August 12th, 2004

Church

This week I preached from Mark 1:21-22 Jesus speaking in the synagogue.

1. The first point was a quick history lesson on the synagogue and how it evolved from the events in Nehemiah Chapter 8:1-8. The returning exiles, having lost their familiarity with the Hebrew language and religious practices, are brought together and instructed out of the Scriptures (after a time of praise and worship). This became the model for the synagogue and any town or city that had at least 10 scholars was required to build a synagogue and meet on each Sabbath for that purpose.

2. The second point was that the synagogue (not the Temple) becomes the model for the local church. Although the disciples initially meet in Solomon's Porch in the Temple complex that doesn't last long and Paul and others begin visiting the synagogues and using them to preach the Gospel or establishing house churches using that same format of praise, worship and teaching from the Scriptures.

3. The third point was the Authority with which Jesus taught and the power that he displays in the ensuing verses. This adds an entirely new dimension to the old format where people now come, not to hear questions, but to find answers; To find healing, deliverance and sound Bible teaching.

4. A model for the Church now can be found in Acts 2:42 where the disciples are said to have "continued in":

1. The Apostles Doctrine (sound Bible teaching)
2. Fellowship (church, etc.)
3. Breaking of Bread
a.) Communion (The Lord's Supper)
b.) Love Feasts (covered dish dinners)
4. Prayer (yeah, lots of prayer)

Good model for any church. And Wednesday I ate luch at the church with the Senior Saints and got to meet alot of folks. It was very good.