The Local Church
The local church is one of three institutions commissioned by God, the others being the family and civil government. The local church is commissioned by God to carry out His purpose in reaching the lost and perfecting the saved. Therefore, God’s plan for a Christian will always be fulfilled best when connected with the local church, which you should center your life around.
A local church is NOT a building:
[Jn.4:24] We worship God in Spirit and truth
[1Cor.6:19] Our bodies are the temple of God
The local church consists of a body of men and women who have been saved and baptized and called by God to serve in a specific local area. “The church” is the body of Christ, the saved multitudes from every nation.
A local church has structure and organization. It is completely independent and separate from other local churches. It’s final authority being the Word of God. [1 Thes.2:13]
[Eph.5:23] Jesus Christ is the head
[1Tim.3:1,8] There are Two offices, pastor (bishop, elder) and Deacons.
God has established the pastor to be the overseer of the local church
[1Tim.3:1-5, 5:17; Eph.4:11] All three have the same meaning, bishop, elder, pastor
What is the Function of the Local Church?
The first local church was organized in Jerusalem [Acts 2:41-47] for the following purposes:
- [Verse 42] The teaching of the word of God – Doctrine – [Acts 6:4,7]
- [Eph.4:14] tossed to and fro… with every wind of doctrine
- [1Tim.4:16] Take heed… It’s good for you!
- [Verse 42] Fellowship with other believers [1Jn.1:3-7] keeps you right, [Prov.13:20] walk with wise men
- [Verse 42] Prayer – awareness of needs, power and joy of intercession, peace [Phil.4:6-7]
- To observe the two ordinances of the church
- [Verse 41] baptism Believers baptism a testimony
- [Verse 42] Lord’s Supper – [1Cor.11:17-34] observed when we come together
- [Verse 43] To be a testimony of God’s grace and power – Praise reports/ Missionary reports
- [Verse 44-45] for mutual assistance and ministry – Caring for each other, physical, emotional, spiritual
- [Verse 46-47] To reach out to the community – “with all the people”, reaching the lost
- [Verse 47] To glorify and praise God – worship, adoration
- [Eph.4:11-16] edify the saints