Summary: Church is the PEOPLE, not the building.
Be A CHURCH Not Just In A Church
18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
Church is mentioned about 120 times in Scripture. I confess that I did not read every passage referring to “church”.
The message that I am to impart is that the church is not a building. The church is not a meeting place. The church is the people, who gather in Jesus’ name to teach and to learn; to love and to fellowship; to worship God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), to reach out to others in need physically and spiritually.
Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.
It can’t be made any plainer than that. Church was held (people gathered) as a church in the house of Nymphas. I truly hope that you pause and question, “just who is Nymphas?”
There isn’t too much to research about Nymphas, who is only mentioned this one time in the entire bible. Knowing this, we have no idea if Nymphas is a man or a woman. Paul mentions Nymphas in his letter to the Colossians and it appears that he/she is a member of the CHURCH of Laodicea.
Every individual member of the church is of equal importance to the overall as any other member. There is no hierarchy in the true church. Yes, there are leaders and management issues to be dealt with but no one should ever be made to feel less important than any other. Unfortunately, that happens.
“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. 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. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,” Romans 12:4
“so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” Romans 12:5
The established church was not an organized sect or following as in denominational churches of today. Churches were meant to be a gathering where seekers could find spiritual truth, peace and sanctuary; a place to glorify GOD not man.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
May I repeat ALL generations, forever and ever. Amen
You see I believe the Holy Bible is inerrant and I don’t believe that The Word needs to be added to or taken from. Man should not be imposing traditions and rituals as doctrine, lest they are biblically true. That is not to say that traditional practices – as such – blended in the church are wrong; so long as they are not mandated as doctrine.
Let me also drop another caveat: Church BUILDINGS are fine, good places and make good sanctuaries. But they are after all, just buildings where churches meet.
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelations 22:18-19
Let us pray.