Church meaning and application of
An assembly – Acts 19:32, 39
29 – rushed together into the theater…
30 – go in among the crowd
32 - the ‘assembly’ – ekklessia - had come together
39 - determine in a ‘lawful assembly’
Israel in the OT - Acts 7:38
Jesus used - ‘I will build my church’ - upon the foundation of Peter’s confession -- belief in Jesus as Christ
Dictionary provides an interesting viewpoint – but remember, it tells you how words are currently used by people – not what they ‘mean’…
A. “A building set apart or consecrated for public worship, especially one for Christian worship.”
1. simply never used like this in the NT …
B. “Public worship; religious service.”
1. ‘going to church’ - meaning, going to worship at an assembly of people
2. change from the assembly to the PURPOSE of the assembly.
3. not biblical usage.
C. “(a) All Christians considered as a single body; (b) a particular sect or denomination of Christians.”
THOUGH Webster combines under single heading – need to separate …
“(a) All Christians considered as a single body;
Matthew 16:18, Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18
a. never assembles -
b. no organizational structure
c. no human oversight -
d. each member is equally and directly related to the head, Christ.
(b) a particular sect or denomination of Christians.”
1. One Lord, One BODY, one faith – Eph. 4:4-6
2. Taught same in every church – 1 Cor. 4:17
3. No division – 1 Cor. 1:10
No ‘jewish church’ vs. ‘gentile church’ …
D. “ The ecclesiastical government of a particular religious group, or its power, as opposed to secular government.
1. Views church in two wrong ways:
a. ONE – a ‘denomination’ – as per above …
b. THEN – views the denomination in terms of the collective government …
1. Catholic – under the governing of the Pope and hierarchy
2. Greek Orthodox – under the
3. church of England –
Etc. etc. etc….
Churches = plural ?
In every occasion that the word church is used in the plural, it refers to congregations- grouping them by some common trait ….
a. all the churches of the Gentiles - Rom. 16:1
b. All churches of the saints - 1 Cor. 14:33
c. The churches of Asia - 1 Cor. 16:19
d. The churches of Judea - Gal. 1:22
f. The churches of Christ salute you” - Rom. 16:16
Even here – some of our brethren are sadly mistaken – viewing the church as a collective of churches – and hence figuring out some way to associate them together in some common work with common oversight and pooling of resources.
a. There simply is no such ‘organization’ of ‘churches’ ….
b. There is no means of common oversight –
c. There was no pooling of resources …
e. Hence there simply was no collective work…
E. “ The profession of the clergy; clerical profession.”
1. Elders, Deacons, saints… Phil. 1:1; Acts 14:23
2. Elders over local church – Acts 20:28, 1 Peter. 5:1-2
3. Preachers – worked with / supported by ….
Philip – the evangelist –
Timothy – sent to Ephesus – do the work of an evangelist …
F. “A group of worshipers; congregation.”
In the 115 times in New Testament = a company of Christians
whether assembled (1 Cor. 11:18; 14:19, 34-35)
‘come together’ – 17, 18, 20, 33, 34
OR unassembled (Acts 5:11; 8:1, 3).
But we strive to be not just an assembly – but
one that belongs TO CHRIST – hence church of Christ…
One that belongs to GOD -- the church of GOD…
The interesting thing – God ‘created’ such local assemblies for OUR GOOD… and expects us to be part of such a local assembly under the direction of elders who assist us in being disciples of Jesus…
1. Heb. 10:24-25 -
a. If not PART of such a group – then have ‘forsaken assembling with them’…
Hebrews 10:25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
2. Acts 9:26 & 28 …
3. It is in such that we partake of the LS… 1Cor. 16: & Acts 20:7
4. It is in such fellowship of a local church that we share in monitary needs…