Topical Sermons Power Point Show
Scripture Reading: Acts 11:19-26
God Has Spoken: A Study of Bible Authority
(Individual Action and Local Church Action, Part 2)
1. There is a clear distinction in NT between congregational action & individual action (1 Tim. 5:16; Matt. 18:15-17; Acts 4:35-5:4). Not Scriptural to say that whatever the individual Christian can do, the local church can do.
2. In zeal to protect this NT distinction between individual & local church action, some brethren have taking positions that (in effect) suggest that “whatever the local church may not do, individual Christians may not do (together).”
a. Limits individual Christians’ group actions strictly & only to the collective action of the local church.
b. Leads to forbidding individuals the liberty to join together (pool their talents & resources) to do work given to individual Christians:
1) Recreation (camps for youth); Education (colleges to educate); Business (publish Bible material & sell services); Teaching gospel (periodicals, web sites); Benevolence (social services like hospitals, orphan homes, etc.); Government (political organizations, etc.).
2) This view says it is wrong for Christians to join together in any other capacity other than the local church to serve God (teach, help needy…).
I. SOME DUTIES ARE CONCURRENTLY ASSIGNED TO THE INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN & TO THE LOCAL CHURCH.
A. The Discharge of Individual Duty does not Conflict with Collective Duties.
1. The individual & the local church function concurrently in some areas.
2. The individual cannot fully discharge his personal responsibilities through the local church.
B. Teaching Gospel: Both Individual & Collective Duty, Acts 8:4; 11:19-23.
1. Individual Christians were teaching others, 11:20-21 (cf. 2 Tim. 2:2).
2. The Jerusalem church acted in teaching the people at Antioch, 11:22.
3. Barnabas, being sent by the Jer. church, taught others, 11:23.
4. Barnabas & Saul worked together to teach the church, 11:25-26.
C. Benevolence: Both Individual & Collective Duty to Help Needy Saints, Gal. 6:10.
1. According to individual’s opportunity & ability, 6:10 (2 Cor. 8:12).
2. According to local church’s opportunity & ability, Acts 11:29; 2 Cor. 8:1-7, 11 (1 Cor. 16:1-3).
D. Worship: Both Individual & Collective Duty, 1 Cor. 11:18-31.
1. Lord’s Supper: Local church comes together, giving opportunity to eat the supper (Acts 20:7); 11:18-20, 33-34.
a. Individual duty to eat worthily, examine oneself & discern the Lord’s body, 11:27-31.
b. We eat individually “when you come together as a church” (11:18).
2. Singing is “speaking to one another” “whenever you come together” (Eph. 5:19; 1 Cor. 14:26).
3. Giving is “let each one,” yet accomplished collectively, 1 Cor. 16:2.
4. Prayer is individual, yet is to happen “when the whole church comes together in one place” (1 Cor. 14:16-17, 23).
E. Discipline of Disorderly: Both Individual & Collective Duty, 1 Cor. 5.
1. Collective action, 1 Cor. 5:4.
2. Individual action, 1 Cor. 5:9-13; cf. 2 Ths. 3:6, 14-15.
-Collective “noting” & individually we “do not keep company with him.”
II. EACH INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN IS RESPONSIBLE TO GOD FOR DOING HIS PART OF WHATEVER DUTY GOD HAS GIVEN THE LOCAL CHURCH.
A. The Local Church is built up by what each Member Supplies, Eph. 4:16.
1. A body properly functions only when its parts are working properly, 1 Cor. 12:26-27. (As each part works & grows, the local church works & grows.)
a. cf. The Corinthian church planned to aid needy saints in Jerusalem, so each member was to give purposely, cheerfully, & has he had been prospered to achieve the collective goal, 2 Co. 8:10-11; 9:7; 1 Co.16:1-3.
b. Eph. 4:1-3: Each member in a church is responsible for unity of that church. When each member “gives diligence…,” the congregational goal of unity is achieved & maintained.
III. INDIVIDUALS CAN WORK TOGETHER & NOT BE IN CONFLICT WITH THE WORK GIVEN TO THE LOCAL CHURCH.
A. Examples of Individuals Working Together without being in Conflict with Local Church Action:
1. Calling a sinning Christian to repentance, Matt. 18:16, 17.
2. Praying together, yet not the local church, Acts 12:12, 5.
3. Teaching gospel, Acts 14:27. (Reported to the church what God did with them.)
1. Christ has given each Christian work to do that is concurrent with the work of the local church.
2. The body (church) grows when each member does his part & grows in truth, Eph. 4:15-16.