“Believers in Jesus Christ who join together in fulfilling their mission to make disciples“
- body of Baptized Believers
- bride of Christ
- body of Christ
- ekklesia (1577) called out ones, persons legally called out or summoned
Scripture A: (Foundation of the Church)
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
Gate: Authority of the grave, Greek Mythology: the underworld inhabited by departed souls.
Gehenna (1067) the final destination of the wicked, the prison of fallen angels or evil spirits.
- Stanley calls Peter a Charter member (pg. 8) The Catholic Church refers to Peter as the Vicar of Christ. From Vicarious: serving instead of someone or something else, that has been delegated, vicarious authority also the first Pope (i.e. succeeding Popes fulfill “the shoes of the fisherman”
- 2. DENOMINATIONS “Whatever name we apply to a particular fellowship, there is only one church, and it belongs to no particular denomination” (Stanley pg. 8).
a. Denominations are like cars (i.e. Acura, Buick, Cadillac-Deville, etc.) they all get you to point A to point B; Point A being Earth, point B namely Heaven. Representing the Father (Maker), The Son (Owner’s Manual) and The Holy Spirit (GPS). Faith (gas), Hope (steering wheel) and love (tires). You’ll have a bumpy ride without love, no direction without hope and your going nowhere without faith.
Some appear to be real Christians, but are not. They are cults. They name themselves after Christ like the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints (LDS/Mormons) and who appear to be going somewhere but are only like the false moving cars, as seen on television with stationery drivers and fast moving backdrops.
- Scripture B: (See I John 4:3 to discern a church from a cult).
“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come ; and even now already is it in the world” (I John 4:2-3).
b. The church is an organism (something living) as opposed to an organization. Christ (CEO) yet lives.
c. Denominations are so appealing because humans are by nature territorial and naturally cling to groups, familiar and or chosen to conform to particular taste. When asking someone “what church do you attend” don’t let your joy abate after finding out they are from a different denomination but rejoice in the fact that they have made Jesus the Lord of their life.
d. The church is not a denomination or a building. According to Stanley it leaves the parking lot after service in cars (bottom of page 9).
- Scripture C: (Mission of the Church is called the Great Commission meaning to make disciples)
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Question 1: How does one commonly separate from the mission of the church?
- Scripture D: (The Timeless Mission of the Church: Soul winning!)
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 30:11).
- 3. FRESH OIL We must always be willing to reinvent ourselves. Heaven rejoices along with all denominations within the Body of Christ when a soul is brought to Christ (snatched from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the marvelous light of the Knowledge of God and His Love for us). While the focus doesn’t change the methods vary. The winning of souls must remain the top priority of the members of the body of Christ; yet, the creative means of spreading the gospel can always be updated and varied. The foundation stays the same but the curtains you can change or the paint can be refreshed.
Question 2: Explain Stanley’s statement, “As we change, we must so stay the same?” (pg. 11)
Scripture E: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”
(2 Corinthians 3:17).
- 4. LIBERTY: Liberty is the foundation of Prosperity and Peace in any environment. People thrive when they are free in an environment: to maximize gifts and talents free from oppression. Man is only truly free when Christ is honored, that is why you greatness whenever you see Christ receiving the Glory. The Foundation of the house must remain the same but you can change the curtains or paint the house. Christ is the foundation and bedrock of the church, the confession of Christ as Lord must not change! You can change the method for soul winning but you must not change the confession that Jesus is Lord. The prelude of any testimony should be: Jesus is Lord and this is only communicated to one’s spirit by the Spirit. Flesh and blood doesn’t recognize Jesus as Lord of its own accord, Flesh must be brought under subjection to the Spirit of God which always says “Jesus is Lord” this is the foundation of the system of government that we call the church.