UNITING WITH A
first priority of every new follower of Jesus Christ is to make a
public confession that with sincere faith they have received Jesus
as their Lord and Savior.
second priority is to follow the example of Jesus in Scriptural
The third priority is to unite
with a Biblical church.
An understanding of a Biblical
church is essential.
Concepts of the Church
It is common for people to look at a building with a steeple on
it and think, “There’s a church.” It is also common for people to
talk about large denominations and refer to them as “the Catholic
church”, the “Episcopalian church:, “the Presbyterian church:, the
Methodist church, “the Baptist church”, etc. None of these
concepts have a Biblical basis.
THE BIBLICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE CHURCH
The Church Is An Assembly of
The Greek word God chose for church is ecclesia,
which literally means “called out ones.” It referred to
people being called out from a community to assemble together and
was understood as “a called out assembly”.
The Church As Seen By Man
The word ecclesia occurs 117 times in our New Testament. On one
occasion Israel is referred to as “the church (assembly) in the
wilderness.” (Acts 7:38). The unruly mob that gathered in the
theatre at Ephesus was called an “assembly”. (Acts19:32,
41). Over 100 times “the church” and “churches” refers to a
local assembly of called out believers as seen by man.
A local Biblical church is
composed of believers who assemble in covenant relationship to
fulfill the Biblical purposes of the church taught in the New
Testament. Those purposes are worship, evangelism, discipleship,
fellowship, and ministry.
The Church As Seen By God
It is my belief that God sees “the church” in its entirety as
composed of those first believers on the day of Pentecost to the
last believer of the church age. I offer the following teaching
Jesus revealed in
Matthew 16:18, “Upon this rock I will build My church.”
This indicated the church was yet future.
We are informed in
Ephesians 3:9 that the church was a “mystery which in other
ages was not made known unto the sons of man, as it is now
revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.”
We are informed
in 1st Corinthians 12:13 that “the body of Christ is
formed by believers being baptized into His body by the Holy
In Acts 1:5, Jesus indicated
Pentecost as the first time believers would receive that baptism.
“. . .You shall be baptized
with (or, by) the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
In Ephesians 4:8-11
we are informed that it was the risen, ascended Christ who gave
the gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and
teachers to the church. These offices became operational in
local churches after Pentecost.
describe the church as seen by God:
Matthew 16:18, “. . .Upon
this rock I will build My church.”
Ephesians 1:22, 23, “And He
(God the Father) put all things under His feet, and gave
Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body,
the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
Ephesians 5:25-27, “. .
.Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He
might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the
word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church . .
(See also Colossians 1:18, 24; Hebrews 2:12; 12:23).
Only God can see the church in
its entirety of every believer called out of the world to His
great assembly. However, all believers are given the “blessed
hope” that at the coming of Jesus for His church they will be
gathered by rapture and resurrection to that great assembly in the
presence of God. (Titus 2:13, 14).
THE DIVINE AUTHORIZATION OF THE CHURCH
The Church is Built on Christ and
is His Possession
Jesus introduced the church with these words,
“. . .On
this rock I will build My church. . .” Matthew 16:18.
We find the true meaning of this
statement in 1st Corinthians 3:11,
“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.”
Take note also that Jesus said, “My church”.
is Head of the Church
“And He (God, the
Father) put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head
over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of
Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22, 23. (See also
Ephesians 4:15; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; 2:19).
Christ and His Church are
The experience of Saul of Tarsus provides a good illustration of
“Then Saul, still breathing
threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the
high priest and asked letters. . .that if he found any who were of
the Way. . .he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he
a light shone around him from heaven and Jesus spoke, saying,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
When Saul asked, “Who are You,
Lord?” The answer came back, “I am Jesus, whom you are
persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
This clearly confirms that Jesus
and the people of His church are one. To persecute them is to
THE GREAT MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH
Fulfill The Great Commission
A form of the Great Commission is found in the closing chapters of
all four gospels and the first chapter of Acts. (See Matthew
28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:46-49: John 20:21; Acts 1:8).
The Great Commission to the
church is. . .
Go into all the world
Teach converts to do all things Christ commanded
Provide Reception for all New
The local church provides the best means for every newly saved
person to. . .
Enter into fellowship with loving
The apostle John wrote, “. . .That which we have seen and heard
we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and
truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus
Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be
full.” 1st John 1:3, 4.
Obtain the best support group it
is possible to have.
It is to members of local churches that we find exhortations to “love
one another”; “be kind to one another”; “be tenderhearted toward
one another”; “encourage one another:; :bear one another’s
(There are 28 different “one
another exhortations in all). Believers who
embrace and practice these “one another’s” are on the fast track
to becoming more and more like Jesus. Those believers who receive
the benefits of these “one another’s” experience the warm love of
the Savior that passes all understanding.
Begin to learn to worship God
Jesus has taught us, “. . .The hour is coming, and now is, when
the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;
for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and
those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John
Grow into personal ministry
A Biblical church will provide teaching that will enable the new
Christian to grow spiritually. They will learn what the Bible
teaches and how to put those teachings into practice. This will
open doors for personal ministry to other believers and sharing
the witness of salvation through Christ to those who have not yet
come to know Jesus as their Savior.
Participation in the best channel
of supporting God’s work.
A Biblical church will provide the best means of receiving and
accounting of funds.
A Biblical church will be guided
by God’s word to seek the most efficient and effective ways to use
those funds to accomplish the purposes God has given for the
Jesus loved the church and gave
Himself for it. Every new believer should also love the church,
unite with a Biblical church and give themselves to grow
spiritually and serve God in it.
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.