#Church #TheChristianChurch #TheChurchOfJesusChrist #unity #gates #Hell #temple
Subject – The Christian Church – The church of Jesus Christ – The gate of hell shall not prevail against it part 1
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6th of January 2019
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Matthew 16:15-20 Living Bible (TLB)
15 Then he asked them, “Who do you think I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “The Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 “God has blessed you, Simon, son of Jonah,” Jesus said, “for my Father in heaven has personally revealed this to you—this is not from any human source. 18 You are Peter, a stone; and upon this rock I will build my church; and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!”
20 Then he warned the disciples against telling others that he was the Messiah.
Matthew 24:1-14 Living Bible (TLB)
24 As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples came along and wanted to take him on a tour of the various Temple buildings.
2 But he told them, “All these buildings will be knocked down, with not one stone left on top of another!”
3 “When will this happen?” the disciples asked him later, as he sat on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. “What events will signal your return and the end of the world?”[a]
4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone fool you. 5 For many will come claiming to be the Messiah and will lead many astray. 6 When you hear of wars beginning, this does not signal my return; these must come, but the end is not yet. 7 The nations and kingdoms of the earth will rise against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many places. 8 But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come.
9 “Then you will be tortured and killed and hated all over the world because you are mine, 10 and many of you shall fall back into sin and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and lead many astray. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere and will cool the love of many. 13 But those enduring to the end shall be saved.
14 “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it, and then, finally, the end will come.
Dear Brethren, welcome to a brand-new year of enlarged territories for the church of Jesus Christ. This year, we shall be looking at how it all began, what happened in the course of history, what do we have now and how can we get equipped to move forward with the call to unity and also to make disciples of all nations. In the course of the year, we shall be looking at the various Christian groups, what are the core believes, how do we defer and how can we reconcile and work together?
We will be looking at other believes outside the Christian faith. We will get to know what they stand for and how we can reach those for Christ as well. Virtually, we shall be travelling to India where there are thousands of gods, we shall be traveling to China, middle east, far east, Africa and the Americas. We shall get acquainted with the Buddhists, the Islamic faith and many more.
When we are done, you will begin to see them through their faith and the love of Christ because Christ came to die for these ones too so that next time you meet one on the plane, on the street, in the marketplace, in the classroom or hostel, you will be engaging with first class information that the Holy Spirit will energize us to reach them for Him both online and offline.
Let us begin with the church of Jesus Christ beginning today and in the course of several weeks going forward.
Christian Church is an ecclesiological term generally used by Protestants to refer to the whole group of people belonging to Christianity throughout the history of Christianity. In this understanding, “Christian Church” does not refer to a particular Christian denomination but to the body of all believers. Some Christian traditions, however, believe that the term “Christian Church” or “Church” applies only to a specific historic Christian body or institution (e.g., the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, or the Assyrian Church of the East). The Four Marks of the Church first expressed in the Nicene Creed are that the Church is:
- One (a unified Body of Particular Churches in full communion of doctrines and faith with each other),
- Holy (a sanctified and deified Body),
- Catholic (Universal and containing the fullness of Truth in itself), and
- Apostolic (its hierarchy, doctrines, and faith can be traced back to the Apostles).
Thus, the majority of Christians globally (particularly of the apostolic churches listed above, as well as some Anglo-Catholics) consider the Christian Church as a visible and institutional enlivened with supernatural grace, while Protestants generally understand the Church to be an invisible reality not identifiable with any specific earthly institution, denomination, Others equate the Church with particular groups that share certain essential elements of doctrine and practice, though divided on other points of doctrine and government (such as the branch theory as taught by some Anglicans).
Most English translations of the New Testament generally use the word “church” as a translation of the Ancient Greek: ἐκκλησία, translit. ecclesia, found in the original Greek texts, which generally meant an “assembly”. This term appears in two verses of the Gospel of Matthew, 24 verses of the Acts of the Apostles, 58 verses of the Pauline epistles (including the earliest instances of its use in relation to a Christian body), two verses of the Letter to the Hebrews, one verse of the Epistle of James, three verses of the Third Epistle of John, and 19 verses of the Book of Revelation. In total, ἐκκλησία appears in the New Testament text 114 times, although not every instance is a technical reference to the church.
In the New Testament, the term ἐκκλησία is used for local communities as well as in a universal sense to mean all believers. Traditionally, only orthodox believers are considered part of the true church, but convictions of what is orthodox have long varied, as many churches (not only the ones officially using the term “Orthodox” in their names) consider themselves to be orthodox and other Christians to be heterodox.
The Christian Church originated in Roman Judea in the first century AD, founded on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who first gathered disciples. Those disciples later became known as “Christians”; according to Scripture, Jesus commanded them to spread his teachings to all the world. For most Christians, the holiday of Pentecost (an event that occurred after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven) represents the birthday of the Church, signified by the descent of the Holy Spirit on gathered disciples. Acts 2:10 The leadership of the Christian Church began with the apostles.
Springing out of Second Temple Judaism, from Christianity’s earliest days, Christians accepted non-Jews (Gentiles) without requiring them to fully adopt Jewish customs (such as circumcision). The parallels in the Jewish faith are the Proselytes, Godfearers, and Noahide. The conflict with Jewish religious authorities quickly led to the expulsion of the Christians from the synagogues in Jerusalem
The Church gradually spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, gaining major establishments in cities such as Jerusalem, Antioch, and Edessa. It also became a widely persecuted religion. It was condemned by the Jewish authorities as a heresy. The Roman authorities persecuted it because, like Judaism, its monotheistic teachings were fundamentally foreign to the polytheistic traditions of the ancient world and a challenge to the imperial cult. The Church grew rapidly until finally legalized and then promoted by Emperors Constantine and Theodosius I in the 4th century as the state church of the Roman Empire.
Already in the 2nd century, Christians denounced teachings that they saw as heresies, especially Gnosticism but also Montanism. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of that century and Irenaeus at the end saw union with the bishops as the test of correct Christian faith. After legalization of the Church in the 4th century, the debate between Arianism and Trinitarianism, with the emperors favouring now one side now the other, was a major controversy.
Dear Lord God, too much water has gone under the bridge but we stand on the promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Your church. Thank You for keeping to this promise through the ages and what You have started, You will accomplish to the glory and honour of Your name, in Jesus name we have prayed. Amen
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