What is a local church?
There is a difference between an individual and a local church.
- Matthew 18:15-17 – Three different parties are involved here. One person, a few members, and the entirety of the local church (or a representative thereof).
- I Timothy 5:16
- Some say that whatever an individual has authority to do, a local church has authority to do, but …
- A letter being addressed to a church does not mean that everything in that letter pertains to collective church work.
- I Thessalonians 1; 4:11
- I Corinthians 1:2; 7:1-2
- I Timothy 1:2; 3:1-13; 5:16
- Titus 1:4-5
The Bible uses “church” as a collective noun.
- Acts 8:1-3
- Acts 11:26 – “Church” talking about a plurality of disciples.
- Acts 14:26
- I Corinthians 1:2
- Philippians 1:1
- Hebrews 12:23
- Acts 2:41
Never does the Bible use the word “church” to collect congregations.
- There is a difference between collecting congregations and collecting individuals.
- If the universal church is composed of congregations, that would mean you must be a member of a local church to be a member of the universal church.
When do you have a local church action?
When a plurality of Christians act together?
- Not necessarily.
- Acts 13:1-3
- I Corinthians 11:22, 34, 18
- Philippians 4:15