Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seven Specific Commands of Christ

George Patterson, a missionary for many years in northern Honduras with the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society, developed an obedience-oriented T.E.E. (theologic education-by-extension) program, which trained pastoral students on the job. These students then planted and pastored over 100 churches.

Those new to the faith and to the church, memorized seven of Christ's main commands, with accompanying Scripture texts. Many of these indiginous, new believers were illiterate, when they turned to Christ, so had to memorize the Scriptures, then share them with others, rather than just share by reading the texts.

The seven commands of Christ, with the Bible texts, are these:

1. Repent and believe Mark 1:15
2. Be baptized Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:38
3. Love John 13:34, Matthew 22:37-40
4. Celebrate the Lord's Supper Luke 22:17-20
5. Pray John 16:34, Matthew 6:5-15
6. Give Matthew 16:19-21, Luke 6:38
7. Witness Matthew 28:18-20

Patterson also distinguishes three levels of authority, of which we also would be wise to differentiate and prioritize:

1. God's command's (have all the authority of heaven)
2. Apostolic practices (not commanded, but have the authority of example)
3. Human customs (a congregation is united in agreement on a paricular tradition)

Most church divisions develope, sadly, because 2nd and 3rd level practices are treated as if they were first-order commands.

Reference:

Patterson, George, "The Spontaneous Multiplication of Churches," in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, Ralph D. Winter and Stephen C. Hawthorne, editors, Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1981, revised edition 1992

1 comment:

bfam85 said...

5. Pray John 16:34

should be

5. Pray John 16:24

God Bless