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What Is the Church?. A Baptist Church Doctrinal Statement. The Church Which Is His Body

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a baptist church doctrinal statement
A Baptist Church Doctrinal Statement

The Church Which Is His Body

  • We believe that the Church which is His Body is the entire company of saints from Pentecost to the Rapture, who are united together with Christ by the baptism with the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:13; Acts 1:5; 2:4; 11:15).
a baptist church doctrinal statement3
A Baptist Church Doctrinal Statement

The Local Church

  • We believe that the local N. T. church is visible manifestation of the Body of Christ in a specific place, organized into an as-sembly of immersed believers, who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, to observe the ordinances, study the Word, fulfill the Great Commission, participate in the min-istry of prayer, and share in the blessings of Christian fellowship (Acts 2:41, 42).
the spiritual body and the local church
The Spiritual Body and the Local Church

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” --Mt 16:18

The Lord Jesus conceived of His church as both an organism and an organization!

  • THE SPIRITUAL BODY OF CHRIST
  • THE LOCAL NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
the spiritual body and the local church5
The Spiritual Body and the Local Church

THE LOCAL NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

the spiritual body and the local church6
The Spiritual Body and the Local Church

THE SPIRITUAL BODY OF CHRIST

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 11:15, 16 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the begin-ning.16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

the use of the word church in the n t
The Use of the Word “Church” in the N.T.

ekklhsia (ekklesia)

ek - “out of”

kaleo - “call”

A group called out from a larger group (Acts 15:14).

“Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.”

the use of the word church in the n t8
The Use of the Word “Church” in the N.T.
  • This word ekklesia is used 115 times in the New Testament:
  • THREE times it is translated "assembly" (Acts 19:32, 39, 41), where it refers to the body at Ephesus known as the "town meeting."
the use of the word church in the n t9
The Use of the Word “Church” in the N.T.
  • TWO times ekklesia refers to Israel (Acts 7:38; Hebrew 2:12), where it is used in its primary meaning as an assembly or congregation of ones who are "called out."

“This is he, that was in the church in the wilder-ness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us” (Acts 7:38).

the use of the word church in the n t10
The Use of the Word “Church” in the N.T.
  • FOURTEEN times ekklesia refers to the church which is His body.

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col 1:18).

the use of the word church in the n t11
The Use of the Word “Church” in the N.T.
  • The terms "Universal Church" or "Invisible Church" are NOT found in Scripture.
  • The Lord Jesus never intended for His church to encompass all that is called "Christendom" or that it would be invisible.
  • On the contrary, it is to be highly visible by the presence of true local New Testament churches.
the use of the word church in the n t12
The Use of the Word “Church” in the N.T.
  • NINETY TWO times ekklesia refers to the visible manifestation of the church which is His body, the local N.T. church.

“And he went through Syria and Cilicia, con-firming the churches” (Ac 15:41).

the roman catholic view of the church
The Roman Catholic View of the Church
  • The Roman Catholic church believes in a mystical body of Christ, and a visible body on earth, which are coextensive with each other.
  • One cannot be in the mystical body without being in the visible body.
the roman catholic view of the church14
The Roman Catholic View of the Church
  • The Roman Catholic church teaches that it is the only true, visible body of Christ.
  • Therefore, it concludes that there is no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church.
the roman catholic view of the church15
The Roman Catholic View of the Church

"Rock" is the Greek word petra.

  • It appears in the N.T. eleven times meaning "a ledge of rock".
  • Five times it used meta- phorically of Christ (Mt. 16:18; Rom. 9:33; I Cor. 10:4 (twice); I Pet. 2:8).
  • In I Cor. 10:4, it is expressly stated that Christ is the "Rock".
the roman catholic view of the church16
The Roman Catholic View of the Church
  • In contrast the word for Peter is petros meaning "a little rock" in comparison to a ledge of rock. Certainly Christ, and not Peter is the foundation for the church (Eph. 2:20-22).

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; --Eph 2:20

the liberal theologian s view of the church
The Liberal Theologian’s View of the Church
  • Liberalism teaches that the church is the visible spiritual community of all who profess to be Christians, in contrast to the fractured denominational organizations.
  • This community is often referred to by liberals as the koinonia, the spiritual fellowship of all those who have committed them- selves to the reign of God.
the interdenominationalist s view of the church
The Interdenominationalist’s View of the Church
  • Interdenominationalists make a false distinction between the “true church” and the “local church”.
  • In so doing they intimate that the local church is something LESS than the visible manifestation of the spiritual body of Christ in a specific place.
the interdenominationalist s view of the church19
The Interdenominationalist’s View of the Church
  • Membership in a local church is not important as long as one is part of the spiritual body of Christ.
the interdenominationalist s view of the church20
The Interdenominationalist’s View of the Church
  • Parachurch organizations have taken away from the local church both man-power and resources needed to fulfill the commission Christ gave to His churches.
the interdenominationalist s view of the church21
The Interdenominationalist’s View of the Church
  • Interdenominationalism has also given rise to the phenomenon known as "the church tramp".
the interdenominationalist s view of the church22
The Interdenominationalist’s View of the Church
  • “Church tramps” are like hitchhikers who say, “You furnish the gas, car, attend to the repairs and upkeep, supply the insurance, and I\'ll ride with you.”
the interdenominationalist s view of the church23
The Interdenominationalist’s View of the Church
  • “You go to the meetings, you serve on the boards and committees, you do the paperwork, you study the issues and take care of the things that need doing, and I\'ll just go along for the ride.
  • If things don’t suit my fancy, I will com-plain, criticize, and probably get out and hitchhike to another group."
a scriptural view of the local church
A Scriptural View of the Local Church
  • The local N.T. church is a visible mani-festation of the Body of Christ in a specific place,
    • organized into an assembly of immersed believers,
    • who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel,
    • to observe the ordinances, study the Word, fulfill the Great Commission, participate in the ministry of prayer, and share in the blessings of Christian fellowship. (Acts 2:41-47)
the local church is a covenant community
The Local Church is a “Covenant Community”

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

“Having received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and having been baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.”

the local church is a covenant community26
The Local Church is a “Covenant Community”

The first disciples had the concept of “membership” even before the birth of the church at Pentecost.

Acts 1:15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

the local church is a covenant community27
The Local Church is a “Covenant Community”

Those who received the Word of God and were scripturally baptized were

ADDED to the original 120 “names”.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

They became church members!

the church members were faithful
The Church Members Were Faithful

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

“Continued stedfastly” is proskartereo

It appears 10 times in the Greek NT. Its various meanings include:

  • 1) to be devoted to one
  • 2) to give unremitting care to a thing
  • 3) to persevere and not to faint.
the church members were faithful to the services and activities of the church
The Church Members Were Faithful to the Services and Activities of the Church

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

  • Preaching and teaching services
  • Fellowship times
  • The ordinances
  • Prayer meeting
the church members showed christian love one to another
The Church Members Showed Christian Love One to Another

Acts 2:44-45 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

  • This was not “Christian communism”
  • No one was entitled to a “free ride” (2 Thess 3:10)
  • Scriptural qualifications were set down to determine genuine need (1 Tim. 5).
the church members maintained a good testimony in the community
The Church Members Maintained a Good Testimony in the Community

Acts 2:46-47 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

“favour” is charis, i.e. “grace”

When the church members maintain a good testimony, people will be saved!

the importance of the church covenant
The Importance of the Church Covenant

In signing the Church Covenant and becoming a church member one promises to:

  • Be faithful to the church
  • Care for one another in the church family
  • Seek to maintain a good personal testimony that others may be won to Christ
not every one is ready to be a member
Not Every One is Ready to Be a Member

A church member must:

  • Be saved
  • Be scripturally baptized
  • Be in one accord (agreement) with the church
  • Have a good testimony

The Lord is looking for a few good men and women!

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