A Protestant Church: Putting together the Marks of the Church – Acts 2:40-47

    It’s Friday, April 17, 2020, and I’m Pastor Kim, and this is COVID-19 Connection Series # 27.

   Welcome to today’s broadcast. I’m so glad that you are joining me. Make sure you grab your Bible, a pen, ad some paper. You’ll want to jot down some notes today.

   How in the world are you today? Doing well I trust.

Announcements:

 Do you have our SLBC Church App? Get it today.

  • Women Uncensored Podcast – Listen today.
  • Resurrection Sunday – I need your help. Camera didn’t record the service. If you took any video Sunday, please send it my way. Thanks.
  • Please design your mask, and send me a picture.
  • The History of Pandemics   (Download it)

 Dad Jokes:

 Q.: Daddy! I’m hungry!

A: Hi, I’m daddy.

Q: Did you hear the joke about the guy with the broken hearing aid?

A: Neither did he.

I know a chemistry joke.

But it won’t get a reaction.

 Today in the News:

 Washington Post: President Trump leaves reopening up to governors.

 

  • Decrease of COVID-19 cases for 14 days.
  • Hospitals should be able to treat all patients without crisis care.
  • Have a robust testing system in place for at-risk heath are workers.

When we do go out in public these are the guidelines:

  • Social distancing of still 6 feet.
  • Wear mask (So create your mask and send me a picture).
  • Restaurants may want to provide less seating area.
  • If sick, or around sick people stay home.

 CNN reports: China raised its death toll in Wuhan by 50% and its national fatalities by more than a third, prompting fresh questions about its outbreak. Meanwhile, new data shows its economy shrank for the first time since records began.

 Reuters reports: The entire crew of the Navy ship where a captain was fired for sounding the alarm on its outbreak is being tested – and so far, 60% of those infected have no symptoms.

 An article I read was entitled: 17 Totally Normal Things to Feel Right Now, according to Therapists. Tagline read: There is no “right” way to handle this.

Really? There is always a “right” way to handle one’s feelings. It’s called pro-active, and taking the correct steps. My pastor, Royal Blue used to say from the pulpit, “Feeling come and feeling go, and feeling are deceiving.” We shouldn’t always trust our feelings. Feelings are normal, but we must learn how to manage them – they should not control us.

Here are the emotional feelings the article spoke about…

  • Burn-out
  • Angry
  • Anxious
  • Fear
  • Overwhelmed
  • Disappointed (canceled events)
  • Hopelessness
  • Aloneness
  • Guilt (you are safe, others not)
  • Grieving
  • Inadequate
  • Stupid (trying to educate your kids)
  • Numb

My suggestions is that you take this list and find Scripture provides the proper way to manage these emotional feelings. Here is an example: Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

 This verse is the answer to the feeling of being anxious, or overwhelmed. 

 Pause for Prayer:

  • Tom Spann and Bob Ahsmuhs – cancer treatment
  • Church family
  • Wise use of the stimulus money
  • Coronavirus to be used to bring about Revival in America
  • God to use his church to make a difference in our community
  • Wisdom for our church leaders
  • Those who are still working every day – travel, safety
  • 22 million Americans out of work right now
  • Sunday service

 Our WORD from the LORD come from Acts 2:40-47

 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Today I want to have a word with you about: A Protestant Church: Putting together the Marks of the Church

Question: What does a biblical faithful church look like?

  • It believes in the sufficiency of scripture.
  • It believes in participating in the ordinances – baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
  • It believes in the voluntary and consensual nature of a regenerate (born-again) membership.
  • It believes in a gathered church – regularly meets together.
  • It believes in a congregational form of government.
  • It believes In Christ command to baptize only those who believe and are obedient to Scripture.

   In this session together I want to talk with you about two very important areas of Church life. One is the centrality of preaching. The second is the visibility of the Church. Let’s take a look at these two areas.

   I. The Centrality of Preaching

   It is important as a church that we make sure that it is the word of God that is central and preached at its regular meetings.

   By the 16th century the word Of God had long been displaced by the sacraments. This is in reference to the Catholic Church.

   During the Protestant Reformation the reformers correctly returned to scripture defined a Canon, or rule, against which to measure the Roman church is current teaching.

   In 1539, Luther wrote, “God’s Word cannot be without God’s people, and Conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s Word.”

   The central role played by the word in the New Testament church – Acts 2:40-47; 2 Timothy 4:2) Was recovered in the teaching and lives of the Protestant reformers.

   We must understanding the importance of the Apostles teaching. All of us as the people of God have been and are being shaped by the writings of the Apostles.

   Holding study to the Apostles teaching is a principle mark of the authenticity of the church. If the scriptures are “the word of life” (Philippians 2:16), they should both generate and regulate the church’s life. People come to Christ through the preaching of the Word, and they live in obedience to the Word of Life. It should govern how we do Church life together.

   Roman 10:17 – “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

   What kind of preaching should be done in a local church? Expositional preaching – Preaching in which the point of the passage of scripture is the point of the message.

   II. The Visibility of the Church

   What was the spark for the Protestant Reformation? It was when Martin Luther read, Romans 1:17, “the just shall live by faith.” When he understood this truth he said, “The doors of paradise were swung open, and I walked through.” Salvation is NOT found in religion, but in a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

   It was this great doctrine of justification by faith that allowed reformers to reclaim the biblical gospel – that salvation is by grace through faith, plus nothing.

   Protestant congregations replaced sacramental ritualism with gospel preaching, and the sacraments or ordinances themselves took on another purpose, or really their original biblical purpose is making out the church from the world and providing a visible picture of the gospel message accepted by faith.

   As a result of justification by faith the church became defined not by individuals who were baptized and who witnessed the mass but by individuals who personally believed the promises set forth in baptism and the Lord supper and who therefore participated in those rituals. They were saved first, and then were baptized and partook of the Lord’s supper.

     Saving Faith became the essence of what separated the church from the world. This Saving faith was given visible form in the ordinances. Thus the church is, as James Bannermen described it, “An outward and public witness for God on the earth.” Isn’t that Good? This is what the church is supposed to be.

   Faith plays a distinguishing mark in the visible church – I trust Jesus Christ alone for my Salvation. Next, faith shows itself in the believer’s submission to baptism, and thirdly, in his or her participation in the Lord’s supper. Christianity is all about faith. This is why James says, “Faith without works is dead.”

  Protestant churches were marked by adherents who expressed personal faith in Christ, apart which baptism in the Lord supper would be useless.

  The Protestant impulse to place faith at the center of the ordinances has shown itself in many ways, from the presence of numerous Baptist movements, to American colonial minister Jonathan Edwards adoption of believers only communion.

   Christianity requires a conscious belief in the gospel.

   When God’s word is preached and taught it must be believed and trusted. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John17:17).

  • Faith is what distinguishes God’s people
  • Baptism is what distinguishes God’s people
  • Participation in the Lord’s Supper is what distinguishes God’s people

   Believer through the ages have held that Scripture alone provides everything necessary for Faith and Practice. Do you believe this?

  1. Are you saved? Have you placed Faith in what Jesus Christ did for you?
  2. Have you followed Him in obedience to believer’s baptism?
  3. Are you regularly partaking of the Lord’s Supper? Jesus told us to “Do this in remembrance of Him.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

   Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

   As Robert King from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”