> What is church?
The Gospel creates the church. When the Gospel is proclaimed people are saved and belong to the church.
There is no sense in the Bible that we are saved to be isolated individuals. Christ becomes our ‘head’ and we become ‘the body’ with other believers. You cannot be a headless body. This is expressed by belonging to a local church.
Church is difficult at time by it’s very nature because it is made up of sinful people. It is difficult and delightful; joyful & sorrowful; pleasure and pain. Church is God’s intended crucible of grace for every Christian. It is a place where you can and should expect discouragement, dysfunction and disappointed yet at the same time experience encouragement, equipping and empowering for the Christian life.
The Church is at the centre of God’s plan for the world to make his Son known. Ephesians 3:10
“The local church is the hope of the world.” Bill Hybels
The Honeymoon period – What does that mean? It is quite common for people to come to church and it initially be very positive. Of course over time they begin to see the church and all it’s faults. This is when it is easy to become disillusioned and so discouraged about church. It is important to see this is a natural part of relationships and to persevere. It is not only where we are reminded of the Gospel but where we get to practise living the Gospel.
It’s a privilege and responsibility to belong to a church!
DEFINITION OF THE CHURCH
A community of baptised believers in Jesus Christ who obey the Bible by organising under appointed qualified leadership and gather regularly for preaching, worship and the Lord Supper and scatter to live and speak about Jesus in the world.
Doctrine of Church
– Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:23, 2:16. 4:13, 5:30. 1 Corinthians 12:27)
– Temple of God (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:9-10)
– Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-23; Revelation 21)
– Flock (Acts 20:23; 1 Peter 5)
– Household (1 Timothy 3:15)
> Why belong to a church?
– It’s biblical (1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2; 1 Timothy 3&5; Titus 1)
– For the sake of the Church
– For the sake of weaker Christians
– For sake of pastors and leaders (Hebrews 13:17)
– For the sake of your own Christian life
– For the sake of new people at church
– For the sake of non-Christians
– For God’s glory