The New Testament Church
9th September, 2018
The service was in celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ, the first Sunday after the centre welcomed our new pastor and his family. The new pastor for the centre, Pastor Samuel Gyau Obuobi shared the Word of God for the day on the theme ‘The New Testament Church’. Following are highlights of the sermon.
The church belongs to Jesus Christ. By the church, I mean the body of Christ, not a denomination. He founded the church and told Peter in Matthew 16:18 that he will build his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. He also talked about a rock on which he will build his church but, today, I want to emphasize the fact that the church belongs to Jesus.
Two important observations about the church
- It cost God his own blood to start his church (Acts 20:28)
- The church cannot be shaken by anything—the gates of hell cannot prevail against it
In the creation story, apart from the human being, everything else that was created was created by the word. However, when it came to the church it cost God his blood to create it. The powers of death and satanic powers can never rise up against the church. Nothing can shake the foundation of the church. It is built on Christ as a foundation and, by reason of that, nothing can stand against it.
Characteristics of the New Testament church
- Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23, Ephesians 1:22-23)
- It is a church of the word (Acts 2:42, Acts 17:11)
- It is a church of prayer and worship (Acts 2:42, Acts 13:1-3)
- It is evangelistic (Acts 2, Acts 3)
- It is a church of fellowship (Acts 2:42-44)
- Christ is the head of the New Testament church
When we say Christ is the head of the church we mean he is the leader and he exercises authority over it. The role of the church is to submit to his leadership and authority. He takes the lead and we follow. We walk in his footsteps because he is the head of the church.
May we subject ourselves to his authority and leadership. Sometimes we are tempted to go ahead of him but I want to announce to you that there is only one head, one leader, and one person who exercises authority—our Lord Jesus.
We should not be afraid of anything so long as he leads the church because he leads us by the still waters and by the paths of righteousness. There is everything to obtain when we submit to his leadership.
- The New Testament church is a church of the word
In the New Testament church, the word of God reigns supreme. The gospel must be preached and preached in its simplicity—Jesus saves. This simple message is able to bring transformation. As we receive the word and live by it, we see transformation in our lives and in everything we do. The New Testament church is not a church of stories nor a church about some people. It is a church of the word; a church that receives and lives by the word; a church that knows the word and applies it to itself. Every miracle you need is in the word of God. If only we will stick to the word, there is nothing that cannot be done because the word is so powerful, even able distinguish between soul and spirit. (Hebrews 4:12)
The church of Berea was described as more noble than the other churches because they received the word of God with all eagerness and examined the scriptures daily to verify what the heard. (Acts 17:11) Reception and daily examination of the word granted them that commendation. I call upon PIWC, Atomic to be people who receive the word and examine the scriptures on a daily basis. We may be busy people but we cannot do without this.
- The New Testament church is a church of prayer and worship
Prayer and worship should not be left for a few on the prayer and worship teams. They are for every member of the church. You cannot claim to be part of the New Testament church and not be interested in prayer and worship. Prayer is for everybody. It is not the preserve of a few.
Whether the early church was happy or sad, they prayed. If you are part of the New Testament church, you must arise unto prayer. I am happy to talk about this because I found out in the scriptures that as the disciples prayed, they encountered God and his power through a shaking of the place where they were gathered. (Acts 4:31) If only the church would rise to pray! Then we would encounter God and, in no time, there would be a shaking in the house of God! Prayer causes you to encounter his power.
In prayer we hear the voice of God. (Acts 13:1-3) The problem we have in our time is not with God, for he is always speaking. The problem is with us. Are we willing to listen? May we arise in prayer and worship. As the church was fasting and praying and worshipping, God spoke. (Acts 13:1-3) As we arise in prayer God will speak.
- The New Testament church is evangelistic
After the disciples received the Holy Spirit, they preached. Let’s not forget that others are dying and we have to snatch them out of fire. We must rescue the perishing and care for the dying. Whenever the early church had the opportunity, they preached.
- The New Testament church is a church of fellowship
Acts 2:42. There was fellowship among the brethren. They saw themselves as one people. We must have sincere love among us. When they saw each other, they saw themselves as one people to the extent that one person’s property became the property of all. The New Testament church does not operate on tribal or racial lines.
Let there be a kind of love among us such that there is no fear—so that we reach out to one another as brothers and sisters. Then we will see growth, not just in numbers, but in every aspect of our lives. My desire is to see his power and glory among us. As the early church shared fellowship with one another, they saw the power and the glory of God. I don’t just want to hear about the glory of the days of old; I want to see the power and glory of today. God is looking for someone to stand in the gap. He is always ready to move and is looking for vessels. When we avail ourselves, our meetings will not be normal meetings but meetings of his glory and power.
May we be lifted to the level where spectacular events become commonplace, so that we may see with our eyes the miracles of God as in the days of old. We want to see God’s power at work. The God of our fathers has not changed. He is the same today. The difference is whether he can find a vessel.
Pastor led prayers based on the word of God that had come. The church received a prophetic song confirming the word for the day. The Royal Vessels Inc. led the church in song to bring their tithes and offering and the local fund offering. Elder Dr. Tweneboah Koduah and the media team brought the church the week’s notices. After a few special announcements by pastor, Elder Kwame Adutua-Amakye said he closing prayer and the benediction for the end of the service.
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