INTRODUCTION: faith in Him, assembling and gathering in

INTRODUCTION: The
topic assigned to this group is Origin of the church with a focus on Baptist distinctive/

Some
topics to consider under the above discussion include;

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1,       Origin of the church

2.       Eternal purpose of the church

3.       The church as kingdom dual spheres

4.       The authority of the church

5.       Task, trait, training and transformation.

6.       Recommendation/conclusion

It
has been noted that the meaning of the church in its essence is a complex
issue, this explains why there is a shift from the essence of the church.

The
focus of this discussion is to ascertain the purpose for the existence of the
church here on earth in order to be conscious of the task and not to allow any
mundane thing, to be cloud this vision. So that Christ would be glorified.

1.       ORIGIN OF THE CHURCH

          DEFINITIONS OF THE CHURCH

a.       The
Church is a people called out of this world by faith in Him, assembling and
gathering in one name and for the one purpose of being one. (Andy Zopelt; The
Origins of the word “church|, pdf).

b.      Church
is an assembly of the citizens of a polis (city) such as the assemblies convey
at frequent intervals while in the secular sense the word ecclesia reders
simply to gathering or assembly of persons. (Erickson).

c.       The
church is coming together of baptized believers gathering in a local assembly
for the purpose of worshipping God. (Baptist view).

NB:   Considering the etymology of the ‘church’, it
should be known that pagans were using the word “church” long before Christians
ever began using it. It was Constantine who worshipped Mithra as his god and he
converted the Mithra god into the Christian house or church.

The
old testament background of the term gahal derived from the word for voice
refers to a summon to an assembly and the act of assembly to designate unto
occurrence of assembly.

In
the new testament, Jesus says in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church,’ the
word “church” is singular, meaning one and only one; and the word “my” is
possessive, meaning it belongs to the Lord. The Lord began his one church more
than 1,000 years ago in the day of Pentecost of Acts 2.

Some
of the resemblance of the church include:

1.       The Family of God (Hosea 11:1)

2.       The Flock of God (Ps. 80:1, 95:7)

3.       The vineyard of God (Ps. 80)

4.       The building of God (Eze. 25:8, Eph.
3:11)

2.       ETERNAL PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

The
eternal purpose of the church is the purpose of redemption made available to
all men through Christ. This eternal purpose is to have the church for

·       
The corporate expression of Himself in
Christ with many glorified sons conformed to the image of the first born son
(Ron Kangai, God’s Eternal Purpose Concerning the Church and the Apostle’s
prayer for the church regarding the experience of the Trivine God pdf).

·       
For the display of God’s manifold wisdom
to the principalities and powers (Eph. 3:10-11 NIV)

·       
To head up all things in Christ (God’s
eternal purpose being realized through the Local churches, http://localchurch-gods.purpose.org
accessed 19th January, 2017).

The
contemporary church should be mindful about the eternal purpose of God and
continue to involve in the local church in realizing these tasks.

3.       THE CHURCH AS KINGDOM OF DUAL SPHERES: Luther
used this idea to describe the relationship of the church to the state God has
ordained the two governments. The spiritual, which by the Holy spirit leader
Christ makes Christians and pious people; and the secular which restrains the
unchristian and wicked so that they are obliged to keep the peace outwardly….
The laws of worldly government extend no further than to the soul God can and
will let no one rule but Himself. Therefore, where temporal power presumes to
prescribe laws for the soul, it enchroaches upon God’s government and only
misleads and destroys souls.

We
are to be subject to governmental power and do what it bids, as long as it does
not bind our conscience but legislates only concerning outward matters. But if
it invades the spiritual dormain and constrains the conscience over which God
only trust preside and rule. We should not obey it at all but rather lose our
necks. Temporal authority and government extend no further than to matters
which are external and corporeal.

4.       THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE CHURCH

The authority is found
in expression declaration of Jesus Christ and it is
granted through the scripture and in terms of scripture. The bible is a book of
authority.

The
power is threefold: kingly, prophetic and priestly (www.chakechen.edu,
19th January, 2017, the Power and Authority of the church)

·       
The church has authority to teach God’s
word

·       
The church has the authority to share
the gospel

·       
The church has authority to discipline
its members

5.       TASK, TRAIT, TRAINING AND TRANSFORMATION

·       
The task of the church is primarily soul
winning which can be seen in evangelism, witnessing, fellowship, prayer, social
concern, edification.

·       
Trait of the church; holiness, love,
fruithfluness.

·       
Training could be formal or informal

·       
Informal training is mostly done within
the church confine

·       
Formal training is often donme in a
structured organization with certificate

·       
Transformation is the end result of the
task, trait and training of the church.

The
issue of bivocational ministry have been a bone of contention in some circles.
While the bible is silent on this issue, whether the professional ministry or
not.

We
noted that Paul the Apostle at a period was involved in tent making in order to
realize money for church planting (Acts 18:1-4) especially at the beginning of
his missionary journey.

But
when the church was mature to take the responsibility they contribute to His
missionary endeavor. (Philipian 4:18-19).

Borrowing
a leaf from the white missionary that came to Africa. Many of them were professional
doctors, teachers while preaching the gospel on the order hand they were
prsctitioners whatever their professional might be. In view of the above
individual or local church should use every opportunity to do the work of Him
not to hinder bivotional workers.

Recommendation:
That Jesus Christ is the true foundation no any foundation should be held. (1
Cor. 3:11).

That
the church should not deviate from the purpose given to her but be faithful to
the task of the great commission (Mt. 28:18-19). That there is no perfect
church on earth but the church is moving toward perfection. When Jesus would
come to present the church Holy (Eph. 5:26)

CONCLUSION

The
purpose of the church must be retained with what it was right from the
beginning. In line with the writer of Hebrews said, “Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today and forever. Furthermore Apostle Paul in his letter to his son
in Christ said “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with
this inscription…… (2 Tim. 2:19). Therefore the purpose of the church must
remain intact, no boundary should be shifted.

REFERENCES

Hobbs,
H (1964) What Baptists Believe, Mashville, Tennessee, Broodman

Erickson,
M (1998) Christian Theology; 2nd Edition Grand, Rapid, Michigan,
Baker Bwk.