Acts 4:32-5:11

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We say that we want to be a New Testament church. What does that mean?

  1. We might answer that it means being the church described in the New Testament. Of course there are a lot of churches described in the New Testament and they are very different, but we might mean that a New Testament church embodies what they have in common.
  2. We might answer that it means sharing the same doctrine and belief as the New Testament church. We can focus on their practices in particular and we have to be careful that we don’t cherry pick a few items and put together our own idea of what church should be, but it is possible to read through the New Testament and read about some of the ways the church lived and worshipped.
  3. But how often do we think about having the same spirit as the church in the New Testament? How often do we read about the enthusiasm, the joy, the awe of the churches that followed Christ and the changed behavior that resulted and we answer, “That’s what we ought to be like.” It’s a very clean process to highlight the sort of things we ought to “do” to be like the New Testament church. We are Americans and we like to focus on “doing.” But it’s very different to focus on “being” and thus having that same Spirit. That’s not as easy to control, is it?
It isn’t easy to control, and the path to having that same Spirit comes in surrendering control to the Almighty God and the Lord Christ who empower that Holy Spirit within us. It means living with the impact of what God has done in Christ. A fact that changes everything – a reality that continues to work in our world. If we are really and truly going to be a New Testament church then here are a few items we need to consider . . .

  1. Living like Resurrection People

  2. Overcoming Materialism

  3. Giving in to the Awe of God

Sum up a description of the New Testament church (identifying marks of the church):

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 13 September 2009

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