What is the “Church” and what is it not? The “Church” is NOT a building. Let’s make that clear from the outset. The Church is NOT a place where you can go to. You, my dear brothers and sisters, ARE the “Church”! We do not believe a building makes a church...NO! NO! It is the People of Christ who walk together, study together, preach together ... and have communion together … that makes up the church! Amen. The word “Church” were written in the Original Greek New Testament as “ekklesia”. This word means “the called out ones” or the “elect”. So if you are truly born-again and serve and obey the LORD, then you are part of those who are called out of the world and thus you form part of the elect. All the believers all over the world make up the Church, the Bride of Christ. All the assemblies across the world are just a small part of the larger, free, congregational Church under Christ. You might be asking: “What do you mean by a free, congregational Church?” By the word “free” I mean that those who are part of the Church are set free from their sins and addictions. They are free from bondage to sin and men. Does this describe you? Are you part of the body of Christ … set free from your sins by Jesus Christ Himself? By the word “congregational” I mean that those who are part of the Church congregate and meet together on a regular basis for fellowship with one another. The question might now be asked: “Fellowship? What is THAT?” The Greek word “Koinonia” is translated as fellowship in our English Bibles. When believers come together to participate in the things of God … THAT is fellowship! When believers meet together to pray or to share the Word with one another or with the lost or whatever else that believers might do together … that is what we would call “fellowship”. So every time you meet as a group of believers, you are having fellowship. All those who are in fellowship with God will WANT TO have fellowship with other saints anyhow! “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” (1 John 5:1). If you do not desire to have fellowship with other saints, then there must be something wrong in your relationship with God. If you love God, you will love

SUBMIT yourselves unto the elder. and giveth grace to the humble. These things ought not to be so. recognize that you might have a problem in your relationship with God! “What should our attitude be towards other ‘churches’?” We should not look at others as “us and they”. the danger is that that elder may try to control the group and so it may develop into a one-manshow as a result. doctrine and teaching.” The Apostle Peter wrote the same thing in his epistle: “Likewise.” (1 Peter 5:5). and had prayed with fasting. This is a very unhealthy situation. you will have no problem to submit to your elders. “Ye have not so learned Christ”. and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. the other one can correct him (Ecclesiastes 4:10). Many cults are like this. (Eph 4:20). They have only one very influential leader and the rest of the cult all hang on the lips of this one man. Notice with me in this text that there are plurality of leadership! The text reads: elders in every church … NOT an elder in every church! Elders! According to Acts 20:28-29. That is why it is written in Hebrews 13:17: “Obey them that have the rule over you. on whom they believed. the elders were responsible for direction and oversight. There is wisdom in this. We are all one body! We are all on the same team! We are all part of the Bride of Christ . They ordained elders in every church … plurality in leadership. 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9. and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud. that they may do it with joy. If one elder errs. If there is only one elder. we should submit to them! The elders labour for your souls and do all they can to help you to grow into strong Christians. they will all jump into the fire. discipleship and discipline. If you are having difficulty in this area. For safety reasons there must always be more than one elder. and SUBMIT yourselves: for they watch for your souls. ye younger. Some might be wondering: “Who should take the lead in our times of fellowship? Who should lead the meetings? Who should lead the churches?” Every assembly or church across the world are led by local elders by the authority and practise of the Word of God. It means safety! Also. Yea.2 those too who are born of God and you will seek out their fellowship as a result. as they that must give account. If the leader says to jump into the fire. If you are truly submitted to God. all of you be subject one to another. (Acts 14:23) And when they had ordained them elders in every church. they commended them to the Lord.

and some. pastors and teachers. we are supposed to work together to fulfill our Lord’s Great Commission. whereby they lie in wait to deceive. apostles. their commitment. everyone is suppose to work together as one corporate body. even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth. according to the effectual working in the measure of every part. For the perfecting of the saints.” Acts 5:42 The Great Commission was not something they did once a month or once in a while when they feel like it. evangelists. maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Jude 3 says that we “should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. and of the knowledge of the Son of God. It is written in Ephesians 4:11-16: “And he gave some. But speaking the truth in love. unto a perfect man. This was something they did DAILY! It can also be seen from this verse that they came together daily for fellowship too. prophets.3 and from time to time. people think it too much to have fellowship once a week! Think of the Early Church! Look at their zeal. all are to speak the Truth in love. by the sleight of men. may grow up into him in all things. Nowadays. and some. evangelists. [for what?] for the work of the ministry. their love for the Lord Jesus and for one another! They turned the whole world . pastors and teachers to equip and train us all (verse 13) for the work of the ministry (verse 12) that we all may speak the Truth in love (verse 15) so that the body might increase to the glory of God (verse 16). tossed to and fro. and some. a part to play. In verse 16 we can see clearly that every one has a duty. It is clear from these verses that the Great Commission was not only given to the Apostles and Evangelists.” God gave us apostles. for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith. and carried about with every wind of doctrine. they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. and cunning craftiness. but to the whole body of Christ! All are to take part in the work of the ministry. all are to do their part in fulfilling the Great Commission. prophets. which is the head. and in every house.” Who should contend for the faith? We are to do the contending! Who? Elders only? Evangelists only? Teachers only? No! All the saints in the church! It is written of the Early Church that “daily in the temple. unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children.

are ye not carnal. and another. one faith. and if anyone turns him back. There is one body. There is only one Scriptural ground for witholding fellowship from another person and that is when someone bearing the name of brother is living in some form of sin. one baptism. The Apostle Paul also made it abundantly clear in the following Scriptures that professors are to 'stop dividing Christ!' Consider the following Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 3:3-5 “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying. idleness (2 Thessalonians 3:6. if anyone among you err from the truth. and who is Apollos. and strife. One Lord. I am of Apollos. a free body of believers with plural elders for men and women who have been set free in Christ. whether it be immorality (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).” . Again. and walk as men? For while one saith. who is above all. If this is the case with any. are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul. One God and Father of all. even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. “Why are there so many different denominations? Isn’t this causing division in the Body of Christ?” Unfortunately. The Lord Jesus designed His Church to be non-denominational. We are not to form part of any specific denomination. consider the following Scriptures: James 5:19-20 “Brothers. so that they can be faithful and fruitful sons and daughters of the Most High God and Lord Jesus Christ. and in you all. the church is under the obligation to try to bring that one back to the truth. but ministers by whom ye believed.15) or not holding to the plain teachings concerning the Lord Jesus Christ (2 John 7-11). I am of Paul. even as the Lord gave to every man?” Ephesians 4:3-6 “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. all these denominations DOES cause a lot of division in the Body of Christ. and through all. and divisions.” Denominations are totally unscriptural as we’ve seen from these Scriptures.4 upside down (Acts 17:6)! Is this not the pattern that we should follow? We should seek to promote this primitive “Book of Acts” Church. know that he who turns back the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death. and one Spirit. and shall hide a multitude of sins.

“In the midst of all this confusion caused by all these thousands of denominations.” As for any doctrinal differences. you have gained your brother. This Saul. balance. the Lord always works certain things through your brothers and sisters. you can read and study your Bible on your own. But if he will not hear you. Even the Early Church had serious doctrinal differences. we should not let that hinder us from having fellowship with other believers.” The Lord did not just appear to Saul and send him out then and there. what do You desire me to do?” (Acts 9:6). direction. They would "gather the Church" at the end of a mission and report all things to them. If he hears you. isn’t it better just to stay home and have fellowship with the Lord Jesus alone? Do we HAVE TO fellowship with one another as well? Is it really necessary?” YES! Brothers and Sisters! It is absolutely needful and necessary for us to fellowship with one another. and oversight by seasoned shepherds are some other benefits that can only come through the gathered Church. take one or two more with you. and had gathered . but there will still be things that you will miss. even the Apostles Paul and Barnabas had a local attachment to the Church at Antioch. When Paul met the Lord on the road of Damascus … he asked the Lord: “Lord. Mature accountability. What did the Lord answer him? The Lord answered as follows: “Arise and go into the city.5 Matthew 18:15-17 “But if your brother shall trespass against you. And if he shall neglect to hear them. tell it to the church. that does not come in through any other door! For example. so that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. But if he neglects to hear the church. brotherly counseling. Also. over and over and over again. His Church! You see. (Acts 14:27-28) And when they were come. let him be to you as a heathen and a tax-collector. yet they continued to fellowshipped together (Acts 15). No. go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. things that only another brother or a sister can help you to understand. The Lord Jesus would not have designed the Church if we didn’t need the Church. and you shall be told what you must do. He worked through Ananias who was part of the local church in Damascus. discipleship. who later became the Apostle Paul learned his first lesson from the Lord Jesus that He normally speaks through His gathered people.

they rehearsed all that God had done with them. it will most definitely cool off and lose it’s heat after a while. 1 and 2 Corinthians. write in a book. 1 and 2 Thessalonians are all written to churches. Everyone wants to do their “own thing” without having to explain their actions to others. but as long as it stays WITH the other coals. if you fellowship with strong. In the same way. and unto Pergamos. If the Apostles found it needful to be attached to a local church. the first and the last: and. And there they abode long time with the disciples. Galatians. For example: (Revelation 1:11) Saying. and unto Sardis. I am Alpha and Omega. if you want to be hot for Christ. so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Another reason why most people do not want to be part of a local church is because they do not want to be held accountable to one another. and unto Smyrna. zealous Christians … chances are that you will most likely be strong and healthy and zealous too! The reverse side of this is also true. who refuse to attach themselves to a local church.” Proverbs 27:17 This is yet another reason why we need one another and why we need to attach ourselves to a local church who are led by strong and able men of God who knows the Word of God and how to apply them. You see. Philippians. and unto Laodicea. They fail to realize that the bulk of the New Testament was originally written to the CHURCH! It is not just written to individuals. because they do not want to deal with sin! In a healthy church. The book Revelation were also written to seven churches in Modern-day Turkey. healthy. and unto Thyatira. then go and find those who are hot for Christ and STAY WITH THEM! There is way too much individualism in this age. unto Ephesus. it will remain burning hot. and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia. and unto Philadelphia. and most people do not like that! That is why true Christianity is . What thou seest. Individualism again! Many do not want to be part of a local church. There are far too many who have the spirit of independence. Let me make an example … if you take a coal out of a fire and you put it aside. sin will most definitely be dealt with. and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. Romans. how much more do we? It is written: “Iron sharpeneth iron. Colossians. Ephesians.6 the church together.

When we meet with one another as a local church. you should go and confront that person if you truly love him or her. Praising God. It is written: “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor.” (Proverbs 27:6). we will get opportunities to love one another and to be loved by others in this way. and parted them to all men. and having favor with all the people. continuing daily with one accord in the temple. except on the weekends. If a Church meet every day of the week. by the end of the year. A good plan for expository preaching would be to start at the beginning of the New Testament and to go through a chapter each time the Church assemble together. and had all things common.” (Leviticus 19:17) It is also written that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend. and in breaking of bread. “What should we do when we meet together as a church?” Acts 2:42-47 will shed light on this question: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship. And sold their possessions and goods. Sin leads to death and the most loving thing a brother or sister can do to you is to correct you by telling you the Truth and then helping you to come back on the straight and narrow way.7 so unpopular! When you see a brother or sister living in sin. One . and in prayers. and not suffer sin upon him. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. the Bible should be at the centre of our preaching and teaching.” The Early Church continued steadfastly in the Apostle’s doctrine. there should be expository preaching. And they. and breaking bread from house to house. have a good idea of what the New Testament is all about and what God’s will is for their lives. they will complete the whole New Testament in a year and everyone would. What do I mean by that? Well. the one who love you the most is the one who tells you the most truth about yourself! This is where agape-love fits in the church. I’ve already mentioned James 5:19-20. when we meet. Those who teach and preach should make much use of the Scriptures and should help the other believers to understand and to apply the teachings of the Scriptures in their own lives. And all that believed were together. did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Remember. Likewise. but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. as every man had need. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

in the pulpit. Prayers and the breaking of bread are also other activities that took place during the meetings of the Early Church (Acts 2:46). This guy usually does EVERYTHING. Another good way to do this is the following: One of the more experienced brothers can do a Topical Study and share all the scriptures regarding a specific topic at a meeting and then asking all the brothers to comment on them or share any insights that they might have. gifts are revealed. it is much better to meet in homes. I guess I’ve made my point. “Where should we gather as a Church? Should we meet in homes or should we hire a big building or build a building of our own?” It is NOT necessary to meet in big buildings. The Early Church met in homes as the following verses will show: (Romans 16:5) Likewise greet the church that is in their house. all may learn. you begin to see who are the evangelists. Next time. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord. who is called the pastor. I call it a “one-man-show”. in smaller groups … where people can be more intimately acquainted with one another and where they can get more opportunities to take part in the meetings. with the church that is in their house. who are the prophets and so on. who have the gift of teaching. you begin to see who are the teachers. in the pews. another person can read the next chapter. The person reading the chapter should also allow others to share any insights they might have on the portion that is read. the praying … he usually tells the church what songs they should sing … he speaks and the rest just sit there and stare at him during the course of the meeting. the teaching. there are many gifted people in the audience. (Colossians 4:15) Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea. but they never get the opportunity to develop their gifts. because the guy in the front does everything each time!!! This should not be! For this reason. This way. You begin to see the strong men. and Nymphas. One major fault of nearly all the big denominations is that there is usually one guy in front. preaching and so on. and the church which is in his house. He usually does the preaching. While this is happening. (1 Corinthians 16:19) The churches of Asia salute you. This way.8 person can read a chapter and comment on it as he goes along. and all may be comforted (1 Corinthians 14:31). .

"Most assuredly.9 (Philemon 1:2) And to our beloved Apphia. and schools or introduce me to their leaders?" the observer continued. You could say that." "Can you show me their meeting places. "Certainly not. They are there. yet they turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). If they can be wrong in their beliefs and still grow without money and buildings. ‘they all ate and were filled’ (Mark 6:42)." the leader said in disgust. the following conversation was overheard: "Do you have Communists in your part of the country?" the observer asked. If He does not. "If they were known. in hostile countries like Pakistan or China for instance. "Yes. without buildings or property and still they grow in number?" the observer asked in amazement." the leader replied. “What is the ideal size of a local church? How big or small should a local church be?” It is interesting that when the Lord fed the 5000 men with the five loaves and two fishes. Mark 6:40). The story has been told that several years ago. it would be much safer for persecuted Christians to meet in homes. then admitted sadly. and Archippus our fellow soldier. some South Vietnamese Christian leaders thought that their lack of funds for buildings was the cause of the slow growth of Christianity there. the chances would be very slim for any of them to escape alive if they would come under attack. "Are they growing in numbers and influence?" he then inquired. Why did the Lord made them to sit in smaller groups? Perhaps it was done to ." "You mean they are secret. they are growing very fast. On one occasion. they would be arrested. if the believers meet together in one big building. expensive building is NOT necessary for the existence of the church. Even though they were so many. He made them to sit in smaller groups of fifty and hundred (Luke 9:14. then use them for His glory. the others can flee. The leader hesitated momentarily. while. remember that the New Testament church had none of these things. There it will be much more difficult for the authorities to locate them or if one Christian-home are attacked. why do you think the church of Jesus Christ needs these things?" The man concluded. "Yes. "Then it must be that their growing influence does not depend on such things. on the other hand. A big. and to the church in thy house." the leader nodded. In fact. If God provides money and a building.

on the day of Pentecost. the Messiah. but let us exhort one another: and so much the more. Obviously. Lastly. The same goes for all the major cities across the world. Meeting in smaller groups have many advantages. a church in a major city are made up of thousands of believers. there am I in the midst of them. but they came together in smaller groups to broke bread from house to house all over Jerusalem (Acts 2). Everyone can know each other more personally and intimately. Money that would have been used for big buildings can now be used for distributing Bibles and to help the needy and to further the cause of God. Everyone can get an opportunity to take part in the meeting and thereby develop their gifts. then you may know that you have a healthy church. then you will do well to take heed to the following exhortation: “Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.10 aid their fellowship at that time and to help indicate to us the number which can most profitably fellowship in the breaking of spiritual bread? Also. No matter how small the group. . yet they are broken down into smaller assemblies that can meet in various homes. 3000 Jews became believers in Jesus Christ. as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). they didn’t all assemble in just one house. All these small groups would together form the “The Church of God in Smyrna” or wherever it might be. Many times.” Matthew 18:20 “What are the signs of a healthy church?” This question can be answered by asking yourself the following questions: “Are the men hot for Christ? Are they prospering in boldness? Are they faithful in their evangelism?” If you can answer yes to these questions. Amen. as the manner of some is. the Body of Christ. if you really are part of the Church. Jesus Christ promised us: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name.

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