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Was The Church You Attend Built by Jesus?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by J.D., Feb 22, 2011.

  1. jbh28

    jbh28 Active Member

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    Those passages are speaking about different local churches. This isn't an either or situation. It's a both situation. We have "the church" that Jesus is building(universal church) and local churches(ones like you and I attended on Sunday).
     
  2. jbh28

    jbh28 Active Member

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    Not at all. Members of the universal church assemble with each other all the time. There were plenty of them in my local church this past Sunday.
     
  3. jbh28

    jbh28 Active Member

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    And all this time I thought we were going to assemble in heaven....
     
  4. Darrenss1

    Darrenss1 New Member

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    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    Is the underlined singular or plural?

    Darren
     
  5. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Take it in its context. Continue to read:

    If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; (Colossians 1:23-25)

    If you (the Colossians) continue in the faith.
    Whereof I Paul am made a minister (of the gospel which they--the Colossians heard)
    Who (Paul) now rejoice in my sufferings for you (Colossians)
    ...of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake which is the church (at Colosse). Whereof I am made a minister.

    Thus we clearly see that Christ is the head of the body, that assembly that meets in Colosse. He was writing to them, and they would never have taken it any other way. There are applications that we can apply to us. But it is very clear that the letter is written to the assembly (ekklesia) at Colosse. Ekklesia can only be translated assembly or congregation. It does not have any "universal" type translation. It only has a physical translation of assembly. You cannot make red out of blue. You cannot change the meaning of words arbitrarily because you disagree with what the Bible says.
     
  6. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    And we will. That is the one time all believers will be assembled together.
     
  7. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Which one? Mine our yours? There is no ONE church. There are many local churches. The word is ekklesia. It has one meaning, and that is assembly. An assembly, by very definition must be local.
    You can disagree all you want, but you would be wrong. On what basis would you disagree. You must disagree on the basis of the Koine Greek ekklesia, that word which is translated "church" in the NT. The meaning both in the NT and in classical Greek is "assembly." It has no other. What evidence can you bring to the table that it isn't? Disagreement for the sake of disagreement isn't any evidence at all.
     
  8. J.D.

    J.D. Active Member
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    I'd like to see a reply to this one. None yet.
     
  9. J.D.

    J.D. Active Member
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    Does that church still exist?
     
  10. Darrenss1

    Darrenss1 New Member

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    No where have I disagreed with THE bible, such a strawman. You have your own interpretation, which you are entitled to, opinions vary.

    Darren
     
  11. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    And there were a few believers who were in false churches, hearing a false gospel, and actually agreeing with much of the heresy they heard.

    Unless one holds that God can't save such people in spite of their wrong beliefs.
     
  12. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    I've always been curious about the term "universal INVISIBLE church." Where did that come from? I can understand the term VISIBLE church.

    I know this sounds snotty, but if it's invisible, how do we know it's there? And if we can't see it, how can we fellowship with it? How do I know some members of the UI-church were at my congregation Sunday, if I can't see them. I can't shake their hands, welcome them and invite them back.

    Oh, I get it. Once they're inside the church building, they become visible. It's a miracle, I tell you.

    I'm sorry folks, once in a while I am struck with irresistible wave of sarcasm, and am powerless to quash it. Only by letting it out can I bring it under control.
     
  13. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    It is not a grammatical problem. It is a historical one. You need to get your timeline straight. Up until Acts 8 there was only one church, and that was the church at Jerusalem. The believers from that church were persecuted intensely by people like Saul:

    As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
    4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (Acts 8:3-4)
    --Therefore the believers from the First Baptist Church at Jerusalem were scattered throughout the land of Palestine preaching the gospel. "The Church" that you refer to is the church at Jerusalem. It was the only one in existence, and if you remember it started out with over 3,000 members in one day.

    In chapter 9 in the first 22 verses it speaks of Paul's conversion.

    Now we come to chapter 9 and verse 31
    Now the KJV accurately translates the verse:
    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. (Acts 9:31)
    --Where is your confusion?
    The churches (plural) not singular had rest. I believe the KJV translated it this way for a reason.
    Here is what Robertson says on this word:
    Even Robertson agrees that it refers back to the one church at Jerusalem. It stresses the peace that they had in opposition to the persecution that they had in chapter 8.

    And apparently the KJV translators thought that the passage meant that. The word ekklesia can be used in a generic sense where one singular noun can represent many.
    "Man has sinned." Which man: Tom? Dick? Greg? Which one.
    The answer is all of them. The singular noun "man" represents all men. It is used in the singular to represent collectively all.
    There are times when the word "church" is used generically, in the same way--a singular noun representing all churches.
    No, not so. I have given you two other options.
    --non sequitor
    again, non sequitor.
    Your conclusion is illogical, as your above conclusions are not based on logic. When your premise is false your conclusions will be false.

    First, in Acts 20:28, Paul was writing to the elders at Ephesus.
    And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. (Acts 20:17)
    --Whatever he is teaching, his audience is the pastors of the church at Ephesus. That is who he is teaching. That is the context. Now what is he telling them.

    Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own. (Acts 20:28) Darby
    --He gives them instructions that they were to take heed first to themselves and then to all the flock.
    --The Holy Spirit had set them as overseers over the assembly in Ephesus.
    --They were the shepherds there, and had to feed the flock.
    --It was God who gave them that flock, and God who purchased it with his own blood.

    The Lord has done that with every Bible believing church on this earth. The definition of a local church is an assembly of baptized believers that have voluntarily assembled themselves together... By its very nature Christ has died for all believers whether or not you are Calvinist you would believe this statement.
    Give me one instance of a universal assembly. You can't do it, for such a name is a contradiction.
    "...the assembly of God which he hath purchased with the blood of his own" (Darby)
    --There was only one assembly and it was local. It was at Ephesus in Acts 20:28. There are many assemblies where Christ is the head and the Bible is the final authority. 1Cor.3:11 states that Christ is the foundation. He needs to be in every church.
    "To the assembly universal" It doesn't make sense does it?
    No one in the first century would have ever believed in such a monstrosity. The language contradicts itself.
    The assembly of God at Corinth. There is nothing unusual about that name. Why do you try to read more into a name than is necessary. Paul's letter was written to the Corinthians. It is also applicable to us today. Using your logic we need to throw out Philemon, a very personal letter from Paul to Philemon about a runaway slave who had stolen something from Philemon. What business do we have reading the personal mail of someone else, not even directed to a pastor or a church. This was a very personal letter. According to you it should be disqualified from the canon of Scripture.
    You don't have a logical leg to stand on.
    That is like saying you must reject the entire OT because it is addressed to Israel and not to us. Will you do that? Throw away your OT??

    There is no universal church because ekklesia means assembly. There is no such thing as an unassembled assembly. Where do you get that from? It is not in First century literature of any kind.
     
  14. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    Re post #33, well done, DHK.

    If we follow Archangel's logic, then we must remove the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts from the Bible, since they were both written to an individual, Theophilus, and meant only for him. Come to think of it, why were they included in the canon in the first place? Add I and II Timothy to the list, and Titus.

    One other point, Paul, writing to the congregation at Corinth described it as THE body of Christ (I Cor 12:27). Surely that doesn't mean that ONLY the Corinthian congregation is the body.

    And, of course, in Acts 20:28 Paul described the Ephesian congregation as THE flock. Does that limit "flock" only to Ephesus? Naaah.

    Thanks for letting me add a couple of points to your excellent post.
     
  15. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow New Member

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    I don't know why this concept is so difficult for some to accept. Some years ago I attended an American Baptist Association church. There was hardly a message given where the belief in a universal church was not attacked.
     
  16. freeatlast

    freeatlast New Member

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    I do not believe that He was speaking of a local assembly, but the true church as a whole. Many local assemblies has some members in it that are of the true church and many who are not.
     
  17. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    All we like sheep have gone astray...

    The universality of the assembly is a leaven which has permeated Christendom ever since the beginnings of the holy see(universal visible)--probably to some of the "Holy Fathers".(second, third century; obvious by 325 a.d.)

    Luther, etal, tried to reform the holy see from within-- without their permission. Martin was defrocked, going our on his own with many of the trappings of the holy see. He did reform universal-visible to universal-invisible.

    Error reformed is still reformed error.

    What is this: a local, visible assembly? She is the same one from Mt. 16:18,28:20; Eph. 3:21 etal. She was indwelled, yea, immersed by The Spirit, The Holy, on the Day of Pentecost, having been called out starting on the shores of Galilee. She can be found in assembly in the uttermost parts of the earth--just like Jesus said. He also promised to never leave Her nor forsake Her. He is faithful, even when we are not. She is His bride to be--and the marriage supper is the next major event.

    Is this universal? Only in the sense that it affects the whole creation.

    If our assembly was started by a man/woman other than the Lord Jesus, we have an authority problem: we have none.

    Have we checked the oil level in our lamps?

    Peace,

    Bro. James
     
  18. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    We are assembled in heaven.​

    Hebrews 12
    22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
    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.​

    While we are still here on earth.
    Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:​

    I don't like the phrase "universal" or "invisible" either because it is romish.​

    BTW, there is no such phrase as the "local church" in the Scripture either (though, the bulk of Scripture indicates that meaning).​

    However IMO,there are enough places where ekklesia is used in the collective singular to warrant the use of "the church" when speaking of the church as the body of all born again believers.​

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

    So I see both aspects, with the "local" church having the preeminence in the Scripture.

    Also, if no one has mentioned it, the koine word ekklesia is a word which had a broader scope from than it's narrow NT theological designation, namely "church".​

    It was a compound word ek (prep. "from" or "out") combined with kalein (vb. to call) and does not seem to have the force of a call to a specific designated place as does the NT word sunagoge (used in James 2:2) - a gathering together into one place (prep. sun, together with).​

    The force of the preposition ek- rather than sun- to give force to the place from whence we are called out - the world.


    HankD
     
  19. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    The reason I hold that Jesus was speaking of a local assembly is that he was speaking TO a local assembly--his gathered twelve disciples.

    I suppose one could by some stretch say that this band of believers was the true church as a whole, since it was the only one there was at the time. But once the second Baptist church was established, that argument goes out the window.

    Remember, this is the same Jesus who gave instructions for church discipline in Matthew 18. How does a universal church exercise such discipline? And, if this is meant for the universal church, then I suggest that it is in deliberate disobedience to a specific command of the Lord.

    Maybe the reason the universal church does not follow the instructions of Matthew 18 is that it doesn't know how. After all, how do you kick somebody out of the universal church?
     
    #39 Tom Butler, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2011
  20. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Every church or assembly is a church that is called out of God, called to reach their own community for God, called out of this world and into a life of holiness. It is the purpose of the local church to help or teach every believer how to accomplish that.

    Your argument here is one of the weakest. To use etymology to define a word is a weak argument. Let's use some examples:
    1. Sunday--a day to worship the Sun.
    2. Thursday--a day to worship god of Thor.
    3. Saturday--a day to worship Saturn.
    4. Easter--a day to worship the pagan god of Astarte.

    And on and on we can go. To define the word by the etymology gets us in all kinds of trouble. There are times when it can be useful, but other times when it only gives historical information. The definition of the word during the first century was "assembly," and that definition still holds up today.

    The fact that our English language has added half a dozen other definitions is irrelevant. For example, the church is not the building, a definition most people give to it. "I am going to the church." Never, is the word used in that sense in the Bible. We must use the word as it used in the Word of God.
     
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