What Is A Church?

...continued from previous..

Of course, a church is a
building set aside for Christian
worship. However, let’s talk
about the makeup of the church
body. (We’ll confine our comments
to what is the local church.)

A Definition

The Webster 1913 dictionary defines a church as, “A formally organized body of Christian believers worshiping together...holding the same creed, observing the same rites, and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority...”

In Short

Therefore, using this definition, a Christian church is a formally organized body holding to a Biblically derived creed which acknowledges Jesus Christ as the head of the church. It will ascribe to the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Holy Bible.

A LOCAL CHURCH is an assembly of professed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, living for the most part in one locality, who meet together in His name for baptism, the Lord’s Supper, worship, praise, prayer, fellowship, testimony, the ministry of the Word, discipline, and the furtherance of the Gospel. Such church has Christ as it’s center and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Scriptural Support

Jesus began the new covenant Christian church as spoken to the Apostle Peter.

"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church ; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18).

The Father put the Son as head over all things involving the church.

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22,23).

We see the church first organized on the Day of Pentecost in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (Read chapters one and two). Church is mentioned by name 18 times in Acts and pictured clearly as an organized body of many people. Elders and deacons were appointed, issues were dealt with, people gathered to worship, instructions on behavior were discussed, and the church was attacked. Clearly, the “church” was not only one person worshipping or even two or three praying together. Scripture delineates between worship and a church body.

In the gospel of Matthew (chapter 18), Jesus was instructing the apostles on discipline and prayer. He tells them to present an unrepentant sinner to the church as a final step in reconciliation. Obviously, this church Jesus mentions is a formally organized body with a defined ecclesiastical purpose. It was not one or two people or an activity such as worship, prayer, or music. It is a living, organic body of people.

The church was gathered together for a specific purpose. See the blog on what we do at church
http://amazinggraceco.org/page2/files/d9f68932f76fc83ea4d55f1dfb1531fd-56.html

The balance of the New Testament is teaching addressed to individuals and to local church bodies. The New Testament closes out with the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John, beginning with Jesus dictating letters to seven churches. Once again, these were formally organized groups of people and recognized as such by anyone in the vicinity. The Holy Spirit spoke to the church through the New Testament writers who taught and corrected the local churches. The Apostle Paul explains more of the mystery of the church and it’s relationship to Jesus in Ephesians 5.

Finally, history will close out with the wedding of the church (bride) and Jesus (groom) upon the return of Jesus. Read more on this in Revelation 19.

Jesus created the church. He loves the church and died for it. Jesus will return for the church and save it from the coming Wrath. Jesus wants everyone to be part of the church and has revealed the blessing of membership as well as His expectations.

Won’t you find the local church God has called you to attend and cease your war with it?