Hello… and thanks for coming by. I am Rick. I live in Suffolk, East England, UK. The New Testament Pattern website is my personal website consisting of various Bible Studies, Book Reviews & Articles. Most of the material, in all three sections, is my own but there are also a few contributions from other people and some items featuring other people’s work (all indicated in each instance).
[Photo: Suffolk Wheat Field]*
*[ Photo courtesy of my very special friend Dave. I hope that is a clear enough credit for you Dave! 🙂 ]
I’ll spare you the details of my ‘former life’ prior to encountering Jesus Christ, which happened in 1986 (age 20). Suffice to say that I was not brought up ‘in church’ and my lifestyle up to that point left me in no doubt as to my status as a ‘sinner’. One day I was hanging out with my mates – all idling away our time as none of us ever had any intention of getting a job – and along came a young man who knew one of my friends from his school days. He began to tell my friend about how he had “met with Jesus” and my friend was happily relishing the opportunity to gainsay his experience. This would have been my own normal response but instead, on this occasion, I just listened. When my turn came I asked the classic questions, “What about the starving millions?” and I can’t remember what else I asked. I don’t recall that his answers impressed me or that he personally had impressed me in any special way but…
For the next two weeks, everywhere I went and during everything I did I couldn’t shake from my mind the thoughts that: God is real, Jesus is real, heaven is real and hell is real! I knew where I was heading and I was in no doubt that this was ‘real’!
I’m going to fast forward at this point as this page is not so much about my personal testimony of conversion but about the material on this website. Suffice to say, and using terminology that I did not know at that time, I was ‘under conviction’ – of Sin and my need of The Saviour. Jesus sought me and brought me into his fold. And when He begins His work in us He continues to lead us on.
So, why another website?
In broad terms I just want this website to be a means of mutual encouragement and stimulation to other Christians, anywhere in the world and at any stage of your walk with God. If you find something here to encourage, enlighten, or even correct you in your walk with The Lord then it’s all worth it. But it’s mutual because researching and writing all of the material is a blessing to me and, maybe, you might want to reply to some article (the ‘comments’ are reset from to time) or say “Hi” (via the contact form) and I’ll get to enjoy your communication.
In slightly more specific terms the website was initially created in order to publish one particular study: ‘His Church’ – Bible Study on Biblical Church. It is a study of the New Testament Pattern for the Church(es) – in other words, a look at how church was ‘done’ in Scripture. I believe that God wants us to be ‘real’ as Christians individually and I believe that He wants us to be ‘real’ in our worship of Him. We should be as ‘New Wine’ and this, according to the master wine-maker’s instructions, should be stored in ‘New Wineskins’ (read the study for the details!).
So, there was an original purpose for creating this website but since then I have added many other things. If I had to try to summarise my goal for this website in a single verse of Scripture it might be this:
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit (heart) and truth (reality); for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”
[John 4:23 – words in parenthesis added]
When a well-meaning woman asked Jesus about religious matters he cut to the chase and declared the ‘real’ heart of God. The Father did not send the Son in order to correct religious practices or to instigate a new ‘religion’ but He is seeking a people whose hearts are filled with the ‘reality’ of God’s life. So, whilst this website contains ‘studies’ and a certain amount of ‘information’ the underlying aim is always to bring ‘reality’ in our walk with Jesus.
I hope you will find some benefit – do let me know
The domain name – NewTestamentPattern.NET – has no direct connection or affiliation with any organisation or other similar sounding website.