Ground of Gathering part 2" /> Ground of Gathering part 2" /> Ground of Gathering part 2" />

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

 

The ground of gathering is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Acts 2:42 tells us four characteristics of the early church, ie...newly formed Assembly, "...and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers...."  In this article we consider the practice of those gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

1. The apostles doctrine:  

 

This may be said to include some of the following essential truths and doctrines without which there is no Biblical Christianity possible:

 

  1. The plenary verbal inspiration of scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17...all Scripture is God-breathed)
  2. Trinity (Matthew 28:19...in the 'name' of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)
  3. Deity of Christ (1 Tim. 3:16, John 20:28-29 ...my Lord and my God)
  4. Impeccability of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5...He knew no sin, did no sin, in Him was no sin)
  5. Redemption by shed blood/propitiatory sacrifice [Penal Substitution]  (1 Peter 3:18, Is. 53:6   ... the just for the unjust)
  6. Justification by Faith alone in Christ alone (Romans 3:28, Gal. 3:24)
  7. Virgin Birth (Matt 1:23...the virgin shall be with child)
  8. Bodily Resurrection and Ascension of Christ  (Matt 28:6, Acts 1:9, He is risen, He was taken up)
  9. Truths of Heaven and Hell  (Matt  19:21, Matt 5:29-30.....ye shall have treasure in heaven...be cast into hell)
  10. Second Coming of Christ (John 14:3...I will come again)
  11. Fall of Man, Man a sinner (Gen 3:6, 1 Cor 15:22, Rom 3:23 ...Adam ate...in Adam all died...for all sinned)
  12. Necessity of the New Birth (John 3:7...ye must be born again)

Necessary doctrinal truths for a healthy local assembly:

  1. Love (1 John 2:10 ...he who loves his brother abides in the light)
  2. Good works (Titus 2:14, Eph 2:10...created in Christ Jesus unto good works)
  3. Looking for Him. The Blessed Hope/Rapture (Titus 2:13, 1 Thess. 4:16...the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout)
  4. The distinction between Israel and the Church (Eph 2:15, Matt 16:18, Acts 1:6)
  5. Exercise of Gift to build up the body of Christ (Eph 4:16...for the building up of itself in love)
  6. Plurality of oversight/eldership (I Pet 5:2, Acts 20:28, Phil 1:1..the saints, overseers and deacons)
  7. Male / Female roles distinct, Men Verbal and uncovered, Women Silent and covered (1 Cor 11:1-34, 1 Cor. 14:34, 1 Tim 2:8-15)
  8. Liberty & Holiness without license and licentiousness  (2 Cor. 3:17, Hebrews 12:14, James 4:7...where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty...pursue holiness...resist the devil)
  9. Premillennialism, Pretribulationalism, Dispensationalism (See other articles this web site)
  10. Clear distinction between Law and Grace (Rom 5:20, Rom 6:14-15, Rom 7:4...you are not under law but under grace...ye are dead to the law.)
  11. Repentance (Rom 2:4...the goodness of God leads thee to repentance)
  12. Believers' Baptism by immersion (Acts 2:41...as many as glady received his word were baptized)
  13. Walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16...walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the desires of the flesh)
  14. Submission to one another (Eph 5:21...submit to one another in the fear of God)
  15. Missions where workers are loosed to do the Lord's work, not controlled by a man made mission board (Acts 13:3  "they let them go")
  16. Joy.  The Christian life is one of joy (Phil 4:4...  Rejoice in the Lord always)
  17. Separation from evil  (2 Cor 6:17  ...come out from among them)

2. Fellowship

  1. Fellowship with Him  1 John 1:3  that which we have seen and heard we report to you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship [is] indeed with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
  2. Fellowship with one another  Acts 2:46  and every day, being constantly in the temple with one accord, and breaking bread in the house, they received their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
  3. Fellowship in the gospel   Philippians 1:4-5  always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now
  4. Fellowship in the work  Gal 2:9   they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
  5. Fellowship with one another that cleanses   1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
  6. Ideal fellowship especially in times of want & suffering:   Acts 2:44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
  7. Fellowship of His sufferings   Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings

3. Breaking of Bread

  1. Instituted by Christ   Matt 26:26  Jesus took bread....
  2. First day of the week, weekly   Acts 20:7  Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread
  3. Communion  1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
  4. In Remembrance of HIM  1 Cor. 11:23-36 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat;[b] this is My body which is broken[c] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
  5. Love Feast Jude 1:12  they are spots in your love feasts (the Love Feast/meal was apparently an early practice with the Lord's Supper - but not an essential part - of the Lord's Supper and saints gatherings.  The abuses referenced in 1 Cor 11 and the subsequent resolution shows the feast to be non-essential)

4. Prayer

  1. Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
  2. Acts 6:4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
  3. Acts 12:5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.
  4. Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
  5. Philippians 1:19 ..for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer
  6. Colossians 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
  7. 1 Peter 4:7  But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
  8. Revelation 8:4   And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.