Why do Christians fail? Why is it there are no perfect Christians? Why did some of God's most dedicated men falter, and sometimes horribly? After the flood experience, Noah got drunk; after being the friend of God, Abraham lied more than once; David committed adultery and murder after close communion with His Lord; Peter, after great experiences with Christ, denied Him, not once or twice, but three times! Paul was drawn back into the shackles of Judaism after rebuking Peter for the same offense.
Right Division Blogs
The Wife, the Bride and the Body (συσσωμα)
Salvation is by grace but where do we realize our salvation, with what company and in what part of the Christ's realm? God's kingdom is vast and we can expect that God would have many companies of people to rule and take part in His administration. It is easy to locate the wife (Israel), the bride (overcomers) and the joint body (the church of which Christ is head). The last group and its hope is expounded in the special prison ministry of PAul.
MID-ACTS and THEISTIC EVOLUTION
The mid-acts position starts the church (of whom Christ is head) in the book of Acts. This has many consequences, including the playing of doctrinal catch up on many manifestly clear observations about the church that all with open eyes can see. For example the church today has no signed gifts, we do not observe them despite many claims by some for their presence. Yet if the mid-acts position is true then the church should have them -- in fact the body of Christ as taught by Paul in 1 Cor.12-14 is composed of members with these gifts and whose distinctiveness depends on their presence.
I believe BUT ...
There are many believers in the Lord who have responded to His call as found in the gospel concerning His atoning sacrifice. You will notice that this gospel is firmly rooted in the OT scriptures and has been eloquently expressed by Paul in 1 Cor 15 which is repeated below:
Evidence of the pentecostal age that is PAST!
The context of the Acts period is very much seen in the institution and maintenance of the Lord's supper as revealed by Paul in 1 Corinthians. Mid-Acts believers beware, taking Israel's spiritual food could be dangerous! For more detail on the Lord's supper and mid acts see the topic on the Lord's supper.
Should we water baptize today and is the mid-Acts position logically right?
The answers are No and No.
Though a conclusion is affirmed correct this does not mean that the logical process used to attain the result is correct. It is not simply good enough to have a correct conclusion we must have correct argumentation. A mid-acts view of the scriptures will lead to some incorrect conclusions and ultimately to faith that is shipwrecked. Lets look at the subject of baptism and statements Paul has made in 1 Corinthians.
The logic goes something like this:
The roots of the Lord's supper.
A concordance of the expression "this is my body" gives the following results:
The Olive Tree - are we graft in? This question seems to have an obvious answer. "Of course we are graft into the olive tree because that is what Romans 11:17 says!" Lets read it together:
17 (AV) And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
17 (TR) ει δε τινες των κλαδων εξεκλασθησαν συ δε αγριελαιος ων ενεκεντρισθης εν αυτοις και συγκοινωνος της ριζης και της πιοτητος της ελαιας εγενου
Before answering this we will back up a little and discover important and interesting contextual information about the book we are reading from. The epistle of Paul to the Romans is a book of huge consequence because it lays down some very clear truths concerning justification by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is undeniable and is affirmed by the present author. But what is also true and must also be equally affirmed is that the book is written in an age when Jew was first Rom. 1:16
Some who defend the mid-Acts position say that "because Christ is the head of the church present in the book of Acts and is also the head of the church that is mentioned by Paul from prison that we cannot assume any fundamental difference between these two companies" -- I am quoting because I don't believe their assumptions are correct nor do I believe their conclusions are correct.
When I began my christian life at the age of 21 in a small Baptist chuch in rural New Zealand I knew little of the bible and even less of its doctrine. I knew that I was saved by grace and that was a huge step from darkness to light, while not a library of knowledge it at least found me secure in the beloved.