Series on the church of Christ
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:
HOW NT CONGREGATIONS COOPERATED (#2)
1. Last week we examined the NT pattern of church cooperation in the work of benevolence.
2. We continue to be most interested in knowing what the NT teaches about church cooperation - not man (Gal. 1:8-10).
3. Continue by discovering the NT pattern of church cooperation in the work of evangelism.
I. CHURCH COOPERATION IN EVANGELISM.
A. One Church Sent A Preacher To Another Church - Acts 11:20-24.
1. Sent directly by Jerusalem to edify & evangelize with brethren in Antioch.
2. Two churches cooperating to meet an evangelistic need.
B. A Church Sent Several Preachers Out To Preach - Acts 13:2-4.
1. Independent action of the Antioch church, under Holy Spirit guidance.
2. When several churches do same thing -- Concurrent cooperation.
C. The Financial Support Of Preachers. (1 Cor. 9:14)
1. One church sent support to a preacher - Phil. 4:15-16.
a. Phil. 4:18; 2:25 - Sent directly by messenger to Paul at Rome.
b. Pattern of direct contact of church with the preacher.
2. Several churches sent support to the same preacher- 2 Cor. 11:8-9.
a. Silas & Timothy brought support to Paul (cf. Acts 18:3-5).
b. Pattern of direct contact established.
3. But today (sponsoring church / centralization):
a. Church --> $ --> Church --> $ --> Preacher
b. This arrangement is not in the NT.
II. PRACTICAL PROBLEMS AMONG BRETHREN OVER CHURCH COOPERATION.
A. Confusing The Patterns For Benevolence & Evangelism.
-Some attempt to defend & justify the sponsoring church for evangelism by using the pattern for benevolent work of churches (churches to churches) - Acts 11:29-30 [2 Tim. 2:15 (2 Pet. 3:16-17)].
B. Some Have Said, "There Is No NT Pattern For Church Cooperation, So We Are At Liberty To Choose."
-"We are to have fellowship one with another and the Lord gave no pattern for congregational cooperation. How then can one violate a pattern that does not exist?" (G. K. Wallace, Gospel Advocate, 5/3/56)
1. All that God has revealed on any subject is the divine pattern for that subject. (Jno. 17:17)
2. Silence is not consent (l Ths. 5:21-22).
3. God has spoken (Heb. 1:1-2) - There is a pattern.
C. Accusations Of "Anti-ism", "Sectarianism," "Phariseeism" & "Divisiveness" Are Made Against Those Who Abide In The NT Pattern.
1. Who brought in the divisive practice? (cf. Instrument of music in worship)
2. 1 Jno. 2:19 - The dividers are those who introduce teachings & practices which are without divine authority. (cf. Rom. 16:17)
1. NT does indeed give us a complete pattern for church cooperation (in evangelism & benevolence) - 1 Cor. 4:17.
2. Titus 3:1 - We must be ready to do every good work -- that which is good is found in inspired Scripture - 2 Tim. 3:16-17).