare us as the distance between God and man is so huge. Only the work of the Holy Spirit can prepare us and we are to accept His Grace. Our preparation is this acceptance.
One of the most important factors in Christian growth is the Holy Spirit’s revelation of the self-life to the believer. We are in fact ‘dead in trespass and sins’ Ephesians 2:1 and ‘thoroughly corrupt before God’ Galatians 5:19-21. Unless we go through this then we can not grow ‘ Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone but if it die in bringeth forth much fruit’ John 12:24. If we despair of our own sins it can actually be a healthy condition just before God leads us into the realms of His grace. The believer who is going through struggle and failure is the Christian who is being carefully and lovingly handled by the Lord in a very personal way.
Man has many ways of seeking to escape the thraldom of self but God has one way. The main man-centered efforts are as follows: 1) Mortification – denying oneself things for a time or ever but it is not scriptural to believe that our old nature can be dealt with in this way. 2) Conquest – more study, more prayer etc but these are insufficient. 3) Training – schools and home training alone can not subdue our old nature 4) Revivalism – in special meetings once or twice a year but the effects are mainly temporary 5) Growth – just keep doing more church activities but just more of the old self. 6) Cleansing – here up to the moment confession and consequent cleansing do constitute a method of dealing with sin as 1John 1:9 shows BUT this does not deal with the sources (self) 7) Experiences – baptism of the spirit and speaking in tongues but all this does not deal with our old self – only the cross can deal with it. It is on the cross of Calvary that God, in Christ, dealt fully and finally with self, the nature from which all our sins flow Romans 6:6. The flesh will only yield to the cross, not to all our resolutions, confessions, self effort on self crucifixion but only in co-crucifixion with Christ. We can receive the benefits of the work of the cross simply by believing in the finished work of the cross.
7) The Cross
Calvary is the secret of it all. It is what He did there that counts and what He did became a force in the life of a Christian when it is appropriated by faith. the second aspect of Calvary is our individual identification with the Lord Jesus in his death and resurrection ‘knowing this that our old man is crucified with him’ Romans 6:6 Through the two aspects sin need have no more power over the believer than he grants it through unbelief. If he is alive unto sin it will be due largely to the fact that he has failed to reckon himself dead unto sin. In a nutshell God’s answer to the source of sin , which is death to self, brought forth from the completed work of the cross. By faith we should reckon our old self to be crucified with Christ on the cross.
A disciple is one who first maintains the fellowship of the cross. Our Lord Jesus was very explicit in this ‘If any man will come after me , let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me Luke 9:23. Taking up one’s cross results in death to self and means life in Christ Jesus. A disciple is one who is free from all old and free for the new or ‘dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God’ Romans 6;11. However, our cross is not necessarily what we think – like bearing certain burdens. In fact the believers’ cross is the cross of Calvary, the one on which he was crucified with Christ Galatians 2;20. We will be ready to take up our cross when self becomes intolerable to us and we ‘hate our life’ Luke 14:26. Our cross, our liberation , our personal finished work held in trust for us so long by the Holy Spirit. Finally prepared by our needs, aware that our bondage was broken in Christ on Calvary, we definitely begin to rely on that finished work – we APPROPRIATE. If we take hold of the great fact of redemption that we have been crucified with Christ – then Christ by the His Spirit takes up the exercise of function of life within us and leads us as his disciples.
The Appropriation of, the resting in Jesus, must be on the basis of faith, not struggle and labour. ‘In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength’ Isiah 30:15. We are told to quietly and steadily look to our father in confident trust and thankfully receive. In fact this resting in faith is vital. We should walk step by step by faith. The rest of faith concerning our justification, the rest of faith concerning our acceptance, the rest of faith concerning our position in Christ Jesus, the rest of faith concerning our identification with Christ in death, resurrection and ascension. In fact although faith begins as a labour Hebrews 4:11 it is consummated in a rest Hebrews 4:3. Paul emphasizes this in Hebrews 4 as he talks about the Sabbath rest for the people of God. ‘Now we who have believed enter that rest’
When we first start out we may be very zealous but as the years go by we need continuance – we should try to remember that ‘ The foundation of God standeth sure having this seal. The Lord knoweth them that are his’ 2 Timothy 2:19. God strips everything away from time to time in order to give us the opportunity of loving and trusting and responding to him just because He is our father. This leads to growth and maturity. Perhaps in the beginning we are mainly taken up by the externals of Christian life and God allows this for a while then in order to get to the next stage so that our Lord Jesus is our all our Father begins to take away much of what we thought we had ! This is the transition – the cross centered transition from ‘do’ to ‘be’. If we want what Jesus wants, all that we are taken through, including desert patches will encourage us. Jesus will lead us on our journey step by step as Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 3:3 ‘We rejoice with you as you continue in Him’
Dr Simon Harding