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The church that Jesus built. (.PDF)

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Alan Gross, May 31, 2021.

  1. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    The church that Jesus built.
    Matthew 16:18
    A series of messages prepared
    for the 2018 Conference of Mount Hebron Baptist Church,
    Pucallpa, Peru By Raul Enyedi

    Introduction. The study of ecclesiology, of the Lord’s church, is very important for our spiritual lives. We were saved to serve God worship Him and bring glory to Him. In Ephesians, 3:21, we read that God is glorified in His church and in Christ Jesus. The church is the place of public worship and service. It is the re - vealed will of God that all the saved ones, all his children be part of one of His churches.

    Not doing so is disobedience toward God. We cannot serve Him in our terms, but in His terms. Sincerity is not enough. Sincere obedience to God’s word is required of all of us. Satan sowed much confusion in God’s kingdom and it is his purpose to destroy the Lord’s church.

    He tries to do it through persecution, and also by sending his ministers (wolves in sheep’s clothing) in the midst of the flock, to cause division and draw disciples away from the The Lord’s church. Satan was active in producing false churches that imitate the Lord’s church, to keep the disciples away from the true churches. The study of ecclesiology helps us identify the true churches, the characteristics of the Lord’s church, its functions and mission. It will help us, as members of a true church, serve God according to His will.

    We will enjoy God’s blessings when we do this, at a personal level as well as collectively, as a church. We will be spared of many spiritual failures and we will be more healthy and more mature spiritually. The study of ecclesiology is not about salvation. Salvation is in the Lord Jesus, in a personal relationship with Him, not in the membership of a church. A church cannot save you.

    Only the Lord can! But a true church is where God wants all the saved ones to serve Him! So, let us look at the Church that Jesus Built. Our passage is from Matthew, 16:18, and it is the first passage where the word „church” appears. We will attempt to take each phrase and analyze it.

    A. I will build my church.

    1. First time the word „church” appears in the New Testament is in this passage. It is a common word, used 115 times in the New Testament. What does it mean? Today, there is a lot of confusion regarding the meaning of the word „church”. But this confusion is not due to the fact that the term itself is ambiguous, but because the term was redefined in order to justify departures from the truth. An ex - ample of the re-interpretation of the word (adaptation from a book written by a famous presbyterian, R.C. Sproul about the church): „I am glad to be here, at the conference hosted by this church in Pucallpa. As I entered in the church, I felt the wonderful atmosphere of being among God’s elect and singing His praises. We gathered here from three continents and I felt that I united my songs and prayers with those of the whole church throughout the world and with all the elect, the entire universal church.

    The fellowship of the saints is sweet, and it is great to be among those that believe and preach the Gospel of the Grace of God, the precious truth that we have in common with the Evangelical churches and, more importantly, with the apostolic church. It is great to know that the church in South America believes the same things as the church of North America and that of Europe.” I used the word in 7 different ways in just one paragraph.

    A. Local church
    B. Church building
    C. Apostolic church (a collective term designating churches of the first century)
    D. Denominational church (denomination of Evangelical/Reformed faith)
    E. Universal visible church (all the saved throughout the world at one given moment)
    F. Universal Invisible Church (the totality of the elect)
    G. Regional church (church of South America: all the saved in a certain area or all the true churches in a certain area).

    How many meanings does this word have? One that is unfamiliar with the Bible might think that you find all these meanings there. But it is not so. Many think that the Bible speak about some dualism: local church and universal church, and they interpret in different ways the relationship between them. We believe this confusion is caused my the Arch-enemy of Christ and of His church, 1 and not by the poor choice of words by the Author of the Bible. The fact that there are about 40,000 kinds of „churches” today is a direct result of the confusion Satan has created.

    1.1.The word chosen by the Author of the Scriptures to define what He established is „ecclesia”. It is the translation of the Hebrew „qahal”.

    1.1.1. The word ecclesia is not invented in the New Testament. It is used in the classical Greek. It is used in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) quite as many times as in the NT. It is a clear word, with precise meaning. It means an assembly, a congre - gation, a gathering together. It comes from two greek words, „ek kaleo”, which would be translated as „the called out ones”.

    1.1.1.1. Looking just at the etymology of the word, some theologians tried to define the ecclesia as the total number of the called out ones, without them being gathered together. But an ecclesia is not just a multitude of called out ones, but the gathering together of those that are called out from their daily business to attend to the specific business of the ecclesia in which they are members.

    1.1.1.2. In order to have an ecclesia, you need:

    1.1.1.2.1. Members (kletoi, the ones that are called out);

    1.1.1.2.2. the ability to gather together on a regular basis to carry out specific business;

    1.1.1.2.3. a form of organization. These conditions must be met if you were to have an ecclesia.

    1.1.2. There are three kinds of ecclesia mentioned in the New Testament:

    1.1.2.1. the assembly of Israel in the wilderness (Acts, 7:38);

    1.1.2.2. The civil assembly of the Greek city of Ephesus (Acts, 19:32, 39)

    1.1.2.3. The Christian assemblies. All of them have in common a membership that has to meet certain conditions, a form of organization and the ability of the members to assemble together. You cannot have an ecclesia that cannot assemble.

    This is where the modern definitions and usages of the word „church” fail. Whether you talk about the Universal invisible church composed of all the elect, the universal visible church composed of all the saved that are alive now on earth, or a denomination, what they have in common is the impossibility of all their members to gather together in one place and have a meeting. So, the very first condition for being an ecclesia is not met.

    http://gracebiblebaptistds.com/FTP_...sus built - Raul Enyedi - English Version.pdf
     
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