The Local Church in God’s Plan


A. What is the mission of the local church?

1. Why was it established?

2. What is our role in the local church?

3. What is really involved in being a member of the Lord’s

a. We are not concerned with man’s ideas

b. We are concerned with a thus saith the Lord

4. Is the church just another social or civic club?

B. Our attention will be drawn to the Scriptures to find the
answers to these questions.



1. “Church” comes from ekklesia meaning “the called

a. The church, then, are those who have been called out of
the word … 1 Peter 2:9

b. We are called by the gospel (2 The. 2:14)

c. When we have obeyed the gospel, we are saved, and
then are added to the Lord’s church (Acts 2:36-47)

2. The Lord’s church is not:

a. A denomination

1) 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 … the Lord’s church is not
named after men

2) Ephesians 4:1-6

a) There is one true church

b) There is one true doctrine

3) John 17:20-21

a) Jesus prayed for unity

b) Denominationalism thanks God for division when
they take God for all the different churches

b. A material building

1) 1 Peter 2:5

2) The church is a spiritual house

c. A sectarian alliance

1) 2 John 9-11 … we are not to have fellowship with
sectarianism – those who will not abide in the doctrine
of Christ

2) 1 Corinthians 1:13

d. A political party

1) John 18:36 … a spiritual kingdom

2) Luke 17:20-21

3. The Lord’s church is set forth under various

a. A family

1) Matthew 12:46-50 … our brethren are our real family

2) Galatians 4:5-6 … we are the sons of God

3) This figure pictures the love that members should
have for other members

b. A bride – picturing the purity of the church

1) Romans 7:4 – we are the bride of Christ

2) Ephesians 5:23-33

c. A body – picturing the unity of the church

1) Ephesians 1:22-23

2) 1 Corinthians 12:13-27

d. A kingdom

1) Matthew 16:18-19

2) Revelation 1:6 … we have been made a kingdom


1. The universal sense

a. In this sense the speaker or writer had no specific
congregations in mind

b. Consider these examples:

1) Matthew 16:18

2) Ephesians 1:22-23

2. The local sense

a. In this sense the speaker or writer has a specific
congregation in mind

b. Examples

1) 1 Corinthians 1:2

2) 1 Thessalonians 1:1


1. If one can be saved outside the church, then Christ died in
vain – the reason:

a. Acts 20:28

b. Ephesians 5:25-27

2. Furthermore, if one can be saved outside the church –
then he can be saved:

a. Out of the kingdom (Mt. 16:18-19)

b. Out of the body (Eph. 1:22-23)

c. Out of the family of God (1 Tim. 3:15).

3. Local church membership is necessary as seen in the fact
that the Lord placed elders in the church to watch after the

a. Hebrews 13:7, 17

b. Their work is confined to the local congregation …
1 Peter 5:1-2


1. Universally, the church has no earthly organization

a. There is no pope, no presiding bishop, no synod or
council that legislates the Lord’s church

b. Christ is its only head

c. Christ has all authority over the church

1) Matthew 28:18

2) Ephesians 1:22-23

3) 1 Peter 3:22

d. Thus, the Lord’s church is an absolute monarchy when it
comes to matters of faith

e. The law by which Christ governs His church is not to
be altered in any way

1) Galatians 1:6-10

2) Revelation 22:18-19

3) 1 Peter 4:11

2. Locally, Christ has organized His church consisting of
elders (Acts 15:4), deacons (1 Tim. 3:8), preachers
(2 Tim. 4:5), and members (Rom. 12:4-5).


1. The mission of the local church is carried out in local
congregational capacities

a. Local congregations can cooperate in doing the work
of the Lord

1) Acts 11:27-30

2) 1 Corinthians 16:1-3

3) 2 Corinthians 9:1-5

b. But the autonomy of each congregation must be

c. Local autonomy is the best safeguard for preserving

2. The mission of the local church is not political

a. “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn. 18:36).

b. The church is not for obtaining social standing

c. It is not in the entertainment business

3. The mission of the church is first, last, and always, to
save souls.

a. Our mission is associated with Christ’s – Luke 19:10

b. The church is to engage in:

1) Evangelism

a) Matthew 28:18-20

b) 1 Timothy 3:15

2) Edification

a) Romans 14:19

b) Ephesians 4:15-16

3) Benevolence

a) Galatians 6:10

b) James 1:27


A. It has been said, “The church that is not a missionary
church will soon be a mission church.”

B. It has also been said, “The church that is not a benevolent
church will soon be a begging church.”


About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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