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Bible Basics (5th. ed.)


Study 1: God || Study 2: The Spirit Of God || Study 3: The Promises Of God || Study 4: God And Death || Study 5: The Kingdom Of God || Study 6: God And Evil || Study 7: The Origin Of Jesus || Study 8: The Nature Of Jesus || Study 9: The Work Of Jesus || Study 10: Baptism Into Jesus || Study 11: Life In Christ   11.1 Introduction || 11.2 Holiness || 11.2.1 The Use Of Force || 11.2.2 Politics || 11.2.3 Worldly Pleasures || 11.3 Practical Christian Life || 11.3.1 Bible Study ||11.3.2 Prayer || 11.3.3 Preaching || 11.3.4 Ecclesial Life || 11.3.5 The Breaking Of Bread || 11.4 Marriage || 11.5 Fellowship



So far in this study we have spoken of our personal spiritual responsibilities. However, we have a duty to meet together with others who share our hope. Again, this should be something we naturally desire to do. We have shown that after baptism we enter a wilderness journey towards the Kingdom. It is only natural that we should desire to make contact with fellow-travellers. It seems we are living in the last days before Christ’s coming; to overcome the many complex trials which assail us in these times, we need to fellowship with those who are in the same position: “Let us not give up meeting together .. .but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day (of the second coming) approaching” (Heb. 10:25 NIV cf. Mal. 3:16). Believers should therefore make every effort to make contact with each other through letters and travelling to meet with each other to share Bible study, the communion service, and preaching activities.

We have each individually been ‘called out’ of the world to the great hope of the Kingdom. The word ‘saint’ means ‘a called out person’, and can refer to all true believers rather than just to a few notable believers of the past. The Greek word which is translated ‘church’ in the English Bible is ‘ecclesia’, meaning ‘an assembly of called out ones’, i.e. believers. The ‘church’ therefore refers to the group of believers, rather than the physical building in which they meet. To avoid misunderstanding in the use of this term, some tend to refer to their ‘churches’ as ‘ecclesias’.

Wherever there are a number of believers in a certain town or area, it is logical that they find a meeting place in which to meet regularly. This could be in a believer’s house or in a hired hall. Ecclesias meet world-wide in places like community centres, hotel conference rooms, self-built halls or private homes. The purpose of an ecclesia is to help each other on the way to the Kingdom. This is done in a variety of ways such as collective Bible study or witnessing to the world through preaching. A typical schedule for an ecclesia could be something like this.

SUNDAY 11 a.m. - Breaking of Bread service

 6 p.m. - Public preaching activity

WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. - Bible study

The ecclesia is part of the family of God. In any close-knit community, each member needs to be sensitive and submissive to the others. Christ himself was the supreme example in this. Despite his evident spiritual supremacy, he acted as the “servant of all”, washing the disciples’ feet whilst they argued amongst themselves as to who was the greatest among them. Jesus bids us follow his example in this (Jn. 13:14,15; Mt. 20:25‑28).

Believers refer to each other as ‘brother’ or ‘sister’, being on first-name terms regardless of their differing positions in secular life. This said, it is evident that there should be respect for believers who have known the true God for many years, or who have rapidly matured in spiritual matters through their commitment to God’s Word. The advice of believers like this will be greatly valued by those who are seeking to follow God’s Word. However, they will only take the advice of other believers insofar as it is an accurate reflection of God’s Word.

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