Spiritual body of all true believers?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dr. Walter, May 24, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you support from scripture a universal invisible body of Christ consisting of all believers regardless of geographical location of those believers, doctrine or practice?

    1. How are believers added to such a body?

    2. When were believers first added to such a body?

    3. How are believers added to such a body?
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    128
    Three questions…. huh? :laugh:

    (Matthew 16:18) …I will build my church…

    • Jesus speaks of a unified body of believers as his church.
    This church is compared to:

    A body (Colossians 1:18, 24) And he is the head of the body, the church.

    A bride (Ephesians 5:25-27) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

    A building (Ephesians 2:19-22) …you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone…

    The Priesthood (1 Peter 2:5) …to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices…

    A flock (John 10:1-5) The sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

    Branches (John 15:5) I am the vine; you are the branches.

    There are probably some others I've left out.

    How do you enter the church?
    Through the Door, Jesus Christ.

    Rob
     
    #2 Deacon, May 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2010
  3. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I agree that the scriptures speak of "the church" as a "unified body of believers." That rules out any kind of universal invisible church theory as that is most divided, confused, idea of a church in history.
     
  4. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,121
    Likes Received:
    319
    First, I do not like the terms universal, catholic or invisible.

    But for the sake of conceptual thinking I identify the Body of Christ as synonymous with the Church of Matthew 16:18

    Matthew 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.​

    The pragmatics of that statement indeed become complex and even convoluted for the human mind.​

    The architecture of the Church of Jesus Christ (and He did say "my" church) was conceived of by the Son of God. Much as a boat, the blueprints were drawn up and the original staff chosen while He was here in the days of His flesh before the crucifixion.​

    So in a way the boat was designed (for both Jew and Gentile, male, female, etc), engineered, staffed (apostles) and chartered before it was launched. Destination, the New Jerusalem.​

    After the resurrection of the God the Son, He fulfilled the promise of John and placed (baptized) the church in the Spirit or His spiritual Body, "and the Lord was that Spirit", He then sent the Spirit in an empowering way to the apostles and the fully equipped "boat" was launched on the Day of Pentecost. ​

    In the passage of the time continuum and the elect make their appearance upon the earth, they are added to the church by the Lord as He grants salvation (regeneration).

    These are they which have their name written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The Lamb which was slain from the foundation of the world.

    As an act of obedience they are baptized in water in the name of the Triune God.

    Presumably, no mortal man wrote these names in the Book but God Himself.

    BTW Dr. Walter questions 1 and 3 are identical.
    Presumably you meant them to be different?

    HankD
     
    #4 HankD, May 24, 2010
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  5. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,121
    Likes Received:
    319
    As they are not all Israel, which are of Israel neither they are not all christ's which are in the professing church (some are wheat, some are tares/weeds). He will take care of that business at the end of the age (Matthew 13) separate out and burn the tares/weeds with fire.

    The true church, the one over which the gates of hell cannot prevail is the past, present and future collection of all those whom HE has added to His Church.

    HankD
     
  6. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    128
    I dunno, I'd say what unifies us is our faith in our Savior.

    It's not visible (surely as you note, it's not completely evident).

    And it not only a local population, after all we were asked to go to the uttermost parts of the earth.

    It's late, catch you on the other side brother.

    Rob
     
  7. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the KJV Jesus uses the term "ekklesia" about 23 times and the first time is in Matthew 16:18. It is used here in the institutional sense and every time that follows it is found in the concrete sense.

    If you compare its use in Matthew 16:18-19 with 18:17-18 you will see in both cases it is used with the definite article and in the singular without any geographical location and in conjuction with the keys of the kingdom. The church in Matthew 16:18 is the same church in Matthew 18:17. Every use thereafter by the builder of the church is concrete and geographically located.

    The baptism in the Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with adding regenerated members into the body of Christ or any other individual application. It is the shikinah glory that accredited each house of God from the tabernacle in Exodus 40 to the temple in 2 Chron. 8 to the church in Acts 2:1. It is an historical non-repeatable event that has to do with the initial indwelling of the Spirit of God in the instutional public house of worship accrediting it as the new house of God with a qualified ministry where the ordinances are publicly administered and the people of God worship.

    I Corinthians 12:13 refers to water baptism in the institutional church body whereas verse 27 makes the concrete application to the specific church body at Corinth and it is easy to demonstrate IF you interpret it by the overall context of First Corinthians and then the immediate context.
     
  8. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,121
    Likes Received:
    319
    This is all conjecture without scripture support, at best a weak opinion.

    e.g. The immediate context 1 Corinthians 12 is all about the ministry of the Spirit.

    1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
    2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
    3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
    4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
    5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
    6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
    7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
    8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
    9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
    10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
    11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
    12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
    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.
    14 For the body is not one member, but many.​

    The word "water" appears nowhere in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 while "Spirit" is used at least 9 times.

    Even the imagery of "to drink" in verse 13 is out of context with water baptism as no where are we required to "drink" the water of water baptism.

    However the

    John 4
    10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
    11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
    12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
    13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
    12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
    13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
    14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
    15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.​

    What might this living water be that is not drawn from a well if it is not symbolic of the Spirit of Christ?

    John 7
    37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
    38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
    39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)​

    To say that 1 Corinthians 12:13 refers to water baptism in any context of 1 Corinthians is (IMO) an impossible stretch when compared to the whole counsel of God.​

    The living water which we all "drink" is the Spirit of God.​

    BTW Dr Walter, you balk at the phrase the "universal" or "invisible" church but use another phrase which cannot be found in the New Testament "the institutional church body".

    HankD
     
    #8 HankD, May 24, 2010
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  9. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand your argument completely as your position was my own position for several years. However, I believe that I can present a defense of I Corinthians 12:13 as a summarized description of how the church at Corinth and every church was constituted based solely upon the immediate context.

    It is late tonight and I am tired. If you will give me a reasonable hearing I will present the evidence tomorrow.
     
  10. Greektim

    Greektim
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    118
    Allow me to offer a reason why I hold to a Body of Christ Church. Galatians (I hold the South Galatia view and thus the earliest of Paul's writings) uses the singular and plural of εκκλεσια drawing distinctions between the two.

    Gal 1:2 and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

    Obviously local churches

    Gal 1:13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.

    Ambiguous and unperspicuitous if it means the local church. Which church was Paul talking about? It seems clearest that he is referring to a general religious faction known as the Church of God.

    Gal 1:22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.

    Obviously local churches

    I'm new here so I look forward to further discussion.
     
  11. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greek Tim, welcome to Baptist Board. All the Scripture references are very good. This is the way I look at it, for what little it is worth. The universal church, or the church of all true believers, (and I believe it is gathered in the book of Revelation) has no function here on earth. It does not spread the Gospel, baptize, administer the Lord's Supper, take up an offering, help the poor, hold worship services, send out missionaries, or any other spiritual function. The work of the Lord is through the local church. There is nothing wrong for sure with local churches cooperating together to carry out the Lord's work.

    Having said all of that, there are those who equate a roll of members at a Baptist church or local Baptist church with the roll of true believers, with a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. There is nothing that could be further from the truth. The numbers show that very well, without having to make a judgement about any given individual. When the typical local church has 40% attendence on a Sunday morning of its members, then divide that in half for Sunday night, then half again for Wednesday night, something is amiss. (40% is generous)

    One of the reasons I am so thankful the Lord has lead me to the church in which I serve is that it is autonomous. There is no heirarchy to dictate this or that.
     
  12. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,121
    Likes Received:
    319
    Thank you Dr Walters and thank you again for the lively debate.

    HankD
     
  13. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Part One - I Cor. 12:13

    I think most of us can agree that I Cor. 12:13 is a summary statement that is descriptive of how God builds His church. Where we will disagree is defining what kind of church is under consideration. I would try to demonstrate solely from the immediate and overall context of the book of First Corinthians that this is a summary statement of an already detailed argument found in chapters one through three of I Corinthians and especially I Cor. 3:6-16. In I Cor. 3:6-16 Paul explains not only how God built the church at Corinth but provides the principles that are summarized in 1 Cor. 12:13 that are true of His church regarded as an institution and therefore descriptive of each and every church built by God.

    I don’t believe you can properly understand I Corinthians 3:6-16 without understanding what led up to this passage. I Corinthians 3:6-16 provide the solution to resolve the cause of division introduced in I Corinthians 1:10-18. The issue of division appears to be arisen by a braggadocios spirit over the particular human personality that was instrumental in the administration of their water baptism. For this very reason Paul responds that he was glad that he had not baptized very many of them:

    14 ¶ I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
    16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.


    The repeated mention of these personalities from I Corinthians 1:12 to I Cor. 4:6 demonstrate these chapters are devoted to resolving this problem of division around these personalities (1:12; 3:4-5, 22; 4:6).

    In the following chapters Paul attacks this issue of division over baptismal administrators by:

    1. First attacking the undue significance placed upon baptism over the gospel – vv. 14-18.

    2. Demonstrating there is no basis for boasting by anyone saved, as God primarily chose the scum of humanity so that no man could glory in His presence – 1:19-31

    3. Demonstrating there is no basis for boasting in one preacher’s ability over another as the real power and difference is determined by the Spirit of God – 2:1-31.

    4. Demonstrating that all human instruments used by God work together as “one” under the leadership of the Holy Spirit in building the church at Corinth – 3:1-16.

    Now, let us look at what I believe to be the background passage for the summary statement in 1 Cor. 12:13

    In 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 Paul asserts that only a “carnal” or “fleshly” spirit would be responsible for a braggadocios spirit dividing them over human personalities:

    1 ¶ And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
    2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
    3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
    4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?


    In I Corinthians 3:5-10 Paul provides the basis for the proper attitude toward those who were instrumental in being used by God to build the church at Corinth.

    5 ¶ Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
    6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
    7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
    8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
    9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
    10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.


    All these varied ministers were given by God (v. 5) and they each provided what God purposed to use them for (v. 6). Therefore, there is no basis to brag about these personalities because they are mere instruments used by God (v. 7).
    In reality, God is the one building the church at Corinth as all these human instruments are “ONE” (v. 8) working under the leadership and thus laborers “TOGETHER WITH GOD” in building the church at Corinth.

    1. “YE are God’s husbandry” they are laboring together to build
    2. “YE are God’s building” they are laboring together to build.
    3. “YE are the Temple of the Spirit” – v. 16
    4. “YE are the body of Christ and members in particular” – I Cor. 12:27

    However, it is Paul who founded the church at Corinth and laid the major foundation – constituted the church through his missionary laborers:

    According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. – v. 10

    Therefore, the church at Corinth was built by God the Holy Spirit through chosen human instruments, Paul, being the primary instrument being the church planter at Corinth. The solution Paul provides for resolving division over the varied human instrumentality that were represented in the church by those having received the gospel and baptism from was to demonstrate that they all worked together under the leadership of God the Holy Spirit and so in the final analysis it is “By One Spirit they were all baptized into one body regardless of personal distinctions” for the purpose to be the habitation of God the Holy Spirit.” That is how they were built as a church body at Corinth.


    PART II will be posted next
     
  14. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Part II - I Cor. 12:13

    1 Corinthians 12 – Division over Spiritual Gifts

    The same truth that resolved the problem over varied human instrumental problems in the church body at Corinth is the same truth that will resolve the problem of division over varied spiritual gifts in the body at Corinth.

    First, let us establish the meaning of the Greek preposition “en” used in I Corinthians 12:13 translated “by” in the KJV and the meaning of the Greek noun “pneuma” translated “Spirit” in I Corinthians 12:13.

    A. The Greek preposition “en”

    At the beginning of this passage Paul intentionally makes a comparative contrast between their former unregenerate state where they worshipped in idolatry under the leadership of demons:

    Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. – 12:2

    In verse three, he introduces the preposition “en” to show a direct contrast to their previous spiritual leadership:

    Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by (en) the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by (en) the Holy Ghost. – v.3

    The Greek preposition “en” is to convey the contrast to the word “led” in verse 2 and should be understood to mean “by means of” or “under the leadership of” or “by direction of”:

    Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking BY THE LEADERSHIP OF the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF the Holy Ghost.

    This introduction contextual definition is carried through to its use in I Corinthians 12:13. It was by means of the Spirit each member received their own particular gift(s) according to His will not their will (vv. 7, 11). It is under his direction or leadership each is to operate that spiritual gift.


    B. The Same Spirit

    Also beginning with verse 3 the Holy Spirit is introduced in this position of leadership in the dispensing, empowering and using all spiritual gifts. In I Corinthians 3:8-16 the Holy Spirit is declared to be the builder of the church at Corinth to provide Himself in Corinth a “building” or “husbandry” or “temple” to dwell in (I Cor. 3:8,16). In I Corinthians 12:27 the same church in Corinth is explicitly defined as “the body of Christ and members in particular.” From verse 4 to verse 13 it is repeatedly the “same” Spirit that is being referred to over and over again.

    C. One Body

    In I Corinthians 12:12 Paul introduces the metaphor of the physical human body as an analogy for the New Testament Church and how it functions under the leadership of Christ:

    For as the [physical human] body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one [physical human] body, being many, are one [physical human]body: so also is [the metaphorical body of] Christ. – v. 12

    Note the repeated emphasis of “ONE” and the use of the definite article “the” with the singular noun “body.” He does not mean for us to understand this is “one” universal invisible physical human body. He does not mean for us to understand that all human beings co-equally share in “ONE” numerical physical human body. What he means, is that all humans co-equally share in “ONE” kind of body, the kind we all have in common with each other and “so also is the metaphorical body of Christ as plainly seen and applied to the church at Corinth in verse 27:

    Now YE are the body of Christ and members in particular” – v. 27

    Throughout the book of I Corinthians Paul consistently use the plural first person pronoun “we” when he is teaching abstract truth applicable to all his readers in various churches that He has planted as the design of his epistles are to be passed from church to church (see Col. 4:16). There is also a church in Cenchrea just a couple of miles from Corinth. However, when he makes a concrete application of the abstract teaching he changes from the use of the plural first person pronoun to the second person plural pronoun “ye.”

    Notice in the direct application of building the church at Corinth by the Holy Spirit through various human instruments he consistently uses the second person plural:

    “YE are God’s building” – 3:9
    “YE are God’s husbandry” – 3:9
    “YE are the Temple of the Holy Spirit” – 3:16
    “YE are the body of Christ and members in particular” – 12:27

    The historical and grammatical contextual “we” in the epistles of Paul is addressed to those who are baptized members of the churches he founded.


    D. Made to drink into that One Spirit

    The immediate context is about the use and purpose of spiritual gifts in how they relate to the composition, unity and edification of the church body at Corinth. The term “drink” is a metaphor that means to “partake.” When these gifts are being exercised correctly under the leadership of the Holy Spirit all members of that body are the recipients of the Spirit’s indwelling presence and power. The immediate context is not about salvation but about service and mutual benefits they partake of by the make up and gifting of individual members under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.


    APPLICATION:

    Therefore, in I Corinthians 12:13 it is “by means of” or “under the leadership of” or “by direction of” ONE Spirit, the same Spirit previously described, we (all who have been brought by water baptism) into ONE BODY (the body where our membership resides) regardless of our individuality (Jews or Gentiles, bond or free) have all have been made to “drink” or PARTAKE of or BENEFIT from the manifold blessings of that ONE Spirit manifested through the ministry of the diverse spiritual gifts within that “building” “husbandry” “temple” “body.”

    In John 4:1-2 the administration of water baptism is attributed to Jesus Christ as the first “comforter” and builder of the church at Jerusalem, even though it was administered by His disciples. Jesus promises them that “ANOTHER COMFORTER” He would send them to take His place and The Holy Spirit would “LEAD” and direct them. We see that John 4:1-2 in regard to the administration of water baptism is exactly parallel to I Corinthians 3:6-9. The human administrators of baptism worked as “ONE” together under the direction of the Holy Spirit in building the church at Corinth so that Paul is nothing and Apollos is nothing but it is God the Holy Spirit that really led them to be baptized and baptized them through human instruments working under His leadership.
     
  15. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,121
    Likes Received:
    319
    I tend to agree and in fact, although I chided Dr. Walter about using the term "institutional" church, I do believe that term is better than "universal" or "invisible".

    However, IMO it still misses the mark because of it vaguery or lack of focus Christ gave the Church in Matthew 16:18.

    It can be said that the Church was not always missionary minded and we know that we mean the "Church at large" or we can say that the Church had become corrupt because of Pagan influences and we know that we do not mean the Church at Rome in particular.

    So, I suppose we will continue to use the words of our choice to describe that singular entity Christ spoke of when He said "I WILL build my Church".

    Here are some other references that seem to indicate something more than an "institute" or a local church (both of these terms however having a legitimate usage).

    1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:​

    1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

    Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.​

    Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.​

    Then there is the imagery used of the Church which has been mentioned in previous posts.​

    I suppose we could say that all local churches are simply an extension of the one time local church at Jerusalem but that concept probably wouldn't fly in the Baptist world.​

    I believe that the "church" mentioned in Hebrews 12:23 answers to the statement that the "universal" church does nothing here on earth.​

    The analogy would be that of a business which (for example) manufactures airplanes such as Boeing (whom I have had the priviledge to work for in the past). No airplanes are manufactured at the headquarters but decisions are made and directives are given. However, the collective of all the sites is legally called the Boeing Corporation.​

    Probably not the best analogy, but when we speak of the Church we speak of an entity that spans from earth to heaven (where most of the members now have residence - actually we are all seated in the heavenlies) and where the one who is presently building it on earth resides (in heaven).​

    HankD​
     
    #15 HankD, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  16. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,121
    Likes Received:
    319
    I made my previous note before I read this one you had made.

    I appreciate the effort both for myself and those tracking here.

    Personally I am yet to be convinced that the baptism spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:13 (For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body), answers to water baptism.

    But you have given us all food for thought.

    Thank you again Dr Walter for your patience and concern enough to make this effort of clarification of your view.

    HankD
     
  17. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    I respectfully disagree. I do not believe the gathered Bride in Revelation consists of all the elect nor do I believe that Hebrews 12:22-24 refers to such a church in heaven.

    I believe that you are confusing the family and kingdom God with the church of God. I believe you are confusing the lamb's book of life with the membership of the church.

    Revelation 21:24 clearly demonstrates that there are "saved" nations of people living outside the city on the new earth. Hence, not all the saved live in the city. Second, there are "kings" who rule over these "saved" and who bring the "glory and honour" of these "saved" into the New Jerusalem (demonstrating the city and nations coexist). Also the tree of life mentioned in Revelation 22:3 also reflects this distinction between the "saved" inside and the "saved" outside on the new earth. The "leaves" are given to those outside whereas the "fruit" is promised for the overcomers in New Testament churches (Rev. 2:7).

    Furthermore, the "Bride" is presented by Jesus as presently existing on earth and is spoken of in direct connection with the plural churches of Christ on earth (Rev. 22:16-17). The use of the present tense "say" in verse 17 proves this. The only kind of church bride promised to be presented to Christ in the metaphor of marriage are New Testament churches (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25) and both these passages are found in the context of sanctification not salvation just as is Revelation 19:6-7.

    In Hebrews 12 those being addressed "have come" to Mount Zion and heaven just as Israel had come in the presence of God and angels at Mount Sinai. When the people of God assemble in worship as a New Testament church (Heb. 10:25; 13:7-15) they assemble as the "house of God" thus in the presence of God and angels are present at the assemblies (I Cor. 11:10; Eph. 3:10; Heb. 13:2).

    Their names are enrolled in heaven but this "church" is still on earth assembling to worship just as Israel assembled before God and angels at Mount Sinai. That is part of the glory of the New Testament "house of God" as the "pillar and ground of the truth" where the admnistrative authority of the "keys of the kingdom" is present and the visible manifestation of God's government on earth is observed through the worship and administration of the ordinances in a decent and orderly manner. The angels are there to be taught submission to the rule of God (Eph. 3:10) and God is glorified in that kind of church by Christ Jesus (Eph. 3:21) where there is unity of spirit and doctrine (Eph. 4:1-16).




     
  18. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    HankD,

    My interpretation of I Corinthians 12:13 is purely and completely contextually based upon the data found within this epistle. Understanding I Cor. 12:13 as presented provides the basis to actually resolve the problems of division found within this actual literal church body at Corinth that have to do with problems dealing with sanctification NOT SALVATION.

    By jerking this text out of its SANCTIFICATION context and applying as a SALVATIONAL proof text in a context characteristic of Christians scattered all over heaven and earth, it efficiently neuters its practical application to resolve sanctificational conflicts within the church at Corinth and between membership who actually work and worship together as "one" body in regard to interaction and mutual benefits of spiritual gifts. It also destroys its practical application to the institutional church of Christ.

    So, in my opinion the universal body of Christ application is destructive to this context, to resolving the problems of division in this church body and any church body dealing with such problems. Moreover, the concept of a universal invisible church body has been the modus operandi for intentional justification and further denominational division among Christians rather than any kind of practical unity.

    However,
     
    #18 Dr. Walter, May 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2010
  19. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    HankD,

    I would also point out that all the essential aspects found in 1 Corinthians 12:13 concerning How the Holy Spirit forms the church are spelled out in fuller detail in chapters 1-3 and especially 3:6-16.

    Therefore the summary statement of church building by the Holy Spirit in 12:13 reflects exactly how Paul says the church at Corinth was built in 3:6-16 and how every church Paul built and you read about in the New Testament.


     
  20. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    15,121
    Likes Received:
    319
    Again, thank you for the time and effort. I know how wearisome this kind of exchange can be.

    I hope you have been refreshed after your rest.

    For now (at least on my part) I believe there are sufficient Scripture and varied interpretations thereof for folks to read and digest.

    Perhaps at some later time this subject and the others we have debated can be renewed after the consideration of the scriptures and views presented. Hopefully others will join in.

    Again, I appreciate your in-depth knowledge of the Scripture and your willingness to interact but especially for your desire for the correct interpretation of the doctrines concerning "the Church(es) of God'.

    My last word is that I do distinguish between justification, sanctification and our final glorification by God as His children in the resurrection.

    I see sanctification as an extension of intial justification, distinct but not separate from it.
    Sometimes these elements are blurred or even overlapping (or so it seems, such as in 1 Timothy 2:15) in the Scripture but always connected and applicable to all the Children of God no matter their label, time-stamp or situation of life they find themsleves in.


    HankD
     
    #20 HankD, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010

Share This Page

Loading...