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Summary: The right Church for the new Christian to join (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Acts chapter 2 verses 42-47.

Ill:

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!

ill:

• 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.

ill:

• 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).

ill:

• 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,

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