How Did the Early Church Differ From The Church Today?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

How is the church of today different from the church during the apostle’s day?  What are the major differences?  What is missing from the church today that was present during the church’s beginning?

The Birth of the Church

The church was actually born on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon believers.  This is recorded in Acts 2:1-6

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting and divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.”

What an amazing testimony to the power of God.  Since those who were witnesses to this event, where each heard these things in their own language, God was saying that the message of salvation was not only for the Jew but for the whole world…for all languages and all nations.  Contrary to what many Christians believe, God has never fully excluded the Gentiles who would chose to join themselves to Israel.  Rahab the prostitute was no exception (Joshua chapters 2, 6).  The Gentiles could be joined with Israel if they would obey His laws.  We see this throughout the Old Testament.  Jonah is a great example of God’s desire that no one perish and hundreds of thousands in Nineveh repented and were spared the judgment of God (2 Pet 3:9).

House Churches

In the New Testament, the Christians had to meet in homes and often did as Acts 2:46-47 says,

“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” 

One difference about the early church was that they met daily, in most circumstances, and they also ate together.  Nothing can make a church draw closer together than having meals together.  This was the custom of the early church…perhaps the first church pot luck ever!  Today churches meet in larger facilities and infrequently eat together except on special occasions.

As in the churches today there were divisions in the early church as we see Paul addressing this problem in his letter to the church at Corinth, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them” (Rom 16:17). So the early churches were not that different from churches of today in that there were divisions and man-made doctrinal obstacles placed before believers, such as requirements to be saved (works) or to be a member of a local church (like “proper” baptism”).

Early Church vs. Todays Church

The early church was much more evangelistic than the church is today, with exceptions of course. The early church did not tolerate open and unrepentant sinning as some churches do today.

The Early Evangelistic Church

The church in the first century chose the leadership similar to the way they do it today and the organizational structure of pastors, deacons, and elders was almost identical to what churches consist of today (Acts 14:23, 20:17-35, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9).  One of the major differences between the church of today and the beginning of the church was that the early church was much more evangelistic (Rom 15:19, 1 Thessalonians 1:7-8, Acts 13:1-26:32) as Paul testified in Romans 1:8 writing, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.”  Maybe evangelism was taken more seriously because the Great Commission given by Jesus was still fresh in the minds of the apostles as Jesus commanded, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8) but it may be been due to the severe persecution that spread out the gospel message to different parts of the Roman Empire (Acts 8:1, 4-40, 11:19-26).

Baptism and Ordinances of the Early Church

The importance of baptism was stressed for believers and is what is called today “the believer’s baptism.”  There were also the sacraments like communion that were held on a regular basis.  This has not changed much in the church of today although today many churches have communion every week, some once a month, while others have it about once every quarter (every 3 months).  Both churches also had similar authoritative structures where members could be disfellowshiped for a time until repentance came about by the sinning member.  The Corinthian church is a great example of church discipline. See how Paul handled this in 1 Corinthians 5:1-7

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.  And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing.  When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened.”

An openly sinning and unrepentant believer was put out of the congregation until such a time that they repented.  Why?  Paul explains that believers are  “not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one…Purge the evil person from among you” Paul commanded (1 Cor 5:11-13). Sin spreads like leaven and so these must be put out of the church for their own sake and for the sake of the purity of the church (1 Cor 5:6).

Conclusion

The early church was much more evangelistic than the church is today, with exceptions of course.  The early church did not tolerate open and unrepentant sinning as some churches do today.  Many churches today accept unrepentant homosexuals and even ordained, openly homosexual pastors and members.  This would have been inconceivable in the early church.  The early church also met and broke bread (ate) together more frequently than the churches today.  It seems that many churches have lost that “first love” that the early church had and like new Christians have today.  Sadly, that first love, that zeal for God, and that evangelistic fever has faded somewhat today, but it is still not too late for revival in the world.  Revival must begin with the Christian and inside the walls of the church.  Revival will never spread outwardly unless it begins inwardly.  Those are the major differences between the early church and the church of today.

Related Reading: What Does The Bible Say About Church Membership and Attendance?

Resources: New International Version Bible (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

DocReits December 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Great article, as usual Pastor Jack,

I have finally made the break, after years, with my local home church and am seeking a church, like you have suggested in this article, might be the exception in our Western hemisphere today.

I have had discussions with my pastor over the last 6 months but realize his theme for the church and mine differ too dramatically to stay. I do not think it is biblical to air our differences before the local body because it can only lead to division, which is wrong, so I am quietly leaving.

My main concern, which I believe I mentioned to you before, is that the church in America, as you so well pointed out, does not preach Holiness. One of the reasons is because, unfortunately, most Christians, in my acquaintance anyway, marginalize those of us trying to live Holy lives, by saying we are either:

1) Trying to live a “works based salvation” by attempting to live Holy lives

2) Are “lording” it over those Christians who are struggling and not living Holy lives.

3) Should get a “reality check” and realize Christian or not, we will never be able to be Holy as God is Holy.

(Even though the Word commands this. I love Eugene Peterson’s Message here, 1 Pet 1:13-16, “So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”)…

I absolutely Love it!! What an encouragement, to “roll up our sleeves”. Forget the easy “believism” where we somehow are told to sit back and, by osmosis, soak in the Holy Spirit and stop any attempt at Holiness. We are Both at work, because He lives within us. Jesus said my “Father works until now; and I work”(John 5:17) and they attempted to kill him…and they still do…but often it is the Christians who are attempting to (kill) the work of the Christian attempting to live a Holy life.

I often have wondered whether the greatest challenge to Western Christianity is from within or without. I have especially dwelt on this idea this entire past year. I have come to the belief that the greatest threat to the Church today is coming from within the church. I intentionally used capital and lower cased “C’s” in the previous sentence. The tares are attempting to choke the wheat. The external world has always been opposed to the Church(true believers). Nothing new there. We expect it to be so..they are unsaved and acting in the manner we would expect.

The danger lies in those inside the church(physical, institutional christianity). They are in positions of power guiding policy, changing laws to allow in more and more cases homosexual Pastors, gay marriage, abortion services, etc). I have had lengthy discussions with local Lutheran ministers who stated, You are a blasphemer”, for challenging the church’s stance in allowing gay leadership. The days of evil being called good and vice verse are upon us(Isa 5:20). I will not be silenced over Scriptural truth(your “dogma” post Pastor Jack) while I have breath.

Anyway, my old Pastor didn’t want to call the people to holiness, and winked at his day’s of sin,(joking and laughing over his previous drug use days, etc). He didn’t want to offend sinners by suggesting they repent. It was the “soft Gospel” of relationship Jesus. They recently had to fire a married staffer because he got a congregant pregnant. I realize that can happen to any church(we are all human and can fall) but I just wonder about whether things would have been different had their been a repeated(very important word) call to Holiness and Repentance and a Turning toward Christ on a daily basis.

Only the Holy Spirit makes this possible. It is a symbiotic relationship though. We must make the attempt. Daily Bible reading, daily prayer and a daily taking up our Cross and following, following, following. I want a church that preaches that. I hear they are out there. Please pray that I might find one. In the meantime, I go to church every time I read the posts here. Keep them coming Pastor Jack. You are making a difference in my life.

DocReits

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Jack Wellman December 30, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Thank you so much my good friend. We once had a visitor who was not happy with the other churches he went to so he came to ours but he was angry that I kept calling us sinners because he didn’t believe that he was a sinner. It really bothered him that I pray for God to forgive us of our sins and that we need daily cleansing and daily repentance so as to keep our fellowship with the Father going and so he finally said that he can’t go to a church that still calls the saints sinners and he says that he isn’t a sinner. I could only sadly say then, “If you are not a sinner then Christ did not die for you because He came to die for sinners. If you don’t believe you are a sinner then why aren’t you already in heaven? And if you want to find a church that doesn’t believe we still need daily forgiveness and repentance, they you need to find another place to worship but it won’t be worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth as Jesus said that the father seeks such as these. I didn’t want him to leave but the church is not a place for perfect, sinless people because they don’t exist. It is a hospital for sick sinners who are going thru sanctification daily and that this striving for holiness is an ongoing work in progress…not saved by works but striving to live holy lives.

I so wish you lived near Wichita, Kansas for we would welcome a biblically sound man of God like you in our church. I pray you find a Bible-believing, Christ-glorifying, cross-centered, church that preaches repentance, forgiveness, and trusting in Christ and devoted to renewing our mind daily. They are out there. In fact, if we don’t preach repentance, confession, our wickedness of heart, our headed to hell without pleading for God’s forgiveness and to trust in Christ, then we are not preaching the gospel for even Jesus said to repent or we will all likewise perish. I know that they are out there. That is my prayer that you find one. In fact, the more I have learned about God the more I see just how holy He is and just how unholy I am!

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Darren January 1, 2014 at 11:28 pm

DocReits
Keep going strong. Our good works are a result of our faith. I am with you on that. Sometimes they almost make you feel guilty for faithfully doing the lords work. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil”
Grace
Darren

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DocReits January 7, 2014 at 2:04 am

Thanks Darren,

So many, when asked, “Are you a good person”, will automatically say, “Yes!!” without realizing that none of us are good, although we can “do” good works(feed the poor, visit the orphans and widows, etc).

This idea that we are good is the basis of “All” sin, IMO. It is a heart issue and can only be remedied by Christ. That undertaking is through the Holy Spirit guided by the preaching of the Law, in order to awaken the conscience(heart) to understand our depravity and turn from our dead works and believe in Jesus for salvation(Ps 19:7).

I am presently reading through Jeremiah and chapter 17 is so great. Here is what it says about this matter.

The “good” man’s plight:

“Thus says the Lord:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.”(Jer 17:5,6)

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.”(Jer: 17:9,10)

and the remedy:

““Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”(Jer 17:7,8)

God says it so well. I love it. My prayer is that we all might trust Him and not ourselves. He is our only hope.

Blessings Darren,

DocReits

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Jack H January 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Pastor Jack! This is important! You know the vertical banner ad at the top? It advertised meditation! THE SECULAR KIND!!! O_O You may have to report this to whoever leads this site. This site could become a stumbling block thanks to this oversight. The ad is displayed by AdChoices, just so you know. Bye-bye! 😀

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Jack Wellman January 1, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Thank you Jack. We do not control, unfortunately, the banner ads but there is a way to click on the upper right hand corner of the ad where there is an “X” and it mutes this and this sends the advertisers a message that these types of ads are not acceptable and it is reported to, I believe, AdChoices so they do get the message. Unfortunately, about 95% of all ads on web today (possibly more) are all secular and we have no control over that but I do appreciate your telling us that so that we can mute it too. Thanks brother for telling us.

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Darren January 1, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Jack
Great article. A question I have been having for a while is why did the practice of worshiping in temples stop happening in the early church?
God Bless
Darren

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Jack Wellman January 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Thank you Doc. The only reason that I can come up with was that the Temple was empty on Sunday since that is when they met and also, the church grew so rapidly that no house church could hold them because as we read in Acts 2:41 it said that “Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day–about 3,000 in all.” The Temple could hold such numbers. That is all I can say without having Scriptural support but it would seem to make sense Doc. Thank you sir.

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Mr A Cotton January 4, 2014 at 10:42 am

I did not see any vertical banner`s at the top. I clicked on the polo shirt one which took me to Google,but then I just put it back the way it was.
Any way I think the danger of any church comes from within especially with the people at the top to change Rules,Dogma,and make Traditions.
You should be able to trust the leaders 100% but you can`t. What they say goes or you are out.
Jesus proved that 100% in His ministry on Earth when nobody could give an answer to what he taught.
He accepted everyone that listened but for those that did not listen He told them where they would go.
He gave the leader`s of churches today to do what He said but unfortunately they are not doing it.
When He used the words It`s good to be in the company of men. I have experienced this and I know what he meant.
It`s a bit like being a member of a gang but nobody upsets anybody in the gang and you all get a long fine with simple rules that Jesus said.
That to me is what is causing splits inside a church.
Jesus made it simple but it was a very hard act to follow by todays standards,and of cause with a little bit help from Satan it`s very hard.
This upsets me when one church says we are the true church and the other`s are leading you astray.
The word Christian sums it up in his name.

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Jack Wellman January 4, 2014 at 5:41 pm

I agree Anthony. I believe the greatest danger to the church, just like ancient Rome and present day America, the greatest threat comes from within. I agree that division within the church hurts and that you can’t trust anyone 100% but we have no alternative to the church today and Jesus said that He would build the church, He is the church’s Head, and the gates of death (Hades) would not stop it so we must understand that the church is never going to be perfect because it is managed by human beings. I would hope that you could trust at least some of the church leaders because I am in that same company and I would hate to think that I am included among those who don’t trust church leaders. I am not perfect but I do admit when I make mistakes though. Satan does help, yes, but ultimately, Christian’s cause division because of pride and that some churches have split over the color of the carpet. It is imperfect for sure. Benjamin Franklin once said that “Democracy is a terrible form of government but its the best that we have.”

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Darren January 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I have been doing some reading on the early Christian church. I read some of the creeds the early church put out explaining their belief and stance on the nature of God and His relationship to Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. In the apostles creed they make it seem like God and Jesus are not in any form of a Trinity with each other and the Holy Ghost. Then later in the First and second Nicene creeds there relationship evolves into the Trinity and all three being one in nature. Then in the Chalcedon creed it goes into Jesus’ duel nature and the trinity as being of one substance. I see clear evidences in the Bible of the apostles creed but then the creeds following seem to be adding doctrines that do not exist in the Bible at all. My question is did the early Christian church see God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost and being separate or the same as described in the Trinity.

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Jack Wellman January 12, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Thanks Darren for the question of ” did the early Christian church see God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost and being separate or the same as described in the Trinity.? The answer to both is yes. To try and explain how this is possible that they can both be One in essensce and One God and yet Three in Persons, would take a greater theologian than I. The Trinity is about as hard to explain that God has existed for all eternity and has no beginning. The early church understood that God is One God yet the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. All God. Can’t tell you how it works. I heard one pastor say its like a pretzel. Three holes, one pretzel. Not sure if that works or not.

The New Testament doctrine of the Trinity is evident in such a verse as John 15:26, where the Lord Jesus said:

“But when the Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from the Father, He shall testify of me.”

Then there is the baptismal formula:

“baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

The word “trinity” is derived from the Greek word trias, first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Latin trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine.

The propositions involved in the doctrine are these:

1.That God is one, and that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Isa. 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; John 10:30).

2.That the Father is a distinct divine Person (hypostasis, subsistentia, persona, suppositum intellectuale), distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit.

3.That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet was a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. (John 20:30-31)

4. That the Holy Spirit is also a distinct divine Person. Notice the use of the words “us” and “our” when the Son of God (“The Word”) created Man (Gen. 1:26).

Although equal in divinity, the Father is in a position of authority or hierarchy over Jesus Christ, incarnate Son of God (John 14:28, 13:16; 1 Cor. 11:3; Phil. 2:6-8).

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Darren January 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm

There are scriptures that both sides use in the support of their belief in the nature of God. Wasn’t that the purpose of ecumenical councils? To unify the doctrine of the church. I don’t know if you have read through the Creeds or not but what is your opinion on the evolution of thought that occurred from the first to the latter of the creeds?

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Jack Wellman January 12, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Darren, I do not want to focus on the creeds so much but on the Word of God because although the creeds are important, the many councils creedal statements and revisions can never, ever compare with say Romans 10:9-13, Acts 16:30-31, 1 Cor 5:21, 1 John 1:9, John 3:17-18 and many more because these are what I want to pay attention to more than any man-created creeds. I have read the creeds because they are historic in nature but I know that true unity is in Christ and not in any creeds and the Holy Spirit makes us one with Christ. Does that make sense Darren?

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Darren January 12, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Thanks for the response Mr Wellman. I don’t mean to bother you. I am sure you are a very busy man. I have a hard time interpreting many of those scriptures as them being one in substance. You said that the holy spirit makes us one with Christ. That’s how I see those scriptures. Our substance is not one with Christ but hopefully our desires are. Is that not what is meant? I believe we should base our knowledge from the Bible as well and not use the man made creeds. However words and like the trinity, and doctrines that say they are of one substance and Jesus’ duel nature are not found anywhere in the Bible, yet we hold them to be true. Many churches profess the creeds to be divinely inspired and infallible like the Bible. I defiantly don’t see them that way. Did historic Judaism teach a doctrine similar to the Trinity?

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DocReits January 13, 2014 at 3:28 am

Hey Darren,

Wow, what do you believe? That is the question you have to ask yourself. It sounds like you have yourself tied in this huge ball of twine that is a mess, like my kids bring to me and say, “Here Dad”…;-)

As Pastor Jack has described, you must search the Scriptures and see what the body of Scripture says. The body means “All”, OT and NT, regarding who God is and then who Christ and the Holy Spirit are throughout the New and the OT. Christ is throughout the OT also.

To help with your quest, the following will hopefully help you to define and know the basic terms in describing the Father, Son, and HS. This will insure we are all talking about the same thing. Once we are on the same page regarding terms, then ask yourself how/if you believe the Father, Son, or HS relate, regarding each definition.

“Essence:

The word “essence” may be defined as the intrinsic or indispensable properties that serve to characterize or identify something. Essence describes what it is to be God. The three persons of the Godhead share the same essence, and God’s essence is immaterial. With this understanding, the doctrine of the Trinity continues to assert monotheism, an essential and easily found belief within Scripture.

Nature:

The word “nature” may be defined as the essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing. Sometimes “nature” is synonymous with “essence.” Ontologically, each of the three members of the Trinity possess the same essential nature.

Being:

The word “being” may be defined as the state or quality of having existence. The triune God of Scripture eternally exists and has eternal being. Again, along with a monotheistic understanding, there is one and only one being, that is, God.

Person:

The word “person” may be defined as the composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality. Scripture presents separate individualities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as distinguished from the “essence” of the Godhead that unites them.”

The word “substance” is the same as “being” which means that these three Persons were all eternally existent.

If you deny these realities expressed in Scripture then you have these pieces of the twine to untangle:

“Denial of the oneness and uniqueness of God:

These result from a denial of the statement, “There is only one God.” Result:

Polytheism
Mormonism

Denial of the eternal deity of each Person:

These result from a denial of the statement, “Each Person is fully God”. Result:

Adoptionism
Arianism
Jehovah’s Witnesses

Denial of the three Personalities or Persons:

These result from a denial of the statement, “The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct, eternal Persons”. Result:

Modalism
The Local Church(or ” Living Stream Ministry”)

Denial of the two, distinct, unmingled natures of Christ. Result:

Nestorianism
Eutychianism

Implications:

“To illustrate the significance of the Trinity of our faith, consider just briefly the relation of the doctrine of the Trinity to the Christian understanding of salvation. In order for us sinners to be saved, one must see God at one and the same time as the one judging our sin (the Father), the one making payment of infinite value for our sin (the divine Son), and the one empowering and directing the incarnate—human—Son so that he lives and obeys the Father, going to the cross as a substitute for us (the Holy Spirit).

The Christian God, to be savior, must then be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That is, our salvation comes as the Father judges our sin in his Son, who became incarnate and lived his life in the power of the Spirit as the perfect and sinless God-man, and accomplished his perfect obedience to the Father through the power of the Spirit. Disregard the Trinity and you necessarily undermine salvation.” Source: Theopedia with my additions and editing.

So Darren, your argument is really NOT with any creeds or councils but with Scripture. Btw, the Shema is the only “creed”(which is simply the Scripture) that the Jews have:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord” (Deut 6:4). Do a word study on the word “Elohim” in the OT. Why do you think this Hebrew Proper noun for God is plural?

Blessings,

DocReits

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Jack Wellman January 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

Darren, why not instead of debating or wrangling over things don’t you strive to know God better and I see you want to convince us otherwise and you will not be able to nor can we you so here is what the Bible says about such matters:

2 Timothy 2:23-24 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,

“For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.” Isaiah 47:10

Jesus himself did not argue (strive, i.e: Greek “erizo”, meaning to wrangle, engage in strife). “He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.” Matthew 12:19. So neither should we.

“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive (Greek “agonizomai”, meaning to labor fervently or to struggle with difficulties) to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:23-24

By the way, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:25. and a final word to you:

Matt 7:21-23…very sobering words from Jesus. Make sure you have the right Jesus!

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Henry June 28, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Hi Jack

I know that the topic of God is very sensitive, but allow me to share a few thoughts…so that you can help me where I stumble…

The word Elohim means… powers / authority / magistrates…. Right?
Yeshua was given all authority in heaven and earth and He is our King / ruler / authority… right from the start / creation. Joh1 / Isa 9:6

In the Old Testament He revealed Himself as YHWH to Moses / Israel. Exo 3:14 6:3/ Joh 8:58
He came to earth as our Messiah and High Priest / mediator 1Ti 2:5 … according to the order of Melchisedec Heb 5 and He will return as the “Lion of Juda” to rule with an iron rod…Rev_2:27 / 5:5 / 12: 5 /19: 15

When all His enemies have been defeated He will hand over all the authority to His (our) Father. 1Co 15:24-28

Our Father has the greater authority… and we pray / come to Him through the Son / in the name of the Son. Joh 15:16

How I understand the meaning of the Shema… and the word one “echad” is by looking at Yeshua’s prayer:
Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

All praise and glory be to Him… and to the Lamb…Rev_21:23

Thanks for your time and teachings…
Shalom

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Jack Wellman June 28, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Thank you my friend. I do know that EL is part of God’s name and when you add SHADDIA you are literally saying God Almighty or the God of the Mountains. Mountains almost always refer to the nations in the Bible. God is not only the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob but of the entire world…of all the nations. This expresses the Omnipotence of God. When Abraham and Sarah were past natural child-bearing age, God told Him that “I AM Almighty God [EL SHADDIA]” and that “those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty [EL SHADDIA]” (Psalm 91:1). This is where EL SHADDIA is used and why the translators of the Hebrew used the word Almighty. EL SHADDIA is sovereign over all the earth, over all the nations, over all things in fact. The Almighty is mighty over all there is in the universe and in heaven which includes the angels, including Satan and the fallen angels (demons). I am still learning at His feet.

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