Sermon Audio – Paul vs Paul

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“Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” Philippians 1:15-18 NKJV

 

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV

 


This sermon was originally recorded April 6, 2014 at Brandywine Bible Chapel, Wilmington, DE.

 

 

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Which Church? New Testament Churches Were Restricted To Christian Membership

Which Church? New Testament Churches Had No Sectarian Title

One sad feature of the present day is that many of the Lord’s dear people are connected to religious systems in which believers and unbelievers are linked. That situation was never the norm in New Testament times. In 1 Corinthians 1:2, Paul described the composition of the church of God at Corinth like this, “them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints”. Thus each member was a genuine believer for it is our faith in Christ that sanctifies us, Acts 26:18. He also spoke of assemblies in general as “churches of the saints”, 1 Corinthians 14:33, another indication that there should be an exclusively believing membership.

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Which Church? What Is A Church?

Which Church? What is a Church?

Many people refer to a religious building as a church, but in the New Testament, buildings were never called churches. In fact, there are verses which show that buildings accommodated churches, so obviously, the building itself was not the church. For example, churches met in the homes of Philemon, and Aquila, Philemon 1:2; Romans 16:5. The church was the congregation of people who met in these homes, so the church was made up of

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The Lord’s Gracious Work Of Restoration

2 Corinthians 5:17

“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’” John 21:15

When believers fall, they sometimes falsely think that their service, usefulness, and preciousness to God the Father are at an end. Thankfully, those who have received Christ by faith have become children in His family, and can never

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Sharing Good Things – A New Testament Principle

In Paul’s letter to the saints in Galatia, he deals with some false teaching as it pertains to the gospel. The primary focus of the letter is to ensure that the Galatians are not being led astray by false teachers who would seek to bind them to a system of legalism. The substance of the letter reveals how vital good, solid teachers are to the spiritual life of an assembly. The Bible also gives us clear instruction about how believers should value teachers and support them.

One of the practical points of instruction in this letter addresses this topic. In Galatians 6:6, Paul writes “One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.” This command (notice the word MUST) seems to be pretty clear and yet how many believers today actually practice this on a personal level? Notice as well, that the instruction says “ONE who is taught”. This is not a CORPORATE principle; rather it is an individual principle.

Sadly, it appears that many believers have abdicated this responsibility and the responsibility of ministering to the Lord’s work and His workers to the corporate body or some other para-church ministry. Rather than giving based on an individual spiritual exercise as specifically burdened by the Lord, believers tend to routinely give to the local assembly and then feel that their job is done.

The assembly becomes a conduit for collecting funds – often far more than what is needed for the ministry and the expenses of the local assembly. Then a few of the brothers decide what to do with the excess funds. Clearly, as the funds are distributed by a few, they are not being distributed the way that each individual in the assembly would minister them. The corporate disbursement of funds does NOT alleviate the individual responsibility to minister as burdened by the Lord.

How have YOU shared with the one who has taught you the Word? Let me ask this question a different way. How have you OBEYED Galatians 6:6? By giving to the assembly? Does every assembly minister financially to the men (often local) who teach the Word? Often times, the answer is NO. Let’s look at Galatians 6:6 again. Notice that there is NO mention of the Bible teacher’s needs or wants. This command is not for the benefit of the teacher. It is for the benefit of the student. It is GOOD for the people of God to be exercised to support those who labor among them! It is good for the people of God to think about what they minister and to whom they minister.

Yes, we need to provide for the needs of the local assembly and the work of the local assembly, but if the assembly is merely a conduit for our routine giving – one without exercise, we are not practicing New Testament principles as outlined in Galatians 6:6, as well as 1 Corinthians 9:11, 1 Corinthians 9:14, and 1 Timothy 5:17-18.

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Digital Sojourner would like to thank Mike Stoudt for writing this guest post. Mike fellowships with the saints who gather at Grace Gospel Chapel in Allentown, PA. Mike is a Certified Public Accountant and owner of Stoudt Financial Services and serves as the General Manager of Greenwood Hills Camp & Conference Center.

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