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January 5, 2008 / Daniel

The Local Church

 I believe that the local church, as an extension of the universal church, is a distinct community of Christ-followers assembled together within a particular location (Matt. 18:17-20; Rom. 1:7; Rev. 1:11). The local church is marked by the preaching of God’s word, corporate prayer and worship, a recognized membership, and the administration of Christian ordinances—believer’s baptism and the Lord’s supper (Matt. 28:16-20; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Tim. 4:13; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; 1 Cor. 14:29-31; 1 Thess. 5:19-22).

Baptism is an outward sign of an inward covenant with God and is ideally by immersion, which pictures our union with Christ (Matt. 3:16; Acts 8:36-40; Rom. 6:1-5; Gal. 3:27). While baptism is necessary as a part of our obedience to Christ, Scripture does not teach baptismal regeneration (Luke 23:40-43; John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom. 3:25; 1 Pet. 3:20-22).

I believe that the bread and the cup of the Lord’s supper represent the body and blood of Jesus, which was given to us for the forgiveness of our sins (Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; Jude 12). In the communion meal, Jesus is spiritually present with us through the person of the Holy Spirit.

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