Bible talk

Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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GRMD #154   In-the-News

Started Oct-15 by PAULFROMNYS; 33 views.




What Is The Church?

This matter is of very great importance in the connection with which we are occupied - God's first supreme thought concerning the Church. What is the Church? That is the first question. I think Paul very definitely gives us the answer in a particular term that he uses. "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake..." (2 Timothy 2:10). If you look at the context, you will see that the Apostle takes that back to what he here calls "before times eternal". So the Church is something which is 'elect before times eternal', something quite clearly defined as an elect people, an elect body, which has its roots in eternity past, and therefore is not historical. It is eternal, and therefore it must be spiritual. We may just note one other relevant verse in this connection: "Who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal..." (2 Tim. 1:9). "Purpose... grace... given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal". So the very first thing is that the Church, according to God's mind, is altogether different from, and above, anything that is historical - anything, that is, that has its beginnings and course and development in time. This is something which has its beginnings in eternity past, and its course is ordered according to the purpose conceived in eternity past. This is something not constituted by man, not brought into being by any human effort whatsoever: this is something which is constituted by the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit. And, as we were seeing earlier, that which is constituted by the Holy Spirit is essentially a spiritual thing. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

Fred (fnorthrup)

From: Fred (fnorthrup)



What Is The Church?

This is a crucial question which every true believer must face eventually. Much of the discussion on this forum involves the Person of Christ. First, we must receive revelation of just who and what Christ is.

Matthew 16:15  He said to them, But you, who do you say that I am?
16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
16:17  And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in the heavens.
16:18  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

After the crucial revelation of the Person of Christ, Jesus said, "I will build My church."

If we see who He is, we can see what the church is. 

Firstly, the church is universal. It transcends space and time and includes all believers in all time and from every place. The apostles, the prophets, and all true believers are included in the universal church mentioned firstly in Matthew 16.

The church is also local. The universal church is manifested at a certain time and in a certain place as a local church. The local church is revealed in Matthew 18, the second place the church is mentioned in the New Testament.

Matthew 18:17  And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to hear the church also, let him be to you just like the Gentile and the tax collector.

The church is Matthew 16 is universal, and the church in Matthew 18 is local. This establishes a very important principle regarding "what is the church" in the Scriptures.




   I'm going with the understanding that the church is genuine born again believers in whatever setting they are found.  I'm already getting confirmation that this is the best understanding upon which to proceed.  As assemblies begin to manifest the order whose architect and builder is GOD, the drawing in of others from Ephesian 4:14 realities will grow.  COVID19 has really expedited this locally, although I can't say any local assembly is currently showing our Lord in a mature way.  I can say the pieces seem to be coming into place.