The Church

There are many definitions of church. One such definition would be the universal church where all who come into a relationship with God through Christ have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body. The body of Christ. Another would be the local church. Another for some would be where scripture talks of two or three gathered in My name and He being in the midst of them. There are some scriptures that push us to examine what church is. For example:

"Where is Abel, thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?"(Gen. 4:9)
Now I realize these were 2 brothers, but the mindset behind this based upon the next scriptures is crucial. This mindset is that we are one another's keepers in the family of God.

Paul speaks of us (the Church) being the body of Christ with many members and one can't do without the other. Here it is in 1st Corinthians Chapter 12: Verse 12 through the entire chapter...

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

Now I do not believe a church should tell you how to raise your children and therefore take the responsibility and God-given role of the parents away, but I do think we can isolate ourselves to the point of being unbiblical in our lifestyle...In other words, we should not be dictated to by the church and feel pressured into joining in on activities that we feel doesn't line up and square with our parental raising of our children, but there is no way we can function healthy in the body of Christ if we totally isolate ourselves.

The last and probably most convincing scripture for what Church is and really about is in Hebrews Chapter 12: Verses 19 through 25.....
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Now in context here the writer has just talked about the only sufficient sacrifice for our sins being Jesus Christ and this act alone sanctifies, or separates us for the Lord to work in our lives by "putting His laws in our hearts"..
Then you have Therefore in verse 19, or one could say because of Jesus dying for me (us) and Him being the sufficient sacrifice.....well you can read on now from verse 19.

The "Church" is God's people and we better get used to spending time together....How about ETERNITY.

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