The Church is made up of those who are in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). The Church began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4, John 14:20, Acts 11:15-16). The Church is only for those who are of the Dispensation of Grace (Acts 1:4,5; 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 10:32 (shows a distinction between other dispensations)). Christ is the Head, and the saints are the Body (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23, 24; Colossian 1:18). Through the Church, God shows to the principalities and powers His manifold wisdom (Ephesians 3:10).
The Purpose of the Local Church
A quality of the body of Christ is represented in the gathering together of the saints. The purpose of the assembling of the saints in a local church is to teach, and edify the saints (Ephesians 4:12, 16; Hebrews 10:24-25). Each local church body is autonomous in its daily affairs (Acts 6).
Membership in the Local Church
Only those who base their salvation on Christ’s death for our sins and resurrection from the dead three days later are eligible to become members of a local church
Leadership Positions in the Local Church:
The pastor is a male who qualifies according to Scripture for the office of Bishop (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1). This position is to guide, feed, and guard the local assembly. The leadership of the Bishop is solely in the realm of teaching and therefore has no right to govern over the local church (1 Peter 5:2, 3).
Any male that qualifies according to scripture can serve in this position. This position is for the purpose of assisting the Bishop (Pastor) with the daily tasks of the local assembly so that the Bishop (pastor) is able to concentrate on the study and teaching of the word. However, the local church has the right to determine the duties of the deacons (Acts 6).
Spiritual Gifts in the Local Church
Spiritual gifts are given to believers for the edification of the saints so that the saints may grow in the unity of the faith, to come to the experiential knowledge of the Son of God, and to maturity (Ephesians 4:11-15). All believers receive one spiritual gift at the point of salvation (1 Peter 4:10-11; I Corinthians 12:7, 11). In the beginning of the Church, some temporary gifts were given until the completion of the revelation of Scripture (what is now represented in the KJV of the Bible) that are now no longer active within the Church (1 Corinthians 13:8-12; 14:26 [for revelation and edification]). The gifts that are presently active within the church are pastor even teacher, teacher, evangelist, gift of helps, ministry, exhortation, mercy, giving, faith, administration, and organization (Romans 12:7, 8; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28; Ephesians 4:11).
The Ordinances Belonging to the Church
The church has been given two ordinances from Christ: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34). Baptism is done by immersing a believer in water and is a representation of the spiritual union that the believer has with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-4). The Lord’s Supper is for the remembrance of the unity of the Body of Christ (the Christ) and the New Covenant by the blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-34).