Is The Church A Physical Building?
People today often refer to abuilding when they speak of the church. They may say, “Isn’t that a beautiful church” or “where is the church located?” However, the Lord’s church is not a building or physical structure. The church is a spiritual body (John 18:36) made up of people who have obeyed the Gospel (1 Peter 4:17). When Peter preached on Pentecost we read, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). Those who obey the gospel (Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:9) by believing in Jesus, repenting of sins, confessing faith in Jesus and being baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:37; 22:16) are added to the church by God (Acts 2:47). The church is the spiritual body of Christ, the redeemed (Titus 2:14), the body of those who are saved (Ephesians 5:23).
That which is said of the church cannot be said of a building. A building cannot be gathered together (Acts 14:27) or send people on their way (Acts 15:3). The church can receive people into their midst (Acts 15:4). The church can be greeted (Acts 18:22) as well as send greetings (Romans 16:23). The church has elders, deacons and servants (Acts 14:23; Philippians 1:1; Romans 16:1). It even has ears (Acts 11:22). The church can pray (Acts 12:5), be fed (Acts 20:28), edified (1 Corinthians 14:12), persecuted (1 Corinthians 15:9), offended (1 Corinthians 10:32), despised (1 Corinthians 11:22), taken care of (1 Timothy 3:5), written to (3 John 1:9) and can give and receive financial assistance (Philippians 4:15).
The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23), the house of God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). It makes known the wisdom of God to the world (Ephesians 3:10). It brings glory to God (Ephesians 3:21). It is loved by Christ and subject to Christ (Ephesians 5:24-25). It is glorious, holy and without blemish, having no spot, wrinkle or any such thing (Ephesians 5:27). The Lord nourishes and cherishes the church (Ephesians 5:29). None of this is true of a building.
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