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Friday, December 2, 2011


These three  kinds of churches are also distinguished by the following:
    A. The church which is Christ's Body: is composed of all believers (both Jew and Gentile and both those who have died and those still living on earth) since the Holy Spirit was sent down at Pentecost:
       I Corinthians 12:13  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.
     B. The church of God in a particular city:  is composed of all the believers in that city:
        At Rome:  Romans 1:1,7 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, ... To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called  saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

        At Corinth:  I Corinthians 1;1,2  Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints,

        At Ephesus: Ephesians 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

        At Philippi: Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi,

        At Colosse: Colossians 1:1,2 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse:

        In every place: I Corinthians 1:2 ...with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.

    C. The church in one's house: is composed of the saints who gather in that house:
          Romans 16:3-5 the church that is in their house.
         1 Corinthians 16:19  the church that is in their house.
         Colossians 4:15  the church which is in his house.
         Philemon 1:1,2  the church in thy house:
    A. The church which is Christ's Body will  be gathered together:
          -in the air, at the last trump , when saints who have died are raised and living saints are changed and all are caught up  when the  Lord Jesus comes back through the clouds to the earth.   Zech.14:1-5;  Matt.24:30,31;  I Cor.15:51-58;  I Thess.4:13- II Thess.2:3

     B. Churches of God in particular cities gathered together:
          -in any place in the city commodious enough to accommodate them:
                    -in the temple (Solomon's porch) in Jerusalem Acts 2:46a;  5:11-14
                    -in a school in Ephesus  Acts 19:9
                    -in a building owned by Gaius.  Romans 16:23
          - any time there was a need or purpose for which they were called together
                    -daily the church in Jerusalem gathered with one accord in the temple  Acts 2:46a
                    -the apostles called the church in Jerusalem together to deal with the matter of care of the widows Acts 6:1-6
                    -the church at Antioch was gathered together to hear a “missionary report” by Paul and Barnabas.  Acts 14:27
                    -the church at Jerusalem gathered together to settle the question of circumcision relative to Gentile believers Acts 15:4-29 (especially verses 12 and 22)
                    -the letter from the church at Jerusalem was read to the multitude of the brethren (the whole church) at Antioch. (Acts 15:30)
       C. Churches in houses gather:
             -in houses (of course!) There was no "holy day" set aside especially for gatherings! New Covenant believers  have no days that are holier than others because they are a holy people called to be holy and to live holy lives all  the time!   See Romans 14:5,6  The saints in the church at Jerusalem broke bread in their homes daily. Acts 2:46b

   A. The church which is Christ's Body will be gathered together:
        -to meet the Lord I Thess.4:13-18
        -to rest from our tribulations II Thess.1:7
        -so Christ can be glorified in His saints and admired by all the world in all them that believe  II Thess.1:10;  Rev.1:7
        -to appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give account of ourselves to God Rom.14:10-12
        -to have our works tried by fire and rewarded by the Lord I Cor.3:12-14
        -to be presented as a chaste virgin to Christ, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing Eph.5:27
        -for the marriage supper of the Lamb Rev.19:7-9

   B. The churches of God in cities gathered together in the first century and it is still God’s desire and intention that they be gathering together:
       -to provide for the needy among them Acts 2:44
       -to praise God Acts 2:47
       -to deal with matters concerning the whole church:
            -caring for the daily needs of widows among the saints and appointing deacons to serve the widows Acts 6
            -to hear reports from missionaries who have gone forth serving the Lord Acts 14:27 and 15:4
            -to settle doctrinal matters and disputes which divide what God has joined  Acts 15:5-33
            -to edify the whole church -by ministry to the Lord from His people (tongues, interpretation, psalms, hymns)
                                                      -by ministry to the people from the Lord (prophecy, doctrine,  revelation etc)  Rom.16:23;  I Cor.14:23-40
             -prayers for all men, for kings and authorities by the men (males) of the church I Tim.2:1-8.  (I Tim.3:14,15 indicates that the previous context is written to guide believers’ behavior in the church of the living God  (the gathering when the entire church of God in the city gathers together into one place.)
    C. Churches in believers' houses gather together:
         -to wait on the Lord in response to His commands. Acts 1:4 & 1:12-2:1
         -to give and receive teaching, (the apostles' doctrine), for daily fellowship and breaking of bread (full meals) in remembrance of the Lord Jesus   Acts 2:46;  20:7-11; I Cor.11:26; Hebrews 3:13
         -for mutual and reciprocal fellowship centered around the person of Christ,  (see N.T commands for "one anothering": some are noted below)
         - when ever there is a need for concerted prayer Acts 1:13,14;  2:1; 4:
         -to instruct other believers Acts 18:26; 20:20
         -to show hospitality Acts 16:15 &34
         -considering one another to provoke unto love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,  and
         -exhorting one another, Hebrews 10:24, 25
         -loving one another, John 13:34, 35
         -comforting one another, 1 Thessalonians 4:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 
         -every one ministering to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (gifts received by each one)  I Peter 4:10,11
         -rejoicing with those who rejoice,
         -weeping with those who weep, Romans 12:15
         -confessing faults one to another, James 5:16
         -avoiding partiality James 2:1-5
         -to pray, Acts 2:42; 4:24-31; James 5:16
         -to be involved in "homilies" concerning Christ. Homilies in scripture are always conversations involving a number of people! A homily is never a monologue lecture! (See  the Greek word "HOMILEO" translated "talked" and "communed" in  Luke 24:14,15; "talked" in Acts 20:11; and "communed" in Acts 24:26.)
        -to be involved in preaching. ("Preaching" among the saints is dialoguing NOT monologue sermonizing!)  Paul's "preaching" in Acts 20 was the Greek word "dialegomai".

(To be continued in Part Three.)

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