Ecclesiology: What's a Biblical Church and how should it function
Suggested Study Procedure
A. As you look at the title above, jot down any questions that come to mind that you'd like to see answered during your study and our discussions.
B. Survey the following verses to get a sense of some of the data available. Mark the ones that you want to come back to for further study. After reading through the verses, try to formulate your general impressions about "Church" (in writing!!). This will help focus your study time.
C. Read through the articles (and any other reference materials you have [see Bibliology Study Guide for suggestions]) and mark any items that raise issues you want to further study or discuss, or that do a good job of expressing your understanding of "Church."
D. Try to identify (again in writing) half a dozen issues that highlight the tensions between the different viewpoints expressed in the articles or between them and your understanding of the Scriptures, or between cultural expressions of Christianity and the principles of Scripture, or even between the different passages of Scripture. Organize your questions (if possible) in some sort of logical progression or sequence, and mark those that are most important to you. (See examples on last page only after you've done all the above.)
E. Now start studying to find answers to your most important questions. Dig into the contexts of verses, various meanings of works, purpose of the epistle, etc. (See the sheet on Bible Study from the January Study Guide for an overview of the process, and the "What to Look For in Observation," etc., sheets for specifics.)
The following verses from the NIV should be helpful in determining to what sort of things members of a church should be committed. Read through them and other verses and then try to come up with the kind of commitments someone should make in order to be a member of the ministry team of a Biblically based church.
I. General verses using the word: Church
(zip through these)
Only two references in the gospels:
MAT 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my <church>, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
(The church is engaged in doing something in opposition to Hades)
MAT 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the <church>; and if he refuses to listen even to the <church>, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (The church is engaged in disciplining people who sin [making folks holy])
ACT 5:11 Great fear seized the whole <church> and all who heard about these events.
ACT 9:31 Then the <church> throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
ACT 11:22 News of this reached the ears of the <church> at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
ACT 11:26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the <church> and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
ACT 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the <church> was earnestly praying to God for him.
ACT 13:1 In the <church> at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
ACT 14:23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each <church> and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
ACT 15:3 The <church> sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. ACT 15:4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the <church> and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
ACT 15:22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole <church>, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.
ACT 15:30 The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the <church> together and delivered the letter.
ACT 18:22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the <church> and then went down to Antioch.
ACT 20:17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the <church>.
ACT 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the <church> of God, which he bought with his own blood.
ROM 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the <church> in Cenchrea.
ROM 16:5 Greet also the <church> that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
ROM 16:23 Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole <church> here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city's director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.
1 Cor. 1:2 To the <church> of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours:
4:17 For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every <church>.
5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the <church>? Are you not to judge those inside?
10:32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the <church> of God--
11:18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a <church>, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.
12:28 And in the <church> God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
14:4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the <church>. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the <church> may be edified. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the <church>. 19 But in the <church> I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. 26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the <church>. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the <church>.
16:19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the <church> that meets at their house.
EPH 1:22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the <church>,
3:10 His intent was that now, through the <church>, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
3:21 to him be glory in the <church> and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the <church>, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the <church> submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant <church>, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 5:29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the <church>--
PHI 4:15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one <church> shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;
COL 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the <church>; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. COL 1:24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the <church>.
COL 4:15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the <church> in her house. 16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the <church> of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
1 Tim. 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the <church> of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
1 Tim. 5:16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the <church> be burdened with them, so that the <church> can help those widows who are really in need. 17 The elders who direct the affairs of the <church> well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
HEB 12:23 to the <church> of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
JAM 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the <church> to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
3JO 1:6 They have told the <church> about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.
3JO 1:9 I wrote to the <church>, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. 10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the <church>.
Verses relating to house churches (skim real fast)
ACT 2:2 suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole <house> where they were sitting.
ACT 5:42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from <house> to <house>, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
ACT 8:3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from <house> to <house>, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.
ACT 12:12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the <house> of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.
ACT 16:15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my <house>." And she persuaded us.
ACT 16:32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his <house>.
ACT 16:40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's <house>, where they met with the <brothers> and encouraged them. Then they left.
ACT 17:5 But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason's <house> in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. ACT 17:6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other <brothers> before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, ACT 17:7 and Jason has welcomed them into his <house>. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus."
ACT 18:7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the <house> of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.
ACT 20:20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from <house> to <house>.
ACT 28:30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented <house> and welcomed all who came to see him.
ROM 16:5 Greet also the church that meets at their <house>. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
1CO 16:19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their <house>.
COL 4:15 Give my greetings to the <brothers> at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her <house>.
2JO 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your <house> or welcome him.
Verses on what believers should do with "one another"
(Spend some quality time in the NT verses and develop some principles)
LEV 19:11 "'Do not steal. "'Do not lie. "'Do not deceive <one> <another>.
JDG 20:22 But the men of Israel encouraged <one> <another> and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day.
EST 9:22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to <one> <another> and gifts to the poor.
MAL 2:10 Have we not all <one> Father? Did not <one> God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with <one> <another>?
JOH 5:44 How can you believe if you accept praise from <one> <another>, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?
JOH 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love <one> <another>. As I have loved you, so you must love <one> <another>.
JOH 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love <one> <another>."
ROM 12:10 Be devoted to <one> <another> in brotherly love. Honor <one> <another> above yourselves.
12:16 Live in harmony with <one> <another>. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love <one> <another>, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on <one> <another>. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 15:7 Accept <one> <another>, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 15:14 I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct <one> <another>. 16:16 Greet <one> <another> with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
1CO 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with <one> <another> so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1CO 16:20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet <one> <another> with a holy kiss.
2CO 13:12 Greet <one> <another> with a holy kiss.
GAL 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve <one> <another> in love.
EPH 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with <one> <another> in love.
EPH 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to <one> <another>, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
EPH 5:19 Speak to <one> <another> with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
EPH 5:21 Submit to <one> <another> out of reverence for Christ.
COL 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against <one> <another>. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish <one> <another> with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
1TH 5:11 Therefore encourage <one> <another> and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
TIT 3:3 At <one> time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating <one> <another>.
HEB 3:13 But encourage <one> <another> daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
HEB 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us fa guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur <one> <another> on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage <one> <another>--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
JAM 4:11 Brothers, do not slander <one> <another>. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with <one> <another>; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 4:9 Offer hospitality to <one> <another> without grumbling.
5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward <one> <another>, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 14 Greet <one> <another> with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
1JO 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with <one> <another>, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us fall sin. 3:11 This is the message you heard fthe beginning: We should love <one> <another>. 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love <one> <another> as he commanded us. 4:7 Dear friends, let us love <one> <another>, for love comes fGod. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
2JO 1:5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but <one> we have had fthe beginning. I ask that we love <one> <another>.
Verses related to: A = good works & deeds; B = service & ministry
(Just get a general sense of these, but study Eph 4 [see sermon guide on the passage])
MAT 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your <good> <deeds> and praise your Father in heaven.
JOH 3:20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his <deeds> will be exposed.
JOH 6:28 Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the <works> God requires?"
ACT 26:20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their <deeds>.
Rom 16:23 Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city's director of public <works>, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.
EPH 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do <good> <works>, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
EPH 4:11-16 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for <works> of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. Fhim the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
EPH 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless <deeds> of darkness, but rather expose them.
1TI 2:10 but with <good> <deeds>, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
1TI 5:10 and is well known for her <good> <deeds>, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of <good> <deeds>.
1TI 6:18 Command them to do <good>, to be rich in <good> <deeds>, and to be generous and willing to share.
HEB 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and <good> <deeds>.
1PE 2:12 Live such <good> lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your <good> <deeds> and glorify God on the day he visits us.
REV 2:2 I know your <deeds>, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.
REV 2:23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your <deeds>.
REV 3:1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your <deeds>; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. REV 3:2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your <deeds> complete in the sight of my God.
REV 3:8 I know your <deeds>. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
REV 3:15 I know your <deeds>, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
REV 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest for their labor, for their <deeds> will follow them."
B. Service & Ministry
LUK 9:62 Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for <service> in the kingdom of God."
LUK 12:35 "Be dressed ready for <service> and keep your lamps burning,
ACT 1:17 he was one of our number and shared in this <ministry>."
ACT 1:25 to take over this apostolic <ministry>, which Judas left to go where he belongs."
ACT 6:2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the <ministry> of the word of God in order to wait on tables.
ACT 6:4 and will give our attention to prayer and the <ministry> of the word."
ACT 8:21 You have no part or share in this <ministry>, because your heart is not right before God.
Rom 15:17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my <service> to God.
15:25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the <service> of the saints there.
15:31 Pray that I may be rescued fthe unbelievers in Judea and that my <service> in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there,
1CO 12:5 There are different kinds of <service>, but the same Lord.
1CO 16:14 Do everything in love. 15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the <service> of the saints. I urge you, brothers, 16 to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking fyou. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.
2CO 3:3 You show that you are a letter fChrist, the result of our <ministry>, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4:1 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this <ministry>, we do not lose heart.
5:18 All this is fGod, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the <ministry> of reconciliation:
6:3 We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our <ministry> will not be discredited.
8:1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this <service> to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
8:18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his <service> to the gospel.
9:1 There is no need for me to write to you about this <service> to the saints.
9:10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This <service> that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the <service> by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
EPH 4:12 to prepare God's people for works of <service>, so that the body of Christ may be built up
PHI 2:17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and <service> coming fyour faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
1TI 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his <service>.
1TI 6:2 Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit ftheir <service> are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them.
2TI 4:5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your <ministry>.
2TI 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my <ministry>.
HEB 2:17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in <service> to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
IV. Verses on encourage, warn, rebuke, exhort
LUK 17:3 So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, <rebuke> him, and if he repents, forgive him.
ACT 15:32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to <encourage> and strengthen the brothers.
12:8 if it is encouraging, let him <encourage>; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
1CO 4:14 I am not writing this to shame you, but to <warn> you, as my dear children.
EPH 6:22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may <encourage> you.
COL 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and <admonish> one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
COL 4:8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may <encourage> your hearts.
1TH 3:2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and <encourage> you in your faith,
1TH 4:18 Therefore <encourage> each other with these words.
1TH 5:11 Therefore <encourage> one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1TH 5:12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who <admonish> you.
1TH 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, <warn> those who are idle, <encourage> the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
2TH 2:16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
2TH 2:17 <encourage> your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2TH 3:6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.
2TH 3:14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.
2TH 3:15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but <warn> him as a brother.
1TI 5:1 Do not <rebuke> an older man harshly, but <exhort> him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers,
1TI 5:2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
2TI 2:14 Keep reminding them of these things. <Warn> them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
2TI 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, <rebuke> and <encourage>--with great patience and careful instruction. 2TI 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2TI 4:4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
TIT 1:9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can <encourage> others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
TIT 2:6 Similarly, <encourage> the young men to be self-controlled.
TIT 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ who gave himself for us to redeem us fall wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. <Encourage> and <rebuke> with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
TIT 3:10 <Warn> a divisive person once, and then <warn> him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. TIT 3:11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
TIT 3:13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.
HEB 3:13 But <encourage> one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
HEB 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us <encourage> one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
HEB 12:5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's <discipline>, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, Endure hardship as <discipline>; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes <discipline>), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No <discipline> seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
REV 22:18 I <warn> everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.
Verses on: Leadership, Elders, Authority, & Submission
(See Hand-out on "Tasks Entrusted to NT Elders")
ACT 1:20 "For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms, "'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, "'May another take his place of <leadership>.'
ACT 11:30 This they did, sending their gift to the <elders> by Barnabas and Saul.
ACT 14:23 Paul and Barnabas appointed <elders> for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
ACT 15:2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and <elders> about this question.
ACT 15:4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and <elders>, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
ACT 15:6 The apostles and <elders> met to consider this question.
ACT 15:22 Then the apostles and <elders>, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were <leaders> among the brothers. ACT 15:23 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and <elders>, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.
ACT 16:4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and <elders> in Jerusalem for the people to obey.
ACT 20:17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the <elders> of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you <overseers>. Be <shepherds> of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. "Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Rom 12:8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is <leadership>, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
13:1 Everyone must <submit> himself to the governing authorities, for there is no <authority> except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the <authority> is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For <rulers> hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in <authority>? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to <submit> to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what <leads> to peace and to mutual edification.
1CO 7:17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the <rule> I lay down in all the churches.
11:10 For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of <authority> on her head.
14:34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in <submission>, as the Law says.
16:15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, 16 to <submit> to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it.
2CO 7:8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it--I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while-- 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that <leads> to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong or of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 14 I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. 15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.
2 Cor 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 7 You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he. 8 For even if I boast somewhat freely about the <authority> the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it. 9 I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing." 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
2CO 13:10 This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of <authority>--the <authority> the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
EPH 5:21 <Submit> to one another out of reverence for Christ. 5:22 Wives, <submit> to your husbands as to the Lord. 5:24 Now as the church <submits> to Christ, so also wives should <submit> to their husbands in everything.
1TH 4:2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the <authority> of the Lord Jesus.
1TI 2:11 A woman should learn in quietness and full <submission>. 1TI 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have <authority> over a man; she must be silent.
1TI 3:1 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an <overseer>, he desires a noble task. Now the <overseer> must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
1TI 3:8 Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
1TI 3:12 A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
1TI 4:14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of <elders> laid their hands on you.
1TI 5:17 The <elders> who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages." 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an <elder> unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning. 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
2TI 2:19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance <leading> them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
2TI 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
TIT 1:5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint <elders> in every town, as I directed you. An <elder> must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an <overseer> is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach--and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
TIT 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all <authority>. Do not let anyone despise you.
TIT 3:1 Remind the people to be subject to <rulers> and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
HEB 5:7 During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent <submission>.
HEB 12:9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we <submit> to the Father of our spirits and live!
HEB 13:7 Remember your <leaders>, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
HEB 13:17 Obey your <leaders> and <submit> to their <authority>. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
HEB 13:24 Greet all your <leaders> and all God's people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
JAM 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the <elders> of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
1PE 2:13 <Submit> yourselves for the Lord's sake to every <authority> instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme <authority>, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king, Slaves, <submit> yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
1PE 3:1 Wives, in the same way be <submissive> to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
1PE 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in <submission> to him.
1PE 5:1 To the <elders> among you, I appeal as a fellow <elder>, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be <shepherds> of God's flock that is under your care, serving as <overseers>--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief <Shepherd> appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away, Young men, in the same way be <submissive> to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
2PE 2:10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise <authority>. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;
1JO 2:26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to <lead> you astray.
1JO 3:7 Dear children, do not let anyone <lead> you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
1JO 5:16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not <lead> to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not <lead> to death. There is a sin that <leads> to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 1JO 5:17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not <lead> to death.
3JO 1:1 The <elder>, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
JUD 1:8 In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject <authority> and slander celestial beings.
JUD 1:12 These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--<shepherds> who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead.
Verses relating to church discipline
MAT 18:14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
1CO 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. 1CO 5:2 And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-- not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
GAL 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, fthat nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, fthe Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
TIT 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.
Supplement to "D." in the Preparation Preface - Suggested Categories for your questions
1. WHY is there such a thing as Church...What's its purpose
2. WHAT constitutes a Church...What makes a Church a Church?
3. WHO comprises a Church?
In considering this question, be careful to separate current cultural Christianity from NT Christianity. In NT times a person had to make a significant commitment to Christ in the process of being born-again. Christ was culturally unacceptable. Those who confessed Him were put out of the synagogue, their homes, businesses, and even towns. Frequently they were killed (as has been the case throughout history and still is today in many parts of the world). Trusting Christ's death on their behalf carried with it a deep conviction that He was indeed Lord and worthy of following to the point of death.
When believers gathered for worship they did so "in the name of the Lord" or with the confession "Jesus is Lord." The basis of worshipping together was the common acknowledgement that Jesus was both their Savior and Boss. It would be hard to attribute worth to Jesus as the Ruler of all if one was not recognizing or rejecting His Lordship in their own lives. That is not to say that one must be perfectly sanctified to worship. There is a difference between our intent and direction, and our actual practice. One can struggle with sin, be failing repeatedly, yet still gather for worship if the sin is confessed and steps are being taken to overcome it. (Prov 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.)
4. HOW does one evaluate a Church?
1) One way at looking at the Measure of a Church according to Gene Getz in his book of the same title is evaluating them according to the characteristics listed in the greetings to the various churches in the NT Epistles..."Faith, Hope, and Love", and according to the "one another" passages.
2) Another way would be to compare it to the churches in the Rev 2-3.
3) The most comprehensive way would be to look at all of Scripture to determine all that a chruch is supposed to do and be (purpose, objectives, etc) and then evaluate according to that standard. [We could be better or worse than any church in any area, yet be at the other end of the spectrum in another sphere.]
5. HOW do Churches come into being and grow?
6. WHAT should a Church do?
VII. DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH (Ecclesiology)
The Body of Christ was formed at Pentecost. (Mt 16:18; I Cor 12:13)
A church consists of an interdependent body of believers submitted under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and to each other, organized and uniting under Biblically qualified leadership for glorifying God by obeying HIs command to make disciples through: worship, instruction, fellowship and evangelism.
(Eph 1:22-23; Acts 2:42-47; I Tim 3; Titus 1)
In Scripture elders are entrusted with the ongoing tasks of shepherding and overseeing the Body, and deacons performed delegated tasks of service on behalf of the Body as the needs arose. (Acts 6; 20:28; I Pt 5:1-4; Phil 1:1; I Tim 3; Titus 1)
Christ prescribed two ritual acts for the Church, Baptism and the Lord's Supper; the former, by immersion, symbolizes the identification of a believer with Christ, the latter commemorates and proclaims Christ's death and our participation in the New Covenant blessings until Christ returns.
(Mt 28:19-20; Lk 22:19-20; Rm 6; I Cor 10:16; 11:23-26)
The church exists bring glory to God by obeying Christ's commission to make disciples of all nations. (Eph 1; Mt 28:19-20)