Did the early church...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Walls, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. Walls

    Walls
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    teach new converts godly ways and standards or did they just preach a general message and let the Holy spirit guide the new babes towards growth and sanctification? Is there a place in the Bible where this is demonstrated?
     
  2. TheOliveBranch

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    I wonder if they actually were taught? Maybe this is why the Epistles were written to the churches. They had no guide, as we have with the Bible. They had the Law, which is why there was so much confusion as to what they were to do as Christians. Seeems each church had to do good, or follow what Christ taught about loving their neighbors.

    But for the most part, they were pretty busy trying to spread the Gospel, and run from the Jews. Thank God they had Paul to oversee them.
     
  3. Trotter

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    Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine ...I think that should let us know that they were being taught. The Bible doesn't tell us what all the apostles' doctrine entailed, but it does tell us that they continued in it. In verse 46, it says they were continuing daily with one accord in the temple . Continuing daily in the apostles' doctrine. Yeah, I think that they were taught.

    Paul told Timothy, And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 2Ti 2:2 . The phrase "who shall be able to teach" tells us that they were not to be storage recepticles, but watering pots of the truth and doctrines of grace.

    In Christ
    Trotter
     
  4. Ed Edwards

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    Until the church got in bed with
    the politicians about 312AD,
    it was comming for a new Christian
    to be mentored for two years before
    being brought froth as a nominiee for
    baptism.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Emory

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    Hello,

    If they waited two years before baptizing converts, they drifted away from the apostolic example.

    The Philippian jailor was baptized the same night (Acts 16:33). The Ethiopian likewise was baptized upon profession (Acts 8). These two come to mind.

    God bless,

    Emory
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Biggest error in our thinking of the early church is that things were immediate or automatic (because most were Jews and knew the OT). The book of Acts COMPRESSES TIME so that it seems like bang bang bang - things happen quickly.

    Example: From Pentecost to Stephens martyrdom is just a couple chapters in Acts, but TEN YEARS of growing, teaching, learning, etc. For the Apostles (who already had 4 years to learning directly from Jesus) this shows an example of time and training needed for leadership to show like Stephen and Philip and Barnabas and Saul.
     
  7. Walls

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    Very interesting! I would have never imagined one to wait two years to get baptized. I was always taught that once saved you need to hurry up and get baptized.
     
  8. Caretaker

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    It would appear that under the leadership of the Apostles, the early church baptized as soon as one was converted. It would also appear that as the persecutions intensified, and the traditions of man took over, that there began to arise a time of examination/preparation for baptism.

    Acts 8:

    26: And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
    27: And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
    28: Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
    29: Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
    30: And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
    31: And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
    32: The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
    33: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
    34: And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    35: Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
    36: And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
    37: And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    38: And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
    39: And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
    40: But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

    Acts 10:

    34: Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    35: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
    36: The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
    37: That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
    38: How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
    39: And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
    40: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
    41: Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
    42: And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
    43: To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
    44: While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    45: And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    46: For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    47: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
    48: And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

    Acts 2:

    38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
    40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
    41: Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
    42: And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    http://www.warfield.org.uk/general/baptism2.html


    1. In Apostolic times, baptism took place immediately after conversion but later when Christians were under persecution they took baptism so seriously that candidates had to have a sponsor from the church who would guarantee the new convert’s change in lifestyle and perseverance in the faith.
    2. By the third century there was a catechumenate and the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus mentions three years preparation. The Eucharist was taught ‘at the first evangelisation’ (Gregory Dix) and preparation was linked with the spiritual life of a Christian. Doctrine was taught in the last years and a few weeks before baptism, the candidates were presented to the bishop and the routine exorcisms took place (not implying that they were possessed but to free them of any evil influences). From Maundy Thursday they fasted and were baptised at the Easter Vigil.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  9. gb93433

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    In Acts 20:28-32 Paul addreses the elders from Ephesus and says, "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."

    You don't make the Holy Spirit the overseer. The Holy Spirit makes you the overseer.

    Many times people will try and use Phil. 1:6 as a promise. Phil. 1:6 is part of a prayer. It is not a universal promise. It is a prayer to God commending the Philippians.

    The best physical analogy I can think of is when a baby is born. We would never think of ever leaving a baby to feed itself and nurture itself. A new believer knows little and just wants to grow in their new found faith. Most of the time they will follow someone who seems to know where they are going.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Good analogy. I think the "abandoning the baby after it is born" is very real. People that we might not think of as truly born again may simply be babies that never had milk, then meat and grew.

    Doesn't mean they were not genuinely regenerated. The fault does not reside on the BABY, but with the spiritual parent. I say this to my shame.
     
  11. superdave

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    I know at our church, there is very little issue oriented preaching, obviously it does occur, but much more of it is like the opening post, preaching the Word, and letting the spirit do the work in hearts. I know that there are new believers that maybe are working on issues that they have not been specifically taught and in a more one on one setting, that can be dealt with more effectively, but part of the discipleship process is teaching them to study and teaching them to apply the truths to their own lives. I don't think it is as effective to teach them how to dress, how to speak, what to listen to, etc, without giving them the Biblical foundation first, you know, the cart before the horse is pretty inefficient. So you see growth in their lives as they learn and apply the truths of the Bible to their everyday life, but they are not clones, there is a reality to what they are, instead of looking just like everyone else, but being immature. Long term it is much more effective than mere conformity to a human standard.

    The same applies to children, in a different way, obviously, as a parent, you have the right to decree standards of behavior, but they are not effective in the long term unless you teach your kids how to develop standards and how to apply scriptural principles to their lives. Teaching them to follow your way will last until you are no longer big enough to tan their hide when they disobey. Teaching them to apply scripture and make wise decisions will never fail, although they might make decisions differently than you would, they might actually teach you a thing or two, my kids have a way of seeing my behavior more clearly than I do, and the oldest is 4! pretty scary.
     

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