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4,15 Marks of the Church

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Marks of the Church

Last week we talked about the Great Commission being our purpose. But, we are not called to fulfill the Great Commission by ourselves. God in His infinite wisdom has called out the CHURCH.
Last week we talked about the Great Commission being our purpose. But, we are not called to fulfill the Great Commission by ourselves. God in His infinite wisdom has called out the CHURCH.
Before we can identify the “Marks of the Church”, let us look at what a biblically faithful community of believers look like, what they are to do and why the Church is so important to Christ.
Uses of the term Church:

Local Church

- ekklesia, a specific gathering of believers in some locality.
The Greek term represents God’s people distinguished from others, “ek” out and “kletos” called”; congregation, assembly,

House Church

- - many local churches met in houses.

Collection of Churches

-3- churches of a region

Universal Church

- the whole body of Christ.

Definition of Church

In the early 1500’s, the church was defined, characterized by two basic thoughts:

Place where the Word of God is preached

Where sacraments are correctly taught and administered

This was helpful, but not enough—totally inward focus.
There are many definitions or descriptions of CHURCH:
(Baptist Faith and Message)
-“New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believes from every tribe, and tongue, and people and nation.
A local church is an indispensable gathering of professing believers in Christ who, under leadership , are organized to pursue its mission through its functions to accomplish its purpose. (Malphurs, A New Kind of Church)
(Malphurs, A New Kind of Church)

Church Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus
Christ as our Savior and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

Indispensable— we are God’s only divinely sanctioned institution to reach the world for Christ.

Matthew 16:18 KJV 1900
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Membership is important! At the time of salvation, believers are first “called unto he fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord”
Membership is important! At the time of salvation, believers are first “called unto he fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (, )
1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV 1900
9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
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1 John 1:3–7 KJV 1900
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
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This fellowship or participation with Christ constitutes the believer a member of the universal church in the sense of the spiritual reality of the unity of the Spirit in the Body of Christ.
This fellowship or participation with Christ constitutes the believer a member of the universal church in the sense of the spiritual reality of the unity of the Spirit in the Body of Christ.

Church fellowship is one way God has ordained for the believer both to give himself to the Lord and to fellow believers.

and to get from them that which is necessary for Spiritual edification.

The gifts of the Spirit given to each member for the good of all are best expressed when met together.

Hebrews 10:25 KJV 1900
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Marks of the Church

Believers Only Membership

Romans 10:9 KJV 1900
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
The membership is made up of ONLY those who confess Christ as Savior and Lord and whose life gives evidence of the conversion. We are a community of confessing sinners who covenant together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The membership is made up of ONLY those who confess Christ as Savior and Lord and whose life gives evidence of the conversion. We are a community of confessing sinners who covenant together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Membership in a New Testament Church is a privilege, not a right!

There are requirements and expectations.

Believers Only Baptism

Matthew 28:19 KJV 1900
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
New Testament baptism involves a believer being immersed, publicly identifying with Christ and the Church.
New Testament baptism involves a believer being immersed, publicly identifying with Christ and the Church.

Biblical Accountability

- as believers, we are not free to roam and live as we like. We are to be held accountable. Another word we use is “discipline”.
Hebrews 12:1–5 KJV 1900
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Matthew 18:15–17 KJV 1900
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Galatians 6:1 KJV 1900
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
1 Timothy 1:20 KJV 1900
20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
1 Timothy 5:19–20 KJV 1900
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Historically, Christians have viewed church discipline as an essential mark of the Church.

Bible Based Ministry

Preaching must be biblical in content, expositional and theological, practical and applicable.

Biblical Leadership

- The Bible is clear that the church will have pastors, elders and deacons, who are appointed by the congregation. The focus is never on the specifics of the number, but the focus is on the qualification.
1 Timothy 3:1–7 KJV 1900
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
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Instead of searching for leaders with secular qualifications, we are to search for people of character, reputation, ability to handle the Word of God and display the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
Instead of searching for leaders with secular qualifications, we are to search for people of character, reputation, ability to handle the Word of God and display the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives.

Faithful Mission and Ministry

We should fulfill the Great Commission by doing missions, evangelizing the lost and making disciples.

Healthy Biblical Theology

Theology allows us to glorify God with our mind and obey the commandments.
Matthew 22:37–38 KJV 1900
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
Healthy churches produce and foster a positive theological agenda. Healthy churches teach biblical doctrine and proclaim biblical doctrine.
Healthy churches produce and foster a positive theological agenda. Healthy churches teach biblical doctrine and proclaim biblical doctrine.

Marks of the Church Member

(Thom Rainer- I Am A Church Member)
I want to get out of the Cheap Seats and go with the Church—therefore:

I Will Be a Functioning Member

As a member, we are all necessary for the whole.
1 Corinthians 12:26–28 KJV 1900
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
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We are different but we still work together
We are different but we still work together
Everything we say and do is based on a Biblical Foundation of Love-1Cor13
To be a member of a club, you pay your dues, and people serve you.
To be a biblical member of the Church, give abundantly and serve others.
Biblical members are Functioning members!

I Will Be a Unifying Member

John 13:35 KJV 1900
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Once a Christian, you are part of the Church, but when you commit to be a part of the local church, God expects you to be a “unifying presence”.
Once a Christian, you are part of the Church, but when you commit to be a part of the local church, God expects you to be a “unifying presence”.
Once a Christian, you are part of the Church, but when you commit to be a part of the local church, God expects you to be a “unifying presence”.
Unity is important—READ
Ephesians 4:1–2 KJV 1900
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
As a church member, you are to be a source of unity, never a divisive force. You are to love your fellow members unconditionally.
As a church member, you are to be a source of unity, never a divisive force. You are to love your fellow members unconditionally.
Colossians 3:12–14 KJV 1900
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
—Unity will not happen without forgiving hearts!
Matthew 6:14–15 KJV 1900
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
—Unity will not happen without forgiving hearts!

Unity will not happen without forgiving hearts!

The local church is made up of “imperfect members and imperfect pastors”! We will all make mistakes!
For the Church to accomplish her mission, we must be unifying members!

I Will Not Let My Church be about my preferences and desires

Christians can sometimes act like demanding children—brats. Did you know that when you join the Church, you give up your preferences?
We are here to glorify God and meet the needs of others!
Jesus would often say things that offended His listeners. READ
Mark 9:35 KJV 1900
35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
We are here to SERVE!
We are here to SERVE!
Servant appears some 57 times in the NT—Jesus tells us that we must be last of all and servant of all!
—The Mind of Christ!

I Will Pray for My Church Leaders

Pray for wisdom, insight, health, mental well being
Pray for me as I preach God’s word
Pray for leadership as we minister
Pray for us and our families—
Pray for our protection—
The Devil sees me as a threat! Sees our leadership as a threat! One of Satan’s highest priorities is to take leadership down.

I Will Lead My Family to be Healthy Church Members

Let your family find joy in serving the Church and those in the Church. We are not part of the church to see what we can get out of the church.
We should teach and model to our family how to LOVE the Church.
Ephesians 5:22–26 KJV 1900
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Pray together as a Family for the Church—

-Pray together as a Family for the Church—
Spiritual protection/preaching of the Word/ protection from moral failure/ families. encouragement

Worship together as a Family

—many church members are single. Regardless, others are watching you.
Some of you are believers in an unbelieving family—It can be lonely for you to come and worship while leaving your unbelieving spouse behind. Remember, you are the missionary in your home.

Fall in love with the Bride of Christ-

Christ is the Bridegroom and the church is His Bride. Our commitment is to love the Bride with an unwavering and unconditional love.
If your family gets discouraged or discontent in our church, remind yourselves that unconditional love is not always easy.
REMEMBER—the Church is a Family! Lead your family to support and love the Church Family!

I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift

1 Corinthians 12:27–28 KJV 1900
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
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Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV 1900
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
You have received a GIFT! The free gift of eternal salvation. This gift includes forgiveness of sins by Christ’s death on the cross. It includes adoption by God the Father. It includes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
You have received a GIFT! The free gift of eternal salvation. This gift includes forgiveness of sins by Christ’s death on the cross. It includes adoption by God the Father. It includes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
And it includes becoming part of the Body of Christ!
Membership in the body of Christ is not a Legalistic obligation! It’s not about country club perks, nor a license of entitlemnt.
It is a GIFT!!

A Gift from God!

The Bible is clear that we are to be connected to a specific church in a specific context so that we can accomplish the Mission God has given to us!
Lets DO THIS TOGETHER FOR THE GLORY OF OUR GOD!!
Let us be the CHURCH Jesus died for on the cross!!
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