Who are the Church

by thebiblicalway

One may be perplexed with the question, “Who are the church?” Perhaps a more expected question might be, “What is a church?” After all, is a church not a building? Ask most people and they would probably say a building. They may affectionately think of the picturesque stone building in a nearby village that was built by craftsmen back in the thirteenth century. It has beautiful stained glass windows depicting Jesus and His disciples. In the graveyard that surrounds it there are wonderful, ancient trees. On the other hand they may think of the dilapidated tin hut down the road that once served as a mission outreach, and now is seldom used.

No, a church is not a building of granite, flint or brick; it is an organic structure that grows, and is continually on the move, ‘being fitted together into a holy temple in the Lord.’ (Ephesians 2:21) The chief cornerstone is Jesus Christ, and the foundation on which it is built are the apostles and prophets. (v 20)

The Church of Christ is expanding, and it grows with the purpose of being a‘dwelling place of God in the Spirit.’ (v 22) The whole structure depends upon the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ, who holds it together. (v 20) We know, don’t we? If a cornerstone is removed, the building will collapse. Jesus sustains and keeps His building intact.

The Church is like no other building. It is a ‘holy temple’  (v 21) built with ‘living stones’ (1 Peter 2:5) who are being joined together to be a home of ‘God in the Spirit.’  (Ephesians 2:22) It is being set apart, i.e., made holy, and it is a spiritual dwelling place, a temple in the Lord. (v 21)

Who are the building blocks? They are ‘citizens’ and ‘members’ of ‘the household of God.’ (v 19) They have all been welcomed into God’s home to live with Him, and yet at one time they were ‘strangers and foreigners’. (v 19) But now they are equated with the saints, and they are fellow citizens with them. In fact, they are saints themselves, having been received into the temple of God.

Of this ‘spiritual house’ (1 Peter 2:5) its members are ‘living stones’ who offer up acceptable ‘spiritual sacrifices’ to God through Jesus Christ. He is the ‘chief cornerstone, elect and precious’, (1 Peter 2:6) the ‘living stone’ who is rejected by men, but ‘chosen by God. (v 4)

The ultimate destiny of this organic church in Christ is for its members to live together with Him forever in the new heaven and earth. (Revelation 21)

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John Bunyan -Was he. NCT?

COMING SHORTLY Whatch this space for date when available.

David Gay’s new Book on Bunyan

Richard Baxter said John Bunyan was an antinomian. Was he? Was Bunyan a proto new-covenant theologian on the covenants and the law? David Gay, having examined these claims, here sets out his conclusions with the evidence for them. While Bunyan said many good things on both these topics, by no stretch of the imagination can he be described as a fully-fledged new-covenant theologian. But neither did he toe the Reformed line in these matters. He did not tick all the orthodox boxes. He was his own man. But as Gay writes: ‘Why bother about what John Bunyan thought and wrote, or did not think and write on the law?… Does it matter? In a very real sense, no, of course it does not. I am not desperately interested in John Bunyan for John Bunyan’s sake… But what I am interested in is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Interested in the gospel? I am consumed by it! So, in the end, it does not matter a great deal what John Bunyan said or thought… What does Scripture say? That is the question!’ As a result, Gay hopes his book, though not an easy read, will make a valuable contribution to the contemporary debate on the believer and the law.

Available from Amazon

John Bunyan: Antinomian, New-Covenant Theologian, or…?

by David H J Gay

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Next Year’s (2018) UK NCT Conference

If you have an ysuggestions for the Conference – program, speakers, subjects, venue etc. please send your suggestions to f.serjeantATgmail.com  (change AT to @)

We are still looking for a VENUE.  Can you suugest one?

 

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UK NCT Conference Spring 2017

The 2017 New Covenant Theology Conference was held at All Nations Christian College 23rd-26th March. Speakers were David H J Gay, Geoff Volker, Fred Serjeant and Stanley jebb.

All sessions were recorded including three PowerPoint oresentations and are available from www.exploringnct.org   Links are there to Google Drive and DropBox where they are stored.

 

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Favourite Pssage

This is a favourite passage of mine from Numbers 21:4–9

It is  the story of the Moses lifting up the bronze serpent in the desert. I love how explicitly and graphically it illustrates what would happen on the cross hundreds of years later. It is so telling that a snake (immobilised in bronze) is lifted up on a pole to save them from the snakebites. Christ, who was “born in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3) was lifted up on the cross, and though he was sinless, there he was made sin for us. (2 Cor. 5:21).

One of the wonders of the Bible is to be found in its ‘types’ and ‘anti-types’.  This one is made clear for us in the Scriptures of the New Testament.

How is a sinner to be saved by a just and holy God?
Our Lord Jesus gave the answer in His discourse with Nicodemus: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14,15).

This is the only ‘shadow’  of the cross pointed out by Christ  himself. He did not want us to miss this type, which is perhaps the simplest and clearest of all the pictures of Calvary in the Old Testament. This uplifted serpent brings to us the Gospel in miniature

It could be said that if the whole Bible were destroyed and only this fragment remained, we would have enough to point our pathway to Heaven.

“Look and live!”

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Spring Conference 2017

Exploring New Covenant Theology Conference
Dates are from Thursday evening 2rd March to Sunday noon 26th March 2017.
Go to www.exploringnct.org for further details.

Booking forms will be available soon.

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New Covenant Theology made simple

If you want NCT explained in a simple way, then go to David H J Gay – You Tube.

A Google search will find a whole series of excellent short talks by David Gay.

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UK Spring Conference

Weekend Conference Friday Evening 13th May to Sunday Noon 15th May 2016 at Rora Christian Conference Centre in Devon.

Go to website at exploringnct.org  for full details and booking application.
Speakers –  Geoff Volker (from USA)  David H L Gay (NCT author)  Fred Serjeant (Pastor Grace Church Dorchester, Dorset)

Come and join us (the cost is minimal) for a great time of learning and fellowship!

Go to EXPLORINGNCT.ORG  NOW!

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NCT and “The Law of Christ”

On Facebook recently, there had been an extended discussion on what is meant in Scripture by “The Law of Christ”.  The discussion has taken place in the New Covenant Grace group. Strong sentiments have expressed on what appears to be the two sides.

One side is adamant that “The Law of Christ” is not some new form of legalism, but an expression (solely?) of the indwelling Spirit.

The other side is concerned that this view may lead believers into a detachment from the Scriptures. The Written Word is our infallible guide. Our ‘inner’ guidance must be understood and governed by the revelation of the Written Word. To separate our inner Spirit’s understanding and guidance from the Spirit’s inspired word is a false antithesis. The authority of the Scriptures as viewed through the New Covenant, is not enslaving, but liberating. Through the Scriptures as the Word of God,  we are set free in Christ.

There is a right concern that we should not become Bibliolators and know the truth of the promise that “they shall all be taught of God”. But there is also the error seen in past history (some very recent) of a drift into “Quietism” and/or “Mysticism”.

I am conscious that this is hardly a fair summary of all the discussions, but there is a real concern that those who have grasped the freedom there is in the New Covenant of our Lord Jesus Christ, should divide on semantic or secondary issues.

What do you think?

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Changing the Header image

I am thinking of changing the Header image for this Site.  Perhaps something brighter?

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