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Posts tagged ‘church history’

Partakers Prayers 27 November 2021 – Morning Prayer



Partakers Prayers

Morning Prayer


We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations – that reveals Church unity! Today we pray a Morning Prayer from the Syrian Clementine Liturgy. This Liturgy, which dates from the 4th century, was celebrated in Syria and throughout the Church of Antioch. It is the oldest model known in Antioch, and is a liturgy is related to the Apostle James. Come pray! Come! Let us pray together!


A Morning Prayer from the 4th Century Syrian Clementine Liturgy

O God, You are the unsearchable abyss of peace,
the ineffable sea of love,
the fountain of blessings,
and the bestower of affection.

O God,
You who sends peace to those that receive it;
open to us this day the sea of Your love,
and water us with the plenteous streams
from the riches of Your grace.

Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.
Kindle in us the fire of Your love;
sow in us Your fear;
strengthen our weakness by Your power!

Bind us closely to You
and to each other
in one firm bond of unity;
for the sake of Jesus Christ.

and in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

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Partakers Prayers 10 October 2021


Partakers Prayers

10 October 2021

G’day! Welcome to Partakers! In this podcast we pray together some prayers of one of the Church Fathers, John Chrysostom. Come and pray!

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Partakers Bible Thought 31 May 2021 – Forward in Unity

Partakers Bible Thought

31 May 2021

Forward in Unity

In our previous podcast, we saw together a new problem arising for the early Church and looking at how it was dealt with. Today, we see together James, delivering the final blow to that problem, with a direct appeal to what God had already said on the matter! What was is that God had spoken concerning it? Download and listen to the podcast to find out!

12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up.
‘Brothers,’ he said, ‘listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
16 ‘“After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,
17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things” – 18 things known from long ago.

19 ‘It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.’
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:
The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorisation and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul – 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord. (Acts 15:12-35)


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Partakers Bible Thought 30 May 2021 – A New Problem Arises

Partakers Bible Thought

30 May 2021

A New Problem Arises

1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: ‘Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.’ 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they travelled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, ‘The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.’
6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: ‘Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles should hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.’(Acts 15:1-11)


The very early church at the time of this event, does not seem to have had any very formal authority structure. Elders don’t appear until Acts 11:30; also the ‘deacons’ of Acts 6:2 were probably not carrying out anything except the specific function of ‘waiting on tables’ or administering the available charity. In Acts 12:17 Peter sends a message to James and the other brothers and sisters, not James and the elders; in Acts 13:1-3 the whole church seem to be acting together, not the leadership.

However they organised themselves discipline was exercised, in which members who had fallen into sin and remained unrepentant were excluded from the church. The church was never individualistic: that is to say, people did not suddenly decide to ‘join’ or ‘leave’ the church, as is too often the case in modern churches. The church was a corporate entity, in which pastoral oversight and spiritual authority were exercised by the leadership or somebody. They had a leadership raised up by the Lord and set apart according to a church policy mediated by the divinely inspired guidance of the apostles. This did not mean that there was neither controversy nor the threat of disunity.

From the beginning, problems arose which needed to be resolved with pastoral, spiritual and judicial authority. It is therefore no surprise to find early on in Church history, a question arising about the nature of membership in the church and to see the matter being dealt with through the collective leadership of the church, the apostles and elders, who met together in a deliberative assembly (Acts 15:6) but who also reported back to the whole church (Acts 15:4, 22).

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Partakers Bible Thought 29 May 2021 – Paul is sent

Partakers Bible Thought

29 May 2021

Paul Is Sent

10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.(Acts 9:10-22)


From the conversion of Paul, we go to the consequences of his conversion. The first consequence was that he changed his name: changed from Saul of Tarsus to Paul of Tarsus. Paul’s conversion was seemingly a total transformation. His attitudes, character & relationships with God, fellow believers and the unbelieving world were utterly transformed. As we have seen, a changed life is the ultimate proof that conversion is real and the Holy Spirit is working.

Now that through Jesus and his cross, Paul had been put right with God, Paul, as with all believers, enjoyed direct access to the Father. The Spirit witnessed with his spirit that he was the Father’s child (Romans 8:16). The mouth that had breathed murderous threats like a roaring lion against Jesus’ followers, was now breathing prayers & praises to God like a lamb. Paul’s life was changed from self-righteousness to righteousness through Jesus. The evidence of this was a change in the way he lived his life.

Ananias went to meet Paul, after having been sent by God. Upon Ananias laying hands upon Paul and identifying with him (Acts 9:17), calling him brother, and ministering the love of Jesus to his former enemy, the Holy Spirit entered Paul (Acts 9:17), and Paul could see again (Acts 9:18).

Whenever he preached to the unbelieving Jews, they were confused. Paul however did not settle down in Damascus, and according to Galatians 1:17-18, spent 3 years in Arabia. Paul then returned to Damascus and while there, the Jewish leaders plotted to kill him. So he escaped with the help of the other believers back to the city of Jerusalem. Download or listen to the Podcast to discover more.

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