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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by bigczardaddy, Oct 13, 2005.
1. Is the church universal or local?
The church Christ is building is made up of all believers from all time everywhere.
The church I worship in with other believers of my time and place is local. A very small sub-division, if you like!
The church (small "c") is local. The Church (capitol "C") is universal.
Universal, when you are talking about all Christians unless Jesus only has one local church and the rest are just fake copies.
Mat 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.
Local, when you are talking about groups of Christians in various communities.
Act 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
My family is composed of everyone that is kin to me but my family in my hometown is considerably smaller but they are my family nonetheless. I have a hard time even conceiving of this as a difficulty for someone to understand.
Yes, it is!
There are LNTC's that teach that there is no universal church(as in all true believers).This is mostly found in hyper-fundamentalist type groups.This of course causes some to become confused.The Universal church somehow gets equated with ecumentalism which is not what the Bible is talking about.
There is the local New Testament Church which is a body of saved,Baptized,voted in church members and there is the Universal Church which consists of all who are saved and are the Bride of Christ at the Marriage Supper of The Lamb in heaven.The universal church is not identifiable down here where we are on earth and only God(in Holy Trinity form)knows who is a part of it.
Yes on both counts.
2.Is the universal church visible or invisible?
We can see some of the people in it, but most are with the Lord now.
The church is local. It is an assembly (ekklasia). The idea of an assembly that doesn't assemble but is scattered all over the world is ridiculous.
In the bible all the saved are called "the family of God" or "the Kingdom of God" but never are all the saved called "the church of God."
Acts 20:28, 1 Cor 10:32, 1 Cor 11:22, 1 Cor 15:9, Gal 1:13, 1 Tim 3:15
Just curious. Where is this quote from?
I think that's a Bill Gaither song.
Yes, exactly. Thank you for proving my point.
Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
I would say both. It is visible in the sense that we can know a Christian by their fruits, but invisible in that we really don't know who is genuine and who isn't and we have to take people at their word that they are or aren't.
2---If it is invisible, how may we know it exists?
2---If visible, what are its distinguishing characteristics that we may recognize it?
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church (eκκλησία)
and gave Himself up for her," Eph 5:25.
Which local assembly did Christ love?