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“…when you come together as a church…” “Paul…to the church of God which is at Corinth…” 1 Corinthians 1:1,2; 11:18 Greek: ‘ekkleesia’ = called out to be together = a congregation
A community of interdependent churches Including all nationalities without distinction Under the leadership of a united elderhood Based on “the faith” fully delivered (the apostles’ teaching)
“This is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” “…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another” 1 John 3:23; Hebrews 10:25
Disciples are not intended to live their lives alone or in isolation. They are intended to be joined together, to serve God & one another in unity. God’s prescription for where this should be is a “church of God”.
14 times - the church the Body of Christ 97 times - local gatherings of disciples in various towns. (57 times - a single local church) (40 times to the aggregate of local churches) 1- “the firstborn who are registered in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23)
“the church of God which is at Corinth” “I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it” “the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God” “the churches of God” (3 times) 2 Corinthians 1:1; 11:16; Galatians 1:13; Acts 20:28; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4
“Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name” The church in a house (e.g. Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15) “The church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15) “The church throughout all Judea, Galilee and Samaria” (Acts 9:31) “The churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33) “The churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16) 1 Kings 11:36
“Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God… To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints… God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
God calls people to salvation through the gospel and also calls them to be saints (holy people for Himself). Paul had a distinctive call to serve as an apostle. Disciples are called by God to become part of the community which belongs to His Son, where Jesus Christ is acknowledged as Lord, in churches of God. In His faithfulness God will never call them back out of it.
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