July 15, 2001
Volume 11, Number 28

The 1st Century Church - How Do We Measure Up?

We have started every article in this series with a brief reminder as to what it means to restore the first century church. We feel it necessary to do this because we are persuaded that a multitude of brethren who are opposing the concept of restoring New Testament Christianity do not themselves understand what the plea to restore the New Testament church is really all about. To hear them tell it, restoring the New Testament church is undesirable because of the many flaws evident in these churches.

However, as we have said repeatedly, the goal of restoring the New Testament church is nothing more or less than the desire to imitate a New Testament church only insofar as that church did the will of God. For example, if a particular church in the New Testament was enthusiastic and successful in the area of evangelism it is only fair and proper for modern day churches of Christ to engage in self-examination to see how we are doing in the same arena of work. If a first century church was successful in evangelism, we should ask, "Why were they successful, and how can we duplicate their excellence?"

Thus far, we have examined the success of the early church in disseminating the gospel message, and in developing the faith of those who were baptized. In this issue we ask the following questions:


In order to guide the infant church, God gave some "apostles" (Eph. 4:8). The apostles were especially guided by the Holy Spirit to remember all that Jesus had taught during His earthly ministry, and to receive the revelation of all truth, i.e., things that Jesus had not taught them during His earthly ministry (John 14:26; 16:12-14).

Accordingly, the first century church followed steadfastly in the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42). For example, they followed the apostles doctrine in proclaiming the plan of salvation. There was no uncertainty or ambiguity in their preaching regarding the essentiality of baptism. Can you imagine, for one moment, A prominent preacher among us recently suggested that it was proper to refer to baptism as essential to salvation, but that it would be improper to characterize baptism as a necessary step to salvation. organizing the church with a plurality of qualified elders to oversee the local flock, with deacons, evangelists and members serving under their oversight (Acts 14:23; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-13; Philip. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).

The early church followed the apostles doctrine in worshipping in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). They gathered together on the first day of the week to sing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), to pray (Acts 2:42), to partake of the Lord’s supper (Acts 20:7), to give of their means (1 Cor. 16:1-2) and to hear the gospel preached (Acts 20:7).

How are we doing in holding fast to the pattern of sound words (2 Tim. 1:13)? Many churches have abandoned the practice of distinctive New Testament Christianity and have sought to become like the denominations round about them (Cf. Judges 2:12; 1 Sam. 8:5, 20; 2 Kings 17:15). The pattern has been abandoned, and even ridiculed, by certain individuals who claim to be preachers of the gospel. We must be willing to hold fast to the pattern, even if we experience persecution as a consequence (2 Cor. 11:23-28; 2 Tim. 3:12).


John, the apostle of love, wrote much about the importance of Christian love.

The first century church is depicted as practicing such love.

How do we measure up today in the demonstration of Christian love?

B.J. Clarke, POWER


July 14, 2001

South Florida Avenue Church of Christ
1807 South Florida Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33803

Church Directory

Coming Soon!

For Our Youth

Central Florida Bible Camp
July 22-28, 2001
Eustis, FL

Bible Bowl 2001
September 8, 2001
Pinellas Park Church of Christ
6045 Park Boulevard
Pinellas Park, FL 33780

Annual Bible Reading Program

This week’s Bible readings are:

Sunday, 15th: ... 1 Corinthians 3, 1 Kings 15:33-16:34, Joel 3
Monday, 16th: ... 1 Corinthians 4, 1 Kings 17, Amos 1
Tuesday, 17th: ... 1 Corinthians 5, 1 Kings 18, Amos 2:1-3:3
Wednesday, 18th: ... 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Kings 19, Amos 3:3-4:3
Thursday, 19th: ... 1 Corinthians 7:1-24, 1 Kings 20, Amos 4:4-13
Friday, 20th: ... 1 Corinthians 7:25-40, 1 Kings 21, Amos 5
Saturday, 21st: ... 1 Corinthians 8, 1 Kings 22, Amos 6

Joy is the flag that is flying when the King is on the throne.

Mary Crowley

Ghana Campaign
July 2-28, 2001

Schedule for this week:

Monday-Friday (July 16-20) … Northern Region. The work in Bunkpurugu should be finished and the team should continue with another mobile clinic, following up on the well-drilling & helping establish a church Akatsi (located in the northernmost part of the Volta Region along the border with Togo).

Friday (July 20) … The team will begin the trip back to Tema and hopes to spend the night in Kumasi.

Saturday (July 21) … A four hour drive and the group will be back in Tema.

Sunday (July 22) … Ted, Ernest and Edward will begin a few days of work in the Eastern Region. On Sunday, Paul Addo will take them to Kukurumtumi, his hometown, to worship with the church and check on their new building. The rest of the time will be spent with the churches in Kade, Boadua, Pramkese, Adonkrono & Abaam.

Note: Ted will be trying to send campaign updates via email whenever he can.


A Special Welcome to our Visitors

Please fill out a blue visitor card so that we might have a record of your visit. If needed, there is a nursery available at the rear of the auditorium. Bible classes for all ages are available Sundays at 10:00 am and Wednesdays at 6:30 PM. We hope that you will join us for these studies. Please come and worship with us again soon.

Jane Bowman - Bill Sherman & Jeanne - Leslie Johnson

Viola Morinier - Virginia Law - Naomi Morton - Lurl Card

Mary Kaupilla


Todays Speakers:

AM - Delbert Leavens
PM - Brian Kenyon

Brian is one of the full time instructors at the Florida School of Preaching and now edits the school’s annual lectureship book. His son was with us at Bible camp this year and won Camper of the Year. We are happy that Brian was in the area with his family and will be filling in for Ted this evening.

Service Opportunities


Time of Services


 Wayne Vowell




 Walt Thompson


Bible Study:

10:00 am

Morning Services



11:00 am

Bible Reading:

Clarence Riggenbach  

Evening Worship:

6:00 pm


Jim Treece




 Delbert Leavens


Bible Study:

6:30 pm

Closing Prayer:

Carl Rigney


Evening Services



Opening Prayer:

 Carl Rigney



Jim Treece


Our Record - Last Week


 Brian Kenyon  

Closing Prayer:

 Wayne Vowell



Larry Jenson
  Weekly Budget:
$ 1500.00
Wayne Vowell
Jim Dougan

James Bowman

Copyright © 2001 Church of Christ of Venice. All Rights Reserved.