The Scriptural gathering center, our Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed truth! Timeless truth! In these days when we hear rumblings of dissatisfaction with the place of His Name, we need convictions as to why we gather as we do. The NT with clarity reveals that the local church (assembly JND) gathered in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only "corporate gathering" recognized in the economy of God. In addressing this Timeless Truth we would do so with humility of mind and in grace. At the same time, my brethren we owe much to spiritual giants of the past, men like Wycliffe, Tyndal, Luther and a host of others who were singular vessels raised by God who left us an inestimable heritage of truth. We address the beauty, preciousness and uniqueness of the assembly from Hebrews 13:13; Matthew 18:20; 1 Cor. 1:9 and Rev. 2 & 3.
The MAGNET of attraction - The Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, He is Lord in the midst of the churches. The centrality of Christ is ever preeminent. His Name above all others is acknowledged by willing hearts. Lordship and Headship are the twin truths that are manifested in such gatherings. Beloved, once we lose sight of this in our gatherings, we descend to a lower level of appreciation of the assembly and could be reduced to "legalism" instead of "scriptural fiber.' When Christ is Supreme in all our gatherings it will have an effectiveness in all hearts. We will be marked by humility of heart (anything else is spiritual pride!), and we should count it a privilege and of highest honor to be gathered to His Name alone. This truth called many from the denominations in early times and at much cost. This heritage has been handed down from noble and faithful hands. May we appreciate it and hold it fast until He comes and in the spirit of grace. Our beloved Lord is the Magnet, the Attraction and the Center! Buy the truth and sell it not.
He called me out, the Man
with garments dyed,
I knew His form, my Lord the crucified,
He showed Himself, and Oh, I could not stay,
I had to follow Him, had to obey
The MANDATE (Acts 2:41-47). To follow The Apostles Doctrine is our only pattern or blueprint for the assembly "Then they that gladly received the word (salvation) were baptized (identification) and the same day were added (expansion) and they continued (continuation not conveniently or spasmodically) in the apostles doctrine (conviction) in the breaking of bread (communion) and in prayers (intercession) and fear came upon every soul. What a company! In the assembly there is room for all the word of God, but no room for man's ideas, inventions and innovations. Such if accommodated will lead us to confusion and disregard for "what saith the Scripture" where we have the perfect pattern! Surely at this late hour, this Timeless truth is timely for the believers. Herein lies the answers for "why" we are "where' we are. This is basic and vital truth for today. As in Ezra's day, "bring the Book," so in our day the same is needed. The seven early church pillars should be embraced and practiced (Acts 2:41-47). Wonderful pattern!
The Word of God our pattern
and our guide,
No need for human creeds to be supplied,
The Spirit has endowed each saint with grace
To serve each other 'til we see His face
The assembly gatherings mean
so much to me,
They are so precious in God's word I see,
To be with saints of mind and heart made one,
To gather, unto God's beloved Son
There is no other place on
earth so dear,
As patterned in the Word of God so clear,
One Name, one place, one priesthood here revealed,
This from the precious book we have received
Where two or three are
gathered in His Name
The promise "there am I" each saint doth claim,
Enjoys the sweetest of His presence there,
With heart to heart that Holy Name declare.
(Acts 20:28;l Cor. 12:1-31; Romans 12:4-8, Eph. 4:7-12)
The MINISTRATIONS to Preserve - The Holy Spirit raises overseers to feed, guide and lead the flock. The oversight is a vital function. In each local assembly the importance is clear and the responsibility is great. He also gives a variety of "gift" to the local church for their preservation. Unity in diversity. All the gifts are necessary in contributing to the whole. Each believer has a gift, lesser or greater. All are needed (1 Corinthians 12). We have the Holy Spirit, the dispenser of the gifts (Romans 12). God is the giver of the gift, and in Eph. 4, the Risen Christ is the bestower of the gift. The ministrations of the Spirit-supplied and Spirit-controlled functioning of the members in the body are for the edifying of the whole in dependence one of another. How beautiful the metaphor of the human body displays this truth with no room for independence! Lovely truth! Timeless truth!
What harmony prevails when
And where the Holy Spirit guides each theme.
The Word of God is taught with freedom's voice,
And all the saints with one accord rejoice.
(2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:5; 2 Tim. 4:6-8; I Cor. 13:1)
The METHODS to control - Keeping to the rules according to the Word of God is vital. Linked to this truth, is the inward motivation of love. Methods and motives are twins in all matters home life, secular-life, personal-life and assembly-life. It is important that each one abides by the rules; the wisdom of this is evident. Rewards are given not for success but by keeping the rules. All is tested by the Book. The figure of the race illustrated clearly this basic truth. "A man is not crowned except he strive lawfully." Paul ever had this metaphor in mind in his noble service, "I have finished the course." He had already crossed the finish line (2 Tim. 4:6-8). Let us not forget that true motive of al service is love. This beloved, is a MUST, in the Divine economy The day will manifest our motives, the hidden springs of our service will be revealed, this is searching! (I Cor 4:5), "The Love o Christ constraineth me," this should be our watchword (2 Cot 5:14). As we anticipate the Lord's return, may we have grace to serve the Master devotedly and faithfully until that day when all will be reviewed.
All service for the Master
will be tested in that day,
Each act, each word, each hidden thing will then be on display,
Our Lord will test each motive as to why we acted thus,
And all that savored of the flesh will then be burned as dross.