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What is the Church of Christ? (Bible Authority, Part 8)

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Presentation on theme: "What is the Church of Christ? (Bible Authority, Part 8)"— Presentation transcript:

1 What is the Church of Christ? (Bible Authority, Part 8)

2 2 Failure to Understand the Church Contributes to… Devaluing of the churchDevaluing of the church DenominationalismDenominationalism “Choosing the church of your choice”“Choosing the church of your choice”

3 3 Many in Churches of Christ do not Understand the Church Liberal view: “Whatever the individual can do, the local church can do”Liberal view: “Whatever the individual can do, the local church can do” –Looses where the Lord has not loosed Factious view: “Whatever the local church cannot do, the individual Christian cannot do”Factious view: “Whatever the local church cannot do, the individual Christian cannot do” –Binds where Lord has not bound

4 What is the Church? ekklesia: “to call out of” … “the called out ones” A N A SSEMBLY -Israel, Acts 7:38 -Gov’t body, Acts 19:39 -Riot, Acts 19:32, 41 A N A SSEMBLY -Israel, Acts 7:38 -Gov’t body, Acts 19:39 -Riot, Acts 19:32, 41 A SSEMBLY OF S AVED “Called out” of darkness into glory by God, by gospel 1 Pet. 2:9-10; 1 Ths. 2:12 2 Ths. 2:14 The Redeemed Matt. 16:18 A SSEMBLY OF S AVED “Called out” of darkness into glory by God, by gospel 1 Pet. 2:9-10; 1 Ths. 2:12 2 Ths. 2:14 The Redeemed Matt. 16:18 4

5 5 To Understand “Church” We Must Think “People”, not “Institution” Acts 2:47 Believers, Acts 5:14Believers, Acts 5:14 Disciples, Acts 6:1, 7Disciples, Acts 6:1, 7 Those of “the way”, Acts 9:1-2Those of “the way”, Acts 9:1-2 Saints, 1 Cor. 1:2Saints, 1 Cor. 1:2

6 6 “Church” is a Collective Noun Applied geographically, Acts 9:31; Gal. 1:2Applied geographically, Acts 9:31; Gal. 1:2 Applied of those who compose it, Rom. 16:4; Col. 4:16Applied of those who compose it, Rom. 16:4; Col. 4:16 Applied possessively, Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 15:9; Rom. 16:16Applied possessively, Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 15:9; Rom. 16:16

7 7 CHRIST { { { { Local Church Acts 11:22 Local Church 1 Cor. 1:2 On earth CHURCH (Local) (elders, deacons, saints) Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1 Churches of Christ Rom. 16:16 Baptized into CHURCH (Universal) Heb. 12:23 Registered in heaven

8 8 The Universal Church God’s people wherever they are found, Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:23-27God’s people wherever they are found, Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:23-27 –Saved added to it by the Lord, Acts 2:47 –One body of Christ into which one is baptized, 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4 –Family of God into which one is adopted (Gal. 4:5), 1 Tim. 3:15 –Fellowship with God, 2 Tim. 2:19

9 Relation with God and brethren – without organization, 2 Cor. 6:16-18; 1 Pet. 2:17Relation with God and brethren – without organization, 2 Cor. 6:16-18; 1 Pet. 2:17 –No organizational structure given it in NT –No human oversight of it found in the NT –No organizational work given to it in NT –No universal treasury to fund it in the NT The Universal Church 9

10 Relation with God and brethren without organization, 2 Cor. 6:16-18; 1 Pet. 2:17Relation with God and brethren without organization, 2 Cor. 6:16-18; 1 Pet. 2:17 –Does not function as an organizational unit –Functions distributively (each Christian submitting to Christ), Eph. 5:24 Composed of individual Christians, not churches, Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23, 30; Acts 2:47Composed of individual Christians, not churches, Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23, 30; Acts 2:47 The Universal Church 10

11 Universal Church: Churches or Christians? “The position that the local congregation is not a part of the church universal is a weird and novel contention, which has never been advanced by any Bible scholar, preacher, or commentator of any note in the two thousand year history of the church so far as I know.” -Gaston D. Cogdell, The Cogdell-Turner Discussion, 18 (emp., mine) 11

12 “So far as we know all brethren have always understood that the individual Christian is the unit of the ‘church universal.’ The body is Christ’s, and we are members of it. We were unaware that any thought or taught that congregations were units of the body of Christ, in the sense that individuals are. 12 Universal Church: Churches or Christians?

13 “Congregations are nothing more nor less than groups of Christians. Groups are not members of the church; individuals are. We believe the scriptures are perfectly clear, and brethren in full accord on this point.” -Reuel Lemmons, Firm Foundation (77:31), August 2, 1960 cited in The Cogdell-Turner Discussion, p. 19, emp. Turner’s 13 Universal Church: Churches or Christians?

14 “In this general sense the church is not a denominational institution composed of a sisterhood of local churches ‘of the same faith and order,’ but a spiritual body composed of all Christians…” -F. D. Srygley, New Testament Church, p. 7 Published by Gospel Advocate cited in The Cogdell-Turner Discussion, p Universal Church: Churches or Christians?

15 Universal church is all the saved without reference to time or place (Heb. 12:23)Universal church is all the saved without reference to time or place (Heb. 12:23) –Each Christian has work (Eph. 4:16) Local church is a specific group of Christians in a given locationLocal church is a specific group of Christians in a given location –Organization and work (Phil. 1:1) Denominationalism is corruption of both!Denominationalism is corruption of both! The Church of Christ 15


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