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Part 1 – What Is the Church?

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January 28, 2018

Series:

This past Sunday we considered “What is the Church?”.  The Nature of the Church is based on God’s character and purpose. The triune God of the Bible is the author and sustainer of the Church.
It’s origin lies in God’s desire to have a people FOR HIMSELF ( Duet 7:6 )
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a
people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
It’s a community that acknowledges Jesus as LORD ( 1 Cor. 12:3 )
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus
is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
It’s a fellowship where the spirit of God is present ( 1 Cor. 3:16 )
Do you not know that you [ a ] are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
So from the start God has the plan of having A PEOPLE†purchased by the blood of Christ and indwelled with the Spirit of God.
God’s intention from Genesis to Revelation and into Eternity is seen in Revelation 21:13 - 
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their
God.
But what makes a Church, a “Church”?
What are the Marks of the Church that distinguish it from other institutions?
What are some things that if an organization calls itself a “Church”, we can measure?
Traditionally and historically there have been 3 marks of a true church.
● True Preaching of God’s Word
The Bible simply says “Preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4)
We believe that this is done by expositing the text book by book. (Expository Preaching)
In so doing we desire to have the whole counsel of God laid before us.
● Proper observance of the Sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism
These are the God ordained means by which we identify with Christ.
Baptism we die with Christ and rise with him to new life, and spiritually are washed clean
In communion we proclaim Jesus Death in our place ( 1 Cor. 11 )
● Faithful exercise of Church Discipline
For those who profess to be followers of Christ and have been baptized to identify with him. If they find themself in unrepentant sin Matthew 18 lays out the process of restoration for the sake of Gospel Witness.

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