A New Testament Church Is an Antioch Church
August 19, 2020
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
866-295-4143,
fbns@wayoflife.org
The following is excerpted from 21 Steps to a Stronger Church for the 21st Century, available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.
21 Steps to a Stronger Church
It is impossible to know if we have New Testament churches today, or to build New Testament churches today, if we don’t compare them with, and model them after, Scripture. The pattern is not found in the church fathers, the Waldenses, the Lollards, the Anabaptists, the Lutherans, the Anglicans, the Reformed Presbyterianism, the Geneva Calvinists, the British general Baptists or particular Baptists, the Brethren, Pentecostalism, Charismaticism, Fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, New Reformed Calvinism, denominational Baptists, or any of the streams of Independent Baptists. All of these must be measured by the one infallible rule of the New Testament faith.

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away (Acts 13:1-4).

Every true New Testament church is an Antioch church. It must have a missionary, church planting vision and zeal.

It is a church that raises up ministry-gifted men to be preachers, teachers, pastors, evangelists. This must be a
major business of every church. It is done by earnest, persistent prayer for God to raise up workers (Lu. 10:2). Only God can call them and gift them. It is done by an effectual discipling program that encompasses all ages, from the children to the elderly. It is done by persistent exhortation of the brethren to surrender themselves 100% to Christ and to His work in this needy world (Ro. 12:1-2). It is done by having a strong, constant emphasis on Christ’s Great Commission as the vision that every believer is to catch for his own life (Mt. 28:18-20; Mr. 16:15; Lu. 24:44-48; Ac. 1:8). It is done by a strong Bible training program for workers, preachers, teachers, evangelists, pastors (2 Ti. 2:2; Tit. 1:9).

It is a church that is busy reaching its own area with the gospel. The church was founded upon zealous gospel preaching (Ac. 11:19-21). An Antioch church has the goal of getting the gospel to every soul as Christ has commanded (Mr. 16:15). That is a never-ending job. It requires training, planning, organization, action, participation by every member. The Great Commission begins at home, with our own Jerusalem, then proceeds out to our Judea and our Samaria, then to the uttermost part of the earth through the sending out of, and the support of, missionaries. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Ac. 1:8).

It is a church that is listening to the voice of the Spirit of God, yielding to Him, following Him, open to His every leading (Ac. 13:2).

It is a church that ordains and sends out missionary church planters to multiply itself (Ac. 13:3-4). Their work is not finished until there are New Testament churches established with their own leaders (Ac. 14:23).

A church lacking this vision and zeal is not a New Testament church, and if a church lets this vision and zeal grow dim, it ceases to be a New Testament church.



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