This is also a question concerned, mature and responsible citizens and voters must ask themselves, isnt it?Just what kind of societal values do I really want to practice, preserve and perpetuate for myself and my children and their children and their children?
12 But as many as received him [Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The relationship of the disciple of Jesus Christ to our Heavenly Father is sealed by sonship (Romans 8:14,19), adoption (Romans 8:15,23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5) and marriage (John 3:29; Revelation 19:7,9; 21:2,9; 22:17) into His family.
God is our heavenly Father, Jesus is our elder brother and believers are brothers and sisters.
That makes disciples, i.e., learners, followers, supporters and imitators of Jesus Christ family members.
In the New Testament, the new family members, both Jew and gentiles grafted into the true Israel met daily, primarily in homes, and centered their activities around prayer, teaching of Gods truth and a shared meal.
Meetings in the homes engendered a sense of family, and the new converts soon found that their new lifestyle, free of idolatry, incest, adultery and pagan practices and beliefs was liberating. In this liberating spiritual climate, there was a conscious awareness of acknowledging and worshipping Jesus as the Son of the true and living God and the one true Shepherd to whom they were accountable, instead of their lifeless images and idols.
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Consider one another ... consider what? to provoke unto love and to good works: Why do we assemble together? ... exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. The focus is upon one another.
1 Corinthians 14:26:
Let all things be done unto edifying.
We edify one another according to scriptural values, not the traditions of men.
1 Corinthians 14:26-33:
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
In the phrase when ye come together, the word when is hotan in the Greek. Strongs Definition is: whenever (implying hypothesis or more or less uncertainty); also caus. (conjunctionally) inasmuch as. Its variously translated in the KJV: as long (soon) as, that, + till, when (-soever), while.
Thayers Definition of hotan: when, whenever, as long as, as soon as.
The phrase ye come together is one word in the Greek, sunerchomai. Strongs defines it as: to convene, depart in company with, associate with, or (specifically) cohabit (conjugally). Its variously translated in the KJV as: accompany, assemble (with), come (together), come (company, go) with, resort.
Paul is saying to the Corinthians that on those occasions whenever you happen to meet together, then every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
There is no planned meeting at a certain time, on a certain day, for a certain reason. He is saying that whenever you happen to meet together, that the charisma descension gifts of the Holy Spirit will become operative in the lives of those believers who are in attendance.
That could easily be those two or three who happen to meet at a restaurant, or at a mall, or drop by to say hello, or any number of places.
The eternal purpose of God was being realized in these various local assemblies, polarized in unity around the truth of God, bound together in love, reproducing in image and likeness of Jesus, and fellowshipping in the true sense of the word. They shared what they had with those who didnt have. They socialized through meeting daily. (Eventually, with the passage of time, the newness and excitement of their new found faith faded and they began to meet once a week.) They supported outright those who needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, transportation and loving family relationships. Apostles and prophets were raising up elders and deacons in those local assemblies. Evangelists were being sent out. The dynamism of wholesome growth and expansion was set in motion.
Ive emphasized in my writings that local ekklesias of God are composed of Christian families, i.e., those who are disciples of Jesus Christ, learning of Him, following Him, supporting Him and recognizing Him as the only true Shepherd to whom they are accountable. These Christian families simply meet together as a family, as the Holy Spirit leads, not on some regulated basis, in order to focus on one anothering. Focusing on one another and recognizing Jesus as their only spiritual head will automatically prompt worship of Him as stated in scripture. No worship leaders or one man band pseudo-pastors. Just Christian families meeting together as a family, focused on one anothering and recognizing and being lead by the Holy Spirit of Jesus. Glory!
I said elsewhere on this web site:
I have described in some detail what the purpose and function of a family is. I have also touched lightly upon a description of the causes that makes a dysfunctional family. If those who name the name of Christ will compare their lifestyle in Christ with those parameters, I feel that it will help to orient yourself as to where you really are in the kingdom of God. And how much of a contribution you and those with whom you have to do are making towards helping to achieve Gods eternal purpose.A biblical home ekklesia is a local assembly of the saints, gathered together as a representation of the totality of the ekklesia of God. Its composed of children and teenagers and mature adults and people from all walks of life, and represents in a micro-fashion, the very body of Jesus Christ Himself. As such each and every individual is valuable, useful and precious to God. Each one has the Holy Spirit of God, Who Himself has the nine gifts of the Spirit and manifests them through whoever He chooses. There is no, in fact, there cannot be, a building set aside for the purpose of the local bodies of Christ meeting there. The New Testament is vividly clear that the saints met in each others homes. Communion was not a cracker and a sip of wine. It was a full meal, and the well off among those assemblies also provided daily baskets of food and other necessities to the poor among them. In these groups there are young and old and in between. Basically, there were two groups who served the entire assembly: the elders/pastors (shepherds)/bishops (overseers) (these are all the same function in the Greekto function in the capacity of one of them was to function in the capacity of all of them) and deacons, the younger persons who served because of their relationship with God and also because older folks (the elders/shepherds/overseers) needed young muscles to do the physical stuff. Everyoneeach and every person there was a participatoreven the meek and the weak and those past their peakthey were encouraged to speak up and be constituents of the body of Christ and the more vocal persons had to learn to restrain themselves.
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