AN OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE
A Free Online Bible Course
The New Testament Church
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The New Testament Church
What does the New Testament teach concerning the organization of the church?
The early church was guided by the apostles
(Acts 2:42). The apostles were men
chosen by the Lord
(Luke 6:13). One of these was Judas Iscariot who later
betrayed the Lord and then hung himself. The apostles understood, from the
scriptures, that a replacement should be found.
qualifications for this office: one must have been in the company of the
apostles "all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us,"
this one must "become a witness with us of His resurrection," and this
one must be a man: "Therefore, of these MEN..."
(Acts 1:21). Of two
men put forward, Matthias was chosen to replace Judas.
There is no one today who can meet these qualifications. This means that the
office of an apostle does not exist today.
Paul and Barnabas' first missionary journey took them to Pisidia and Pamphylia.
Here they preached the gospel and established churches. It was in the
churches of these regions that they appointed elders
14:21-23). These elders were men who met certain
The terms elder, bishop, and pastor are not to be mistaken for three different
offices but are terms given to the SAME MAN who holds such an office
20:17-28; 1 Peter 5:1-2); each term revealing a different aspect of his work.
ELDER, denoting the dignity of
(or overseer), denoting his
duty to oversee the souls in his care.
PASTOR (or shepherd), denoting his
responsibility to guard and nourish the flock.
The qualifications for elders are listed in two places:
1 Timothy 3:1-7
Titus 1:5-9. These are not suggested qualifications or a list of choices, they
are absolutely necessary. The word must [in the text] comes from the
Greek word dei and is defined as, "An unavoidable, urgent compulsory
necessity" (Spiros Zodhiates' lexicon).
Deacons, too, had to meet certain qualifications
(1 Timothy 3:8- 13).
The work of deacons is to assist the elders and to attend to the physical
needs of the brethren.
The church also had evangelists, whose main work was to proclaim the gospel of
Christ, whether publicly or privately
(2 Timothy 4:1-5).
Like the apostles, these prophets revealed the will of God
When God's will was fully revealed and written down, the role of the apostle
and prophet came to an end. That the will of God has been fully revealed is
evident from the following scriptures
(Jude 3; 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy
The Worship Of The Church
The first Christians met on a daily basis
The text lists four things in which they continued steadfastly: the apostles
doctrine, fellowship, the breaking of bread [i.e. Communion], and prayers.
The first Christians met on a daily basis but there was one day in particular
that Christians gathered for a specific two-fold purpose: to partake of the
and to take up a collection
The church also offered prayers, sang songs, and preached the word during
(Read 1 Corinthians 14).
In all there are five activities that were regular features of these
assemblies: The Lord's supper, a collection, preaching and teaching,
singing, and prayer.
God's Plan Of Salvation
There are various views and opinions about God's plan of salvation. In this
section we do not intend to make known all the various views; we shall simply
go to the scriptures to establish the facts.
As the apostle Peter preached to the Jews about Jesus on the day of Pentecost,
he was interrupted with the question, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
2:37). The scriptures quoted below give us
the answer to this question.
"BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved..."
"REPENT therefore and be converted, that your sins may be
"...if you CONFESS with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in
your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
"He who believes and is BAPTISED will be saved"
You must fill in all
the fields in order for your answers to be sent.
1. Why can no one be an
2. Show from the scriptures
that an elder, bishop, and pastor are terms that refer to the same man.
3. What are the qualifications
for an elder?
4. What was the role of a
prophet? Why do we not have prophets today?
5. What other offices does the
New Testament mention?
6. What scriptures tell us
that the New Testament is complete?
7. In what three things did
the early Christians continue steadfastly?
8. On what day of the week
must we assemble to partake of the Lord's supper? What other practice is
peculiar to this day? What other activities would be included in a worship
9. What must one do to be
10. When are a persons sins
We look forward to receiving your answers.