Whatever Happened to the Church Christ Built?

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Those gifts to the early church Paul lists: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing miracles, prophecy, discerning spirits, different tongues and interpretation of tongues were all necessary for the revelation and the confirmation of the unwritten gospel message. When the gospel was completely revealed and confirmed, the purpose for miracles, tongues, healings, and prophecies ceased.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul provides us with this explanation: “As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)

In the original Greek, “perfect” in this verse means “completeness” or “fulfillment.” So, those miraculous gifts ended in the early church when the revelation of God’s word was complete or fulfilled. That is why you don’t see authentic miraculous events in churches today.

Permit me to conclude this church worship section by mentioning three practices found in some modern churches which are nowhere to be found in the early church: alter calls, pleas to “just accept Jesus into your heart,” and repeating “the sinner’s prayer.” Those are all man-made traditions, not supported by scriptures.

Questions to Consider:

1. Since Jesus established his church, and the New Testament describes his church, do you think it might be a good idea to follow the biblical example: in church name? in what we call our church members? in the requirements to enter the church? in church organization? in doctrine? in church worship? in baptism? in the Lord’s Supper? in prayer? in reading scriptures? in preaching? in singing?

2. Why would Luke, Paul, Peter, James, and John provide us with such extensive details of the original church, if they did not intend for us to follow this pattern?

Quote of the Day: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” G. K. Chesterton (1874 -1936) English author

Note: All Scripture References are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise stated.

NKJV – New King James Version

NRSV – New Revised Standard Version

REB – Revised English Bible

Jerry Boone, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, United States webmaster@merechristianity.us Mr. Boone is a sailor, author, and webmaster of http://merechristianity.us His works include: Mere Christianity.us and SAFETY LINE – EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, an apologetic study published 1998.