Thought for the Day, July 4, 2022,
What Kind of Church Are We?
A church is a covenanted group of at least two or three baptized disciples of Jesus Christ constituted by His authority alone. The numbers, two or three, are given by our Lord Himself. (cf. Mt. 18.16) Because He began His own church during His earthly ministry there was a day when he began to call disciples to Himself making that first church. This we should expect to find in the Scriptures, and we do.
The first of these disciples that He called were brothers: Peter and Andrew. (cf. Mt.4.19) So here are two. Then because the Lord Jesus was present with them there are three. This detail prevents us from the error that I have heard in some. When inquiring as to which church they are a part of they reply, ‘Oh, it is me and the Lord.’ That is not a church! Since our Lord’s resurrection as few as two baptized disciples can constitute into one of the Lord’s churches when they agree together for that purpose. (i.e., 1Co.16.19, Aquila and Prisca; Ro.16, the Roman churches; Acts 15.41, the churches of Syria & Cilicia; Ac.18.19, 27; 20.17, the Ephesian church; Ac.9.19, the church in the city of Samaria)
The mission of this kind of church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ by baptizing those who profess faith in Christ at the hearing of His preached Word. But that’s not all. Such disciples may either come into a church that is already formed or they may constituted themselves into a church under the authority of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures know nothing of disciples forming into sub-church entities such as is called today missions, mission points, chapels, etc.
This kind of church is autonomous or self-governing. There is no entity outside of a church that governs it. Rather, every member is subject to Christ and each other as the word of God dictates.
This kind of church has no authority of her own. Therefore no church has the authority to pass to other churches. All authority is given to Christ, (cf. Mt.28.18) and a church’s jurisdiction applies only to her members. Each church should act only within the parameters of Christ’s commandments.
A church’s beginning, continuance and cessation is at the sole discretion of One, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of every true church. (cf. Eph.4.15; 5.23; Col. 1.18) And it these kinds of churches that will continue in the earth until the second coming of Jesus Christ. (Mt.16.18; 28.20)
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