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Pillar 6, Local Church (short summary)

Overview

The local church is particular group of believers who regularly meet together under the spiritual authority of a pastor-teacher so that he may equip them to serve and to build up the church (Ephesians 4.11-12; 1 Peter 5.1-4; Acts 20.28-30).

 

  • Description and purpose: The local church is particular group of believers who regularly meet together under the spiritual authority of a pastor-teacher so that he may equip them to serve and to build up the church (Ephesians 4.11-12; 1 Peter 5.1-4; Acts 20.28-30).
  • Characteristics:
    • The local church members are believers in Jesus Christ and members of his spiritual body (Ephesians 1.13-14, 22-23; 1 Corinthians 12.13);
    • They are a local group (Romans 16.5; 1 Corinthians 14.34; Colossians 4.15; Philemon 2) within a geographical area (1 Corinthians 1.2; 1 Thessalonians 1.1);
    • They meet together regularly (Hebrews 10.25; Philemon 2; Colossians 4.15);
    • They have a unity and camaraderie (Romans 12.10; Ephesians 4.3);
    • They have a working unity in salvation, doctrine, and ministry (Ephesians 4.3-6; Philippians 1.27; 2.2-3)
    • They serve based upon God’s plan (Ephesians 2.10), spiritual gifts (1 Peter 4.10; 1 Corinthians 12), and divine unconditional love (1 Corinthians 13.4-7).
  • Authority and organization:
    • God has appointed the pastor-teacher, elder, overseer (all words refer to the same individual) to authoritatively teach, guard, lead, rescue, heal, and comfort the believers in one local church (Ephesians 4.11-12; Acts 20.17, 28-30; 2 Tim 4.2; Hebrews 13.17; 1 Peter 5.1-4);
    • The deacons (servants of God, the pastor-teacher, and the church) are a team of servants in the local church (Phil 1.1; 1 Tim 3.8-10).
  • Ministries by the church members:
    • Each believer in a local church has a spiritual gift which is a special ability from God to serve God and the church (1 Corinthians 12.4-7; Romans 12.6-8; Ephesians 4.11; 1 Peter 4.10).
    • The local church members engage in evangelism, teaching, and encouraging  (Matthew 28.19-20; Acts 1.8; 2 Corinthians 5.14-21; Ephesians 6.15; Hebrews 5.11-16; 1 Peter 3.15; 2 Corinthians 1.4; 1 Thessalonians 4.18; 5.11,14; Hebrews 3.13; 10.25).).
    • The local  church ought to have a consistent prayer life (Acts 2.42; Romans 12.12; 15.30;Ephesians 6.18; 1 Thessalonians 5.17).
    • The local church has the opportunity to freely give money to support local church and its ministries (1 Corinthians 16.1; 2 Corinthians 8.1-15; 9.1-13; Galatians 6.6; Philippians 4.15; 1 Timothy 5.17-18) and to assist  believers who are in need (Galatians 6.10; Ephesians 4.28; 1 Timothy 5.16; 1 John 3.17-18).
    • The local church practices two rituals, water baptism of believers (Matthew 28.19; Acts 8.12 and 16; Acts 16.33; 1 Corinthians 1.13-17) and the Lord’s table (1 Corinthians 11.23-29.
  • Warning: the church should have a genuine interest for each other and at the same time refrain from interference in the life of any person in the church. The church should be free from any judging, criticizing, or gossiping about other members (Romans 12.13; Galatians 6.2, 6, 10; 1 Thessalonians 5.15; 1 Peter 4.15; 1 John 3.16-17; Matthew 7.1-2; John 21.21-22; Romans 14.1-13; 1 Corinthians 4.1-7; Colossians 3.17, 23; 2 Thessalonians 3.11; 1 Timothy 5.13; James 4.11-12; 1 Peter 2.1; 4.15).
  • So what do we do with the Bible doctrine of the local church? We ought to practice
    • A.  Consistent attendance.
    • B.  Consistent participation
    • C.  Consistent blessing, that is giving blessing and receiving blessing.

Last Update

Sunday, February 18, 2001