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Summary: Do you know what you believe, and why you believe it? There are some serious reasons you should. This message is part of a series, and focuses on Bible truth regarding the Church.

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CBC = 15 Aug. 2004 = 6 P.M Page 3 of 3

What do you believe, and why? = # 3 = (various, topical)

We have been discussing the importance of knowing what you believe and why

- 2 Tim. 3.16-17 = It’s God’s Word = Particular purposes = Maturing up to do good works

- What’s the best good work we can do? = Matt. 28.18-20 = Make disciples, baptize them and then "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"

Tonight want to explore one of the practical implications of the Gospel

- When a sinner gets converted = And then obeys the Lord by following Him in believer’s baptism = What’s the next logical step of obedience you would expect them to take?

- [Acts 2.40-41] = Join the church

- Please understand = I do not believe the primary purpose of baptism is to make someone a member = So in our church they are separate steps

- I believe baptism’s primary purpose is a public testimony of your salvation and an important step in obedience to the Saviour

- But you can’t join our church without being baptized, that’s for sure

Now is the church really that important?

- [Matt. 16.13-18] = Establishes the church = Not universal agreement that Matt. 16 is when Christ established it, but that’s my position

- "church" = /ekklasia/ = Called out, called together assembly, for a purpose

- Peter isn’t the head = "Pebble" (vs.) "Boulder"

- "Rock" of Peter’s confession = Foundation to become a member of the church = Foundation of every person’s membership

- Jesus says it’s "My church"

- Important job to the church = "...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

- Begins to give it some authority = [16.19] = Then more authority = [Matt. 18.15-20]

LOCAL & VISIBLE [vs.] UNIVERSAL & INVISIBLE

- Majority of uses of /ekklesia/ = Local, visible assembly = Especially clear when you look at the Eng. word other than "church" (ie: assembly)

- Most disputed uses of "church," context suggests the same as above

- Only [1] verse in all of Scripture of which I’m aware speaks of a "universal" church

- [Heb. 12.22-23] = Yes, universal = But still LOCAL and VISIBLE

- And so while it’s appropriate to speak of...

- "one family of God" = Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

- "Brethren" = We are all related by BLOOD

- "one Kingdom of Christ" = Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

- "Citizens" = "Ambassadors" = Of the Heavenly King

- We must remember that every church is an independent unit = Intended by God to be a complete body of Christ in and of itself

Acts 2 = Not where the church starts, though some teach that = I disagree

- EMPOWERED on the day of Pentecost = [2.1-4]

- Many things going on = Preaching and testifying to "the wonderful works of God" (v.11)

- And then eventually Peter = v.14 = [2.37-41]

- Notice, v.41, "they that gladly received his word" = Essentially "repent and believe the Gospel" (context) = Followed by "believer’s baptism"

- And God was adding to the church = [2.47] = Acts 5:14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)

- You’re going to try to tell me something God adds to is not important?

And then notice also = Paul’s farewell to Ephesian elders = Acts 20.17

- Look at what he is careful to include = [20.25-28]

- You’re going to tell me something that Christ purchased with His own Blood isn’t important?

And then notice = [Eph. 5.21~ff]

- Esp. v.23, head, savior = v.25, loved, gave himself for = v.26, sanctify, cleanse = v.27, present it = v.29, nourisheth, cherish

- You’re going to tell me that something Christ cares about that much isn’t important?

And then notice please = 1 Tim. 3.14-15

- "pillar" = "column" or "support" = That which props up TRUTH

- "ground" = "basis" = That which all TRUTH rests on

- School house, Club house, Court house, nor White House ought to be telling us what’s right and wrong = We ought to be telling them

- And that’s the job God has given = TO THE CHURCH

CONCLUSION

Do you still think the Church is unimportant?

- Do you still think it’s acceptable to simply do as you please with regards to the church?

- The way some Christians act, that’s the way it seems, it surely does

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