biblestudy: Is There a True Church?

The True Church
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 30-Oct-10; Sermon #BS-1017; 78 minutes

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Jesus proclaimed that there would be one flock, implying that there would be one church. Many, looking at the fragmented condition of the church, seriously question whether there is one unified church. Many insist that they do not need fellowship with other brethren to be close to God. God's true church cannot be found without revelation nor can one join the organization; God Almighty does the calling (John 6:44) and places each member in its appropriate place in the body. Jesus Christ is the true church; we are in Him. The church is a spiritual organism, variously characterized as a kingdom issuing citizenship, a spiritual building, a body, and a family. No volunteers are accepted; membership comes through invitation only. God's church is small, but will not die out because it has inherent eternal life in it, and is protected by hosts of angels. The Greek word ecclesia denotes an assembly called out for a specific purpose. The term church derives from the Greek word kuriocon, meaning "belonging to the Lord." The Scottish word kirk became associated with a place where people were "bent" toward the Lord. The English word church extended the meaning to a place where people would go to worship. The word could apply to a place, the services, or the individual members, depending upon the context. In the Bible, the meaning applies exclusively to the assembly God has set apart exclusively for a specific purpose. There is one body, one spirit, and one church receiving sanctification (separation from the world), conforming to one standard under Jesus Christ. When we separate ourselves from sin, we dare not separate ourselves from our brethren.

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Abraham's descendents Acts 19:32-40 Amos 3:1-2 Assembly Church building Colossians 1:13 Congregation Contentions Cracks in unity Cremation Denominations Divisions Doctrinal tolerance Door Ecclese Ecclesia Ephesus Ephesians 1:21-23; 2:21-22; 3:14-5 Exclusivity I Corinthians 1 I Peter 1:13 Galatians 2:11-15 Gentiles Group of people called together for a specific purpose Hebrews 4:1-7; 10:24 'Holier than God' Isaiah 65:1-5 Jesus as the Good Shepherd John 6:44; 10:7-16 Judged as individuals Kuriokon Kurios Laocia Little flock Lord of hosts Luke 12:32 Matthew 16:18; 28:18-20 Other sheep I have which are not of this fold Paul and Barnabas Pharisee Philadelphia Philippians 3:20- 21 Protestant organizational differences Religious services Revelation 2-3 Romans 9:16 Sabbath dilemma Sabbath keeping II Corinthians 6:16 Separation from unclean 70 AD Sardis Smyrna Strong 1667 Tolerance of doctrinal differences Validation of other human beings Wheat and tares

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