Lecture 1 – Cultivation of Interchurch Communion

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V. Directives for the Cultivation of Interchurch Communion

Introduction

  • What I do not mean.
    Not addressing the issue of “open or closed” or even “semi-closed or restricted”
    practice in connection with the Lord’s supper.
  • What I do mean.
    The fundamental issue I will seek to address is that which relates to how the specific
    local church in which you are an overseer should relate to other gospel churches
    that comprise the church universal.
  • The areas of frustration in seeking to address this matter in a biblical and realistic
    way

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A. The foundational Biblical presuppositions of our study 

1. We must have a conviction concerning the existence of the one body of Christ,
the Church Universal

Eph. 1:22-23; 5:22-33

Col. 1:18-19

Eph. 4:4

1 Cor. 12:13

Heb. 12:23

Jn. 17:20-21

Acts 9:31

John Murray, The Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 2,
(Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1977), pp. 332-333.

John Murray, The Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 2,
(Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1977), pp. 334-335.

John Owen, The Works of John Owen, vol. 16, (London: Banner
of Truth Trust, 1968), p. 192.

 

2.  We must have a conviction concerning the independence and interdependence
of each local expression of the body of Christ.

1 Cor. 12:27

Mt. 18:15-20

Acts 9:31; 16:4-5

Rom. 16:4,16

1 Cor. 7:17; 11:16; 14:33b

Rev. 1:4

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B. Some important introductory qualifications in handling the relevant materials of the New Testament 

1. The apostles had a unique authority and function in nurturing interchurch
communion in their day.

Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22-23

1 Tim. 1:3

 Titus 1:5

1 Cor. 7:17

2 Cor. 11:28

1 Cor. 1:10

Eph. 2:20

John Owen, The Works of John Owen, vol. 16, (Edinburgh:
Banner of Truth Trust, 1968), pp. 184-185.

.

2. Nearly 2000 years of church history have greatly complicated the problems
connected with nurturing interchurch communion in our day.

1 Cor. 1:11-13

Gal. 1:8-9

3 Jn. 9-10

3. The vast expansion of the church numerically, geographically and culturally
has complicated the task of nurturing interchurch communion in our day.

4. The advances in technology have greatly increased our available tools for
nurturing and hindering interchurch communion in our day.

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