Last week, I wrote a post called “Do you know what is written?” The purpose of that post was to encourage people to study Scripture concerning ecclesiology (or any other subject) before arguing for or against a particular position.
On Facebook, a friend of mine said that the post would have been better if I had included a list of Scripture passages that I could point people to. I agree. That would have made the post better.
Now, I don’t have to provide a list of passages, because Guy at “The M Blog” has done just that in his post “When do we start taking them to church?” In his post, Guy is dealing with this: “One of the most common questions asked is: at what point do we start taking the new believers to church?” However, in his response, he offers the following list of Scripture passages about the church:
The standard response we generally give is to try and briefly explain our understanding of what Scripture teaches about the church, the Bride of Christ.
1) Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15, Philemon 2 describe churches as meeting in homes. This was the standard. The norm. Small groups meeting in homes allows not only them, but us, to minister personally to one another. Special church buildings, programs, services, and crowds didn’t show up onthe scene until several hundred years later.
2) Ephesians 2:19 teaches we are “fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household…” We are truly family. Families take care of each other, watch out for each other, and some 50+ other “one anothers.”
3) Acts 2:42 teaches that continuosly the church engaged in at least four primary activities: 1) devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, 2) to fellowship, 3) to the breaking of bread, and 4) to prayer.
4) I Corinthians 14:26 describes what they were instructed to do when they gathered: “When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” Everyone is encouraged to participate and bring something of edification to the gathering. Church is not a spectator sport where only a few perform and the rest are spectators.
5) Hebrews 10:24-25 teaches us the reason for gathering, ” and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” The main reasons we are admonished to gather is to, 1) stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 2) encourage one another. If our gatherings do not encourage and motivate us to truly love one another and perform good deeds, then something is out of line and needs to be corrected.
There are many other passages that relate to the who, what, when, where, and why of the church. A few that amplify and describe the above in greater detail are I Corinthians 11-12-13-14, I Peter 2, Acts 2:42-47, and I Timothy 3.
That is a great beginning! Obviously, that is not every important passage about the church, but it’s certainly a good place to start.
I would add passages like Matthew 16:15-21, Matthew 18:15-20, Colossians 1:18-23, Colossians 3:15-16, Ephesians 4:1-16, and Titus 2:1-15.
Are there any passages that you would add to Guy’s list?