Serving God – Loving People – Making Disciples

The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20
English: World English Bible - WEB

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 I also tell you that you are Peter, Peter’s name, Petros in Greek, is the word for a specific rock or stone. and on this rock Greek, petra, a rock mass or bedrock. I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven.” 15 “If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother. 16 But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector. 18 Most assuredly I tell you, whatever things you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever things you will release on earth will be released in heaven. 19 Again, assuredly I tell you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”

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; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28
English: World English Bible - WEB

41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer. 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to the assembly day by day those who were being saved. 11 Great fear came on the whole assembly, and on all who heard these things. 12 By the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. They were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13 None of the rest dared to join them, however the people honored them. 14 More believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women. 3 Therefore select from among you, brothers, seven men of good report, full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word.” 5 These words pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch; 6 whom they set before the apostles. When they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 13 1 Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they served the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Separate Barnabas and Saul for me, for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed. 27 When they had arrived, and had gathered the assembly together, they reported all the things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 15 1 Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can’t be saved.” 2 Therefore when Paul and Barnabas had no small discord and discussion with them, they appointed Paul and Barnabas, and some others of them, to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question. 3 They, being sent on their way by the assembly, passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles. They caused great joy to all the brothers. The word for “brothers” here and where the context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.” 4 When they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the assembly and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all things that God had done with them. 5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.” 6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to see about this matter. 7 When there had been much discussion, Peter rose up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that a good while ago God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel, and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, testified about them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just like he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you tempt God, that you should put a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, TR adds “Christ” just as they are.” 12 All the multitude kept silence, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul reporting what signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 After they were silent, James answered, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has reported how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 This agrees with the words of the prophets. As it is written, 16 ‘After these things I will return. I will again build the tent of David, which has fallen. I will again build its ruins. I will set it up, 17 That the rest of men may seek after the Lord; All the Gentiles who are called by my name, Says the Lord, who does all these things. 18 All his works are known to God from eternity.’ 19 “Therefore my judgment is that we don’t trouble those from among the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but that we write to them that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses from generations of old has in every city those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” 22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers. The word for “brothers” here and where the context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.” 23 They wrote these things by their hand: “The apostles, the elders, and the brothers, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: greetings. 24 Because we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law,’ to whom we gave no commandment; 25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves will also tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.” 30 So, when they were sent off, they came to Antioch. Having gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 5 So the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily. 28 Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and TR, NU omit “the Lord and” God which he purchased with his own blood.

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; Romans 1:7Romans 1:7
English: World English Bible - WEB

7 to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 121 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12
English: World English Bible - WEB

2 to the assembly of God which is at Corinth; those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours: 16 Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 17 Only, as the Lord has distributed to each man, as God has called each, so let him walk. So I command in all the assemblies. 13 Don’t you know that those who serve around sacred things eat from the things of the temple, and those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar? 14 Even so the Lord ordained that those who proclaim the Gospel should live from the Gospel. 12 1 Now concerning spiritual things, brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant. 2 You know that when you were heathen or Gentiles, you were led away to those mute idols, however you might be led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no man speaking by God’s Spirit says, “Jesus is accursed.” No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” but by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are various kinds of service, and the same Lord. 6 There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit; 10 and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages. 11 But the one and the same Spirit works all of these, distributing to each one separately as he desires. 12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot would say, “Because I’m not the hand, I’m not part of the body,” it is not therefore not part of the body. 16 If the ear would say, “Because I’m not the eye, I’m not part of the body,” it’s not therefore not part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the smelling be? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body, just as he desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now they are many members, but one body. 21 The eye can’t tell the hand, “I have no need for you,” or again the head to the feet, “I have no need for you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 Those parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, on those we bestow more abundant honor; and our unpresentable parts have more abundant propriety; 24 whereas our presentable parts have no such need. But God composed the body together, giving more abundant honor to the inferior part, 25 that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 God has set some in the assembly: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, and various kinds of languages. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all miracle workers? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with various languages? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. Moreover, I show a most excellent way to you.

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; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32
English: World English Bible - WEB

22 He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, 20 being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone; 21 in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit. 8 To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all men see what is the administration TR reads “fellowship” instead of “administration” of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord; 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly; 30 because we are members of his body, of his flesh and bones. 31 “For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife. The two will become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly.

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; Philippians 1:1Philippians 1:1
English: World English Bible - WEB

Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 1 1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ; To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers The word translated “overseers” can also be translated superintendents, guardians, curators, or bishops. and deacons Or, servants:

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; Colossians 1:18; 1Colossians 1:18; 1
English: World English Bible - WEB

18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians 1 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 to the saints and faithful brothers The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.” in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have toward all the saints, 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel, 6 which has come to you; even as it is in all the world and is bearing fruit and growing, as it does in you also, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 even as you learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. 9 For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; 14 in whom we have our redemption, TR adds “through his blood,” the forgiveness of our sins; 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him were all things created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. 18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross. 21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, 22 yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and blameless before him, 23 if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the assembly; 25 of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints, 27 to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; 28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; 29 for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.

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Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1Hebrews 11:39-40; 1
English: World English Bible - WEB

39 These all, having had testimony given to them through their faith, didn’t receive the promise, 40 God having provided some better thing concerning us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect. The Letter to the Hebrews 1 1 God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds. 3 His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 having become so much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they have. 5 For to which of the angels did he say at any time, “You are my Son, Today have I become your father?” and again, “I will be to him a Father, And he will be to me a Son?” 6 Again, when he brings in the firstborn into the world he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him.” 7 Of the angels he says, “Who makes his angels winds, And his servants a flame of fire.” 8 but of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your Kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.” 10 And, “You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the works of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you continue. They all will grow old like a garment does. 12 As a mantle you will roll them up, And they will be changed; But you are the same. Your years will not fail.” 13 But of which of the angels has he said at any time, “Sit at my right hand, Until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet?” 14 Aren’t they all ministering spirits, sent out to do service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

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Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.