A. The church in its universal, comprehensive sense.
- All Christians world-wide make up the church. (Matt. 16:18 Eph. 1:22,23)
- There is no earthly organization for the church universal.B. The church in its local sense.
- Includes Christians within a local congregation. (I Cor. 1:2 Acts 8:1; 13:1)
- Sometimes congregations are spoken of collectively. (Rom. 16:16 Gal. 1:2,22)
A. There is to be an established "order." (Tit. 1:5) (cf. I Cor.1 4:40)III. The church - the prescribed medium of the Lord's work
B. All congregations were autonomous (independent, self-governing). There were no regional or district headquarters. There were no centralized synods or councils. All such has come from men, not God.
C. When men met the qualifications, a plurality of elders were appointed in the local congregations. (Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5; Acts 20:17)
D. Likewise, when men met the qualifications, deacons were appointed in the local congregations. (I Tim. 3:8)
E. All the other Christians ("saints') together with the elders and deacons made up the local congregations. (Php. 1:1)
A. The Lord's work is to be done through the church. (Eph. 3:10)IV. Co-operation among local churches
B. Evangelism (Acts 13:1-3; 14:24-28) and benevolence (Acts 11:28-30) are works of the church.
C. Organizations created by men to do the work of the church have no authority from God and are, therefore, unscriptural. (For example: "Missionary Societies," "Ladies' Aid Societies" or "Evangelistic Associations.")
D. Para-church organizations are not to be created. The church itself is sufficient.
A. Though independent, congregations co-operated in their work.
- In benevolence. (II Cor. 8:1-5)
- In evangelism. (II Cor. 11:8)
B. Congregations sometimes assisted one another. (Rom. 15:25,26; Acts 11:28-30)
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