South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Thursday, April 26, 2018

What does "church" mean?

Acts 7:38 The Meaning of the Church---In modern English the word "church" is used in five ways: (1) a build­ing designated as a place of worship, that is, a church building; (2) all who profess faith in Christ regardless of particular theological beliefs; (3) a denomination (4) a single organized Christian group, that is, a local church; and (5) the body of Christ, that is, the universal church. While all of these are legitimate uses for modern English, the word "church" is used in the NT in only the last two senses—a local church, or the body of Christ, the universal church. At its root, the word "church" means a "called-out group." It is used of the na­tion Israel (Acts 7:38), which was a group of people who were called out of the rest of the peo­ple of the world to have a special national relationship to God. It is used of a local church (1 Thess. 1:1, church of the Thessalonians; Rev. 2:1, church of Ephesus, and so on), and of the universal church, the body Of Christ (Col. 1:18). The universal church comprises all believers from the Day of Pentecost until the time God takes the church out of the world; and at which time His pro­gram for the church will be complete. The local church is a local, visible, temporal manifestation of the uni­versal church. At one point in history the local and universal churches were identical (Acts 2:41). The universal church will not-meet until "we all get to heaven" and once in session will never cease.

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