Local Church Belief

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Preacher @ Bethel, Dec 31, 2005.

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Local Church Belief

  1. You believe local church only

    95.0%
  2. You believe in a local church and universal church

    5.0%
  3. You believe in a universal church only

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Preacher @ Bethel

    Preacher @ Bethel
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    I would like to know if there is anyone else on the board besides myself who believes local church only and does not believe in a universal view of the church at all.

    Preacher @ Bethel
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Sorry [email protected] - I think that the local church is God's primary agency, but also believe that there is a universal body of believers in the world today.
     
  3. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    Interesting question, [email protected]

    My answer would be with a few verses taken taken from the Bible...

    1 Corinthians 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
    1 Corinthians 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
    1 Corinthians 12:17 If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling?
    1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
    1 Corinthians 12:19 And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?
    1 Corinthians 12:20 But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.
    1 Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
    1 Corinthians 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
     
  4. Preacher @ Bethel

    Preacher @ Bethel
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    C4K,
    Thank you for your reply. I would like to make sure that I understand you properly. Are you saying that you believe there is a universal body of believers that make up a universal church and then you also believe there is a local church which God uses as His primary agency? I just wanted to clarify so I could make sure I understood. Thanks again for your reply [​IMG] .

    By His Grace,
    Preacher @ Bethel
     
  5. genesis12

    genesis12
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    There is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God & Father of us all. How does one separate a "local" body of believers from a universal body of believers? Help me out, here. Thanks.
     
  6. Preacher @ Bethel

    Preacher @ Bethel
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    Genesis12,
    I don't seperate a local body of believers from a universal body of believers. The only universal body of believers that I know of mentioned in the bible are the elect or sheep of God (all of the saved). I don't believe that a church is just a body of belivers, I believe there is only one kind of church spoken of in the bible and that being the local church of Jesus Christ that He started and commissioned in His earthly ministry and the churches that church gave birth to. I believe a church is a body of baptized believers who were properly organized by another true church or body of baptized belivers. Just like the church at Antioch sent out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries and they organized churches. I believe this is the only kind of church mentioned in the Bible. I believe when you look at the word church in the bible it is either speaking of a particular church such as "the church at Corinth" or it is speaking of any and all churches yet not pointing out a particular one. We have an example of this in Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." When it speaks of husband and wife we know that it is speaking of any and all husbands and wives without pointing out a particular husband and wife. The word church in this verse is used the same way. If the church that we find in God's word is just a universal body of believers then you must believe that you can loose your salvation according to the scriptures that teach us discipline by exclusion and the verses in Revelation that speak of God removing the candlestick would have to be speaking of removing their salvation if the church is only a universal body of believers. Re 2:1 "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Notice God is threatning to take away their candlestick. Revelation 1:20 clearly tells us the candlestick is the church. So if the church is only a universal body of believers then God would have to be taking away their salvation when He takes away the candlestick. The Bible is full of scripture that teaches eternal security so we know that you can't loose your salvation. I believe that a universal body of belivers is referd to as the sheep, the elect, the saved but not the church.

    By His Grace,
    Preacher @Bethel
     
  7. Linda64

    Linda64
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    I don't understand [email protected] you saying the universal body of believers isn't the church? I always thought that the Church-the Body of Christ-are the "called out" (ekklesia) composed of born again Jews and Gentiles--and the universal body of believers was composed of local assemblies of believers. The Church is also called the Bride of Christ.
     
  8. PrimePower7

    PrimePower7
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    I must say at this time how strange it is when the greats like Harold Sightler or Tom Malone or even John Rice speak of the church, they speak of it in a general universal sense and then explain it using local church lingo. I Corinthians 12 cited by "Standingfirm" is impossible aside from a local church application.
     
  9. Preacher @ Bethel

    Preacher @ Bethel
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    Yes, I am saying the universal body of believers is not the church. There was a universal body of believers long before Christ organized His church upon this earth. 1Co 12:28 "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." The first members that Christ set in His church was the apostles and the apostles didn't exist until Christ chose them out of His group of disciples that were following Him. Lu 6:13 "And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;" Christ didn't foudn His church until the New Testament Mt 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." But there was a universla body of believers before the New Testament. The universal body of believers is the saved, the elect, the sheep all of which are the same. The church on the other hand is a God's ekklesia that He called out and commissioned to carry out His work.

    By His Grace,
    Preacher @ Bethel
     
  10. Archei

    Archei
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    But, should we understand that he set some who were in the church when set, or that he set some beforehand that are now in the church?
    The "first, second, third" thing doesn't seem to be a reference to chronology, but authority or importance, based on context, as well.
     
  11. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Mt. 16:18-19, "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

    Which church?


    Eph. 1:22-23, "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."

    Which church?

    Eph. 3:20-21, "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."

    Which church?

    Eph. 5:22-27, "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless."

    Which church?

    Eph. 5:32, "This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."

    Which church?

    Col. 1:18, "He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."

    Which church?
     
  12. Linda64

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    Sounds like we are talking about two churches? The "universal body of believers/the sheep/the elect" and the Church (the ekklesia)or the ones Christ "called out and commissioned to carry out His work".

    Like gb93433 is asking: Which church? This could be confusing. What is the function of the "universal body of believers" & what do they believe?

    I'm confused. :confused:
     
  13. John of Japan

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    I believe in using strictly Biblical terms in this matter. So, I believe in the local church, which may have unbelievers in it, and the "body of Christ," made up of all believers. However, the body of Christ technically does not become a "church" (called-out assembly) until it assembles in Heaven, as per Heb. 12:23. And that's my two yen!
     
  14. Preacher @ Bethel

    Preacher @ Bethel
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    My answer to the question, "Which church"? is: any of the Lord local churches or all of them put together. He speaks of them collectively. What I am trying to point out is that all of the Lord's local churches put together don't make up a universal body of believers because not everyone that is a believer is a church member. All of the local churches put together make up a universal body known as the "bride of Christ". Eph. 5:22-27, "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, Notice how the word wife is used here. "the wife" I may have a wife and you may have a wife but my wife isn't your wife and your wife isn't my wife. They are seperate wives and yet my wife and your wife are spoken of in this verse as "the wife". Notice the words "the church" is used the same way. The Faith Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN and the Faith Baptist church in Paducah, KY are both local churches. They can both fit into the category of "the church" although they are both seperate local churches.

    By His Grace,
    Preacher @ Bethel
     
  15. Linda64

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    My answer to the question, "Which church"? is: any of the Lord local churches or all of them put together. He speaks of them collectively. What I am trying to point out is that all of the Lord's local churches put together don't make up a universal body of believers because not everyone that is a believer is a church member. All of the local churches put together make up a universal body known as the "bride of Christ". Eph. 5:22-27, "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, Notice how the word wife is used here. "the wife" I may have a wife and you may have a wife but my wife isn't your wife and your wife isn't my wife. They are seperate wives and yet my wife and your wife are spoken of in this verse as "the wife". Notice the words "the church" is used the same way. The Faith Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN and the Faith Baptist church in Paducah, KY are both local churches. They can both fit into the category of "the church" although they are both seperate local churches.

    By His Grace,
    Preacher @ Bethel
    </font>[/QUOTE]This is circular reasoning. Where in the Bible does it say a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has to be a member of a local church to be a member of the Body of Christ, which is the Church? :confused:
     
  16. Askjo

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    The simple result is that the gov't shuts down a local church for some reasons such as debts or taxes or whatever. However the gov't CANNOT shut down an universal church because this universal church is a universal body of believers. An universal church re-opens its a local church. What do you think?
     
  17. gb93433

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    I would agree. Also, not all local church members are part of the universal church.
     
  18. 4His_glory

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    I believe in the primacy of the local church and that the majority of references to the church in Scripture are regarding the local church, but there is obviously a "universal church" as well.
     
  19. genesis12

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    Preach, I think you are straining at a gnat. I don't believe the issue you present is an issue at all. I think Linda approaches the topic more carefully. My two Euros.
     
  20. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I used to be local church only until I came across this verse and started asking questions about it.

    1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

    I was taught that the Church (body) Paul was writing to was only the local church at Corinth.
    Until I saw that Paul included himself (For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body) Now how could Paul be a member of the local Corinthian Church, and a member at Antioch?

    Act 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
    Act 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

    Paul had to be talking about the universal church in 1 Cor 12. That is the only way he could have used the word "we" and still be truthful.
     

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