Search Results for: "Seven Marks"

Seven Marks of a New Testament Church – Sacrificial Living

… salvation of necessity leads to service. (Seven Marks of a New Testament Church, p. 43) This is the final post of my series on this book, and I’d like to make an observation about the entire enterprise. I’ve become increasingly convinced of two things during this study. First, there is no single form of church organization or structure mandated by the New Testament. Second, there are quite a few principles that should be applied in any church structure that…

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Seven Marks: Fervent Prayer

The sixth mark Dave discusses in Seven Marks of a New Testament Church is fervent prayer (pp. 39-42). There are a variety of views of what it means to be “the church” or what it means to be Christian. For some, it’s a matter of holding the correct set of beliefs. One knows that certain things are true and one gathers with other people who know the same things are true, and this is church. Evangelism, in that case, is…

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Seven Marks: Christ Centered Gatherings

It has been some time since I posted my last installment of my discussion of the book Seven Marks of a New Testament Church by David Alan Black, along with some commentary from the books Transforming Acts: Acts of the Apostles as a 21st Century Gospel, by Bruce Epperly and Thrive: Spiritual Habits of Transforming Congregations by Ruth Fletcher. My most recent installment was actually an excursus, Is There Such a Thing as a New Testament Church?. (You can find…

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Seven Marks: Genuine Relationships

The fourth mark of a New Testament church that Dave Black finds in Acts he calls genuine relationships. The early believers devoted themselves to the fellowship, to their community. There are so many words for it. In America today we rarely think of the church as a community and even more rarely as our community. Yet much of the New Testament’s teaching on the church centers around things that relate closely to this idea. We go to church for a…

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Seven Marks: Excursus on Change

One of the most interesting and troubling things I’ve found about myself and my church (any of the churches of which I’ve been a member!) is the number of things we know we should do and even decide we will do, but which never get done. Seven Marks of a New Testament Church is certainly ecclesiology, but is it shelf ecclesiology (that’s nice) or is it practical ecclesiology (let’s do that)? In this case I can’t point fingers. In my…

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Seven Marks: Apostolic Teaching

In the video, Dave calls this simply “The Word of God.” I’m embedding it at the end of this post. One of my observations in talking to people about their churches and church programs is that they find the first moment when a book or program differs from their situation and take one of two approaches. First, they might discard the entire thing. This is fairly common. That won’t work for us. It doesn’t matter that what we’re doing isn’t…

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Seven Marks: Baptism

(This continues a series that started here, and continues with part 2, part 3, and part 4.) The second mark of a New Testament church according to Dr. David Alan Black is Christian baptism. He explains why he explicitly uses the term “Christian” with baptism. There’s a distinction there that’s important and Dave discusses it. Here’s the video. The discussion of Christian baptism begins at about 08:45. There are several things that Dave says about baptism that I fully agree…

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My Problem with Church Buildings

Some time ago, in fact, on the trip Jody and I took when she met my parents, I had a half-awake dream/vision. I saw a little church building in a mountain valley. I woke up and told Jody about it and that I thought we’d see it on the trip and we would stop and pray for the people there. As we were driving through Kentucky, we came around a corner in the mountains and there it was. I’m not…

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Tuesday Night Study: Genuine Relationships

Our study continues tomorrow evening with a look at chapter 4 of Dave Black’s book Seven Marks of a New Testament Church, “Genuine Relationships.” In this chapter, Dave discusses the church as community. I wrote an extended post on it when I was blogging through the book some time ago. I recommend reading that, and paying particular attention to the definitions provided by Ruth Fletcher. I’ve quoted a key line in the featured image, but in that earlier post I…

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Can We Have a Commitment to Biblical Truth?

We now come to the third mark of a New Testament church, and that is its commitment to biblical truth. One of the weakest aspects of Western Christianity is our failure to give proper teaching to new converts. As a result, biblical illiteracy plagues the church in America. This is a weakness in some mainline churches, and often in evangelical churches too. (Seven Marks of a New Testament Church, p. 17) I discussed this to some extent when I worked through this book, but now…

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