Summary: The right Church for the new Christian to join (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Acts chapter 2 verses 42-47.
Sign on a Church notice board.
• When you were born, your mother brought you to church.
• When you were married, your wife brought you to church.
• When you die, your friends will bring you to church.
• Why not try coming to church on your own sometime'
When a person decides to follow Jesus as their saviour and Lord:
• Church will automatically take on a new significance.
• So much so that I would say it is impossible to follow Jesus and not be part of a Church.
• Because the word Church is never used for a building,
• It always means a collection of people.
• If you are a Christian, you never go to church;
• You are the church!
• The very first translation of the New Testament from Greek into English:
• Was by William Tyndale in 1526,
• But Tyndale had a translation problem over the Matthew chapter 16 verse 18:
• "Upon this rock I will build my Church".
• Because he did not want people to think that the living church of Jesus Christ:
• Was an institution, the accepted religious establishment.
• So after much thought he ended up translating the words of Jesus this way:
• "Upon this rock I will build my congregation".
The church of Jesus Christ is a body of people:
• Who have been separated from the crowd,
• And separated for a specific purpose.
Quote W.E. Vine explains the meaning of the word translated as 'Church’ – ‘Ekklesia':
"The term has two applications:
(A). The whole company of the redeemed through out this present era.
(B). A company consisting of professed believers in a local setting".
In other words:
• We can think of the church;
• In a universal sense & in a local sense.
(1). The Universal Church:
• Is a world wide living organism:
• Made up of any person; who truly trusts Christ as their saviour.
• Regardless of denomination or label, that they choose to attach to themselves.
• It consists of every single believer:
• Whether they have been saved for 20 years or 20 minutes.
• Whether Very religious or totally opposed to religion when converted.
• Whether you are a Anglican from Africa,
• Or a Methodist from Malawi.
• Whether a Baptist from Bangladesh,
• Or a Pentecostal from Peru.
• If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ,
• You are automatically now part of his Church.
Quote: It has been pointed out that in the early days of Christianity there were:
• Congregations of believers, but no "Congregationalists!"
• There were baptized believers, but no "Baptists!"
• There were presbyters in the assembly, but no "Presbyterians!"
• They had method in their meeting, but there were no "Methodists!"
• They had bishops in the church, but there were no "Anglicans!"
• They trembled at the word, but there were no "Quakers!"
• They all shared in the blessings of Pentecost, but there were no "Pentecostalists!"
• The brethren had all been united to Christ, but there were no "United Brethren!"
• They simply met as Christians, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
• And were obedient to His precious word.
• So if you are a true believer in Jesus Christ,
• You are automatically now part of his universal Church.
(2). Local Church.
• Now when it comes to the 'church':
• One aspect is automatic and the other aspect is voluntary.
• At your birth.
• You automatically entered into the human race.
• You have no say in it, it was your parents choice or an accident!
• As a result you automatically became part of humanity.
In the same way:
• When you were 'born again',
• You automatically entered into God's family.
• You become an automatic part,
• Of the church universal (you have no say in it).
• After a baby has been born and the time comes for mother & child to leave hospital:
• The child is taken to a local residence.
• So that it can grow & develop & mature.
Now in the spiritual realm that illustration breaks down about there:
• A human baby has no choice in being part of a local family.
• It has no choice in who its brothers & sisters will be.
• Those choices are made for it by others;
• It parents or its appointed guardians.
But note the difference - a spiritual baby (a new Christian):
• Has to make that choice for themselves,
• It's a voluntary decision to have to attach yourself to a local congregation.
• And you need to make that decision for your own good,