The Nature of the Church - 2. The Local Church

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Evening 1 October 23

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Galatians 1:1–5 ESV
1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 1:1–2 (ESV)
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Revelation 1:4–11 ESV
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
Introduction
Have seen that the Church of Jesus Christ is universal consisting of all true believers over the whole of time. What we see now is the expression of the Universal Church in a given locality.
Baptist Affirmation of Faith 1966 1. The Nature of the Church

It is the duty of all believers, walking in the fear of the Lord, to unite with local churches, for their own sanctification, and the maintenance of gospel witness.

Such churches, having the presence of Christ as head, are responsible to him for their own administration, and in this respect are independent of every other form of control, whether of Church or State. They have the fullness of God, and to them is committed the stewardship of the Gospel, the defence of the truth, the discipline of disorderly members, the appointment of officers, and the administration of the ordinances.

1. Local Churches

Baptist Affirmation of Faith 1966 (1. The Nature of the Church)
It is the duty of all believers, walking in the fear of the Lord, to unite with local churches, for their own sanctification, and the maintenance of gospel witness.

a. Unite With a Local Church

Galatians 1:1–2 (ESV)
1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and ll the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:
1 Peter 1:1–2 (ESV)
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Revelation 1:11 (ESV)
11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

b. Sanctification

Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Acts 20:32 ESV
32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Acts 2:42 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

c. Gospel Witness

Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

2. Christ is the Head of the Church

Baptist Affirmation of Faith 1966 (1. The Nature of the Church)
Such churches, having the presence of Christ as head, are responsible to him for their own administration, and in this respect are independent of every other form of control, whether of Church or State. They have the fullness of God, and to them is committed the stewardship of the Gospel, the defence of the truth, the discipline of disorderly members, the appointment of officers, and the administration of the ordinances.

a. Independent

Paul and Barnabas stoned at Lystra. Made their way to Derbe.
Acts 14:21–23 ESV
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Acts 14:25–27 ESV
25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.

b. Defence of The Truth

Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Colossians 3:5–6 ESV
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

c. Discipline

Matthew 18:15–17 ESV
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
1 Corinthians 5:1–2 ESV
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

d. Appointment of Officers

Acts 6:1–4 ESV
1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
1 Timothy 3:1–4 ESV
1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive,
1 Timothy 3:8–10 ESV
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.

e. The Ordinances

Sacrament - Ecclesiastical. a visible sign of an inward grace, especially one of the solemn Christian rites considered to have been instituted by Jesus Christ to symbolise or confer grace: the sacraments of the Protestant churches are baptism and the Lord's Supper; the sacraments of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches are baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, matrimony, penance, holy orders.
Ordinance - A decree or command
Baptism and Communion
Conclusion
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