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.
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.