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How would you define the church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tom Bryant, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Active Member

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    Happy New Year to you all.

    Just wondering how you would define "church"? For the sake of this, I would like to limit it to the local church, rather than debate whether the universal church exists or not.

    I have several technical definitions but was wondering what your personal definition would be.

    Thanks.
     
  2. freeatlast

    freeatlast New Member

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    Which local church? Are you asking about where i go or where you go?
     
  3. CF1

    CF1 New Member

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    The local church is described as the "assembly" or in Greek, the ekklesia.

    As copied in another post recently, here is what the local assembly of believers did in New Testament Times:

    [The Fellowship of the Believers]

    [42 ] And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. [43 ] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. [44 ] And all who believed were together and had all things in common. [45 ] And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. [46 ] And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, [47 ] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
    (Acts 2:42-47 ESV)

    In our Baptist church documents we describe the local body as "Assembly" in keeping with the Greek wording.

    Here is more on the word ekklesia.
     
    #3 CF1, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2011
  4. freeatlast

    freeatlast New Member

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    bsed on that if Tom is asking if the local church mirrors the early church in acts then I would say no, not even close. If you are asking for a definition of the local church I would say that it is a modern day assembly of people who come together in fellowship and who seek to worship God each in their own way.
     
  5. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    The local church is described, but not defined in the Bible.

    A local church is an assembly of baptized (immersed) believers who have voluntarily come together and organized themselves for the purpose of obeying the Great Commission, and carrying out the ordinances (The Lord's Supper and Baptism by immersion), until Christ comes.
     
  6. luke1616

    luke1616 New Member

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    "Where one or two are gathered in my name, I am there also." There is the church, we, people, believers are the church.
     
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member

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  8. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    An organized assembly of baptized believers keeping the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
     
  9. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

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    The church is the bride of Christ.
     
  10. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Active Member

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    I was asking in terms of a NT definition of the local church.
     
  11. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Active Member

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    Basically, I agree that much of what we have in Acts is more descriptive than prescriptive. But I think you have a good working definition of the church.

    Now, of course, how that definition works out in the local church is the hard part. :BangHead:
     
  12. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf New Member

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    I think that the best answers have already been given, but just wanted to say that in contrast to the churches in the book of Acts, most local churches today are "lo-cal" churches.
     
  13. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Active Member

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    :tongue3:

    Wanted to say thanks for the input. It was pretty much what I had thought, but it was nice to receive some confirmation from so many learned scholars. Thanks
     
  14. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member

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    A local church is a body of redeemed, baptized believers with testimonies of grace, called out by the Spirit and brought together, in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation, for the purpose of edification, teaching, discipline and of praise and worship of the living God, living out a life separate from a world of idolatry and lustful living within its immediate area of responsibility, which produces and which are manifestations of death.

    THAT was the original purpose of the church.
    Until somebody came up with the idea of "winning souls", the great commission, and missionaries.
    Until somebody came up with the idea of numbers, and amount of givers.
    Until somebody came up with the idea of musical and societal relevance.
    Until somebody decided human methods were better than anything the Holy Spirit has planned in advance.
     
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