The Church Library, History and Community
Table of Contents
God’s Word, Work & Authority
One of the primary importance of studying the church is to understand the secondary portion of God’s authority on earth. His word is the primary authority, but it is through the Church whom God has worked and this is why understanding it and its history is deeply important. Everyday God is doing a new work, and it is in and through the lives of His people that He is performing such works. Every time a Godly ministry is developed, every time a missionary work begins for God, He is working His will in the world through His people.
What is the church? What is its history? The Church is the body, or collective group, of all believers; whom are called to build up and live out the reflection the kingdom of God on Earth (Luke 17.21). Every person who believes in the one true God and has made Jesus Christ the Lord of their own life is a part of the church (Rom 10.9). This body has many different purposes in which it has been called to act in the world;
- Worship God – in service, in lifestyles and in practice (Rom 12)
- Missions – to go out in aid of all nations and to all people groups, to provide care, aid and for the needs of others. (James 1.27, 2.16)
- Evangelism – the spread the world of the gospel and good news of spiritual rebirth and connection to God our creator. (Matt 28)
- Internal Church Community – the Church is meant to act as one body, not only to influence the world, but to take care of and help the members of their own body. Encouragement, financial help, fellowship and brotherly love are all things the members of the church are called to share in with one another. (1 Tim 5.8)
- National / Cultural Influence – it is the duty of the church to influence all the people groups on the world and encourage them to follow the divinely inspired paths, given by God for mankind to live out on earth. (Rom 13, Matt. 28)
There are two primary systems operating in society today; one that represents God and His kingdom- namely, the Church; and the other that represents the corrupted human system- namely, the secular world. Each of these systems operates in the world through human mediums, have a specific goal and a primary spiritual source that is the head of each organization. Jesus is the head of the Church The Devil is the head of the secular world system (2 Corin 4.4)
Each of these systems are in continual conflict for the attention and submission of the people in the world. The goal of the church is to bring all men to the saving knowledge of God, the savior, and to fulfill the purpose God has created for each one of us. Every system in the secular world, governments, businesses, media, religions, that are controlled by men have an ultimatum that is contrary to the will of God. This system seeks the enslavement of humanity through sinful living and the pursuit of selfish ambitions.
The Church has a very deep and meaningful history. It also has many references to mistakes leaders in the church have made that provide a great example of what happens when even God-fearing men make mistakes. Ancient literature and Church writing provide details of many of the historic events of the church and provide additional apologetic information as historic evidence for the accuracy of the Bible.