The New Testament Church -- By: Sam Bradford

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 001:3 (Fall 1958)
Article: The New Testament Church
Author: Sam Bradford

The New Testament Church

Sam Bradford

President of Baptist Bible College, Denver, Colorado

A definition of a New Testament church is plainly set forth in Scriptural truth. Bible believers accept only Bible truth in all matters that pertain to God and His program on earth. Since the church of the New Testament was instituted by God, the Bible believer can accept only God’s plan for a New Testament church.

A New Testament church was a band; that is, it was always more than one. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). A N.T. church is made up of gathered together people. Followers of Christ walk together. The Holy Spirit draws people together, and God has promised a special walk of fellowship and special power in prayer to His people as they gather together.

The New Testament church was an organized band. It is clear that the N. T. church was organized for it had members. Acts 2:41 speaks of three thousand being “added unto them.” Acts 2:47 says, “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 4:4 mentions the number in the membership. Acts 6:1–6 tells of organizational procedure wherein all the members participated.

Philippians 1:1 lists the classification of members as being “saints,” “bishops,” “deacons.” Organization is essential in God’s plan and working.

Whether in the telescopic or the microscopic, God works by organization, and His organization is perfect. The Scriptures (I Cor. 12:12–27) leave no place in God’s plan for the “rugged individual” who walks alone, for the place of each is here illustrated as a part in an organization all related to Christ, the Head, but related to Him organizationally in their relations to other members of the body.

Again, the Scripture (Eph. 2:19–22) illustrates the believer’s relationship to Christ as a stone in the temple. Not every stone is directly related to the cornerstone, but each stone is related to the cornerstone through proper relations to other stones of the temple. Each believer has his particular place; each performs a particular function. Each should accept a position in relation to other units of the temple or body in order to maintain an organizational relation wi...

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