3. The genesis of this organization.
(a) The church existed in germ before the day of Pentecost, otherwise there would have been nothing to which those converted upon that day could have been ?added? ( <440247>Acts 2:47). Among the apostles, regenerate as they were, united to Christ by faith and in that faith baptized ( <441904>Acts 19:4), under Christ?s instruction and engaged in common work for him, there were already the beginnings of organization. There was a treasurer of the body ( <431329>John 13:29), and as a body they celebrated for the first time the Lord?s Supper ( <402626>Matthew 26:26-29). To all intents and purposes they constituted a church, although the church was not yet fully equipped for its work by the outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2), and by the appointment of pastors and deacons. The church existed without officers, as in the first days succeeding Pentecost.
<440247> Acts 2:47 ? ?And the Lord added to them [margin: ?together?] day by day those that were being saved?; 19:4 ? ?And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him that should come after him, that is, on Jesus?; <431329>John 13:29 ? ?For some thought because Judas had the bag, that Jesus said unto him, Buy what things we have need of for the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor?; <402626>Matthew 26:26-29 ? ?And as they were eating, Jesus took bread ... and he gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat . And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying; Drink ye all of it?; Acts 2 ? the Holy Spirit is poured out. It is to be remembered that Christ himself is the embodied union between God and man, the true temple of God?s indwelling. So soon as the first believer joined himself to Christ, the church existed in miniature and germ.
A.J. Gordon. Ministry of the Spirit, 55, quotes <440241>Acts 2:41 ? ?and there were added,? not to them, or to the church, but, as in <440514>Acts 5:14, and 11:24 ? ?to the Lord.? This, Dr. Gordon declares, means not a mutual union of believers but their divine co-uniting with Christ, not voluntary association of Christians, but their sovereign incorporation into the Head and this incorporation effected by the Head, through the Holy Spirit. The old proverb, ?Tres faciunt ecclesiam,? is always true when one of the three is Jesus (Dr. Deems). Cyprian was wrong when he said that ?he who has not the church for his mother, has not God for his Father? for this could not account for the conversion of the first Christian and it makes salvation dependent upon the church rather than upon Christ. The Cambridge Platform, 1648, chapter 6, makes officers essential, not to the being, but only to the well being of churches, and declares that elders and
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?