What Is a Church?
“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
What It Is Not!
- It is not a physical facility at a specific address that those who pass by recognize as a church.
- It is not just a building dedicated to religious activities on Sunday to do something spiritual.
- It is not a tradition from parents to do Sunday things related to family, America, and God.
- It is not a social club, a business organization for the Great Commission, or a religious ritual.
- It is not merely a manmade organization dependent on men to become large and successful.
- It is not an auditorium where you can sit and watch a musical and oratory drama acted out.
- Children fantasize about Solomon’s temple, but a New Testament local church is greater!
- Each local church is the temple of the living God by the presence of His Spirit (Eph 2:20-22).
- God will personally intervene and destroy men who mess with His churches (I Cor 3:16-17).
- The house rules for God’s temple have been declared plainly (I Tim 3:15; II Cor 6:14-18).
- The Holy Spirit – Who moved on the waters in Gen 1:2 – inhabits local churches (Eph 2:22).
- He is the Spirit that moves the members of the church in their various roles (I Cor 12:13).
- Here is a great mystery of the church – Jesus Christ dwells with us and in us (John 14:17,23).
- Instead of seeking the lowest apostolic gift – tongues, men should want Christ’s local church!
- The church is compared to a body, with the Lord Jesus Christ as its Head (Col 1:18; 2:19).
- How closely connected is your head to your body? It is this union that such words indicate!
- But get this jewel! The church is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:23).
- Without the church, the Lord Jesus Christ is incomplete, because God has tied us together!
- There is a mystical union of various phases of salvation between Jesus Christ and the church.
- Our church is the property of Jesus Christ – He is the Head, the Cornerstone, the Apostle, the High Priest, the Saviour of the Body, etc. (Col 1:18; Eph 2:20; Heb 3:1; Eph 5:23; etc.).
- Never forget how Jesus Christ will shortly reveal Himself – King of kings (I Tim 6:13-16)!
- He walks among the golden candlesticks, which represent His churches (Rev 1:12-13; 2:1).
- He offers a personal relationship to each of His churches, if they will have Him (Rev 3:20).
- The pure words of God were given to the Old Testament church (Deut 29:29; Rom 3:1-4).
- This blessing made them uniquely special before the world’s nations (Deut 4:5-8; 32:45-47).
- Councils, synods, or seminaries did not determine the canon of the New Testament. Glory!
- A man of God applying himself well by the support of a church is glorious (II Tim 3:16-17).
- God has invested the church with secret mysteries (Matt 13:16-17; I Cor 2:6-13; I Tim 3:16).
- We know detailed answers to the dilemmas that have destroyed philosophers for generations!
- It is God’s ministers who identify, explain, and remind saints of these promises (Matt 13:52).
- Church members are able to comfort each other that death is only sleep (I Thess 4:13-18)!
- The Lord Christ foretold the success of His church against the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18).
- Your ancestors were once inside those gates worshipping the devil with ritualistic orgies!
- He commissioned servants worldwide to rescue men from Satan (Mat 28:18-20; Acts 26:18).
- His prophecy was marvelously fulfilled and is one of our mysteries (Acts 1:8; I Tim 3:16).
- There is sufficient historical evidence that the gospel was received in Wales before Paul died.
- The angels desire to look into the things that are given to us through Jesus Christ (I Pet 1:12).
- God gave an object lesson to impress the angels with His wisdom to the church (Eph 3:10).
- Jesus Christ did not take on the nature of angels, but the nature of men (Heb 1:6; 2:14-16).
- While they will sing praises to the Lamb, they cannot sing with the redeemed (Rev 5:8-14)!
- We are not alone when meeting on earth, for we are connected to heaven (Heb 12:22-24).
- We cannot forget that we are merely pilgrims and strangers here (Heb 11:13; I Peter 2:11).
- Our affection should be in heaven, where our tightest family union lies (Galatians 4:26).
- We are reigning in heaven now through our vital connection to Christ (Eph 2:6; Rev 20:6).
- The Lord Jesus Christ, the Bishop of our church, is the Blessed Potentate (I Tim 6:13-16).
- But not only that, He has also made us kings and priests in our own right (Revelation 1:6).
- If we overcome, we will sit with Him and judge angels (Rev 2:26-27; 3:21; I Cor 6:3)!
- We are living and reigning with Christ a thousand years in the church (Eph 2:6; Rev 20:6).
- God assigned us the duty and privilege of supporting and defending the truth (I Tim 3:14-16).
- If you are militaristic, God has charged us to earnestly contend for the true faith (Jude 1:3).
- The church has a role to hold the line and not compromise (Acts 2:42; II Thess 2:15; 3:6).
- While Christianity at large compromises, we must hold fast to truth (II Tim 3:1-5; 4:3-4).
- We must try men by the Bible and reject heretics (Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:8-9; Titus 3:10-11).
- Catholics believe eternal life depends on their church, but we mean something very different.
- There is a salvation before membership and one after it (Acts 2:47; 13:48; II Tim 1:9-10).
- Paul taught a salvation in churches (I Tim 3:15; 4:16; I Cor 15:2; II Thess 2:13; Jas 5:19-20).
- If you are outside the church of Jesus Christ, you are cut off from His Spirit and blessings.
- Jesus Christ is not worshipped in a temple made with hands – the catacombs worked better!
- He is adored in a spiritual temple – an assembly of saints (Ep 2:21-22; Heb 12:28; I Pet 2:5).
- And rather than expensive sacrifices, he wants our singing and praise (Eph 5:19; Heb 13:15).
- Jesus rejected the Samaritans and the Jews and declared for new worship (John 4:23-24).
- Asaph was delusional, until he went into the sanctuary of God for a reminder (Ps 73:16-17).
- Where is the reality of the universe and of your very own life clearly shown (Psalm 27:4)?
- It is easy to be distracted from the most important things (Jer 9:23-24; II Cor 4:18; 5:7).
- In church we are admonished, exhorted, and warned (I Thess 5:14; Heb 3:12-13; 10:23-25).
- The man of God brings the word of God to bear on our lives (II Tim 3:16-17; 4:1-2).
- It is in the churches that Jesus Christ finds and appoints men to the ministry (I Cor 12:28).
- When Jesus Christ ascended up on high, He gave ministerial gifts to churches (Eph 4:11).
- The truth that has been transmitted for 2000 years is from Paul’s public teaching (II Tim 2:2).
- The offices Jesus Christ gave are not chosen by freshmen in a college handbook (Heb 5:4).
Small Claims Court
- The Lord ordained how to easily settle personal offences (Matthew 18:15-18; I Cor 6:1-8).
- Being defrauded is the most glorious method, but there is recourse (Prov 19:11; I Cor 6:7).
- Would you prefer a jury of your peers picked from the streets or from these pews? Glory!
- Churches full of the Spirit share generously to provide for the poor (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-37).
- Apostolic churches supplied qualified widows with daily support (Acts 6:1-3; I Tim 5:3-16).
- When natural disasters strike, they do not have to wait for FEMA (Acts 11:27-30; 20:33-35).
- Where can you easily access a multitude of counselors that fear God (Pr 11:14; 15:22; 24:6)?
- Wise counselors with hearty suggestions are precious things (Pr 24:26; 27:9; Psalm 141:5).
- Where can you find a greater combination of faith, truth, economy, and love for your needs?
- Two are better than one for at least four reasons, which tell the value of society (Ec 4:9-12).
- How can two stay warm together? There is no more heat! The value of church synergism!
- The value of the combination is greater than the sum of the value of all the individual parts!
- A man alone, especially in spiritual things, is vulnerable and weak (Heb 3:12-13; 10:23-25).
- The combination of body parts gives them more value than alone (I Cor 12:14-25; Eph 4:16).
- The prayer of the church is the most powerful force on earth (Matt 18:19-20; Acts 4:31)!
- No wonder Peter was sleeping peacefully – and escaped – due to many prayers (Acts 12:5).
- The activity that we are to be engaged in to defeat the devil himself is prayer (Eph 6:18-19).
- The Preacher taught long ago that a proven friend is better than a brother (Pr 27:10; 18:24).
- Jesus Christ made very clear the trade He would make with the faithful (Mark 10:28-30).
- No man has ever left family in this world that has not received 100 times more in this world!
- Therefore, we are bound by the thickest blood – of God Himself – to one another (Eph 3:15).
- Godly men will always be better friends than a family member or worldly friend (Pr 18:24).
- David, who had more friends than any man, had learned this well (Psalm 119:63; 101:3-8).
- Bishops are told to be lovers of good men, and there is only one place to find them (Tit 1:8).
- The churches of Christ have been granted executive power to apply disciple (I Cor 5:1-13).
- Heaven itself responds and confirms the judgment of the true churches of God (Matt 18:18).
- God will destroy any man, especially ministers, who mess with His churches (I Cor 3:16-17).
- The church is not just an organization: it is a living organism with its own life (I Peter 2:4-5).
- A church without the Spirit of the living God is nothing more than a dead corpse (Jas 2:26).
- The sustaining life of spiritual grace is given through Jesus Christ to believers (John 15:1-5).
- Nowhere else in the world do men have such personal freedom as in the church (Rom 14:1).
- You are protected in God’s churches from the judgmental whims of other men (Rom 14:3-4).
- There is total equality in the church of Jesus Christ without distinctions (Gal 3:28; Col 3:11).
- No others will stick as close to you for both better or for worse (Romans 12:15; I Cor 12:26).
- The friends in the world are fair weather friends – for their own lusts or merely convenience.
- The relationship of Jonathan and David was based on far more than just vain compatibility.
- The Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Paul to teach churches the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.
- This feast is closed to outsiders, because it is reserved for the committed disciples of Christ.
- The ordinance and how it is to be kept has been lost by most, but it is our privilege to keep it.
- The elements are simple; the significance profound; the partaking easy; the blessings great!
For Further Study:
- Sermon Outline: Pillar and Ground of the Truth exalts the church’s role in defending the truth of God.
- Sermon Outline: Which Every Joint Suppliesshows the important role of each member in church growth.
- Sermon Outline: The Purpose of the Church considers goals and objectives for churches and members.
- Sermon Outline: Blood Is Thicker than Blood (also see also) shows the tight bond believers have through Christ’s blood.
- Sermon Outline: The Life of the Church considers the true purpose for churches and their members.
- Sermon Outline: The Glory of the Church deals with the lofty reality of a New Testament church.
- Sermon Outline: Christian Liberty details freedom of church members from manmade rules of conduct.