THE PRESSING NEED:
"And when they
were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles
and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them."
Thus began the first great convocation of the ministers of
the Gospel, representing their various churches, at Jerusalem, the first church,
in the days of the New Testament.
This first meeting was peculiar in many respects from the
many which have followed afterwards. We no longer have "a first mother church"
here on earth, nor do Apostles any longer walk among us, and the question which
perplexed them concerning circumcision has long since been settled.
However, in other vital respects, Christians of all ages
have seen in that primitive gathering an example and model for ministers and
churches of all times. Also, a vital New Testament principle seems to be laid
down by it, i.e., that, by the instinct of our spiritual life, we naturally feel
that there are important matters which we must deal with, not merely as
individual ministers and churches, but co-operatively together!
There are times when the mind of the Spirit for God's work
will be made known in a general gathering of the churches and their ministers,
according to the biblical formula found in this passage, "For it seemed good to
the Holy Ghost, and to us, ..." (Acts 15:28a).
It is this principle that has guided the formation and
ongoing work of The Sovereign Grace Baptist Fellowship.
We are attempting to do together that which is difficult,
and sometimes impossible, for us to do as individual ministers and churches.
We feel that this is most often the case in the areas of
Missions, home and foreign, the Education of young men for the ministry, and the
Publications of books, periodicals and other sound Gospel literature.
Brother Matthew Mantl, Part of the next generation of maturing believers,
prepares to hear the Word of God Preached
We do not wish to depreciate or minimize what God has done
and may yet do through individual ministries, but only to emphasize what we see
as the Biblical example of the cooperation of ministers and churches in certain
areas of the Gospel.