Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Florida Conference 2006. Part 4. The Church of Philadelphia.

Saturday PM, April 29, 2006

Robert McLaughlin
Bible Ministries
Florida Conference
Saturday PM, April 29, 2006

Your decision to attend a local assembly really begins with your decision to first of all choose a pastor-teacher.

1. Does the local church stay true to all the central doctrines of the Christian faith?

2. Find out exactly where the church stands in its presentation of the character and nature of God.

3. Observe whether or not the pastor equips himself with preparation before God in study, 2TI 2:15, COL 1:10,PHI 1:9-10,20-21, EPH 3:16-19.

4. Does he preach the whole counsel of God?

5. The music ministry – many singers and singing groups should not be singing in church services because they are not even taught properly.

The songs and the song service should be songs that minister and glorify TLJC and the plan of God the Father and not have what MAT 6:7 calls meaningless repetition.

6. What is the structure of the local church government?

There is one pastor-teacher who is responsible to Jesus Christ for any particular assembly, EPH 4:11-16, TIT 1:5,7.

Epaphroditus was the right pastor-teacher to the Philippians, PHI 2:25.
Epaphras was the right pastor-teacher of Colosse, COL 1:17.
The apostle John was the pastor to Gaius and his church, 3Jo 4.
Archippus was the right pastor-teacher to the Laodiceans.

Titus pastored Corinth for a while, 2CO 7:14.
Apollos and Peter also pastored Corinth at different times.
Timothy pastored Ephesus.

Nevertheless, they were each responsible for the spiritual progress of their local assembly under the headship of TLJC who is the one and only Chief Shepherd, 1PE 5:4.

In addition to the pastor-teacher, the right church government is made up of deacons who function according to1TI 3:8-13, ACT 6:1-6, PHI 1:1.

1CO 11:19 For there must also be factions among you, in order that those who are approved may have become evident among you.

7. Not only should the local church you join have categorical doctrine, but it should also dogmatically believe that Christ has finished the work of redemption forever, JOH 19:30.

The work of salvation is by grace alone = grace plus nothing, ROM 11:6, we receive grace for salvation, EPH 2:8-9, and we receive grace for growing, 2PE 3:18.

JUD 1:4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

8. Another principle which is relevant in choosing a local assembly involves the practical application of the whole counsel of God.

The most fundamental belief in Christianity is the unlimited atonement and eternal security.

If the pastor does not reveal the truth about who God is then he will not reveal the truth about what Christ has done.

9. Does the church produce an atmosphere where people know that God loves them in adversity, tribulation, persecution, as well as when they sin?

JER 31:3 The Lord appeared to him from afar, {saying,} “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”

EZE 16:8 “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness.”

ZEP 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love,

Concerning our Lord and the way He treated Judas Iscariot –
JOH 13:1 He loved him to the end.

While they practice this beautiful love of God, does the ministry also take a stand against sin, and unrighteousness?

10. Does the local church teach and practice the importance of being members of the body of Christ, 1CO 12:12-14.

Do the believers in the church lay down their lives to bear one another’s burden, fulfilling the law of love, GAL 6:2, 1JO 3:14.

Do they practice divine order in church discipline?
When members of the congregation practice sin do they go to the person alone, MAT 18:16?

Do they practice accepting an accusation only when there are two or three witnesses, DEU 19:15.

Divine forgiveness always forgives and forgets, MAT 6:12, EPH 4:32, COL 3:13.

Do they make a practice of repeating a matter to others, PRO 17:9?

11. The principle of the vision and the goals of the local assembly.
Do they have a vision in word only or in power of application?

1CO 4:20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.

MAR 10:14 “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

The last point concerns the congregation’s relationship with the pastor-teacher.

“And to the messenger [future pastor-teachers]”

th’” e*n Filadelfeiva/ e*kklhsiva”

The genitive singular of relationship from the noun ekklesia = assembly.

th’” e*n Filadelfeiva/ e*kklhsiva”

The prepositional phrase “en” plus the locative of Philadelphia.

And to the messenger, the future pastor-teachers of the church of Philadelphia (and the Philadelphia-type believers) write, ______ communicate these things.

The Greek language is an inflected language.
“He hit him.”

gravyon: Tavde levgei

Grapson – aor-act-imp grapho = gives a command to the apostle John to write.

Legei – pres-act-ind third person singular – lego. It means to speak or communicate.
Tade – accusative plural – hode (demonstrative pronoun) = “these things”

And to the messenger, the future pastor-teachers of the church of Philadelphia (and the Philadelphia-type believers) write, _____ communicate these things.

o& a@gio”, o& a*lhqinov”,

Hagios = worthy of veneration, pure, sinless, holy, set apart for God, sacred.

“He who is Holy” asserts the Savior’s deity as the absolutely righteous One, the One totally set apart from sin.

ISA 40:25 “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.

ISA 43:15 “I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.”

The One who is speaking in REV 3:7-13 has perfect integrity.

Virtue will never be overcome in history.

1PE 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

PHI 2:13 for it is God [the Holy Spirit] who is at work in you, both to will [give you motivation] and to work [He gives you the ability to execute] above and beyond His good pleasure.

1JO 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

PSA 46:10 “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Robert R. McLaughlin
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