IDENTIFYING A SCRIPTURAL LOCAL CHURCH

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(Selected Scriptures) - Far too many fail to make this their primary criteria when looking for a congregation to worship & work with. A scriptural local church can be identified because it follows the New Testament pattern. In order to identify a scriptural church, we MUST search the scriptures that we may know what the NT church looks like. - What was it called? What did it teach? How was it organized? How did it worship? What did it practice? - MP3 / PPT / KEYNOTE / PDF - 4/13/2014
http://w65stchurchofchrist.org/coc/

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IDENTIFYING A SCRIPTURAL LOCAL CHURCH

  1. 1. IDENTIFYING A Local Church Scriptural
  2. 2. ORIGIN (Eph 3:10; Acts 2) # FOUNDATION (1 Cor 3:11)# BUILDER (Mat 16:18; Acts 2:47)# HEAD (Eph 1:22; Col 1:18)# STANDARD (2 Tim 3:16,17; 1 Pet 4:11)# DOCTRINE – (Acts 2:42; 1 John 9)# ORGANIZATION (Acts 20:28; Phili 1:1)# WORSHIP (John 4:24; Acts 2:42)# WORK (Ephesians 4:11-16) Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Distinction Between Universal church & Local church Only one# Individual Christians# All the saved# No earthly organization Christians who join together in a location
  3. 3. “Built by Jesus” -Matt. 16:18# “Only One” - Eph. 4:4# “Jesus head of the BODY, the CHURCH” - Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-23# The Saved - Acts 2:47; Eph 5:23-27# No earthly organization - Ep. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:25 Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Not Attempting To Identify Universal Church
  4. 4. Those who have obeyed the gospel - (Acts 2:38-47) Who agree to join together in fellowship (Acts 9:26). Who worship in a common assembly – (1 Cor. 11:18) Who work out of a common treasury – (1 Cor.16:1-3) Who submit to a common oversight – (Acts 14:23; 20:28) Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Attempting To Identify A Scriptural Local Church
  5. 5. Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Important to: Pleasing God - (2:42,44,46; 4:23-24,31-32; Acts 9:26ff; 1 Cor 12:14; Eph 4:11-16)# My worship to God - (Acts 2:42; 20:7-12; 1 Cor. 11:17ff; 14:1-40; 16:1-2)# My spiritual growth - (Eph 4:16,17; Heb 10:24,25)# My children - (Eph. 6:1-3) Why Important?
  6. 6. Popular Criteria: “It’s the closest to me.”# “They have a nice building.”# “It’s big - so it must be good”# “It has a lot of programs / ministries for me & my kids”# “It has a lot of young folks”# “My family/friends go there”# “My customers go there.”# “The most prominent go there” Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Which Church?
  7. 7. Identifying A Scriptural Local Church ✦ Where does God want me to serve?# ✦ What denomination?# ✦ What are my beliefs? # ✦ What type of service structure?# ✦ What type of worship?# ✦ What ministries and programs are offered? # ✦ What type of attire? http:// christianity.about.com/ od/churchandcommunity/ ht/chooseachurch.htm The direction given by this author centers around what the seeker wants - what makes them ‘feel’ most comfortable! How to Find a Church By Mary Fairchild
  8. 8. Objective Criteria! It is possible to eliminate some easily because they demonstrate allegiance to man not Christ. # However, others require closer examination and scrutiny. # We need a definitive description of the church of the NT in order to know if a local church is scriptural. Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Which Church?
  9. 9. Identifying My Truck Even though my truck may be one among many - if it is there, it can be identified by the information given. Description 2013 Nissan Frontier# Desert Runner# Black# Four doors# Black bedcover# Chrome Nerf Bars# Grey interior# Two car seats in the back seat# License plate 282 SZP
  10. 10. Identifying My Truck Description 2013 Nissan Frontier# Desert Runner# Black# Four doors# Black bedcover# Chrome Nerf Bars# Grey interior# Two car seats in the back seat# License plate 282 SZP
  11. 11. Objective Criteria! A scriptural local church can be identified because it follows the New Testament pattern. (Heb 8:1-5; 2 Tim 1:13; 1 Cor 1:10-13)# Demands knowledge of that pattern - (i.e., we must search the scriptures that we may know what the NT church looks like) - What was it called? What did it teach? How was it organized? How did it worship? What did it practice? Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Which Church?
  12. 12. What Is It Called? Methodist Church# Presbyterian Church# Baptist Church# Catholic Church# Apostolic Church# Lutheran Church# Episcopalian Church# Pentecostal Church# Family Church# Etc. . . . . Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Reflects Distinction of Belief & Practice - 1 Cor 1:10# Reflects Division / Schism & carnality - 1 Cor 1:10-13# Reflects human standard of authority - Mat 21:25
  13. 13. “the church of God which is at Corinth” - (1 Cor. 1:2)# “the church of the Thessalonians in God” - (1 Thess. 1:1).# “the churches of Galatia” - (1 Cor. 16:1).# “the churches of the saints” - (1 Cor. 14:33). # “the churches of Christ” - (Rom. 16:16). # “the churches” - (Acts 8:3; 15:41, etc., etc.). Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Does It Use A Scriptural Designation? The scriptural designation of a church is not necessarily accurate - Rev 3:1# There are many congregations bearing the name of Christ or God not truly honoring them.# Yet a good place to start!
  14. 14. Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Does It Use A Scriptural Designation?
  15. 15. Is It Scriptural In Teaching? Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Unscriptural churches do NOT use “JUST” the Bible – (Confessions, Disciplines, Rules of Faith, Party Statements, etc.)# The Lord’s Church Uses ONLY The Bible As Its Guide In Faith, Teaching, Work, Worship & Organization. (2 Tim 3:16,17; 1 Pet 4:16; Col 3:17)
  16. 16.   Corn   Apple   Acorn Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scriptural In Teaching?
  17. 17. Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scriptural In Teaching?
  18. 18. Hear Believe Repent Confess Be#Bap&zed What A Person Must Do In Order To Be Saved In The Words of Inspired Men – (1 Peter 4:11) The  Alien  Sinner  -­‐  (Rom  10:17;  John  8:24;   Romans  10:9,10;  Luke  13:3,5;  Acts  17:30;   Mark  16:15,16;  Acts  2:38;  10:47;  22:16;   Ro  6:3-­‐6;  1  Pet  3:21) The  Christian  –  (Col.  1:23;  Rev  2:10;  Acts   8:18-­‐24;  1  John  1:9) Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scriptural In Teaching?
  19. 19. The Need To Live In Love & Purity – (Mark 12:29-31; Col. 3:1-14; 2 Cor 6:14-7:1; Ephe 5:1-18; 1 Pet 1:13-18)# The Need For Positive Divine Authority For Everything Believed, Taught & Practiced - (Mat 21:25; 1 Pet 4:11; Col. 3:17)# The Plea For Unity Upon What The Bible Says – (1 Cor 1:10; John 17:20-22; Ephe 4:1-6) Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scriptural In Teaching?
  20. 20. A church may be “scripturally unorganized” and still be a church of the Lord - Acts 14:27# However - many churches are “Unscriptural” in how they are organized: # Pyramid Government -" Earthly Headquarters –" Regional Management -" Clergy / Laity – Pastor / Flock - Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scripturally Organized?
  21. 21. Part of the structure through their writings - Eph 2:20 Apostles, " Prophets, " Evangelists, " Pastors " Teachers, Ephesians 4:11 (NKJV) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scripturally Organized?
  22. 22. Elders / Pastors / Bishops - (Acts 14:23; 20:17,28; 1 Pet. 5:1-5; 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9)" Deacons – (Phili 1:1; 1 Tim 3:8-13)" Saints – (Phili 1:1; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1) Philippians 1:1 (NKJV) Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scripturally Organized?
  23. 23. Speaks through the apostles in the New TestamentJesus" (The Head) Local church autonomy Pastors (bishops; elders), over each local church - (1 Pet 5:1,2; Acts 14:23; Tit 1:5) Elders 65th LR Elders 28th PB Elders 65 Conway Elders Russellville Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scripturally Organized?
  24. 24. Studying God’s Word - (Acts 20:7; Col 4:16)" Singing – (Eph 5:19; Col. 3:16)" Praying – (Acts 4:23-31; Eph 6:18)" Giving (First day of the week) – (1 Cor 16:1,2)" Observing The Lord’s Supper (First day of the week) – (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 11:23-26) Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scriptural In How It Worships?
  25. 25. Edification of the church - (Eph 4:11-16)" Benevolence to needy saints - (Ro 15:25-26)" Evangelism - (Acts 13:1-3) " Nothing else - (Col. 3:17) Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scriptural In Its Work?
  26. 26. Many churches engage in things that can’t be found in the NT" Secular Education -" Politics –" Entertainment – " Recreation – (Family Life Centers)" Social / community Services – Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Is It Scriptural In Its Work?
  27. 27. Objective Criteria! A scriptural local church can be identified because it follows the New Testament pattern. (Heb 8:1-5; 2 Tim 1:13; 1 Cor 1:10-13)" Demands knowledge of that pattern - (i.e., we must search the scriptures that we may know what the NT church looks like) Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Which Church?
  28. 28. Objective Criteria! How does it compare to the pattern found in the New Testament?" What is it called? " What does it teach? " How is it organized? " How does it worship? " What does it practice? Identifying A Scriptural Local Church Which Church?
  29. 29. Identifying A Scriptural Local Church We Are Striving To Be A Scriptural Local Church Our plea is for a complete return to the pattern revealed in the New Testament:" Book Chapter & Verse - Everything the scriptures teach - Nothing the scriptures do not authorize" Call Bible things by Bible names" Do Bible things in Bible ways" Back to the Bible
  30. 30. IDENTIFYING A Local Church Scriptural Have you been added to Christ’s church – Act 2:38,41,47? Are you serving Christ in a scriptural local church? – Acts 9:26-28
  31. 31. W. 65th St church of Christ - February 18, 2007
  32. 32. Charts by Don McClain Prepared April 10-12 2014 Preached April 13, 2014 West 65th Street church of Christ P.O. Box 190062 Little Rock AR 72219 501-568-1062 Prepared using Keynote Email – donmcclain@sbcglobal.net More Keynote, PPT & Audio Sermons: http://w65stchurchofchrist.org/coc/sermons/ Note – Many of the transition effects used in this presentation will be lost using PPT 2007 Viewer http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx? FamilyID=cb9bf144-1076-4615-9951-294eeb832823&displaylang=en Identifying A Scriptural Local Church
  33. 33. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NKJV) 1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers,
  34. 34. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NKJV) 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
  35. 35. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NKJV) 6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.
  36. 36. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NKJV) 9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

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