SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Tuesday October 29, 1996

An Organized Church
(Titus 1:5; Col. 2:5).

The apostles labored to build up the church because they knew that the church is God's visible family, called to evangelize the world. They quickly recognized that organization is not a foe of spirituality, if it is designed to maintain gospel order.  Without organization and system, the work of the church would fall into disorder, and false teachers would arise.  The apostles predicted that although this would happen, consecrated believers everywhere would continue to keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus (1 Tim. 6:3-5; Rev. 12:17).

In the first column, briefly state the circumstances that stimulated the early church to organize.  In the second column, state the results of their efforts.



Acts 1:14-26    
Acts 4:31-37    
Acts 6:1-7    

Acts 15:1-31


"The order that was maintained in the early Christian church, made it possible for them to move forward solidly, as a well-disciplined army, clad with the armor of God.  The companies of believers, though scattered over a large territory, were all members of one body; all moved in concert, and in harmony with one another.  When dissension arose in a local church ... and the believers were unable to come to an agreement among themselves, such matters were not permitted to create a division in the church, but were referred to a general council of the entire body of believers, made up of appointed delegates from the various local churches, with the apostles and elders in positions of leading responsibility."--The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 95, 96.

What circumstances in your local church or the church at large might be solved in the same manner?  If the early church had, not, valued organization, how would the progress of the gospel have been affected?