The Local Church
1 Corinthians 1:12
INTRODUCTION: "To run from the ministry of the Body of Christ is to run from the One Who incarnates His grace through that ministry." Paul Tripp
On January 7, 1973, I was born again; the Lord Jesus adopted me into His family. He became my Father and His body, the "church" (the bride of Christ), became my family. I am now a part of His church universal, and I do my sharing of life, ministry, community, and missions through His local assemblies (gathering).
The Lord, through His redemptive power, changed me forever. He also has demonstrated His power through the "church" (the body of Christ) to bring major changes in my life. He has used you!
Webster defines "church" as a building for public worship. Nowhere in the New Testament does "church" in any of its focus refer to a building. In the New Testament, we find "house church" in Romans 16:5; in 1 Cor 1:2, the "church" is an entire city; in Acts 9:31, the "church" in a region is referred to; and, finally, the "church" throughout the entire world in Eph. 5:25. We may conclude that the groups of God's people considered at any level, from local to universal, may rightly be called a "church."
The "local church" is a community (sharing life) of regenerated (redeemed) believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord (owner, master, sovereign). In obedience to Scripture, they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the Spirit, are discipled for holiness (separated living), and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment (love God and others) and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world, for God's glory and their joy.
The "church" is a loving community that devotes itself to fellowship or Koinonia. Fellowship includes God's people living together in intentional, relational community to seek the well-being of one another in every way, i ...
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