A. The Christian or universal church: Mt. 16:18; 1 Cor 12:28; Eph. 1:22; 4: 11-15; 5: 23-25, 27, 29, 32;Col. 1:18, 24; I 12:23.
B. That (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are or will be gathered into one under Christ, her head;and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him who fills all in all Eph. 1:22; 4: 11-15; 5: 23-25, 27, 29,32; Col. 1:18, 24; Rev. 21: 9-14 . .
A. All around the world who profess the faith of the gospel and obedience to God by Christ according to it, not destroying their own profession by fundamental errors or impious behavior, they are and may be called visible saints: 1 Cor 1: 2 ; Ro. 1: 7, 8; Acts. 11:26; Mt. 16:18; 28: 15-20; 1 Cor 5: 1-9.
B. And such must be composed all local congregations: Mt. 18: 15-20; Acts. 2: 37-42; 4: 4; Ro. 1: 7; 1 Cor 5: 1-9.
A. The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error: 1 Cor 1:11; 5: 1; 6: 6; 11: 17-19;June 3 . 9,10; Ap. 2 and 3.
B. And some have degenerated so much that they have become no churches of Christ , but synagogues of Satan: Ap. 2: 5 to 1:20; 1 Tim. 3: 14.15; Rev. 18: 2 . .
C. However, Christ has always had and will always have a kingdom in this world, until the end thereof, composed of those who believe in him and profess his name: Mt. 16:18; 24:14; 28:20; Mark 4: 30-32;Ps 72: 16-18; 102: 28; Is . 9: 6,7; Rev. 12:17.; 20: 7-9.
A. The Head of the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the Father 's plan , all the power required for call establishment, the order or church government is supreme and sovereign invested: Col. 1:18; Eph.4: 11-16; 1: 20-23; 5: 23-32; 1 Cor 12:27, 28; June 17:. 1-3; Mt. 28: 18-20; Acts. 5:31; June 10: 14-16 . .
B. No Pope of Rome can be the head of it in any sense, but he is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, who exalts himself in the church against Christ and all that is called God, whom the Lord shalldestroy with the brightness of his coming: 2 Thes. 2: 2-9.
A. In the exercise of this power which has been entrusted, the Lord Jesus, through the ministry of His Word and by His Spirit, calls itself the world itself to those who have been given by his Father: Jun. 10:16, 23;12:32; 17: 2; Acts. 5:31 32.
B. That they may walk before him in all the ways of obedience that he prescribes in His Word: Mt. 28:20.
C. A so - called, orders them to walk together in concrete congregations, or churches, for their mutual edification and the due observance of public worship, he requires of them in the world: Mt. 18: 15-20;Acts. 14: 21-23; Tit. fifteen; 1 Tim. 1: 3; 3: 14-16; 5: 17-22.
A. Members of these churches are saints The calling, and manifest in a visible form and evidence (for his profession of faith and conduct) their obedience to the call of Christ: Mt. 28: 18-20; Acts. 14: 22,23; Ro.1: 7; 1 Cor 1: 2 with vv. 13-17; 1 Thes. 1: 1 with vv. 2-10; Acts. 2: 37-42; 4: 4; 5: 13.14.
B. And voluntarily agree to walk together, according to the plan of Christ, giving themselves to the Lord and each other, by the will of God, professing Subject to the provisions of the gospel: Acts. 2: 41,42; 5: 13.14; 2 Cor 9:13.
A. To each of these churches thus gathered, the Lord, according to his declared in His Word will, has given all the power and authority necessary to carry out any order in worship and discipline sense that he has instituted for they keep; together with commands and rules for the proper and correct exercise and implementation of that power: Mt. 18: 17-20; 1 Cor 5: 4, 5,13; 2 Corinthians 2: 6-8.
A. A local, gathered and completely organized according to the will of Christ church is composed of officers and members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church (so called and gathered), for the peculiar administration of ordinances and the exercise of power or duty, which he entrusted to them or calling them , to continue until the end of the world, are bishops or elders, and deacons: Phil. eleven; 1 Tim. 3: 1-13; Acts. 20:17, 28; Tit. 1: 5-7; 1 Peter 5: 2.
A. The way appointed by Christ for the calling of any person who has been called and gifted by the Holy Spirit: Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3: 1-13.
B. For the office of bishop or elder in a church, is to be chosen for it by the common vote of the church itself: Acts. 6: 1-7; 14:23 with Matthew 18: 17-20; 1 Corinthians 5: 1-13.
C. And solemnly section through fasting and prayer with the laying on of hands of the elders of the church, if there are some previously made it: 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22.
D. And to the office of deacon, to be chosen by the same vote and set apart by prayer and the same laying on of hands: Acts. 6: 1-7.
A. As the work of pastors constantly to attend the service of Christ in their churches, in the ministry of the Word and prayer, and watch for your souls, as those who must give account to him: Acts. 6: 4; 1 Tim. 3: 2; 5:17; I 13:17.
B. It is the responsibility of the churches to which they minister not only give all due respect, but also share with them all their good things according to their possibilities: 1 Tim. 5:17, 18; 1 Cor 9:14; Gal. 6: 6, 7.
C: So they have adequate provision, without having to become entangled in secular activities: 2 Tim. 2: 4.
D. And can also practice hospitality towards others: 1 Tim. 3: 2.
E. This requires the law of nature and express mandate of our Lord Jesus, who has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel: 1 Cor 9: 6-14; 1 Tim. 5:18.
A. Although it is the responsibility of the bishops or pastors of the churches, according to his office, constantly dedicated to the preaching of the Word, the work of preaching the Word is not so peculiarly confined to them but that others also gifted and qualified by the Holy Spirit for it and approved and called by the church, they can and should perform it : Acts. 8: 5; 11: 19-21; 1 Peter 4: 10.11.
A. All believers are bound to join local churches when and where they have opportunity. Also, all those who are admitted to the privileges of a church are also subject to the discipline and government of the same, according to the norm of Christ: 1 Thessalonians. 5:14; 2 Thes. 3: 6, 14.15; 1 Cor 5: 9-13; I 13:17.
A. No church member, for any offense received, having fulfilled the duty required of him to the person who has offended you, should disturb the order of the church, missing meetings or church or refrain from participation in any ordinances for such an offense of any other member, but must wait in Christ while continue the actions of the church: Mt. 18: 15-17; Eph. 4: 2,3; Col. 3: 12-15; 1 June 2: 7-11, 18.19;.Eph. 4: 2,3; Mt. 28:20.
A. Since each church, and all members are obliged to pray continually for the good and prosperity of all the churches of Christ in all places and at all times help each within the limits of their areas and vocations, in the exercise of their gifts and virtues. Jun. 13: 34,35; 17: 11,21-23; Eph. 4: 11-16; 6:18; Ps 122: 6; Ro.16: 1-3; June 3 June 2 8-10 with 5-11..; Ro. 15:26; 2 Cor 8: 1-4,16-24; 9: 12-15; Col. 2: 1 to 1: 3, 4.7 and 4: 7,12.
B. So the churches, when they are established by the providence of God so that they may enjoy the opportunity and benefit from it: Gal. 1: 2.22; Col. 4:16; Ap . 1: 4; Ro. 16: 1,2; 3 Jun. 8-10.
C. should have fellowship with one another, for peace, love and growth in mutual edification: 1 June 4: 1-3 2 and 3 John;. Ro. 16: 1-3; 2 Corinthians 9: 12-15; Jos. 22.
A. In cases of difficulties or differences in doctrine or church government, in which churches in general or one church are concerned about their peace, union and building; or one or more members of a church are damaged by disciplinary procedures that do not match the truth and order, is according to the will of Christ that many churches have fellowship with one another, they meet through their representatives to consider and his advice on the issues in dispute, to inform all the churches involved: Gal. 2: 2; Pr . 3: 5-7; 12:15; 13:10.
B. However, the representatives meeting were not allowed any ecclesiastical power delivery itself or jurisdiction over them to exercise discipline on any of them or their member churches, or to impose its decisions on them or their officers: 1 Corinthians 7 : 25, 36, 40; 2 Cor 1:24; June 1 . 4: 1.
The church refers to all persons who belong to the Lord, who have been bought by the blood of Christ.There are various images and expressions which are also used to define or describe the church. The church is called, among other things, the body of Christ, the family of God, the people of God, the elect, the bride of Christ, the company of the redeemed, the new Israel.
The word used by the New Testament church, from which comes our word church means "those who have been called." The church can be conceived as an assembly or gathering of the elect those whom God has called to depart from this world of sin, and has called for a state of grace.
As the church on this earth is always what Augustine called "a mixed body", it is necessary that we differentiate between the visible church and the invisible church. In the visible church (made up of those who have made a profession of faith, have been baptized and have become members of the institutional church), Jesus tells us thistles will grow with the wheat. Although the church is "holy" currently has always mixed in her womb unholy elements.
Not all who honor Christ with their lips also honor him with your heart. Since only God can read the human heart, the true chosen are visible to God, but to some extent we are invisible to us. The invisible church is completely transparent but visible to God. The task of the elect is to make this invisible church becomes visible.
The church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The church is one. Although it is divided into denominations, the elect are united by one Lord, one faith and one baptism. The church is holy because it is sanctified by God and the Holy Spirit dwells within it. The church is catholic (the word catholic means "universal") because its members are spread around the world, and includes within it to people of all nations.
The church is apostolic because the teachings of the apostles, as are contained in the Holy Scriptures are the foundation of the church and the authority that governs the church.
It is the duty and privilege of all Christians remain united to the Church of Christ. It is our solemn responsibility not forget to meet with the Saints in communal worship, remain under the care and discipline of the church, and work actively as witnesses in the mission of the church.
The church is not so much an organization as an organism. It consists of living parts. It is called the body of Christ.
Just as the human body is configured to function as a unit through the cooperative and interdependent work of its many parts, so the church is a body that shows its unity and diversity. Although it is governed by a "head" -Christ the body it has many members, each with the gifts and the riches that God has given them to contribute to the work of the whole body.
1. The church is composed of those who belong to the Lord.
2. The biblical word for church means "those who have been called."
3. The church on earth is always a body where Christians are mixed with non - Christians.
4. The invisible church is only visible to God.
5. The church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.
6. The church is an organism, similar to the human body.
BIBLICAL PASSAGES FOR REFLECTION
Matthew 13: 24-43, 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14, Ephesians 2: 19-22, Ephesians 4: 1-6, Colossians 1:18, Revelation 7: 9-10.
The main word used in the Old Testament for the people of God, is derived from the verb "to call, and in the New Testament the word used to refer to the Church, meaning" called out ". Both refer to an assembly of people called by God.
Generally indicates a local church, whether or not assembled for worship. Acts. 5: 11; 11:26; Rom. 16: 4;1 Cor. 11:18; 16: 1. Sometimes the expression "The church that is at home" refers to any domestic church or group of believers who gathered in a private home. Romans 16: 5, 23; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15, but in the most general sense indicates the whole body of believers in heaven or on earth, Ephesians 1:22; 3; 10, 21;5:23 and Colossians 1: 18-24.
Roman Catholics differ from Protestants regarding the essential nature of the Church. The former believe that indicates an external, visible organization consisting of priests, together with bishops, archbishops, cardinals and the pope; Protestants broke with this external concept and looked for the sense of Church in an invisible and spiritual communion of saints.
The Church, in its essential nature, includes believers of all ages and nobody else. It is the spiritual body of Jesus Christ, in which there is no place for unbelievers.
Speaking of the Church in general terms is necessary to consider some distinctions.
The Church that now exists on earth is the Militante, because it is called, and is at present engaged in a holy war. Which is in Heaven is the Triumphant, as it has changed the sword by the palm of victory.
This distinction applies to the same church that is on the earth, which is invisible in what refers to their spiritual nature, so it is impossible to determine exactly who belong or not to it; however, it becomes visible in the profession and conduct of its members; by the ministry of the Word, the sacraments and external organization and government.
This distinction applies only to the visible church. It is characterized as a body, for the life of communion of believers, and opposition to the world; and as an organization for their offices, administration of the Word and the sacraments and certain forms of church government.
The Invisible Church can be defined as the company of the elect, called by the Spirit of God, or simply as the spiritual communion of believers; Visible and can be defined as the community or set of those who profess the true faith, together with their children. It should be noted that the membership of each other is not exactly equal
There are three special attributes of the Church and also three marks or external features.
1. YOUR UNIT . According to the Roman Catholic this unit is an impressive global organization, but for Protestants is the spiritual unity of the body of Jesus Christ.
2. POPE . The Roman Catholic make holiness consist of the Church in his holy dogmas, moral precepts, worship and discipline; but Protestants do file holiness in the members of the Church as saints in Christ, that is, saints in principle to be holders of the new life that is destined to be perfectly holy.
3. universality. Roma makes this point a special claim, because the Church is scattered throughout the land, and has more members than all evangelical denominations together. Protestants claim , however , that only the Invisible Church of Christ is really the Catholic Church, because it includes all believers of all ages and all countries.
While attributes belong mainly to the invisible church, marks or signs belong to the visible church and serve to distinguish the true church of false. Also three.
1. THE TRUE PREACHING THE WORD OF GOD . This is the most important sign of the Church. The John 4; 1-3; 2: Juan 9. It does not mean that preaching has to be perfect and absolutely pure but must be true in terms of the fundamentals of the Christian religion, and which will exercise a controlling influence in terms of faith and practice.
2. the proper administration of the sacraments . The sacraments can not be separated from the Word, as Catholics do. They must be administered by legal ministers, according to the divine institution; can only be administered to believers and their descendants, Matthew 18:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:23, 30.
3 . THE FAITHFUL EXERCISE OF DISCIPLINE . Discipline is necessary to maintain the purity of doctrine and safeguard the sanctity of the sacraments. The word of God insists on this, Matthew 18:18; 1 Corinthians 5: 1-13; 14:33, 40; Rev.. 2:14, 15, 20.
1. John 10:16. "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold : them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd."
2. John 17:20. "No pray for these alone, but for those who believe in Me wave Word of them, that are all one thing."
3. Ephesians 4: 4-6. "One body and one Spirit, as ye are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, which above all things and all things, and in you all. "
1. Exodus 19: 6. "And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."
2. 1 Peter 2: 9. "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation , a peculiar people, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
1. Psalm 2: 8. "Ask me and I will inherit the nations and kingdoms thy possession of the earth."
2. Revelation. 9: 7. "After this I looked , and behold a great company 'which no man could number, of all nations, kindreds, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes , and palms in their hands."
1. 2nd Tim. 1:13. "Hold fast the form of sound words that you heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
2. 2nd Timothy 2:15. "Try diligently to present yourself as an approved worker who has no need to beashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
3. 1 Timothy 2: 1. "You speak things that pertain to sound doctrine."
1. Acts 19: 4 and 5. "Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance , telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is to say in Jesus Christ. And when they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. " 1 Corinthians 11: 28-30. "Each examine yourself and eat the bread and drink of the cup, because he who eats and drinks eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord 's body. For this reason many among you are weak and sick , and many sleep. "
1. Matthew 16:19. "Now you give the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven."
2. 1 Timothy 3: 10-11. "Refusing man heretic after one or two warnings, knowing that such is subverted and sins."
1. Was there before Pentecost the Church? See Matthew 18:17; Acts 7:38.
2. Does the New Testament word church is used in the singular in it to mean a group of churches 1 See Acts 9:31?
3. What reasons for discipline in the church of Corinth? 1 Corinthians 5: 1- 5:13; 17:34; 2 Corinthians 2: 5-11.
As the world is full of thousands of different institutions called churches, and as it is possible that boththe institutions and individuals become apostates, it is important that we discern the essential marks of the church vis¡ ~ l: legitimate and true. No church is free from fault or sin. Only in heaven will be perfect church. But there is one significant difference between corruption, which affects all institutions, andapostasy. Therefore, to protect the devel opment and care of God's people, it is important to define the marks of a true church.
The marks of a true church have historically been defined as:
(1) the true preaching of the Word of God,
(2) the use of the sacraments according to their institution, and:
(3) the practice of church discipline. ".
(1 ) PREACHING THE WORD OF GOD . Although the Churches differ on details of theology and degrees of purity of the doctrine, the true church says all that is essential to the Christian faith. Similarly, a church is false or apostate when it officially denies one of the fundamental premises of the faith Christian as the deity of Christ, the Trinity, justification by faith: atonement, or other essential doctrines to . Salvation Reform , for example, was not a simple struggle for trifles, but by the cardinal doctrine of salvation.
(2) THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS. Denying or defame the sacraments instituted by Christ is falsifying the church. The desecration of the Lord's Supper or offering volunteer of the Christian sacraments not disqualify a church professing to be recognized as a church true.
(3) THE DISCIPLINE OF THE CHURCH. Although the exercise of the church discipline can sometimes be wrong in the direction of being too severe or too lax, it can become something so perverted that already no longer recognized as legitimate. For example, if a church open and unrepentant way undersigned, practice, or refuses to discipline serious sins and evil, it is not exhibiting this mark of a true church.
While Christians should be solemnly cautious not to become schismatic in spirit, or having a spirit of division or discussion, they should also be aware of their obligation to depart from false communions or apostates. All true churches, to a greater or lesser degree, must show the true marks of a church. The reform of the church is a task that never ends. More and more we seek to be faithful to the biblical call of preaching, the sacraments and discipline of the church.
1. A true church has visible marks that differentiate it from a false or apostate church.
2. The preaching of the gospel is necessary for a church to be legitimate.
3. The proper administration of the sacraments, undefiled, is a mark of the church.
4. Discipline against heresy and grave sins is a necessary task within the church.
5. The church always needs to be reformed according to the Word of God.
BIBLICAL PASSAGES FOR REFLECTION
Matthew 18: 15-17, Romans 11: 13-24, 1 Corinthians 1: 10-31, Ephesians 1: 22-23, 1 Peter 2: 9-10.
Be excommunicated from the church of Christ is something terrible. However there is one sin so serious that deserves the removal of the body of Christ. This sin is the impenitent. There are many serious sins that require church discipline.
However, as the discipline of the church it is a multi-step process where Excommunication is the last step, the only sin that can make us reach that end is refusing to repent of sin that started the process first.
The excommunication is the most extreme discipline of the church. It means excluding the unrepentant sinner from communion with the faithful. The doctrine comes from the teaching of Jesus on binding and loosing (Matthew 16:19; 18: 15-20; John 20:23). The responsibility fell on the church discipline. The passage in Matthew 18, however, lists three steps that must be given before the excommunication. The sinner must be corrected first in private. If that instance fails, then it should be corrected before witnesses.This ensures that the accuser has been wrong in the first instance and avoids slanderous accusations are made. Thirdly, the sinner must be brought before the entire congregation of believers.
If this ultimately failed, the church should cease to fellowship with the offender. It should be noted that excommunication should never be done with a sense of revenge. The entire process until and including excommunication, is a form of discipline designed so that the unrepentant person returns to the fold. Come the end of the excommunication, the guilty party will be left to the devil. The intention is not to punish but to seek the guilty party aware of their sin. John Calvin argued that the discipline of the church is "the best help" to sound doctrine, order and unity.
The Westminster Confession enumerates five purposes for excommunication: The censures of the church are necessary to claim and win the brothers who have offended, to prevent others from committing similar offenses, to purge the yeast could infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honor of Christ, and the holy profession of the gospel, and to avoid the wrath of God, which justice could fall on the Church, if allow his covenant, and the seals of the covenant, to be profaned by notorious offenders and stubborn , and stalist could possibly be reduced to two reasons main: concern for the soul of the sinner and concern for the health of the church.
The discipline of the church has been entrusted by Christ, and is one matter that requires great caution.The church can go wrong in two ways. It can become too lax and not properly church discipline those who make faith a source of scandal, or it can become too severe and lacking charity God commands.
should not rely on the discipline of the church when it comes to trivial or minor issues. The little things can become the ruin of the people of God. We are called to have a spirit of patience and tolerance with others, just as God is patient with us about. Scripture calls us to have the kind of love that "covers a multitude of sins."
1. The Excommunication is the final step in the discipline of the church.
2. The impenitencia is the only sin that results in excomu1gación.
3. Christ instituted the process of church discipline.
4. The purpose of the excomu1gación is the restoration of the offender and the protection of the church.
5. The church discipline should be neither loose nor severe.
6. Christians must exercise a love that is patient and tolerant.
BIBLICAL PASSAGES FOR REFLECTION
Matthew 7: 1-5, 1 Corinthians 11: 27-32 1 Timote05: 19-20, 1 Corinthians 5, 1 Timothy 1: 18-20, 1 Peter