THE LOCAL CHURCH - HIS BODY MANIFEST [2.]
A city in the olden days was wherever the people congregated and lived and were protected.
Thus the only type of description of a church [on earth] that can be found in the scriptures; is that of the `ecclesia' [called out ones]; and is described in terms of the `city' boundary---wherever it is found. We even find this thought carried through in Revelations; where even the exact dimensions of the New Jerusalem are given!
And so we find in the New Testament the corporate ecclesia described as: -
* The Church in Ephesus-----Revelation 2:1
* The Church in Smyrna------Revelation 2:8
* The Church in Pergamum------Revelation 2:12
* The Church in Thyatira------Revelation 2:18
* The Church in Sardis-----Revelation 3:1
* The Church in Philadelphia-----Revelation 3:7
* The Church in Laodicea-----Revelation 3:14
On reading the above scriptures it quickly becomes obvious that the local Church's/cell groups responsibility is towards Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church.
However, a message to one local body/cell group reflects through to the whole Body of Christ.
`He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches
It is also obvious that every local Church/cell must maintain the testimony of the Body of Christ, since each is a miniature manifestation of Christ's body.
`If your sons keep my covenant and the statutes that I teach them, then their sons shall sit on your throne for ever and ever."
`They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.'
A Church must embrace the area or locality in which it is found, and ALL believers or Christians in that particular area, are part of that local body or cell group. God always meets with you where you are, so the flowing and activities of the Church Body should be as local [within the cell group context] as it is possible to make it.
The area of the local [or cell group; in groups of not more than twelve people] church boundary equates with the city, town or village boundaries or parts thereof; as it has been shown by history that these are the most stable `politically', thus there is an ongoing continuity in the Church body, irrespective of the national political situation.
[It has been shown scientifically that after a gathering exceeds 12 people, people start to lose contact with each other.]
Each local [cell group] Church comes under the headship of Jesus Christ, as we witness in the writing to `the angel/messenger of the Church in...' where Jesus gives correction, exhortation, advice and praise, in His capacity as King of kings, and Lord of lords.
The smaller unit of meeting would be `fellowships' [cell groups- as they are known today] in a given road, in a given area, of the corporate city Church. The following scripture suggests:
"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin."
[1 John 1:7]
If we look at the whole of the first chapter of 1 John 1, we see it is concerned with the Word of Life, Light, fellowship with the Father and with His Son, blood of Jesus and fellowship with one another, so all these matters are inextricably interwoven.
So if we are to fellowship with our heavenly Father, His Son, and their Holy Spirit, we are to: -
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching"
to --- "prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ...............
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself in love, as each part does its work."
[Ephesians 4:12, 13, 15, 16].
There two aspects of the Body of Christ -
[1.] Life and
In order to fulfill the fellowship commissions of a local body or cell group.
is done by means of the 5-fold ministry throughout the Body of
The personal or close Presence of God becomes known by means of the fellowships or cell groups inextricably interwoven with 5 fold ministry. The interaction between the saints, and the 5 fold ministry in Ephesians by which we become like Christ is shown in the `spiritual sacrifices' given below.
But first we give some scriptures in which the `spiritual sacrifices are able to be completely comfortable in the meetings; and we will see that the spiritual sacrifices can only reach their full fruition within the context of the fellowship or cell group meetings.
These scriptures will be found below together with the outlines on the `Church meetings/cell groups.'
Before we discuss the meetings, and their scriptures it will be necessary to look at the purpose of the `meetings', and also some scriptures, which deal with group inter-action.
The Lord's Prayer is also looked at and contextualized; showing the parallel between the prayer, the sacrifices and the cell groups.
IT IS VITAL TO NOTE AT THIS POINT THERE ARE --- ONLY --- FIVE TYPES OF MEETINGS TO BE FOUND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT; AND ARE THE MANNER IN WHICH THE EARLY CHRISTIANS MET!
THESE 5 MEETINGS ARE: -
1. COVENANT MEETING --- [Breaking of bread, Communion, etc.]
2. PRAYER MEETING --- [to be the mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit]
3. WORSHIP MEETING --- [praise from our hearts, minds and lips in worship.]
4. GOOD NEWS MEETING --- [Outreach to backsliders, unsaved people.]
5. BIBLE STUDY MEETING --- [acceptance of sanctification by believers]
For people landing on the page for the first time, please go to the first posting, and proceed from there, as all the postings are sequential in nature.
Actually, it would benefit you the most, if you go to the very first posting in this hive, so that you can follow through on the sequence, obtaining maximum benefit.
Thank you, and it will be for your own benefit.
I WOULD START HERE -
LINK TO THE VERY BEGINNING -
WHO WE ARE, AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN
August 17th 2016