The Elements of the pattern of church service and life can be seen in scripture

The elements of the pattern of church service and life can be seen in scripture.

True worshippers are to worship in truth and spirit (John 4:24), by the Spirit of God (Philippians 3:3). True believers remained in the teaching of God (2 John 1:9). They would have obeyed God as opposed to rebelled against God (1 John 3:10).

Men, women, and children would have gathered together to hear what was being taught – It may have been that only children who were old enough to understand who were in church service (such as those who were age 12, the age of when Jewish boys have their bar mitzvah, which happens to be the age of Jesus when he was in the temple courts sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions) (Deuteronomy 31:12; Nehemiah 8:1-3; Luke 2:41-47; Luke 18:15-17; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20-21; 2 John 1:1).

They met together on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). They met in the temple courts, in people’s homes, beside rivers, in synagogues, and in lecture halls (possibly schools) (Acts 2:42-47; Acts 16:13; Acts 19:8-9).

The church leaders were male elders and male deacons and female deaconesses (Acts 6:2-8; Acts 16:13; Romans 16:1; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-10).

The communion supper (also known as the Lord’s Supper) was observed (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:18-32).

Prayers were offered up to God alone, in harmony with the will of God (1 Corinthians 14:15–16; Nehemiah 4:9; Matthew 6:9,;1 John 5:14).

Songs were sung to the glory of God and thanks to God was given (Ephesians 5:19-20; Psalms 95, 96, 98).

A free will collection was taken (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). The Church was not involved with business (Matthew 21:12–13).

Sometimes church discipline occurred (Matt. 18:17).

The Scriptures were publically read (Colossians 4:16; 1 Tim. 4:13), and the Word of God was proclaimed (Acts 20:7; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Timothy 4:2).

Indeed, each had a hymn, a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation (1 Corinthians 14:28).

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At what point in our walk with Christ do we become children of God?

The question was asked: At what point in our walk with Christ do we become children of God?

 

All who are led by the spirit are sons of God. People who are saved by grace through faith in Christ are children of God, heirs of God, fellow heirs with Christ.

Romans 8:14-17

14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.


But there is a difference between being the only begotten Son of God (who is the Word, God, who took on flesh, became human (John 1:1-14) and being an adopted son of God. 

We are eagerly awaiting our adoption.
Romans 8:23-25

23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.


At the right time, God sent His Son to become human to die for our sins, to redeem us, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 

Galatians 4:4-7

4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.


We were chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before God, to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself. We have redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of our sins/trespasses. 

Ephesians 1:3-14

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.


We were adopted. But Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. It is through faith in Him that we have eternal life.
John 3:16-18

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

1 John 4:8-10

8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

So we become the ADOPTED children of God when we have saving faith. But Christ is the only begotten Son of God.

The unborn are living children

Many people justify abortion by saying the unborn is not alive. But the Bible references both unborn and born children in a similar fashion. The unborn struggle, feel, hear, and move within the womb. As such, they live.

The same Greek word, Brephos, is used to describe both children in a womb and children outside the womb.

 Strong’s Number:   1025   
Original Word Word Origin
brevfoß of uncertain affin.
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Brephos 5:636,759
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
bref’-os  http://www.biblestudytools.com/resource/flash/player-button.swf?audio=http://ht.salemweb.net/bst/lexicons/greek-mp3/1025g.mp3 Noun Neuter
 Definition
  1. an unborn child, embryo, a foetus
  2. a new-born child, an infant, a babe

 

Luke 1:41

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 2:12

12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:16

16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

Luke 18:15

15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.

Mary, who had no children outside the womb, is called “mother” because of the unborn child in her womb:

Luke 1:43

43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?

 

The same word in Hebrew is translated as  “children” and “sons”, describing the unborn, as well as the born:

Strong’s Number:   01121   
Original Word Word Origin
!b from (01129)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Ben TWOT – 254
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
bane Noun Masculine
 Definition
  1. son, grandson, child, member of a group
    1. son, male child
    2. grandson
    3. children (pl. – male and female)
    4. youth, young men (pl.)
    5. young (of animals)
    6. sons (as characterisation, i.e. sons of injustice [for un- righteous men] or sons of God [for angels]
    7. people (of a nation) (pl.)
    8. of lifeless things, i.e. sparks, stars, arrows (fig.)
    9. a member of a guild, order, class

Genesis 25:21-22

21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.

2 Kings 19:3

3 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, rebuke, and rejection; for children have come to birth and there is no strength to deliver.

Ruth 1:11

11 But Naomi said, “Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

Genesis 18:19

19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

 

If a pregnant woman is caused to give birth by men fighting, and the baby OR the mother die, the men deserve the same punishment as killing does.

Exodus 21:22-25

 22 ”If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise

 

Thus, we see that the same word is used for born and unborn children. Plus, we know that a woman who is pregnant is considered a mother. So unborn children are considered the same as born – living and important to God. As such, no one should abort a child.

Should children live in the world or avoid it?

My previous post was “Should we focus on evil or good while training children?”.

In discussing whether children should be exposed to evil to train them, two other objections came up:

One is that children need to live in the world rather than avoid it. And so they should be exposed to evil and taught how to appropriately handle it.

Still another common argument is that Jesus was in the world and did not avoid it, but ministered to those in the world, and so should our children.

Let us address each of these points in turn.

Should children live in the world and not avoid it? Does this give us the right expose children to evil so as to prepare them?

Please realize that I am not saying we are to not address evil as it manifests itself in our lives. If children are exposed in the course of life to an alcoholic, they should be taught what God’s word says about it. If the children are exposed to a liar, then they should be taught what God’s word says about it. But this does not mean children should be exposed to various evils, just because they exist in the world and taught not to do it. Instead, children should be taught how to act, how to behave, what to think, what to say, using what scripture teaches.

But instead of exposing children to evil to teach them not to do it, wouldn’t it be more effective to expose them to God and godliness? Would it not be better to infuse children with godly things, rather than expose them to what God says to avoid? I think the answer to both questions is yes.

As for the argument that Jesus was in world and didn’t avoid it and ministered to those in the world, I feel it necessary to remind those who would use this argument that Jesus was about 30 years old when he entered ministry. He had been taught from birth what God says to do and not do. He knew scripture. He was prepared. Are your children as well versed in what God says as Jesus was at 12, let alone at 30? If not, then I suggest that perhaps that is an empty argument. If your children ARE so well versed in scripture, then please teach me how to raise my children so they are as well versed in scripture as Jesus was.

Sometimes a child dies…

It is hard for us to deal with death sometimes. This is especially true when it is a child. Even more so when it is our own child. But it must be really hard when you are expecting to give birth soon and suddenly your child goes to heaven….

That is what happened to this woman: “It was not wicked for the Lord to take our son.”

I have a lot of compassion and respect for her and her husband. May God grant them peace about this tragedy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I recently made the remark, “Why do schools encourage children to have “valentines”? Should we teach people to that sort of thing is for adults? Babies are making babies too often as it is. Lets discourage that sort of thing.”

Someone responded that one can not lay the blame upon Valentine’s day, making the point that I most likely celebrated valentine’s day by giving my parents a valentine and that didnt make me want to have babies. Further making the point that the blame lies on the lack of educating children about the responsibilities of having babies.

I disagree. I think the problem lies with the culture which says people are not responsible for the fact that they affect others with what they do and say and how they act. Our culture today is one which is riddled with sex and drugs and hedonism.

I can blame babies making babies on the culture of sex which includes children having girlfriends and boyfriends.

This original responder said, “Valentine’s day was not originated for the purpose of having sex. it was orginated for the sole purpose of someone showing their affection to people they care about including parents, relatives and friends. As far as children having girlfriends and boyfriends u definitely cannot blame valentines day.”

In fact, Valentine’s Day originated as a celebration of church martyrs – people who had given their lives dying for their belief Christ. It became tied to romantic love for adults. Then it moved to romantic love for children. My problem is not with children giving their parents gifts or flowers, nor is it with adults giving other adults tokens of love.

I have a problem with the culture which encourages young children (ages 5-10) in school to have a “special someone”. I think taking time in school to TEACH children to give valentines cards, gifts, and candy to other young children with phrases that say ‘kiss me’, ‘be mine’, and ‘I love you’ sends the wrong message. It plays into the culture of sex. Rather than doing that, we should do what we can to encourage abstinence and self-control.

Some want to believe that children can not control their hormones, so you should simply give them condoms. In fact, all kids CAN control their hormones. Its just that the culture of sex tells them they dont have to, but that its a good thing to have sex. Its television, video games, music, friends, holidays, movies, music videos, etc., all telling children its good to have sex outside of marriage and they should dress and act sluttily. This is why kids are having sex at 9, 10, 11, 12 years old. And yes, there ARE children that young having sex.  One of my own children was telling me of girls speaking at lunch of doing intimate things – and they were in 6th and 7th grade.

We need to reach these children with the truth of their depravity – indeed with the truth of everyone’s depravity. EVERYONE who does not trust in what GOD has done through sending HIS SON to be born human, to live a sinless life, to suffer and die to pay for our sins and to be resurrected on the third day, will go to hell and then to the second death – the lake of fire. Everyone is a sinner and falls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). None of us are perfect. And sin separates us from God, regardless of what it is – whether it is lying or cheating or stealing or murdering or having sex in ways/times God has said not to. That sin is a problem, because, unless there is a way out, we will be judged guilty of it.

God provided a way out! We need to share the solution GOD PROVIDED – Christ. EVERYONE needs to know the truth – if we repent, turn to God, and trust in Christ, we will be set aside for God, we will be made righteous, we will be made holy, we will be forgiven, we will be justified, we will get eternal life, we will be adopted as children of God, we will be with GOD in heaven upon death.

It is only through trusting in Christ that people will have meaningful change. It is THEN when they will turn away from the culture of sex and drugs and turn to God. It is THEN when our culture will be different. It is THEN when our love will shine forth in healthy ways. It is THEN when we will love as we should.

To know what love is for God, read this: https://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/its-all-about-love/

May God send His Holy Spirit in a world-wide revival and may we all come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.

Happy Valentine’s day!

Almost Christmas…

Last year on this date, I was wriiting about how it is a sad time of year for some people. i wrote how sometimes people are sad because they or their parents divorced at this time of year. When I wrote that, I never for a second considered myself to be one of those for whom in the future that statement would be true.

But I am at the tail end of a divorce. I have no idea how my children will feel in the future about their parents getting divorced at this time of year. But right now, I think they are adjusting, even if they dont like it (neither do I, for that matter).

This has been a year of changes for our family. I will not go into the details, but suffice it to say that there have been some challenges this year that were totally unexpected.

However, there have been good things as well. God has provided people to help us through difficult times. Also, God has provided financially. God’s love has grown in our lives through relationships old and new.

This year two of my children were baptized. My kids and I have built stronger and closer relationships with each other.

But most importantly, as we close this year out, we are able to remember the reason for the season – that God sent His Son to be born a human. We celebrate that birth this time of year as Christmas. Just as God gave the gift of eternal life to all who believe, the gift of adoption into His family through faith, so do parents give gifts to their own children this time of year.

My kids are laughing and playing as I write this. There is peace in our home. There is love in our home. There is joy in watching my children smile,. I give thanks to God for every blessing He has bestowed upon me and my family. I pray you will be able to find peace and joy in the midst of any suffering you find yourself confronting. Know that God is there in the midst of your troubles as well.

God bless and merry Christmas to you and your family!

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