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Biblical definition of "the church"

Discussion in 'St. Justin Martyr's Corner: Debate an Orthodox Chr' started by ClementofA, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here's a biblical definition:

    Eph.1:22 And God put everything under His feet and made Him head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

    Who does He fill? Only those in the EO division? No, all believers, i.e. saints.

    Note that there is no mention of "maintaining the faith" there, whatever you mean by that.
     
  2. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    my response is the same
     
  3. Winken

    Winken Jonah !!! Supporter

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    "church" is a building housing a place to assemble. Church is the Body of Christ.
     
  4. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Jude speaks of 'the faith once delivered to the saints'. Here the faith refers to the body of doctrine which Bible based believers hold. (I am writing this as a visitor to this section; the OP asked a Bible related question so this aspect is what my answer involves.)
     
  5. Light of the East

    Light of the East Ukrainian Greek Catholic Supporter

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    And where exactly is that faith found that was "once delivered?" In Rome? Canterbury? Bob Jones University?

    And if that faith has been changed, mangled, denied, added to, or in any way modified so that it is not what the Early Church taught, then how is it "the faith once delivered to the saints?"
     
  6. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    There is not one definitive explanation in scripture which defines to exactitude what is the Church. We know Paul taught that the Church are those baptised believers that come together to celebrate the Eucharist: 1 Corinthians 11:18-20

    We know its the pillar and ground of the truth. We know all have been baptised into one body in one Spirit, 1 Cor 12:12-13

    We know His One Body fullfilled prophecy that not a bone of His was broken. Thus there are no divisions, no sections, no fractures, no subdivisions in this One body. There is also no invisible phantom body as the docetist heresy is just thst a heresy.

    The Church was established on Pentecost and individuals recieve the One Spirit through the laying on of hands through the appointed elders originating from that assembly, and not apart from it, Acts 19:2 , Acts 8:12-19
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  7. Winken

    Winken Jonah !!! Supporter

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    The Faith once delivered to the Saints is received at the moment of Spiritual birth (the "born again") experience. It doesn't get changed, mangled, denied or added to, or in any way modified. Faith IS. The Holy Spirit dwells within each of those who rejoice to have received Faith.
     
  8. Light of the East

    Light of the East Ukrainian Greek Catholic Supporter

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    Uhhhhhhh.....no. The faith once delivered to the saints is expressly believed and acted on in certain forms of worship which Evangelicalism will not acknowledge. It is more than just an intellectual assent to a bunch of facts (i.e., making a "decision for Jesus.") It is an experiential faith in which the body is involved, meaning that the mode of worship which we are to follow is very important.

    Thus, to have a worship in which there is no Eucharist, that is, the very Body and Blood of Christ Jesus, being consumed by the faithful, is a worship which is not the faith once delivered to the saints. In like manner, to have a worship in which children are prevented from receiving the Eucharist, (i.e., Roman Catholicism) is also not the "faith once delivered to the saints."

    Other novel inventions from the last two centuries would include things like "believer's baptism," indulgences, Purgatory, "making a decision for Jesus," the "Mourner's Bench," no confession to a priest, no Sacraments at all, musical entertainment rather than singing the Psalms, no recitation of Morning or Evening Hours, no priests, no bishops, etc.

    To reduce faith down to an intellectual formula, i.e., I believe in Jesus, is to establish a worship that 2,000 years of apostolic worship would not recognize. To deny the Sacraments is to make worship and a relationship with Christ something between one's ears rather than a living union through the Sacraments in which Christ comes to us and ministers to us.

    You know a good analogy to that? It is the difference between a marriage license and the nuptial bed. One is a legal knowledge of a fact, the other is the reality of the fact expressed in loving union, which is what we have in the Sacraments.

    Thus, lacking the sacramental union and experiential knowledge of Christ through them, Protestantism has come up with "strange fire" to convince themselves that they really know Jesus. Think Jimmy Swaggart and His Jesus Rock-N-Roll Band type worship. The musical beat gets the nerves jangling, the toes tapping, the feet boogying, and after it is all said and done, they claim they had an experience of the Holy Spirit.

    Not even close to what the Early Fathers knew.
     
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  9. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Quote:

    Question: "What is the church?"

    Answer:
    Many people today understand the church as a building. This is not a biblical understanding of the church. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. Romans 16:5 says “… greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house—not a church building, but a body of believers.

    The church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head. Ephesians 1:22-23 says, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” The body of Christ is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) until Christ’s return. The body of Christ is comprised of two aspects:

    1) The universal church consists of all those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13). This verse says that anyone who believes is part of the body of Christ and has received the Spirit of Christ as evidence. The universal church of God is all those who have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

    2) The local church is described in Galatians 1:1-2: “Paul, an apostle … and all the brothers with me, to the churches in Galatia.” Here we see that in the province of Galatia there were many churches—what we call local churches. A Baptist church, Lutheran church, Catholic church, etc., is not the church, as in the universal church—but rather is a local church, a local body of believers. The universal church is comprised of those who belong to Christ and who have trusted Him for salvation. These members of the universal church should seek fellowship and edification in a local church.

    In summary, the church is not a building or a denomination. According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Local churches are gatherings of members of the universal church. The local church is where the members of the universal church can fully apply the “body” principles of 1 Corinthians chapter 12: encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    What is the church?
     
  10. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    there is more to Church from the biblical point of view. again, Orthodox are not biblical minimalists.
     
  11. Winken

    Winken Jonah !!! Supporter

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    Thanks ..... Church rings out much louder than church.
     
  12. Light of the East

    Light of the East Ukrainian Greek Catholic Supporter

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    "ClementofA, post: 72064078, member: 388980"

    Question: "What is the church?"

    Answer:
    Many people today understand the church as a building. This is not a biblical understanding of the church. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. Romans 16:5 says “… greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house—not a church building, but a body of believers.

    The church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head. Ephesians 1:22-23 says, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” The body of Christ is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) until Christ’s return. The body of Christ is comprised of two aspects:

    1) The universal church consists of all those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13). This verse says that anyone who believes is part of the body of Christ and has received the Spirit of Christ as evidence. The universal church of God is all those who have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

    This is a typical Protestant apologia for their refusal to be joined to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church which is hierarchical in nature. We don't see anything like this in Scripture - AT ALL! It is a fond Protestant fantasy which was cooked up by the Reformers.

    The Church is a covenant body of believers. We see this first in the qa'hal, or congregation, of Israel. There was a distinct place to meet, a distinct form of worship, and distinct leadership. These same earmarks are present in the New Covenant Church -
    distinct place, distinct worship, distinct hierarchy.

    2) The local church is described in Galatians 1:1-2: “Paul, an apostle … and all the brothers with me, to the churches in Galatia.” Here we see that in the province of Galatia there were many churches—what we call local churches. A Baptist church, Lutheran church, Catholic church, etc., is not the church, as in the universal church—but rather is a local church, a local body of believers. The universal church is comprised of those who belong to Christ and who have trusted Him for salvation. These members of the universal church should seek fellowship and edification in a local church.

    Horsefeathers!!! This totally violates covenant principles found in the Bible. Every covenant group, whether family, church, or political, has a leadership head. In the apostolic faith, the head of the Church is Christ Jesus. Following the OT Suzerainty kingship patterns of covenant authority, the greater king (Christ) makes covenant with lesser kings and appoints them as vassal kings (archbishops and bishops) under his Covenant headship.

    The idea of a "local church" as defined by Fundamentalists and Evangelicals goes against the covenant principle of hierarchical leadership. It is actually rebellion against the established leadership which began with the Apostles and was handed down from generation to generation. That is the principle of succession.

    Within the idea of the "local church," you have rebellious, autonomous bodies and preachers who actually brag that they take orders from no one. I know. I was a Fundamentalist for 13 years and I heard this - a lot!! That is the sin of pride ("No one tells me what to do or how to run my congregation.")

    Really?

    So, of course, since they are not bound by Holy Tradition or the leadership of bishops over them, some of these men have come up with some pretty weird and sometimes dangerous ideas which they foist upon the people who trust in them.

    The "universal church," as you define it, cannot be the Church because the Church is one in doctrine and teaching, yet if you apply your idea of everyone who has "believed in Jesus" as being in the universal church, you get thousands of independent bodies with hundreds of different doctrines - for instance, at least 25 different teachings on how to baptize and who may be baptized.

    Is the Holy Spirit really that schizophrenic? I don't think so!!!!


    In summary, the church is not a building or a denomination. According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Local churches are gatherings of members of the universal church. The local church is where the members of the universal church can fully apply the “body” principles of 1 Corinthians chapter 12: encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Local parishes may exist, but they are ALWAYS in union with their archbishop or metropolitan, unlike Protestantism where each little storefront X-Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Parlor now "Worldwide Church of the New Saints and Apostles, is its own authority. Are you getting what I am saying here? The idea of thousands of sui juris (independent, self-governing, answering to no higher authority)assemblies is not scriptural AT ALL!!! It violates covenant principles and is not how the Apostles understood the Church. Just read St. Paul. It was understood in his writings that he held authority over each of the little "house churches" in the area, whereas today, Fundamentalists would throw him out on his ear for daring to come in and claim authority from the Lord.

    You
    are
    wrong.

    And as an X-Fundamentalist who used to believe the same error, I make no apology for taking a strong stand on this. There is but one Kingdom - not thousands!!!!
     
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  13. Winken

    Winken Jonah !!! Supporter

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    ummmmm.....no. Misses the mark. It is entirely Spiritual. Unlike the early fathers, we clearly and joyfully receive salvation by Grace through Faith, the GIFT of God, without ceremony before or after. We embrace the GIFT, salvation, the blessed infilling of the Holy Spirit, who needs NO explanation!! Yea!! :clap::amen::angel::holy::hug::wave::oldthumbsup:
     
  14. Original Happy Camper

    Original Happy Camper One of GODS Children I am a historist

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    I also am a visitor answering the question posed in the OP with a BIBLE VERSE.

    Revelation 12:17
    And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony ofJesus Christ.
     
  15. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    Any seeker reading this, now you know why protestantism is bizarre.
    First off it is impossible to recieve the Holy Spirit apart from the laying on of hands or anointing(chrismation) of the elders. The church through every age, and location refered to such believers as catecumens. So much for Sola Scripture as this is clearly taught in, (Acts 8:12-17)
    Is Christ's Body divided? Then you deny what scripture says that not a bone of his was broken. It is not fractured or segmented. There is no secret Bodies of Christ which can spontaneously arise because some guy read the bible and started a prayer room. Paul went up to Jerusalem to the elders to confirm his gospel and receive the right hand of felliwship ( Gal 2:2-9) . He did not go and start his own denomination. Those people were called gnostics and anti-Christs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  16. Light of the East

    Light of the East Ukrainian Greek Catholic Supporter

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    Utterly wrong, sir. Jesus said "This is my Blood, the Blood of the New Covenant." Therefore, Christianity is a religion of covenant, and it must follow the working principles of a covenant. Protestantism violates the principles of covenant, therefore, it cannot be the true religion which Christ left with the Apostles.

    You need to study covenant and covenant principles. Ray Sutton's book THAT YOU MAY PROSPER is a good start. Then read THE DANCE OF ISAIAH by Patrick Seamus O'Hara.
     
  17. ClementofA

    ClementofA Well-Known Member Supporter

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  18. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    actually, the book of Acts says otherwise.
     
  19. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    if they agreed we are the true Church, they would probably join. of course many are going to say we aren't. that doesn't prove we aren't anymore than us simply say we are proves we are.
     
  20. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Among converts to Eastern Orthodoxy are former members of all the above, so at least some of them have answered in the affirmative. (former Anglican here)
     
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