In the last post, we described that we are not looking for, "Honey, I shrunk the church," where someone leads from the front and there is pre-organized worship and teaching.
But before we look at what a church meeting looks like we need to answer an important question, "What is church?" All of us know it is not the building, but how many of us think of it as the event, the meeting, as in, we GO to church. But church is never described as a meeting in the New Testament.
There are three main pictures of church given in the New Testament:
1. A body (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12): All the members of the body are important, and so is the diversity. The Corinthians passage makes it plain that we should celebrate our differences. The body doesn't consist of all eyes, or all hands. Each is important. Not only that, greater honor should be given to weaker members of the boy. As each person contributes what the Holy Spirit gives them and according to their gifting, Christ is more fully demonstrated in our midst. Jesus is the head of this body and all of us are connected to the head.
2. A temple (1 Peter 2:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:20): A physical building cannot contain God (Acts 7:48). We are living stones built into a temple. God no longer dwells in buildings, but in this living temple. Jesus is the cornerstone of this temple.
3. A family (Ephesians 2:19): You do not go to family. Being family doesn't depend on meeting together, but on relationship. Now healthy families will get together–often–but it is not the meeting together that makes us family, but our relationship together. We are all sons/daughters of God (John 1:12) Jesus himself is the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:19)
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