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Define: Local Church
The local church is an organized group of confessing believers in Jesus Christ who gather regularly for worship and edification and observing the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, who are unified by the Spirit for mission, living out the great commandment and great commission.
All believers in one place and time. An expression of the Universal Church
Define: Universal Church
All believers in Jesus Christ in all times and places.
What are the Marks of the Church?
- One--Jesus only formed one church
- Holy--(1)Set apart to God (2) Conformed to His character.
- Catholic--No local or temporal limitations
- Apostolic--Founded upon the Apostles
- 1.Regenerate church membership
- 2. Universal priesthood of believers
- 3. Bible centered
- 4. Autonomy of the local church
- 5. Congregational polity
- 6. Believer baptism by immersion
- 7. Seperation of church and state
What are the three meanings of body?
- 1. Physical whole of a living or dead organism. (Gal 6:17, 2 cor 10:10)
- 2. Organic Whole--group considered collectively (Rom 12:4-5, 1 Cor. 12:12ff)
- 3. Living person turned outward in action (Rom. 6:12-13, Rom 12:1)
What is the "rock" in Mt. 16:18?
- Jesus’ words here are best interpreted as a simple play on words in that
- a boulder-like truth came from the mouth of one who was called a small
- stone. Peter himself explains the imagery in his first epistle: the
- church is built of “living stones” (1 Pet. 2:5) who, like Peter, confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Christ himself is the “cornerstone” (1 Pet. 2:6–7).
Aspects of Authority
- Authority is the right to rule, make decisions, coordinate the behavior of other persons.
- 1. ex officio, de jure--The legal authority of the office.
- 2. ex persona, de auctoritas--The personal and moral authority of wise character.
- 3. ex charismata, de senso--The perceived authority of personality.
ex opere operato
- "from the work worked"
- 1. The sacrament works independently from the merits of the priest or participant.
- 2. The sign of sacrament, however, not only tells us about the spiritual change taking place within us--Christ uses it to actually produce that change. A sacrament gives the grace it signifies...Christ always gives us grace unless we deliberately block him.
Literal body and blood of Christ
Christ is spiritually in the elements
State and Defend: Infant or Believer Baptism
- Baptism is a public proclamation of a person's personal faith in Jesus Christ. It is a symbolic of a believer's union with Christ's death, burial, and
- resurrection. Baptism identifies a believer with Christ, the universal body of Christ, and the local church. Therefore baptism is only for believers and not
- for infants.
- For Believers--Mt 28:19, Acts 2:41
- Repentance and faith come before baptism--Acts 2:37-38
- Water baptism is a symbol of Spirit baptism--Rom 6:3-5, Acts 10:47
- Identifies believers with:
- 10:48, Rom 6:3
- body of Christ--1 Cor. 12:13
- Church--Acts 2:41
- What about the Scriptures that speak of whole households being baptized?
- Doesn't this include infants? Acts 11:14, 16:31, 18:8
- There is nothing in the text to indicate an infant was in the household. Scripture speaks to believers being baptized not infants. Also baptism is not a sign of
- membership into the covenant community as circumcision was for the OT.
State & Defend: Mode of Baptism
- The biblical mode for baptism is immersion. Baptism by immersion is a symbolic declaration of a believer's union with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Immersion is important as it reflects baptism in the NT as well as the ongoing practice of the church.
- The word "baptizo" means "to immerse, to dip, or sink". So the word used for baptism has the idea of immersion.
- In Acts 8:38 Philip took the eunuch into the water to be baptized.
- In Jn. 3:23 John was baptizing in the Aeron because there was much water there.
- Rom 6:3-5 describes a believer's identification with Christ's death (pictured going into the water), death (going under the water), and resurrection (coming out of the water into newness of life).
- Why do you limit baptism to immersion?
- Best represents the teaching and example of the NT. You do not see examples of baptism that uses pouring or sprinkling