What About The Church?
By Paul Orrick
July 16, 2014
How would you respond if I asked you this question: “What is the church?”
It has become popular to answer, “The church is all of us.” - While that is a “popular” answer in the day and time that we live in, This is NOT how the word ‘church’ is used in the New Testament.
The community that I live in has two or three special gatherings each year. All of the local congregations participate and the local pastors take turns speaking. One of the local pastors often says something like this: “There are 5 congregations represented here, but we are allONECHURCH.” - As pleasant as that sounds, that is not the truth. The New Testament never lumps together all of the congregations in one area and calls them “The Church.”
Friends, The word “CHURCH” appears in your Bible over 100 times, and its definition is ALWAYS THE SAME. A “church” is a local gathering of people; In the Biblical since, a church is a local gathering of Christian people for the purpose of reading, and studying, and applying God’s Word.
Look it up for yourself. Notice, for example, how the epistles are addressed. They are addressed to individual local churches “To the church of God which is at Corinth…” “To the churches of Galatia ….”
The Book of Revelation is addressed to “ …. The seven churches which are in Asia.”
Church Is Always A Local Congregation
Our world today is full of all sorts of things which bring the Bible into your living room. Radio, T.V., Internet, lap-tops, and I-Pads - What is wrong with letting all of these things be your church?
The answer is simple: God did not design it that way.
God organized local churches and set them in place to be His means of equipping the saints and reaching the lost.
The local church is God’s appointed way.
You Should Join a Local Church, and Commit Yourself To Its Regular Services
We live in a day and time when people do not want to commit themselves to anything. “Joining” has become a thing of the past. That should not be the case with a Christian and church. Joining a local church is part of the New Testament pattern.
Notice the letters of the New Testament: Who were they addressed to? The answer is that they were addressed to “churches” or to the pastors of those churches. In this way Paul knew that he would reach all of the Christians in the area, because “Christians Join The Church.”
In the Bible the local church is the only thing that Christians committed themselves to. They became members, and regular attended services.
Acts 2:47, Acts 5:14
These verses point us to a day and time when the church was expanding. The Gospel was conquering hearts in city after city. NOW, be sure that you see this: Wherever the Gospel reached, local churches were organized, and converts were welcomed with open arms.
I want you to know that this church is like that. We welcome new members. We want you to join with us. We want you in each and every service of this church. We want to help you grow in the faith of our Lord Jesus.
Here is how we receive members: (1) New converts to Christ are baptized and become members (2) New members are received when they come to us from another church (3) New members are received when they tell us that they are indeed baptized Christians (records are sometimes lost)
I do not understand people who claim to be Christians, but refuse to join the church. Friends, it is the Christian way:
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.
I also do not understand people who claim to be Christians but ignore the meetings of the church. - I made a point recently to put a special invitation in our church bulletin. It was an invitation for people to return to our Sunday School. - I do not understand people who claim to be Christians but ignore the meetings of the church
Joining A Church Is A Visible Commitment To Christ And His People
If you are a member of this church, you have raised a flag that says that says “I am one of these people. I am committed to what they are committed to” IS YOUR FLAG OF COMMITMENT FLYING AT HALF-MAST?
The Bible Teaches That Every Believer Should Be Under The Teaching And Cultivation Of A God Appointed Pastor
Hebrews 13:7, 17
Your pastors are not here by accident. Your pastors are not here because you hired them. They serve under a special appointment from God, and are men who must give an account to the One who set them in place.
Not only have pastors been set in place, but they have been given a set of rules to follow:
1 Timothy 4:13, Acts 2:42
How are the saints of God to learn God’s Word? It is the duty of the pastors to teach and preach it.
How can professing Christians grow in the faith if they disregard the services of their church? - They cannot. ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT IN THE SERVICES OF THEIR CHURCH IS IMPARATIVE.
THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN RECEIVE THE KIND OF TEACHING THAT YOU NEED IS TO REGUARLLY ATTEND THE SERVICES OF THE LORD’S CHURCH.
There is serious Bible study taking place in our Sunday School classes, and you need it.
There is serious Bible study taking place in our Sunday Evening services , and you need it.
There is serious Bible study taking place in our Wednesday evening services, and you need it.
I challenge you; Join the church, and be faithful to her.
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