Many questions have been asked about the role of the church in society.
On the extreme the church has been accused of being irrelevant, lagging behind, toothless and insensitive. Is the church doing us any good?
In this three-part series, let us discover whether we left the church in the last millennium or it has gone ahead into the next and left us alone in this dispensation.
We will start this week by laying the foundation and define the church and differentiate it from other organisations and groupings.
The word church is from the Greek kyriakon meaning “thing belonging to the Lord” and also ekklesia, Latinised to ecclesia meaning “called out assembly”.
The church therefore is the corporate body separated from the rest of the world and belonging to God.
Church is therefore the people not the building, whether you call it cathedral, temple, synagogue, chapel, auditorium or theatre.
You can gather people in a cathedral and if they are not the called out ones that is not church.
Conversely, the called out ones can gather in a movie house or a pub and worship God and that will be church.
Who then are these called out ones?
Let us allow the Bible to speak. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12 KJV). So to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is the key.
He will give you power to be a child of God and this power manifests through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Church is the body of believers in the full Godhead, which is, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
If you exclude one, all the three will move out and you will no longer be a Christian Church but a mere human assembly.
Is it enough therefore to meet and sing and pray and profess that we believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus got into a church service in Luke 4:16 — 32.
He read the Bible from Isaiah 61. Luke 4:18 KJV says: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”
Jesus said that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him.
From the Scripture what constituted the church on this day was public reading of the Bible, the presence of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and His manifestations in healing and deliverance.
So miracles are acceptable and welcome in the church but miracles without the Bible, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are satanic.
Mere gathering together strengthening each other through motivation and positive thinking is not church if the above are missing.
Apostle Paul got into church one day at Antioch. The church did not just start by prophesying and encouraging each other but read the Bible first. “And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.” (Acts 13: 15 KJV).
Jesus read the Bible so did Apostle Paul. We will read the Bible, it is the barometer.
You should read it at church and when you get home to check the facts so that you do not remain in a renegade ship.
Who owns the church and gives it direction? Jesus says: “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.” (Matthew 16: 18 KJV) The church therefore belongs to Jesus who died for it. It does not belong to the pastor, bishop or archbishop. Church is the body of Christ and He is the head.
Jesus is the bridegroom and the church is His bride.
In this column we remain committed to the unity of the body of Christ and will not bow down to satanic divisive tricks.
The church as the body of Christ is made up of various parts, that is, denominations, assemblies or ministries.
During Jesus’ time some ministry sprout out nearby and His disciples wanted it stopped but He replied, “. .
Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:50 KJV)
Next week we shall see how the church should affect our society.
Should the church allow condoms in prisons and homosexuality in the state constitution?