The early church as seen the book of Acts of the Apostless was a image of plangency and what in many circles has been described as a church on fire. It may reason that the church in the book of Acts of the Apostless was a theoretical account church, and is arguably the ideal image of what the church should be like today. However, was the early church every bit perfect as it appeared to hold been? I will analyze some of these issues looking at the effectivity of the church in the book of Acts of the Apostless, which includes its strengths and failings, and do a comparing with the church today.
What is an Effective Church?
Jesus commanded His Disciples, ‘go and do adherents of all states baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ‘ . ( Matthew 28:19 ) . This has come to be known in our churches as the great committee. I believe that before any church can be considered as being effectual it must be transporting out this authorization. However this is non the lone footing on which the effectivity of a church should be measured. George Barna describes an effectual ministry as ‘one where lives are transformed such that people are invariably enabled to go more Christ-Like ‘ . He besides gave what he describes as the six pillars of effectivity. These are worship, evangelism, Christian instruction, community among trusters, stewardship and functioning the needy. Some of these dogmas that besides characterised the early church will be discussed subsequently.
Strengths of the Early Church
The early church I believe could be described as the ideal church as its attack to Ministry fostered an about exponential growing in some cases. Some of these features are discussed below.
Evangelism and Missions
The evangelistic push in the early church was important and cardinal to the growing of the church during that period of church history as recorded in the book of Acts. Christ ‘s authorization of ‘go Tell ‘ was being adhered to. There was heavy evangelism among the Jews and subsequently on among the heathens. It all began on the twenty-four hours of Pentecost where Peter under the power of the Holy Spirit addressed the crowd and harmonizing to Bible, ‘ … three 1000 was added to their figure that twenty-four hours. ‘ ( Acts 2:40 ) . The missional journeys of Paul, the other apostles, persecution besides caused the church to spread out
Integrity among Believers
‘All the trusters were together and had everything in common. Selling their ownerships and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. ‘ ( Acts 2:43-44 ) . These poetries help to paint a image of the integrity that existed among the trusters at the clip. These Acts of the Apostless of love as I would wish to name them typifies what Christ said in John 13:45 ; ‘By this all work forces will cognize that you are my adherents if you love one another ‘ . This outward and practical presentation of love meant that there was no 1 who was in demand of anything as they shared everything.
Signs and Wonders
Signs and admirations have played a major function in the church as the presentation of the power of God has caused many to believe on the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and thereby conveying them to a topographic point of penitence. The ministry of Jesus was filled with marks and admirations, from the turning of H2O into vino, square made to walk, mending of all mode of illnesss, to the elevation of the dead. The book of Acts has many histories of the apostles executing miracles in the name of Jesus. ‘How do we cognize that the Kingdom of God is genuinely among us? One manner is to see healings and diabolic rescues as portion of the on traveling Ministry of Christ. ‘
‘Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you, seven work forces of good repute full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom who we may name over this concern ‘ ( Acts 6:3, NKJV ) . There was an disposal issue to be solved and the adherents saw it suit to name work forces to see to the affair. It is of import to observe the adherents instructions ; ‘men full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom ‘ . These work forces had to be already exhibiting the features of leading and the power of the Holy Spirit had to be apparent in their lives.
Fasting and Prayer
So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their custodies on them and sent them off ( Acts 13:3 ) . This illustrates the importance of supplication and fasting to the members of the church in Acts. It was how they sought way from the Holy Spirit ; they recognised the power that came through supplication and fasting.
Failings of the Early Church
The early church had many issues of struggle ; foremost, there is the issue of the distribution of nutrient to the widows among them. The Greek Jews had complained that they were non being reasonably treated in relation to the Hebraic Jews. This may hold been because of their Hellenic background. However it is extremely improbable that this would hold been a calculated action of the adherents. It was nevertheless serious plenty to necessitate immediate attending.
Second, there was the farewell of Paul and Barnabas. Acts 15: 36-40, gives a description of the dissension between Paul and Barnabas, which resulted in them separating company. Barnabas wanted to take John with them on a trip to see trusters in the towns where they had antecedently preached. Paul nevertheless disagreed because John had antecedently deserted them. ‘They had such a crisp dissension that they parted company ‘ ( Acts 2:39 ) . It is of import to observe that these work forces were mature trusters and besides leaders in the church. It is of import to observe that these work forces were called by the Holy Spirit to work together.
The doctrinal differences that arose in Acts 15 had to make with the demands for redemption. There were some work forces who had gone to Antioch and were prophesying that without Circumcision they could non be saved. In add-on there were besides the Pharisees who were propagating the same philosophy. Peter in turn toing the affair, stated that God had given the sanctum Spirit to the Gentiles every bit good as to the Jews therefore they should concentrate on other issues, such as abstaining from sexual immorality. It is evident that the heathens were disturbed by the affair as they had to direct trusters to them to reassure them of what was so required of them.
At the start of the church the apostles preached the Gospel merely to the Jews. In fact, some believed that the Gospel was merely for the Jews. In Acts chapter 11, the trusters accosted Peter about his visit to the house of Cornelius, at which he and others in his house received the Holy Spirit. Peter himself had to be spoken to by God before his brush with Cornelius through a dream. Cross cultural differences were hinderances to the spreading of the Gospel. One illustration of such differences was the relationship between Jews and Samaritans. The Jews believed they were superior to the Samaritans. These biass besides existed between the Hellenistic or Greek Jews and the Hebraic Jews.
The Early Church Vs the Church Today
For the intent of this essay I will specify the church today as the period over the last 50 old ages. Let us analyze the church today in visible radiation of the early church in the book of Acts. First Evangelism: The Church today has taken on a more evangelistic push, with many local assemblies directing missionaries every bit good as puting more attempts on evangelism. It was out of this desire that the Lausanne motion was formed in 1974 by the Rev Billy Graham, with a position besides to church integrity. This brings me to the following point, Church integrity.
The church as the organic structure of Christ has been naming for Unity across denominations, as the church endeavours to show a more united organic structure. However the integrity that existed among trusters where they shared ownerships so that none were in demand, is non typical of the church today.
On the affair of marks and admirations, this is reasonably much evident in the church today. James Rutz in his book Megashift, gives histories of many miracles such as healings and Resurrections. There has been a displacement over the last few decennaries in miracles in the church. Many detonations in Church growing have been a consequence of miracles. Though we read the marvelous histories in the book of Acts of the Apostless many churches antecedently have non operated within this sphere. C. Peter Wagner states that most people have had to travel through what he calls paradigm displacements in order O adjust their thought and attitudes to come to hold on with what is for them a new religious world.
Fasting and supplication was an built-in portion of the early church, where there was complete dependence on the Holy Spirit. Many Pentecostal and magnetic churches believe in the power of praying and fasting, and its members fast separately every bit good as corporately.
The overall failings that existed in the early church are still present today. There are still struggles among trusters whether this may be due to personality struggles or differing sentiments on assorted issues.
On the affair of philosophy, the statements persist, such as those holding to make with the ordination of adult females and issues affecting sexual orientation and matrimony and divorce. In add-on there is still some grounds of biass bing across civilizations every bit good as many still find it easier to distribute the Gospel to their ain sort.
In Concluding, the church today in some cases resembles the church in Acts, though lacking in some countries such as overall missions and evangelism. It is nevertheless hard to acquire a entire image of the Church as the organic structure of Christ as there still remains the issues of division. In some topographic points the church is multiplying at a rapid rate while in others it appears to be about the opposite. Is the church today runing efficaciously? In many instances yes while in others there is still much to be done.