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Plain Truths of Perpetual Value: - 1

Some Unique facts about the Church

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

Introduction: -

       Strange and unfortunate that so many Christians fail to understand the plain teachings of the word of God. In this series we shall try to see what the Bible says about some important themes, without much explanation. Readers are encouraged to study these points with the help of the scripture references given here. Remember, these subjects would affect a Christian’s life today and even forever.

We begin with the Church as it is the most common topic people stumble at!

1. Church is not just a building made up of cement and brick but people saved and separated by the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 2:42, 47.

2. Church of Christ never existed in the Old Testament. Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:26. Ephesians 3:1--5
              (Note: - By the term ‘Church of Christ’ I don’t refer to any ‘denomination’ or any particular group who claim to be the only, authorized, original and true ‘church’. Be careful with those who condemn every one in this planet earth except him and his group, claiming to be the original.)

3. Church belongs to Christ: He has purchased it by His own precious blood. Acts. 20:28; Tit.2: 14 (No man owns it!)

4. Church was inaugurated on the day of Pentecost (Jewish festival on the 50th day), accompanied by the miraculous and spectacular activities of the Holy Spirit. Acts. Chapter 2. (Opening ceremony doesn’t repeat!)

5. No one can add an individual to the church. It was the Lord who added the saved one to the church. Acts 2:47

6. Basic functions of the Church are found in Acts chapter 2:-
             a. Baptize the saved new believers. V. 42
             b. Study & Teach the doctrine of Apostles. V. 42
             c. Extend & enjoy fellowship one with another. V. 42, 44
             d. Break bread in remembrance of Christ’s sufferings. V. 42, 46
             e. Pray together for one another. V. 42
             f. Witness & win souls. V. 37—40, 47

7. There is nothing else other than the church that the triune God is deeply interested and actively engaged in this world.
             - God the Father planned it in eternity. Ephesians 3:1—5, 11; 1 Timothy 3:15
             - Son paid the price and bought it. Acts 20:28
             - Son loves the church and takes care of it. Ephesians 5:29
             - God appoints gifted men in the Church. 1Corinthians 12:28
             - Holy Spirit equips believers with spiritual gifts. Acts 20:28; 1 Cori12:8 etc.

8. Church of Christ must be seen it’s ‘local’ as well as ‘universal’ aspects.
             a. Universal church – Consisting every born again Christian from the day of Pentecost until the second coming of Christ - rapture. Matt. 16:18; Eph. 3:11.
                      - Invisible yet true and perfect Church. Ephesians 5:26, 27
              b. Local church – Consisting born again Christians of a particular locality gathered together by the Lord Jesus Christ for worship, study of the doctrine, fellowship and prayer etc. 1Corinthinas 1:1; Philippians 1:1.
                       -Visible but imperfect! Matthews 18: 17; 1Cori. 5:1; Revelation 2:4, 5

9. Church is the body of Christ through which He wants to accomplish His purposes in this world. Ephe 1:28; Colo 1:18
Applicable both in the universal as well as local aspects. Cf. 1 Corin 12:27. (That’s why it has been said that ‘church is not an organization but an organism’)

10. It is through the Church alone God makes known His eternal wisdom to the whole universe. Ephesians 3:11

11. Church is the facility God intended to train up and equip the saints for ministry. Ephesians 4: 11—16

12. Church is the House of God where every spiritual ministry is centered around. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:15

13. A local Church is independent. Each local church is directly governed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
           - “Church at Corinth” 1 Corinthians 1:2 - referring ton one church local church.
           - “Churches of Galatia Gala 1:2 – referring to many local churches of an area.
(Bringing many churches under one head quarter or one human authority as in a federation is foreign to the scriptures.)

14. Local Churches are interdependent. 1 Corinthians 1:2 – They did respect the other local churches as part of the body of Christ, and maintained a healthy relationship one with another with out interfering in the autonomy of each Church.

15. It is the Spirit of God who appoints gifted men to take care of the Church. Acts 20:28

16. Spirit appointed church leaders were known as:-
          a. Elders – referring to their maturity. Ac.15:6, 1Tim.5:17 Jam. 5:14 1Pet. 5:1-4
           b. Overseers – referring to their work – overseeing. 1Tim.3: 1, 2 Act.20:28,                                                        Phil.1:1, 1Tim.3:2-5, Tit.1:7.
             c. Shepherds (Pastors) - Referring to the nature of the work. 1Pet. 5:2, Ac. 20:28-31, Eph. 4:11.
All these different terms refer to the same group of men, and never just one man did all the work of a local church, for no one has all the gifts needed for the assembly. Cf. Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1—5 etc.

17. All the Church members are priests. They have no need of a specially dressed priest ministering on behalf of them before God as in the Old Testament. There is no need of a mediator today to reach God. 1Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6. Ephesians 2:17, 18; 1 Timothy 2:5.

18. Church is the bride of Christ whom He loves so much. He expects her to be holy and wait eagerly for His second coming. 2Corinthians 11:2; Eph 5: 25, 27, 29, 32. Rev 19:7—9.

19. Church members were known as:-
             a. Believers. Acts 2:44; 2 Cor 6:15; 1Tim 4:12
             b. Brethren Acts 11:1, 29; 15:1, 32, 35
             c. Disciples Act 9: 19, 26; 14:20
             d. Saints Act 9:41
             e. Christians Acts 11:26; 1Peter 4:16 etc.
                        - The most common term used was ‘brethren’!

20. New Testament local churches were identified with the name of the locality. No particular name for a local church or a group of churches found in the word of God. Acts 13:1

21. Giving harm to a local church will be costly. The Lord who owns the church does take a serious view of it. 1Corinthians 6:17; 10:32; Revelation 2:20—23.

22. The Lord Jesus Christ walks among the local churches, carefully watching the affairs of the assembly and acts accordingly. Revelation chapters 1—3.

Conclusion: - There are much more to consider on Church. Study it from God’s word settled in heaven for ever. Whom shall we believe, Man or God? God’s word is inerrant and infallible.

There is nothing else God is concerned about today but church. Let us also take Church as our priority. Gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
             - Establish new local assemblies.
             - Work for its edification and encouragement.

God will definitely bless all those who willingly yield to His purposes.
             - Are you a part of this eternal programme of God?
              - Are you a member of the Church of Christ?
              - Are you a help or a hindrance in the local assembly?



Related topics:-
     What is Church?
     ‘Church’ vs. ‘Assembly’
     The beginning of the Church


Prepared by Nelson Thomas as part of his teaching ministry. You can reproduce this article in any medium,
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