FOGBO unit 15a
 
Gods Pattern for Growth in His Family 

 

 
Syllabus and assignments for Gods Pattern for the Growth of His Family 

1. Assignment: Look up all references given, and summarize them.
We must keep in mind that we were made to be in the image and likeness of God, therefore we are to take on His character and live by His standards, and not ours or the worlds.  Remember every true Biblical Doctrine is in harmony with the nature and character of God.  See what you can learn of God’s hearts desire for you.

2. Assignment: For the application of what you have studied in this unit. Have someone listen to you lead someone to Christ, then have a heart searching discussion as to your motive.

1. Is repentance given as a prerequisite to salvation?
2. Is it pressure to get an affirmative answer?
3. Why are these important?
4. Who won that soul to Christ, you or The Father?
5. How do you know?
 
Table of Content by Subject 
 
God's pattern for growth in His family.
The precept for growth.
The problem of logistics.
Responsibilities are opportunities.
The church family grows.
Self Test
 
 

 

 

Gods Pattern for the Growth in the Family of God.

 

The Principle for the Growth of His Family is: Scatter and Multiply: "And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth......And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein"  Gen. 9:1........9:7      

Failure of others: Refused to scatter.  "And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. "And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."  Gen. 11:1-4      

Judgement:  "And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city."  Gen. 11:5-8      

This pattern to scatter and multiply was and is also for the church. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. .......... And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts 2:41....46-47 

Consider: Acts 2:39, 5:14, 11:24, 13:48 , Chapt. 20.

There is no room for doubt that the Lord's pattern for church growth, is for it to scatter and multiply and scatter again, over the world, house to house, town to town, country to country.

The Precept for Growth [method for carrying out the principle] is by evangelism.  "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Amen.  Math. 28:18-20  Consider: Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; 13:46-47; 28:28; Romans 10:18; Col. 1:23.

But what happened to this precept?  The early church, being populated primarily by Jews, was familiar with the use of synagogues as a place of learning and worship. Synagogues were adopted while they were in captivity and did not have the temple. Synagogues were in use in Jesus day, as well as the Apostles, where they often taught until the Pharisees prohibited Him..

As the church grew there came a problem of logistics:

1. Remember they met daily not just on the first day of the week.  How many places could the Apostles be in a given day, and no doubt they were at more than one place each day to meet the needs of instructing the converts.

2. When the number of people saved was greater than what the houses could hold for teaching the Apostles doctrine, they began to build churches, after the pattern of the synagogues. This seemed to solve the problem of logistics, however it was a product of human secular reasoning not the will of God. God’s will was still for them to scatter and multiply by house to house evangelism. Judgement: They were forced to scattered by persecution. As persecution increased the local church body met secretly, in their homes, only allowing those known to have received Christ to be present, out of fear of being identified and sent to prison or death. Over time as the persecution of the church lessened, it reverted to building buildings to bring people into it for instruction. Eventually as time went on, freedom increased they began to bring in the unsaved to be evangelized in the church and became a mixed multitude.
 

Let us examine the individual responsibilities for the growth of the church.

1. Evangelism was the primary responsibility of all converts as Ambassadors for Christ. "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."  2 Cor. 5:18-20  

Consider: Luke 24:47; John 17:20-21; 2 Cor. 31-6

2. The primary responsibility of the under-shepherd is to feed, and care for the flock of God. "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."  John 21:15-17 

Consider: John 17:17-18; Acts 20:26-31; 2 Tim.3:16_17, 4:1-5

As the church family is to grow by the sheep multiplying, and duplicating themselves through personal evangelism and discipleship.  Likewise the under-shepherd duplicates himself also through evangelism and discipleship.  "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."  2 Tim. 2:2

Paul told Timothy to train up others to succeed him in the ministry of the gospel, as Jesus did His Disciples and the Apostle Paul. They were also to ordain them to the ministry. Consider: 1 Tim. 4:14; Luke 12:42; Col. 1:7

Remember the ultimate pattern for church growth and leadership is in copying the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, our Great Shepherd. His under-shepherds are to remember the sheep are the heritage of the Lord, not themselves, and they are responsible to Him for their care and well being. Read "Seeing The Shepherd and Bishop of our Souls" by this author.

Here is a list of some of the Churches during the days of the Apostles that grew that way, and turned the world upside down.
• Antioch. Acts 13:1
• Asia. 1 Cor. 16:19; Rev. 1:4
• Babylon. 1 Peter 5:13
• Cenchrea. Romans 16:1
• Caesarea. Acts 18:22
• Cilicia. Acts 15:41
• Corinth. 1 Cor. 1:2
• Ephesus. Ephes. 1:22; Rev. 2:1
• Galatia. Galatians 1:2
• Galilee. Acts 9:31
• Jerusalem. Acts 15:4
• Joppa. Acts 9:42
• Judea. Acts 9:31
• Laodicea. Rev. 3:14
• Pergamos. Rev. 2:12
• Philadelphia. Rev. 3:7
• Samaria. Acts 9:31
• Sardis. Rev. 3:1
• Smyrna. Rev. 2:8
• Syria. Acts 15:41
• Thessalonica. 1 Thes. 1:1
• Thyatira. Rev. 2:18

Something to Think about:  The church was turning the world upside down when the people's lives revolved around the church, but now the church revolves around the lives of the people, their social system and desires, having little or no effect on the world

Even more sadly SOME CHURCHES revolve around "preachers and under-shepherds" and not Christ.

 Refer to "See The Shepherd and Bishop of Our Souls"

Would it be wise to return to the Lord's pattern for the church, and His priorities? 



Self test: on God's Pattern for the Growth of His Church Family

These questions are more than an academic quiz, they help you think through the facts you have learned, so that you can form convictions as to the will of God for your life. Remember meditation on God’s Word is the key to gaining wisdom, and only when it is applied in your life are you assured of being in the will of God and the place of His blessing

Things to Consider:

What is a church?
Q1. What is the pattern God has given for the enlargement of His family?
Q2. What is the precept for carrying out that pattern?
Q3. Who are accountable for carrying out that pattern?
Q4. What has been the result of not carrying out that pattern?
Q5. What are the likely consequences of failing to return to God’s pattern for enlarging his family?

You are now ready to study unit 16 Biblical Soul Winning and Evangelism.

May your decisions bring you the promise Romans 8:28  “ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”   
  Your friend in Christ Warren T. Smith

 Go to Family of God Bible Outlines            Go to The Shepherd & Bishop of Our Souls

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