By: Aaron Cozort
In the Holiday 2009 issue of MaximumPC, they ran an article entitled “Rip Archival-Quality MP3s from Audio CDs.” In this article, they explain two different programs (LAME + Exact Audio Copy) work together to create top-quality MP3s from audio CDs. These programs will even create copies from CDs that are highly scratched. This makes it possible to take a CD that would normally be useless and enjoy it once again.
As I was contemplating the aforementioned article, I realized that Christians should be doing the same thing these programs accomplish. When you look at the New Testament, it is quite apparent that the Bible sets forth the pattern for how Christians are to live and worship. If we follow the pattern of the New Testament today, then we will create an exact copy of the first century Church. If the first century Church, as established by the Apostles, was pleasing to God in the form we find it in the New Testament, then by creating an exact copy of that form today we replicate a church that is pleasing to God.
Some people say the New Testament is not a pattern for the Church today. If that is true, then we must ask, “What should the church look like?” And, “How will we know if what we have replicated is pleasing to God?”
It is true that the New Testament contains a pattern. It is also true that the New Testament teaches that its pattern is as applicable to Christians today as it was to the Church in the first century. But even if it didn’t, there would be no better way to ensure that we are pleasing to God than to replicate what was pleasing to God in the New Testament.
What then was pleasing to God?
- It was a church with only one head, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5).
- A church that was led by qualified shepherds (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; 1 Peter 5; Acts 20).
- A church that contained qualified servants (1 Timothy 3).
- A church made up of baptized believers (Mark 16; Matthew 28; Acts 2; 1 Peter 3).
- A church that worshiped in spirit and in truth (John 4; 1 Corinthians 11; Acts 20; 1 Corinthians 16; Ephesians 5; Hebrews 13).
- A church that loved others as themselves (1 John 4).
- A church that accomplished its mission (Acts 2-5).
- A church made up of sanctified people who are seeking to purify their lives (Jude 1; 1 Peter 1; Revelation 22).
The question each of us has to ask is, “does the church that I attend meet this description?”
Image: By Ubern00b (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons