Toward Reformation 4

If you’re interested in starting/trying a New Testament style fellowship here are some foundational keys to help you get your bearings. I have previously laid out some NT practices in my earlier Reformation articles and you will have noticed they vary greatly to current “church” practice. The format and structure of the NT ekklesia is extremely different – hence the need to shift to a “home based” model. To try and force these New Testament style changes on an existing “church” will only degenerate into arguments and chaos - we need a completely new wineskin for the ecclesia.

Who is your Covering?

One of the first things someone who leaves the established church is likely to be accused of is “not being under someone’s covering.” But what exactly does this mean?

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Toward Reformation 3

So what was this New Testament service like? If we’re heading back to Jerusalem, we need to know what we’re rebuilding…

The Ekklesia Service – When?

In New Testament times the believers gathered on the first day of the week – Sunday right? Well yes and no. With a Hebraic foundation, the faith operated on a Jewish calendar which means the day starts when the sun goes down the night before (no possibility of worshiping the sun god here). So they met on what we would call Saturday night, but it counts as the first day of the week from a biblical perspective. On our “Sunday” i.e. during the day, they would have been hard at work.

The Ekklesia Service – Where?

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Toward Reformation 2

Biblical Types

If you have been around churches long enough, you will have come across the teaching of types. This is when an event is symbolic of something else. An example of a major type in the Bible is the experience of the Israelites. They are a clear type of the Christian life. In this regard the broad themes of the Israelite’s experience are types or mirror the experience of someone in their Christian life.

This type works as follows:

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Toward Reformation 1

The Early Believers

Whilst we have read of Ignatius of Antioch setting up bishops and the like, there was another stream of Christianity which retained its New Testament roots. Due to its mode of operation it was somewhat like an underground organisation (kind of helpful in times of intense persecution) and yet by the year AD 300 it had pretty much taken over half the Roman empire.

There are not a lot of records about this body of Christ in the period AD 80-300, but we have enough to know it worked. Using Christ’s requirements of Matt 7:16, I will let their fruits speak for themselves.

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