What is a church? What is its purpose? How did the church in the New Testament function?
If you cannot answer these three basic questions you will not know how to function as a Believer.
This book focuses on defining the word church and tracing its origin and meaning in the Bible from the first time that word church occurs in the Bible (Lev. 8.3) through to the last mention of the church.
The goal is to discover what Jesus and the apostles understood a church to be and how they understood a church would function.
Then the book explore such issues as how an individual becomes a member of the church, what activities should take place within the congregation, the purposes for the congregation assembling together, the obligations of the congregation to its individual members as well as the obligations of the individual to the body of believers. In each case the only issue is how these activities are described in the Bible.
Lastly this book looks at the Biblical nature of the relationships between congregations within a city and between churches in various parts of the world.
Table of Contents:
Chapter One: What is a Church?
1. Greek Definition
2. Church in the Hebrew Scriptures
3. Church in the New Testament
Chapter Two: Entrance into the Assembly
1. The First Church
2. Requirements for Entry into the First Church
3. From Oppression to Release
Chapter Three: Official Acceptance into the Body of Christ
1. New Testament Requirements
2. Acceptance into the Church of Jesus
Chapter Four: The Building Material
1. The House that Moses Built
2. The House that Jesus Built
Chapter Five: The Purpose for Which the Church Assembles
1. Gathered Together
2. Rejoice in the Frequent Assembly
Chapter Six: The Church is not Obligated to Meet Your Needs
1. The Parable of the Minas
2. Each Has Received a Gift
3. Purchased to be Slaves
Chapter Seven: The Local Church
1. Church or Churches
2. Joints and Bonds
4. New Testament Use of the Word Fellowship
5. The Epistle to the Philippians
a. The Bondage and Discipline of Fellowship
b. The Humility and Discipline of Fellowship
c. The Fellowship of His Suffering
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About the Author
Stephen Hedges was born into a Jewish family and raised in Kenya (East Africa). Since the turn of the century Stephen Hedges has taught the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) at an institute in Bulgaria.