Babes in CHRIST
Peter J. Wilson
GOD (Head) 1Cor.11:3 (Supreme) 15:24-27
CHRIST (Head, King, Lord, Master)
Authority-ALL (Mt.28:18, 17:5; Isa.9: 6; Eph. 1:20-23)
APOSTLES (Ambassadors) Authority- Delegated (2Cor. 5:20; Mt. 16:19,18:18, 19:28) 1.Bind 2. Loose
3.Deliver H.S. mandates
(Acts 20: 17,28; Titus 1:5,7; 1Pet.5:1-3; Heb.13:17)
1.Oversee 2.Rule 3. Superintend
(Bishops, Pastors, Stewards, Rulers, Local only)
EVANGELIST DEACONS MEMBERS
PREACH WORD SPECIAL SERVICE FAITHFUL SERVICE
1 TIM. 4:1-3 1TIM. 3:8-13 1COR.15:58; EP.4:11-16
No Authority No Authority No Authority
DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Elder, Presbyter ( Presbuteros ) Acts 14:23; 1 Tim. 5:1, 17; 1 Pet.5:1.
2. Bishop, Overseer ( Episcopos ) Acts 10:28; Titus1:7; 1Tim.3:1; Phil.1:1
3. Pastor, Shepard ( Poimeen ) 1Pet2:25, 5:2; Eph. 4:11
4. Ruler ( Proistamenos ) Ro.12:8; 1Thess.5:12
5. Ruler ( Hegoumenoi ) Heb. 13:7,17
6. Ensample (Tupos ) 2Pet.5:3
7. Steward ( Oikonomos ) Titus 1:7; 1Cor. 4:2
8. Deacon ( Diakonos ) Phil 1 :1;1Tim.3 :8-13
9. Evangelist ( Euaggelestes ) Acts21:8; 2Tim.4 :5
10. Preacher ( Kerux ) 2 Pet. 2:5
ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH
"Lord", "King", "Lawgiver" all emphasize His authority and work of Jesus. ELDERS:
"ELDER" Presbytros = older, experienced
"BISHOP" Episcopos = overseer, superintendent
"PASTOR" Poimeen = shepherd, herdsman
"RULER" Hegoumnnoi = leader
"ENSAMPLE" Tupos = model, pattern
"STEWARD" Oikonomous = manager, caretaker, administrator
"EVANGELIST" Evaggelistes = bearer of good tidings
"PREACHER" Kerux = herald, proclaimer of the truth
"DEACON" Diakonos = servant; special service under the direction of the elders. MEMBERS:
"SAINTS" = Sanctified ,set apart
"DISCIPLE" = Learner
"CHILD OF GOD" = in the family of God
"BRETHREN"= relation to others in the family
"CHRISTIAN" = belonging to Christ
Most departures from the truth have begun with a corruption of the organization and rebellion against authority.
Elders assuming Christ's authority- Legislative decrees.
Preachers assuming elders authority- Modern "pastor" system.
Deacons assuming elders authority the "Church Board".
Members assuming elders authority the "Majority Rule".
What is wrong with majority rule?
1. The church is a monarchy not a democracy.
2. Makes no distinction as to age. ( He.5:12-14).
3. Makes elders subject to the church, rather than the N.T pattern. He. 13:17
4. Creates division. 1Cor.1:10
OUR DUTY TO THE ELDERS
To know and respect them. 1Th. 5:12-13
Be subject to and obey them. 1Pe.5:5; He.13:17 Discuss.
Receive not an unsupported accusation against them. 1 Tim.5:19
Support them 1Tim. 5:17
Call upon them and use them when in a spiritual need James 5:14-16
Lesson 2. Attendance
From the beginning of the Jewish dispensation God has commanded His people to assemble together to worship and learn of Him.
1. The tabernacle and the temple became the center of the Jews religion.
2. If even Jesus, the Son of God, saw the need of regular public worship, surely those who have committed themselves to "walk even as He walked" should recognize that same need. Lk.4:16.
3. Faithfulness to God and his word has always been in direct ratio to faithfulness to His appointed assemblies.
Why should I attend every service of the church?
Because I need the spiritual food offered. 1 Pe.2: 2-3; Mt.4:4; 5:6; Ps.119:172; Ro.l: 16-17.
1. The exceeding value of God's word seen . Ps. 119:14, 16, 24, 72, 97-105, 128131, 165.
2. This word can save my soul. Ja.l :21
3. This word can enrich my life Co1.1:9-11
4. This word can keep me from falling. 2Pe.1:5-11; 2:20-22; Mt.13:20-23
5. This word is my weapon against temptation. Ps.119:11; Mt.4:4,7,10
6. This word can give me victory over the world. He.6:1; 2Pe.3:18
In view of these facts, I should naturally want to be at every service where this wonderful word is properly preached or taught.
Because I want to cooperate with and be in subjection to those who watch for my soul.
1. To the elders God has given this fearful responsibility. He.13: 17
2. They are to feed the flock of Christ. Acts20:28
A. To fulfill that responsibility they must provide balanced and regular feeding.He.5: 12-14
B. Just as parents are concerned over children who fail to eat as they should, elders are concerned about members who forsake and neglect these feeding periods.
Because God has commanded me not to forsake them. He. 10:19-32. 1. The seriousness of this sin can be seen in the context.
Because I owe to my brethren in the local congregation.
1. God's plan for the building up of the body of Christ calls for ACTWE PARTICIPATION UPON THE PART OF EVERY MEMBER. Eph. 4:11-16
2. The congregation is made up of individual members.
A. The activity of the church depends upon the activity of its members.
B. The strength of the church depends upon the strength of its members.
C. Diligence and steadfastness on my part will strengthen the local congregation. He.11: 6; 1Co.15:58
Because I owe it to those I might influence. Mt.5:13-14; Ro.14:7,13
LESSON 2 ATTENDANCE
IS IT A SIN IF I MISS SERVICES?
Sin is a transgression of the law. 1Jn.3: 4
To absent yourself from the Lord's day assemblies usually involves three sins:
1. Forsaking assembly. He.l0: 25; Acts20:27
2. Forsaking Lord's Supper. 1Co.11; Acts 20:7
3. Forsaking the laying by in store. 1 Co.16: 2
The question to be asked of any or class is "Is it a good work?"
1. If the answer is "yes" consider these scriptures: Titus 2:14; 3:1; Ja.4:17
The question asked usually reflects a wrong attitude, that is , the attitude of
wanting to do only those things positively required or trying to ascertain the bare
minimum of service that we can render and still get by. (The attitude of a loser). But if my attitude is right, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
1. Consider David's attitude (Ps.122:1; 84:10; 27:4). Should we be imitating him?
2. While faithful attendance is a duty imposed by God's law, we should count it rather a privilege and a blessing. If we love the Lord and want to be with Him (Mt. 18: 20), if we love the brethren and want to be with them (1 Pet. 1: 22), if we are truly "hungering and thirsting" for God's word (Mt.5: 6), and "seeking first his kingdom" (Mt.6: 33), we will be present at every service we are not providentially hindered from attending. pp
BABES IN CHRIST
LESSON THREE: GIVING
Now that I am a Christian, I have another responsibility and wonderful privilege, that of bearing my part in the financing of the Lord's Work. The church of Christ does not solicit contributions from those who are not Christians. Neither does the Lord's church engage in any fund raising schemes such as pie suppers, raffles, bingo parties, etc. etc. Hence the only method used in supporting the Lord's work is the method proscribed in the New Testament, the voluntary contribution of the saints upon the first day of the week.
THE FACTS ABOUT GIVING
1. WHY SHOULD WE GIVE?
a. God commanded it. (1Co.16: 1-2; 9: 6-7)
b. The earth is the Lord's (Ps.24; 1Co.10: 26)
c. All belongs to God; from Him all blessings come. (Ja.1: 17; Jn.3: 27; 1Tim.6: 17)
d. We are not our own. We are slaves of Christ. (1Co.6: 19-20; Ro.6: 18)
e. We are but stewards. (1Co.4: 1-2) What is a steward?
f. Our stewardship demands a return to the Lord? (Lk.16: 1-3)
g. To prove our love for the Lord. (2Co.8: 8, 24)
h. To be happy. (Acts20: 35)
i. It is a means of laying up treasures in heaven. (1Tim.6: 17-19)
j. It is a means of glorifying God. (2Co.9: 12-15)
k. It is the only way God has ordained by which the important mission of the church is to be carried. (1Co.9: 13-14; 16:1-2)
2. WHAT SHOULD WE GIVE?
a. Ourselves first. (2Co.8: 5) If we do that, the rest is easy.
b. Our bodies. (Ro.12: 1-2; Phi.1: 20)
c. Our time. (Ep.5: 15-16)
d. Our talent. (Mt.25: 13-30)
e. Our labor. (Jn.6: 27; Titus3: 14)
f. Our financial increase. 1Cor.16: 1-2)
g. Our lives if necessary (Acts20: 22-24; 21:12; Mt.16: 25) 4. HOW SHOULD WE GIVE?
a. Regularly: "Upon the first day of the week"
b. Individually: "let each one of you"
c. Systemically: "lay by him in store"
d. Proportionately: "as God has prospered him"
e. Preventative: "that there be no gathering when I come". (1Cor. 16:1-2).
f. Liberally: 2Cor.9:6; Pro.11:24, What is liberality?
g. Cheerfully, not grudgingly. 2Cor.9: 6-7
1. How is it possible to give grudgingly?
2. How would a person give by compulsion or of necessity?
h. Purposefully: 2Cor.9: 7. What is meant by purposing to give?
i. Sacrificially:2 Cor.8: 1-5; Mk.12: 41-44. What is sacrifice?
3. HOW MUCH SHOULD A CHRISTIAN GIVE?
Since there is no predetermined percentage of our income required by the church or exacted in the N.T. scriptures, each one of us must reach our own decision upon the basis of what the bible teaches.
A. While many passages in the New Testament give us valuable teaching on the subject there is none that specifies a certain amount.
1. 1 Cor.16: 2 tells us to give as we have been prospered, but gives no rule as to how much of that prosperity we should.
2. Ro.12: 8 tells us to give liberally, but does lay down a standard by which we can how much would be liberal.
3. 2Cor.9: 7 tells us to purpose or plan ahead what we will give, but does not tell us how much to purpose.
4. 2Cor.9: 6 tells us that we reap in proportion to our sowing, but does not tell us how much would be considered bountiful
B. While the Old Testament is not binding upon Christians as law, it was written "for our learning" (Ro.15: 4), and "by way of example": and they were "written for our admonition" (2Cor.10: 11). By considering God's dealings with his people of old, we can gain some valuable lessons.
1. Tithing was practiced and commended by God before the law of Moses.
a. Gen.14: 18-20
b. Gen.28: 20-22 he went down with just a staff in his hand and came out a rich man. See Gen.32: 13-16.
2. Tithing under the law of Moses. Numbers 18: 21,24; Leviticus27: 30
1. Every Jew regardless of size of family, financial condition, or marital status etc. gave ten percent and more to the Lord's work.
2. When they did not give it God accused them of robbing Him. (Malachi 3: 8-10).
3. Tithing is not part of the Law of Christ, but the example of what God expects from his people of old can serve as a valuable index in determining how much He expects from us as Christians.
One fundamental principle of the N.T. is that greater privileges bring greater responsibilities. (Luke 12: 48). As Christians living in a period of Grace and liberty, we have:
1. A better law. (He.7: 18)
2. Better promises (He.8: 6)
3. A better blood sacrifice (He.9: 13-14)
4. A better house (He. 3:3-7; 8:2)
5. A higher standard of morality, service, and sacrifice. (sermon on the mount)
6. A greater commission (Mk. 16: 15). Tithing was necessary to support a religion to only one nation.
C. PERTINENT QUESTIONS
1.Has God raised every other standard in the New Covenant and lowered the standard on giving?
2. Of the Jews, God required at least a tenth. Of us, he requires liberality. Which is more?
3. The Jews gave because of a binding law. We give because we love the Lord. Which is stronger love or law?
4. We are to give as we have been prospered. Has God prospered us more than the Jew?
5. When thousands of Jews who had been tithers all their lives became Christians, should we believe that they gave less than they had as Jews?
6. Mormons, Adventists, and others tithe to support error. Can we give less to support the truth?
7. Many Christians give a tenth and more (some with large families) regularly today. Is there equality in "fellowship or partnership" if I do less?
Bear in mind that whatever decision you reach must be in harmony with the N.T. and must be voluntary and a willing gift on your part. God loveth a cheerful giver.
BABES IN CHRIST
THE LORD'S SUPPER
The basis of the Christian religion is the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross to redeem us from our sins and give us the hope of eternal life. The central part of our worship on the Lord's Day, the Lord's Supper, is a commemoration of that sacrifice. By a proper observance of this memorial feast once every week, our appreciation of that sacrifice is increased, our purpose in life as a Christian is reemphasized, and our strength to resist temptation is renewed.
1. What is the Lord's Supper?
a. A memorial or monument. (lCor.11: 24,25; Mt.26: 26-29; Mk.14: 22-25; Lk.22: 14-30).
2.Compare to the Passover. (Ex.12)
a. A memorial of sparing the first-born. (Ex.12: 13,14, 24-29)
b. A memorial of Israel's deliverance. (Ex.13: 9)
b. Neglect brought ex-communication. (Nu.9: 13)
3. A communion with Christ. (ICor.10: 14-18; Mt.26: 29; Lk.22: 18, 29, 30)
Every Christian, when ushered into God's kingdom by baptism, makes an appointment to meet Christ around His table on the first day of the week. No appointment
with earthly friends, family, or for personal pleasure ought to take precedence over this appointment.
4. A Declaration. "Proclaim the Lord's death until He come" (1 Cor.11: 26). In spite of more than 1900 hundred years of persecution from without and false teaching from within, this greatest of all sermons is preached by thousands of faithful Christians all over the world.
5. Scriptural Designations (descriptions)
a. The Lord's Supper (ICor.11: 20)
b. Breaking of bread (Acts 2: 42)
c. Table of the Lord (1 Cor. 10: 21)
d. Communion with the body and blood (1 Cor.10: 16) It is never called "sacrament", "mass", "Holy Eucharist" etc.
6. The Elements of the Lord's Supper
a. Bread. (ICor.11: 23, 24) Note that Jesus was using the unleavened bread of the Passover Feast.
b. Fruit of the vine. (Mt. 26: 27-29). Note that the term "cup" and "fruit of the vine" are used interchangeably. Jesus is talking about the contents not, the container.
7. Are the terms "body" and "blood" used figuratively in these passages?
a. The Roman Catholic Doctrine of transubstantiation teaches that the literal body and the literal blood of Christ are present in the observance of the Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper
8. Arguments for the use of these terms in a figurative sense.
a. Remember that Jesus was alive at the institution of the `Supper'.
1. When He said, "Take, eat this is my body", he was handing them
2. When He said, "this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured
out for many unto the remission of sins", His blood was still in
His veins, but He was handing them the fruit of the vine.
b. Use of similar expressions:
1. "I am the vine, ye are the branches"(Jn.15: 5)
2. "I am the door"(Jn.10: 7)
3. "I am the way" (Jn. 14: 6)
4. "I am the Bread of Life" (Jn.6: 35, 48)
5. "these women are the two covenants" (Ga.4: 24)
6. "the three branches are three days" (Ge.40: 12)
7. "the three caskets are three days" (Ge.40: 18)
8. "the seven good kine are seven years" (Ge.41:26)
9. "this cup is the new covenant" (Lk.22:10)
9. Who may partake?
a. Those in the kingdom. (Lk.22: 29,30; Mt.18: 3; Jn.3: 3-
b. Those in the church. (lCor.1 1: 19,20; 10: 16-18, 21)
c. Compare to the Passover. (Ex.13: 42-49)
10.When and how often observed?
a. Note: If there is no divine regulation about the matter, no
approved apostolic example or command, then whether a
man partook everyday or once a year or even once a
lifetime would be a matter of human choice.
b. There is a command to assemble. (He.10: 25)
c. There is a day to assemble. (Acts 20:7). The meeting of
the disciples and the breaking of bread are both expressed
in the same terms. If they met upon the first day, they
broke bread upon the first day of the week.
d. The example of the Corinthian church.
1.They assembled or came together to partake of the
Lord's Supper. (ICor.11: 18, 20-23, 33-34).
2.They gave of their means when they assembled.
(1 Cor.16: 2)
3.This was on the first day of every week. (ICor.16: 2)
Compare the "first day of the week" to "remember the
THE LORD'S SUPPER
11. What should our attitude be in observing the Lord's Supper?
a. With reverence. (He.12: 28)
b. Self examination. (1Cor.11: 28; psalms 139:23,24: 2Cor.13: 5)
c. In a worthy manner. (1Cor. 11: 27-32) "Unworthily " is an adverb denoting manner, not an adjective denoting a state or condition.
d. Does this mean sinless perfection?
e. How can we partake unworthily?
1. I must understand the mission of the church.
a. Mt.28: 18-20; Mk.16: 15-16; 1Tim. 3:15. These passages emphasize that the primary mission of the church is to teach and preach the gospel to the lost and to uphold the truth before an unbelieving world.
b. How does the church function in accomplishing this important task? (Eph.4: 11-16).
1. The body accomplishes its work only by the effectual working of "every member".
2. The church doesn't operate as an abstract unit, but by the activity of the members.
3. The church will evangelize the world only as individual members teach and preach wherever they have opportunity.
4. While supporting men to give their full time to preaching and teaching is authorized in the scriptures, the New Testament makes it plain that we cannot pay anybody to do by proxy that which God has assigned to each of us.
2. Some reasons why every Christian should strive to teach others:
a. To be like Christ.( Mt.10: 25; 1Pet.2: 21; Lu.19: 10).
b. To be like early Christians (Acts 5:12; 8:4; Phil. 1:14; 2:12,16).
c. To be wise (Pro.11: 30; Mt. 10:16; Dan.12: 3).
d. To relieve myself of a fearful responsibility (Eze.3: 18-19).
e. To glorify God (Jn.15: 2, 8).
f. To have "fellowship" (joint participation, partnership) in this the greatest of all works (lJn. 1:3-4).
1. The need is unlimited. (Jn.4: 35-36).
2. If just preachers, elders, deacons, and teachers engage in this work the progress will be very slow.
3. If every Christian would lead just one person to Christ in a year, the membership would double.
4. But only giving time, talent, influence, and effort to saving others am I having fellowship in this work
g. To fulfill God's purpose in making me a Christian. (1Pe.2: 9; Eph.2: 10; Mt.5: 13-16). What if I fail in this? (James 4:17).
h. But more important than all of these are because I love my fellow man and am concerned about the souls that are lost.
1. The value of the soul. (Mt.16: 26)
2. We have the example of God's love. (Jn.3: 16; lJn.4: 10)
3. We have the example of Christ love. (lJn.3: 16)
4. We owe an unpaid debt to those who are interested enough in our souls to teach us the truth and to those in need of the gospel. (Ro.1: 15-16)
5. No stressing of "duty" and "responsibility", no outlined program of personal work training can substitute for a sincere interest in the lost condition of others and a genuine love for souls.
3. What can the babe in Christ do in this work?
a. If I have obeyed the gospel, I can at least tell others what I have done. (Mk.5: 19, 20).
b. I can study and grow in my knowledge that in time I will be a capable teacher (He.5: 12; 1Pe.3: 15; 2Tim.2: 2).
c. I can invite others to service. (Ro10: 10)
d. I can make arrangements for home study, correspondent courses. Impress upon your friend that there are capable teachers willing to teach.
e. Good tracts are always available in the building. Take some and hand them out to your friend our mail them to someone you know.
f. Personal work guides are available to help find the scriptures that are needed in teaching others.
Lesson Six Relationship to My Brethren
It is essential that every babe in Christ appreciate the relationship he or she sustains toward brothers and sisters in Christ, and the responsibilities that such a relationship involves. How we treat our brethren can affect the acceptability of our worship. (Mt. 5: 23, 24; 6: 14, 15; 25: 34-46)
1. Our relationship to other Christians.
A. We are members of one family. Jesus considered this spiritual relationship as important as physical ties. (Ga.3: 26-27; Ro.8: 16-17; Lk.8: 19-21)
B. We are members of one body. (1 Cor.12: 12-27)
C. We are partners in a great fellowship. (Acts 2: 42; 2Cor.6: 1; lJn.l: 3-4
2. What I owe to my Brethren. (Mt.7: 12)
A. Love. (Jn13: 34-35; lJn.4: 7-12; 4:19-20). How must I love? (Jn.15: 12; lJn.3: 16; lPe.1: 22)
B. Proper example and influence. (Mt.5: 13-14; Ro.14: 13, 21; lCor.8: 9, 12, 13)
C. Forgiveness. (Col.3: 13; Mt.6: 14, 15). How often must I forgive? (Mt. 18: 21-35)
D. Bearing others burdens. (Ga.6: 2; Phil.2: 4) What are some burdens that we may help bear?
a. Physical needs. (Acts 4: 32-3 5)
b. Bereavement. (Ro.12: 15)
c. Illness. Physical, and spiritual. (Jas.5: 14-16; 5: 19-20; Ga.6: 1)
d. Discouragement. (1Th.5:14)
e. Impartiality. (Pro.11: 13; 16: 28; 17: 4)
f. Hospitality. (Ro.12: 13; He.13: 1-2)
3. My Obligation to Preserve Unity Among Brethren
A. Peace and unity are things for which we should all strive. (Ps. 133: 1; Pro.6: 16-19; Eph.4: 2,3; Phil.1: 27; Mt.5: 9; Ro.14: 19).
B. Things that destroy unity.
1. Gossip (Lev.19: 16; Pro.11: 13, 16:28, 17:4)
2. Anger. (Pro.16: 32; Eph.4: 26; Jas.l : 19-20)
3. Self-will. (ICor.13: 5; Jas.3: 17)
4. Un-kind words. (Pro.15: 1, 21: 23; Eph.4: 31)
4.God's Law of Settling Disputes.
A. If you hear that someone has aught against you, go to them and seek reconciliation. (Mt.5: 23-24)
B. If your brother sins against you, go to him. (Mt.18:15)
C. If this fails, the matter should be taken before the church. (Mt.18: 16-17) D.Waiting in false pride for others to take the first step toward reconciliation is not God's way. (Ro.5:8; 2Cor.5: 19)