Biblical Principles for Church Life



How many of you know or have known a Christian who was not a member of a local church?  What were their reasons?


1.         The life of the church is an integral part of the Christian life.


a.         Acts 2:38-41,47 – salvation and immediate identification with the church went hand in hand.


b.         1 Cor. 12:13 and context – the work of the Spirit makes us part of an organism (the body).  The Christian life involves the interaction of the members of the body.  Therefore, the Christian life cannot be lived in isolation from other Christians.


Is a campus fellowship a church?


2.         Biblical church life consists of several elements. 


       Acts 2:38-41


a.         begins with public identification and commitment


b.         apostles’ teaching – the Word is preeminent.


c.         fellowship – eating food together?  Sharing the life of Christ together!


d.        breaking of bread – the sacraments


e.         prayer – praying together is a mark of a sound church


       I Timothy 3:1-2,8,15


f.          biblical church leadership


       Matthew 18:18-20


g.         church discipline


Youth program?  Choir program?  Children’s program?  Believer-cize?  We need to reject consumerist mentality that says we go to the church that offers us the most services.


3.         Maturity in the Christian life only comes through the means of the church.


a.         Eph. 4:11-16 – the formal teaching and equipping ministry of the church


b.         Titus 2:3-5 – the informal teaching and discipling of more experienced believers


See also 2 Cor. 1:3-4 – receiving comfort from those who have experienced the same trials


Encourage Adopt-a-Student – dose of reality about married life and Christian families, lives of grace


c.         1 Cor. 12:14-27 – giving and receiving ministry from the diversity of members of the body


The silliness of a church full of eyeballs!


CPC SS philosophy


The dangers of believing a fellowship group is a church and then growing accustomed to that mode of ministry – Great Commission at Clemson



4.         Applications


a.         Don’t neglect to give yourself to a church body even as a college student.

i.           membership

ii.         involvement


b.         Don’t try to swim with the sharks intellectually without the shepherding and teaching of the local church.  1 Tim. 3:15



“The Importance of the Local Church,” by Daniel E. Wray, Banner of Truth, 1981, 15 pp.  A great little pamphlet summarizing the glory and the functions of the biblical local church.

Availability: Stan Reeves


Life in the Father’s House: A Member’s Guide to the Local Church, by Wayne A. Mack & David Swavely, Presbyterian & Reformed, 1996, 211 pp.  The title says it all.

Availability: Stan Reeves