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Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” - Genesis 2:18

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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.

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William

The Church Didn’t Start in the New Testament

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William
Staff

When Christ poured out his Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, he ushered his "kingdom community" into the age to come. Pentecost is sometimes described as the birthday of the church, but that is not quite accurate.

 

Far earlier in the Bible the Greek term ekklesia, which our English versions render "church," had been applied to the "day of the assembly" when Israel gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai as Moses received the Lord's covenant on the mountaintop (Deut. 9:10). From that point forward the term appears regularly in the Old Testament to designate the congregation of Israel assembled to worship in God's presence. 

 

When Simon Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus himself promised to build his ekklesia, his assembly, his church (Matt. 16:18). Not surprisingly, therefore, in the interim between Jesus' ascension to heaven and his bestowal of the Spirit from his throne at God's right hand (Acts 2:33), we are shown a community of believers "with one accord…devoting themselves to prayer," awaiting the empowering Spirit of God, whom their Lord would soon send (1:4-5, 8, 14).

 

The Spirit of God applies Christ's redemptive achievement personally to individuals in the mysterious rebirth that draws us to faith, yet his agenda is not primarily individualistic but rather communal. The Father's call and the Spirit's power rescue rebels from wrath for the purpose of incorporating the redeemed into the assembly of the Lord.

 

The churchly communal focus of the kingdom is evident both in the immediate response to Peter's sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:37-41) and in the aftermath of that event (2:42-47). As the Word of God "cut to the heart" thousands of Peter's listeners and they asked how they should respond, he answered, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God will call to himself" (2:38-39).

 

Their change of heart (repentance) must be attested publicly by submission to baptism in Jesus' name. And thus it was: "So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls" (2:41). 

 

From the core of one hundred twenty who had awaited the Spirit's descent (1:15), the church swelled as thousands took a public stand, confessing allegiance to Jesus the Messiah, whose name laid claim to them in baptism. As in Abraham's day, God spoke his promise not only to repenting and believing adults, but also to their children (see Gen. 17:5-11).

 

As God had promised to bless all nations through Abraham, now this blessing would reach pagan Gentiles "far off," whom God would call through the gospel. Individuals' transition from death to life, originating in the Spirit's hidden touch (John 3:8), became visible as they joined the community that confessed Jesus as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).

 

Source:

Core Christianity | The Church Didn’t Start in the New Testament

 

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dpaulw

Correct the word church means an assemble, it can also mean a building, temple, al

so.

Acts 19:37  For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.

 

The nation of Israel was an assembly, not of Spirit filled Christian though. To enter into the Church, assembly of believers, one has to be born again, born of the Spirit. 

 

John 7:39  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 

The OT saints could not be born again as they could not receive the Spirit as Christ had not paid for their sins as yet. It was not absent from the body present with the Lord, it was absent from the body present in Abraham’s bosom.

 

Hebrews 11:39  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

 

Therefore, the Church could not have started before the death of the testator, New Testament. What was the promise?

 

Ezekiel 36:27  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

 

When did the Apostles and such receive the Spirit.

 

John 20:22  And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

 

But, who were the first to enter into the kingdom of God, into heaven and be with the Lord?

 

Ephesians 4:8  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

 

Upon his assension he emptied Abraham’s bosom. After his ascention he returned to give the Holy Spirt to believers. 

 

John 20:17  Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father....

 

So I would be of the opinion based on this that the Church, assembly of believers, started with captivity being led captive, at the very start of the New Testament. Just an opinion.

Edited by dpaulw

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Origen
Moderator
18 minutes ago, dpaulw said:

Correct the word church means an assemble, it can also mean a building, temple, al

so.

Acts 19:37  For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.

Bad translation!  This is not a reference to a church building.  In fact it is not even a reference to a church at all.  The Greek word for church (i.e. ἐκκλησία) does not appear in the verse.  The Greek word there is ἱεροσύλους which means "temple robber."  Keep in mind this was a charge leveled against Paul by pagans.  Pagans could not have cared less if Paul robbed churches.  Also, ἐκκλησία is not a reference to a temple.

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dpaulw

Correct, but I was referencing the English word church as use in the Bible. It may have been a little off topic as you point out, but the rest of my submission is not dependent on that reference. 

 

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Origen
Moderator
3 minutes ago, dpaulw said:

Correct, but I was referencing the English word church as use in the Bible. It may have been a little off topic as you point out, but the rest of my submission is not dependent on that reference. 

The translation is wrong.  In Acts 19:37 the word ἐκκλησία does not appear.  Moreover, the word never refers to a building in the N.T.  The fact you would appeal to error in translation for evidence in order to prove it was a building is problematic at best.

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Faber
On 7/13/2018 at 5:06 PM, William said:

For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God will call to himself.

 

 Do "all who are far off" spoken by Peter (recorded by Luke) refer to:

(a) The Gentiles (Ephesians 2:17)

(b) The Jews (Daniel 9:7)

(c) All people

 

 

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atpollard
2 hours ago, Faber said:

 Do "all who are far off" spoken by Peter (recorded by Luke) refer to:

(a) The Gentiles (Ephesians 2:17)

(b) The Jews (Daniel 9:7)

(c) All people

 

 

A and B.

I did not choose C to avoid any hint of universalism.

Edited by atpollard
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