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Featured What is the Church

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, May 6, 2021.

  1. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    This is from a closed thread - but interesting subject:

    1) Is the church a building or is the church a body of believers??

    2) If the church is a body of believers, then the building can be used for a variety of things, to include things with leading the lost to Christ.

    3) If the building is the church, do the lost really belong there?
     
  2. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    1) It is both
    Yes, ekklēsia does mean a called out assembly.
    But, in the English language, Church also has the added meaning of building.
    and calling the building a church does not lessen the meaning of ekklēsia

    2) Fully agree

    3) Of course the unsaved belong at a church - as Jesus said, I come to seek and save.....
     
  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    It is the assembly, not the place where they assemble. The question of how the building is used goes to stewardship. The question of how the Church is used is a question of the purpose the congregation comes together as a whole.
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    In terms of English language usage, a "church" can be a building. Most any dictionary will tell us this (e.g. "a building for public Christian worship"). However, biblically a house of worship is not a church, any more than sprinkling is baptism. Bible-believing Christians would be wise to steer clear of calling the church building or church house a "church".

    It is the people in the building (or wherever they meet), figuratively speaking, who are God's building -- not brick & mortar. See, for example, 1 Corinthians 3:9; 1 Timothy 3:15.
    I am not sure I follow the intent of the question. Certainly, if a church has a house where they meet, they can use it for worship, evangelism, Bible study, singing, praying, anything that would be biblically in accord with the sending God has given them.
    The building is not the church, so the question is invalid.
     
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  5. Hackberry

    Hackberry New Member

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    It is a little archaic, but perhaps more precise, to call the building a meetinghouse. I tend to think of the group of people in a meetinghouse on Sunday morning as a congregation. I try to think of the Church as the body of all Christians everywhere.
     
  6. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    The Church:

    Hebrews 12:22-24
    But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
     
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  7. Paul from Antioch

    Paul from Antioch Active Member

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    Ekklesia DOES mean "A called-out Assembly." The NT merely adopted this Greek word, that at least as far back as the Third Century BC, always meant to them, "The governing body of that particular LOCAL city-state." The NT is full of epistles that were addressed to LOCAL churches or some LOCAL individuals within a LOCAL church. It wasn't until later on, i.e., when the Roman(-sized) Emperor Constantine his "vision" of a universal, "invisible" body (With either him or one of his "representatives" presiding.). We do an injustice to the NT when we decide to take what it says & apply a rather distinctly defined entity & apply it in a context that that word never intended. EX: The word "car." Would a police officer pull over a "Universal Car" for speeding? I'd like to be at that local traffic court to see that defendant plea his case about that! We who are saved have been adopted into God's "Family," not into some worldwide church. When you go to your local church, do you sit next to EVERY person who's been saved? Now, to me, that'd have to be a rather long pew. It is an injustice, IMHO, to "spiritualize" a specific Greek word to make that word describe something that Greek-speaking or writing never intended. The Apostle Paul likened a NT church to a human body, not some collective physical entity. This doesn't mean that some other church(es) cannot come together to, say, support a missionary or some movement that's dedicated to some noble goal--they not only CAN, but they SHOULD. John in Revelation mentions the "Nicolaitans." That Greek word is formed from two separate Greek words= "Nico" which means "Victory" & "Lao" which means the "Laity." Hence we understand that even in John's day there were some who wanted to be victorious over "the common folk." IMHO, it didn't take too long for some to have such selfishness to apply Peter as THE head over what Jesus was erecting: viz., His LOCAL group of born-again believers whose foundation was Him, NOT Peter. If someone wishes to consider the word "church" as something that the NT never intended it to be, I won't dis-fellowship with that person. We've got so much in common + so much that's still undone to get into a frazzle over his/her understanding of the Greek....It's STILL Greek to me! Let's keep our eyes on the One who freed us from sin's penalty & obey what we have been commanded to do!!
     
  8. Paul from Antioch

    Paul from Antioch Active Member

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    And where was this gathering? In one LOCAL place, "in heaven."
     
  9. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

    2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    Brother Glen:)
     
  10. Paul from Antioch

    Paul from Antioch Active Member

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    And that was in a LOCALity, right?:Rolleyes:Rolleyes:Rolleyes:X3:X3:X3
     
  11. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Both.
    When you and I meet in our local embassy (church) we join the angels and saints together as one in worship to our King and Creator.
    I believe it was either CS Lewis or AW Tozer who said that "The place where heaven and earth meet in a very real juxtaposition is in the now." When we worship in our local church, we also worship with all the saints and angels in heaven. It is a glorious moment.
     
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  12. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Yes!... It was a heavenly gathering!... Brother Glen;)

    Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Btw... You new people are a little picky aren't you!:Biggrin
     
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  13. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I like this terminology, which I often run across in historical documents. I think we would be better off in expressing correct ecclesiology by choosing to consistently use some such term when referring to the physical structure in which a congregation meets.
     
  14. timtofly

    timtofly Well-Known Member

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    The church is in Paradise. Been there since the Cross. I think the OP is about on earth among the living dead. Of whom some have quickened souls not bound by dead flesh.

    All dead flesh sits in the pews of a church building. Some accept being redeemed, crucifying this dead flesh, less often than we should.
     
  15. timtofly

    timtofly Well-Known Member

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    2 but sometimes 3 people, if one of the others is dead, in need of a revival.
     
  16. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The church is a local assembly of people who have both saved and lost in her, and it is also the Universal church!
     
  17. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Well, I am going to still call our building the church building - - its no big deal and it is not anti-biblical
     
  18. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Well you can but it can also be called The Lord's House, The House Of God, The House Of Worship, The House Of Prayer, The Sanctuary, or what name you want to call it, it is The Church and no matter where you meet, or the place you meet... If the Lord is there, it is church!... Brother Glen:)
     
  19. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Btw... This is how my church started... Two elderly sister and their friends met for church and Bible study, at their home and prayed that the Lord would send them a minister and he did... They constituted a church in 1939 and he helped to organize twenty-two sister church all though out the state of California.
     
  20. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    For my part in what I wrote above, I do not object to calling the physical structure the "church building". I do think it is unwise to call the physical structure "the church," since a church, biblically speaking, is something different.
     
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