What is the Church, Part 3
What is the church? What ended up happening during those dark ages and then there was a time of the reformation time we look to but that time of the reformation has given us so much information to further define. What is the church? And that's coming your way right now on the rap report look into the rap report with Andrew Report we provide biblical interpretations and applications. This is a ministry of striving for attorney into Christian podcast community from all content or to request a speaker for your church go to striving for eternity dot org. Well welcome to another edition of Andrew Rap reports rap report and I am joined as usual with my good friend but al. Hyme who suffers in the land of Sunny Florida Andrew. I think all winter long. I'm just going to bust on you on the although I you know by the not by the time we're recording this but by the time people are hearing this. I recently returned from Sunny La. I sat outside watching all the great sermons at the Shepherd's conference on the couches that they put outside for the pastors to sit and talk. And I probably sat there. Enjoyed the sun enjoyed the fellowship and enjoyed the preaching and now back to. Cold New Jersey. I'll give a mention this. If you haven't been listened to last week's episode my voice does sound a little echoey The room that I record in my office which used to have about eight thousand volumes of books on the shelves and they're missing and I discovered how much that added to sound. Absorption and so now I hear the echo of my voice bouncing off of everything around I kind of put some pillows in front of the computer to absorb some of it. But it's just not working as well as eight thousand books. Do I missed my books. They've only been boxes for a little while. I can't wait to move to get my books back out. Miss my books. My wife is basically said like next time I move. I really should consider selling the book. She's like she she she said there's we're packing boxes and she says to me she said you know there's someone helping us with packing and she said yes. I was telling Carol if when you die if I sell your book for just a dollar a book I can make four or five thousand dollars. She's like if I could get like face value of the books you know we would be able to pay off the mortgage hinting that. I need to cut back on my book. Buying all right. Is that really an addiction? If it's good Christian books I don't think so. I think I don't think so. No no it's it's a key part of my thank of occasion process moist as long. If they are being read it would different all right. So let's get to some feedback that we got from folks a sent out an email asking for folks to give feedback were very encouraged to hear how the Ministry of Striving Fraternity has impacted people and therefore We we want to share with you. How others are being blessed and if you would like to share we would love to hear it. Couple of ways you can do it. You can email info at striving for eternity dot org INFO Striving for eternity dot org and we would take that you could. You could send a voicemail if you send us into some we could play on the air wonderful idea. You could record your voice on your phone. Email it in and we could play that and that way you get to say what you want set the other thing you could do. Is You could leave. A review on this podcast. Go to apple podcast or wherever you're listening Try to see if they have areas leave reviews. Leave us a review. But here's some that got emailed in this is from mark. I love the resources you make available to us. I Love Your Teaching Ministry in Times that I've heard you teach over the years at various events. Thank you brother We have one from James and James Says Striving Fraternity provides something. I lack in daily life Christian Association. Friends if you will. I have known close to me that I can lean on rely on learn from so the ministry provides that thank you. This is an interesting one bud because most of what we do. It's striking fraternity is on the Internet. So it's it's you and I speaking. We're not even looking each other right now so we can get a better audio quality but it's just our voices When I teach the striving for Trinity Academy classes. It's I mean the camera rarely you would use to have someone that was up in a screen I can see but It's really just do this kind of alone. We don't know the impact of people. Don't send it in. Yeah Yeah and then Carol sent this one. This was kind of touching so This is going to refer to an event that we hold. We hold an event in in different areas Different conferences and this particular. One that we mentioned is it was done in Ohio but Andrew. I'm excited to give you feedback. I I I'll let you know that I'm seventy. I'm a seventy year old great grandmother and with no real education training. I wanted to say that I spent sixteen years in the same church after recommitting my life to Christ too long to explain more anyway about four years ago things in the church that I was attending. Were not settling right with me. Plus an introduction to teaching of John Macarthur and others made me stop and evaluate things as able to attend into. She mentioned the conference. We had it own. Stead Falls Church in Ohio and so she mentioned where Justin Peters myself and some others were there teaching And then so I realized that my uneasiness was and by the way the reason. I'm leaving some things out as I want to give too much details over associates. She's going to mention a church. She's now going to I didn't want to mention that because I don't want to give too much People may figure out who it is I realized my uneasiness was very well founded throughout all the total wrong at the church but enough to start evaluating things differently. I've found that I'm comfortable with topics you discuss. And the many people you bring on your program your informative try to point out the truth and do it in a in a very down to Earth. Way And things are easy to understand. You're always willing to give other resources. Also I have been attending a church. Where someone's preaching about ten minutes from her house and has been there for three years now which is okay but I find it so big and hard to get plugged in and really know people and what direction they are going but anyway I am so thankful that the Lord has opened my eyes to you guys and the important the importance of Biblical truth. Please continue in what you're doing and fight for the truth so we appreciate Carol. Sending that in it's it's touching to see For for folks. You don't realize how much but and I enjoy hearing how this podcast ministry attorney is blessing. If you haven't been checking out the blogs especially the blogs that bud is is doing every Sunday he drops a new article in inist a series that that he calls come let us worship and every Sunday it is so and I look forward to after my devotions to dig into his article before going to church so I encourage you to check out. We don't always know the impact. Maybe you've been reading buds articles. Let them know. Send us an email email info at striving for eternity dot org and emails. Let us know how the ministry has blessed you and now. Let's get to the topic at hand now. A wanted just as a as to pick up where we left off last week. But we're in a series right now for folks who may be joining us on. What is the church? I'm going. We're going through a chapter of my book that I wrote. What do we believe? So if you want more detail on what we're sharing with you you can get a copy of that at striving for Attorney Dot Org and pick that up. What do we believe is a a systematic theology and it goes through has some things you don't find in any other systematic theology which is gives a chapter on textual criticism and the reliability of scripture? I I think that's important but a lot of people have really enjoyed this book because it's not super thick. It's only about two hundred pages. It is I use all the Lord's terminology but I really try to make it something that anyone can pick up and read and understand systematic theology. So with that we're talking about church. We're looking at it through history. We were began last week on looking at the From the early church to the medieval or dark church and we're talking about how the definition of church has changed over time. This will we want to do is start off in the Middle Ages and now go into the reformation age and we saw in the Middle Ages that there was a distinction that was made between an invisible and visible or what I call universal and local. So let me give some definitions. The visible sorry. The invisible or universal church is the body of believers everywhere in the world throughout time. The Universal Church is made up of only and all believers and when people speak of the church is a group of people who believe in God and who repented. This is the referenced of the Church that they're talking about so when a person is converted to Jesus Christ they're immediately a member of what's called the universal or could be called the invisible church because as human beings. We cannot see who participates in that church in other words because we cannot see them. They're believers they're part of that universal invisible church because that separates believers from non believers however a second distinction. That we talked about in the last episode is the distinction of the local or visible church. This reference to the church refers to that local gathering of people for the purpose of fulfiling the function of church. Which we're going to get more into depth in this episode. However unlike the Universal Church this reference to Church can refer to a group of people that are not exclusively believers so the local church refers to local congregations people believers and non-believers who gather regularly for the purpose of worshipping God. Now in any church you're GONNA have people who are believers and unbelievers. You could have all unbelievers you could maybe even have all believers but generally you're gonNA see most churches that are local gathering in that local gathering is made up of people who are part of that universal invisible church in other words believers and those who are not part of that church unbeliever so the distinction. Here that you're seeing the universal or invisible church are only and all believers the local or visible Church of Church. We see when we go to the building to worship God. The people we see we call church. That's the local visible church. Who are gathering to to worship God. Therefore in the Middle Ages the Middle Ages provide for for us to more specific terms of church. Because as we've been trying to through this port three if you've listened to part one and part two of this you know that we've been going through history seeing how through our time. The definition of church has become more and more and more specific. And that's been helping us to understand how this applies how to understand the scriptures and how to do church in our day and age and so in the Middle Ages the two more specific terms to help us in the definition of distinguishing. What church is is this idea of invisible or universal church and visible or local church? And so that that has distinguished between worldwide group of of those who truly believe compared to those local gatherings of which can contain true and false converts. Now but I think you had some some information that you had gone a quote that you had seen from John MacArthur that fits in very well here. Yeah and actually it sort of plays off of the understanding that you just gave that in the visible church there are believers and unbelievers in the Universal Church. The INVISIBLE CHURCH. There's not but this is An excerpts from his most recent book. I think that just came out in the last week or so. It's titled Sanctification God's Passion for his people and listen to what macarthur calls out here really in the first sentence Multitudes OF NOMINALLY EVANGELICAL CHURCHES. Today are nothing more than psychological. Sociological Pragmatic anthropocentric community centers dressed and religious garb or something more stylishly casual like printed t shirts and grungy torn blue jeans. They use the name of Jesus as a token but they believe success or failure hinges on their own cleverness. They measure their effectiveness by attendance figures or money in the offering plate. Their idea of worship is a mindless musical stimulation designed for for emotional manipulation of the people rather than praise offered to. God they spiritual -ality and nice sounding platitudes replace Biblical doctrine and True Holiness and the focus of the message is personal satisfaction rather than spirit empowered sanctification. People attend. Not because they love the truth and fear God but because they because everything they see and hear caters to their love of self. So as you pointed out in your book and we've discussed the visible church as believers and non-believers will macarthur's alluding to here are nominally. Evangelical CHURCH THEIR CHURCHES OUT THERE. That themselves are not true biblical churches according to the way we would understand it from from scripture and I think the application we can make your bud as we looked at last episode. We saw that we had people that we're we're encouraging to say when they think of the Middle Ages and they think about this time period called the dark ages where the Bible really wasn't in the hands of people and the theology wasn't able to do the true theology Biblical theology wasn't able to be disseminated freely and all over. It was dark time. We saw how there were still believers. Even in that time we saw how there were that could be applied to today because we have areas in the world today where you don't have the freedom to to be able to study the word of God even have the word of God and we saw that application. But I think what you're bringing out. We have application as well because if we go back into the same time period. There's there's a time where there was many churches that claim to be churches. They claim to serve God. And yet the you're not having people taught there you're nominal church and so there really is nothing new under the sun here. It's like we just keep regurgitating bad history right. But here's the reason I I find. Encouragement is throughout history. As we look there were always genuine believers. There were always people who were were even though they're in a church that is teaching things that are false. Now I don't care what church is. It could be. It could be a Colt. They're gonNA teach some truth once in a while but the thing is is you could be a Roman Catholic church at that time in the Middle Ages and still be a believer and the thing is you could be in one of these nominal churches and still be a believer but I think so much of what the Church has done where we looked at church in the Middle Ages and they were looking to. They're really looking to. The church for political purposes to there was actually a power struggle between the Roman Empire and the Catholic Roman Catholic Church. They were odds with each other and vying for power both claiming superiority over the other. And so you end up seeing that. There's there was that battle. Well I think we have a lot of that today but would you see now is a battle over trying to get people in the church by any means possible so that they're not interested people on say people aren't interested in truth so it's like okay. We won't teach that then we'll teach what people want to hear and that's where I see you know some some issues with this but at though the Dark Ages Bud light at the end of the tunnel we call it the reformation. So let's get into the reformation. Jobs is where I think you and I've been wanting to get to where it starts getting for for us as if you WANNA say Protestants for but you and I are really back this. We really aren't Protestant because we're not protesting the Catholic church were completely separate from them. If you understand the history but during the reformation There was an examination of the definition of church. And we. We're GONNA see now that so. Churches gone from before the time of Christ being a gathering for the purpose of election to the early church where it was a gathering for the purpose of the worship of God to the Middle Ages where it was the gathering of a local congregations made up of a universal invisible church and unbelievers to gather for the worship of God and that gathering was called the visible or local church. Now we see after those helpful definitions from the Middle Ages of the universal versus local. We we come into the time of the reformation and then later the puritans were gonNA put this period of time together. Because they're they provide for us. Three functions of the church is not just enough to say we gather for the worship of God but they had three distinct things that they would say that got developed saying. This is what makes a church. This is what a church will do. If it's not doing these things then it's it's not church so number one the proclamation of the word of God that was first and foremost you gotta be preaching the word of God second. That's Tim that's Paul to Timothy. Preach the word correct. The second is the practice of ordinances. Now the ordinances baptism and communion gay. There's some people that think foot washing his one we wouldn't put that in in as an ordinance because an ordinance that we would see is something that was commanded by. Christ baptism and communion were were commanded by Christ and practiced by the early church. Now Christ did command foot washing as well but we don't see foot washing practices the early church so the puritans at the referee reformers and puritans would say that you have the proclamation of God's Word and the practice of baptism and communion and a third one and this may surprise people. The third thing that they thought was so important. That if you didn't practice these three things they said you weren't even a church keeping the purity of the church through church discipline that but do you think that's going to shock. Some of some folks listening you know probably will just From my interaction with you. Know believers that That are Providential have the issue of holiness is kind of absent In the church large in the Evangelical Church that topic that doctrine is really apps? And and and that's what the issue of church discipline is. I mean you know the author of Hebrews tells us without holiness no man will see the Lord This is important and I think the reformers and the puritans really emphasized that even more and that's why we would identify that as a core part of what defines a church. If you ever hear Dr John Macarthur Speak. About how he came to Grace Community Church fifty years ago and he'll talk about the fact that when he started there were not churches at that time fifty years ago practicing church discipline and he read it in Matthew Eighteen and says we should do this and in that he decided he was gonna he would practice math routine church discipline and he says that there are pastors. That said you'll empty the church if you do that. And he didn't. The church grew because people wanted to be part of a church. That holiness is taken serious where people are the the Unbelievers. Those people that are the the visible church. Only the local church only and they're not part of the universal invisible church they leave. We talked about this that the good biblical preaching exposition preaching is going to cause the unbeliever to come under conviction and they're going to have one of two reactions repent or run those that repent get added to the body and they're now part of the Universal Church. Those that run well that actually helps the purify the local churches well because they're not influencing the local church and so it actually grew his body that local body so the anyone Belabor is interested in holiness. Correct you're compelled by the Holy Spirit to pursue our sanctification and commanded to it in scripture. So that's a that's a critical thing that was one of the My wife and I moved to a new church I don't know three four years ago. I guess that was the first question I asked do. You guys use employ Biblical church discipline Because I won't that you know I get at a lot. I want somebody there to tell me. Hey you're insane. You need to repent and so. Let's let's briefly mentioned why these three would be important for the for this time period because now we're getting to a period in the reformation time period. Where now the definition of church is not just a church gathering to worship God. It's not just a distinction between the the local versus universal but we now have a threefold function that the church would defines what a biblical churches why the proclamation of the order got wise that the first one will this like mentioned earlier. This is Paul to Timothy Preach. The word The you can't get away from the preeminence of the word of God throughout all of the New Testament. It's the foundation. I mean Paul Talks about that in a in a Fijian's in the gifting that the Lord has given to the church in the offices that he's provided It's it's all a function of truth. Everything comes out of truth and the word of God is truth and at this time period. We're having the the the reformation occurring that the battle over. What is the authority. Is it the word of God or is it the church meaning the Roman Catholic Church? This is what was being debated and before Luther people may be surprised but before Luther there were people that was teaching solar script Torah. So the the idea that scripture alone is our ultimate authority and the Catholic Church and their teachings must be submitted to the scripture. That was what was being taught. So the argument is that the word of God be proclaimed not not confessional statements not hymns not the Sunday paper or any paper but what we get passed off his preaching today is not the proclamation of the word of God if you're not proclaiming the word of God the reformers would say it's not church the practice of ordinances. This is I find this interesting so many people that say. Oh I do Home Church. We have preaching you know we we do the practice of ordinances you know really is it's usually just your family or maybe a couple of families you know. I think a lot of times people say they're they're having church at home and it's because they're avoiding the accountability they get in a local body of believers that we get to the third part. But are they doing a baptism? Louis you know why. Why were those to be important? Well I that's a function that when you look at baptism baptism signified someone who became a believer and was after. They're a believer there being initiated. Shall we say into the Church? Words baptism was on that followed. Your your statement of faith. You become a believer. You get baptized as you get baptized. Now you're coming into the membership. Communion is an act where the whole church it is to signify in show the unity we have as a body of believers so we look at that one. We want to be looking at it to say well. Here is here is how we're going to a functioning as a body as one unified bill believing body. That's the idea that so those two things have to do with church. You can't do them outside you. Can't you? Can't have communion on your own. You can't at home be like a worth. Our family. Were having communion because it loses what it signifies as the unity of the body of believers. Remembering what Christ did on our behalf but the third one is the purity and it's the practice discipline and this is something that you don't see in a lot of quote unquote home churches. Because a lot of the people that are in home churches. It's because of a lot of times because they're avoiding accountability and things that they don't want to deal with pride issues in a larger church. There's a lot of people that do home church because they can't find a church where they could rule were they. Don't they wanNA church where everyone agrees completely with them? And they can't find it because it doesn't exist and so they just stay at home and with themselves and say it's church but are you practicing church discipline. Then you know. So these are th these. Three functions became the definition of the purpose of the local church. The puritans would say that if a local church was not practicing these three elements. They were not a church and therefore to see what the church was is further defined by this now this brings into the questioning of the referee of the of the Roman Catholic Church. Because you're seeing a distinction here now right the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformation Church. Because now you're seeing that the goal is the word of God not the Church and so as we see throughout history the that based definition of church is a gathering. People is to continuing to be more and more specific. It's goes from being a general gathering to a gathering of believers for the purpose of the worship of God then being distinguished by all those who truly believe in Christ the Universal Church and those who gather for the regular worship in a local in a building local building the local church and finally now we have a definition where it's based on the function of what the church does and so this is now a another change the definition of church. We often think of church in our day and age. We either think of it as a building a denomination a group of people or the function. And this is where this came out of. It came out of when the when you had the the reformation. The reformers are trying to distinguish themselves. From what the Catholic Church Roman Catholic Church called Church and with their saying churches. They're going to scriptures and saying no a church is one that functions a specific way by which scripture says. We should do so Any you've anything you want to add to that but now no I think really the first two points the proclamation of the word of God and the practice of the ordinances Calvin really captured that. You've got it quoted in your book there But but Kevin really focused on those two points. The the form of the true church appears and stands fourth conspicuous to our view wherever we see the word of God sincerely preached and heard wherever we see the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ. There we cannot have any doubt that the Church of God has some existence since his promise cannot sale where two or three gather together. So he's making the point on those two line items that you've got there the proclamation of the word of God and the Ordinances. Those two things are foundational. We'll keep reading. Keep reading that quote. Even though we'll say we understand the calvin was wrong. Misusing Matthew Eighteen. Twenty three yeah. He's he's misusing that but other than that part continue with his court says but that way he goes on saying but but we may have a clear summary of this subject. We must proceed by the following steps. The church universal is the multitude collected out of all nations who though dispersed and far distant from each other agree in one truth of divine doctrine and are bound together by the Thai of a common religion. In this way it comprehends single churches which exists in different towns and villages according to the wants of human society so that each of them justly obtains the name and authority of the Church and also comprehend single individuals who by a religious profession or accounted to belong to such churches although they are in fact aliens from the Church but have not been cut off by a public decision so we could see from that quote from Calvin the Church was then defined as local believers who gather for the purpose of worship of God the proclamation of the scriptures the practice of ordinances and the keeping purity through church discipline thus the meaning of the. Church continues to be more fine. Now let me just quote because we mentioned Calvin is a brilliant guy and yet we can use this quote and see that. There's some truth that we we see from this and yet you stopped reading because we both know he. He's misusing that passage. So let's let's just pick a shirt rabbit trump. Just define that and explain why we had an issue with that so we understand that. There's a lot of people that would look. Matthew Eighteen twenty two or three gathering my name there. I am in the midst. And that's out of context the context of that when we examine it is going to be church discipline and yes a great man like Calvin can miss use scripture. Okay anyone can and so I wanNA point that out because people think like how if everything Calvin said is right just because Calvin said no. That's not true. Calvin took a passage out of its context and you know because think about this folks. I know so. Many people use that passage but is he think about Matthew Eighteen verse twenty two or three gathering my name. There am in the midst of them if you go to Matthew Twenty. Eight nineteen and twenty. How many Chris? How many believers are necessary for Christ to be present when he says and lo I am with you always some of your thinking. Well one according to that passage you might be right except for one thing. It's a trick question. The Answer Zero God is omnipresent. He's everywhere right so sorry for tricking you. You see how what do we do? We want to apply big things. What Kevin is saying there is true. He's just using a verse. That doesn't apply there because it really is applying to church discipline. Now if he's using this in the sense of church discipline as being one of the functions of the church it would be more fitting he. He's saying that it's you know this is more of the promise. And he's so he's he's actually misusing it but matthew eighteen is dealing with the issue of reassuring people who have to go through church discipline and in that church discipline. No one likes to do that. They need the assurance that the two who are the two two to three in that context. It's two or three witnesses to the unrepentant person. It's not just any two or three people were two or three are gathered in my name. Two or three people tried to go to someone. Bring Church disciplined pry try to bring reconciliation and the person refused it and they recognize the unrepentant person and therefore because of that. They're saying okay. Then you know we we need to put you we send a whole church to the person still repentant then you've got to put him out of the Church so it's an encouragement to those that have to go through that whole process to say crisis with you when you're doing that you had the witnesses it wasn't just one person but you did it right and we're two or three of your gathered for that purpose and recognize the unrepentant crisis with them in that in that that's the point of it and the great thing now at least from Kelvin's perspective he would come back and edit this so that when he quotes that he really emphasizes that third point of Church discipline and that's where he would go with it so he knows now Should emphasize that. Yeah and you know. And it's it's hard for some people because they think we we tend to look at some of these great men of faith who shoulders we stand on with the we have today and we value them but they weren't perfect. They had some right. They had some wrong. But just like we're doing with the definition of church. I want you to notice what we're doing here with a guy. Like Calvin Right. The the theology has has been changing as well. And if Calvin could come back like Bud said he would not be agreeing with some of the things he wrote back then because the the theology advanced since he was there and since he was on earth. And what you see is that this advancement is what we're we're looking to. We want to be as precise as we can specific as we can and the more specific we are the better we can help people in our damage so wanNA pick up a bit and start getting into the modern church but WANNA before we do that one also talk about these three folds. Why how are we have churches today? That are struggling are not doing some of this. So let's pick that up right after this break. Striving for as a Christ centered ministry focused on equipping people for eternity and they provide speakers and seminars. That come to your church with expertise in theology. Maneuvers World Religions Creation Science Evangelism presupposition apologetic church history and expertise and sexual abuse in the Church for details on their seminars and to request a speaker for your church striving for eternity dot org striving to make today and eternal date for the glory of God. Would you consider donating to striving for eternity? This ministry has one then tries to reach out to some of those smaller churches. Most people most speakers one ovoid but by our monthly donors allows us to get into smaller churches and provide for them the seminars and conferences. That usually only larger turkeys. Can we can do that. Because WE HAVE MONTHLY SUPPORTERS. Who on a regular basis in support us? 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I believe there's only eight slots left and so this is it's filled up and filling up and so at the time that you hear this. There may not be too many slots or left. There will be a a list where you can get on the backlog so that Someone cancels you would be able to to join us. So let's let's talk about these three aspects that we see in the reformation church that they really wanted to distinguish themselves from the Catholic Church and so we talked about the importance of the proclamation of the word of God. The practice of the ordinances baptism and communion the keeping of the purity of the church to church discipline. Let's bring that into today and as the question. Is this what we see? Churches focusing on what is the difference. We see since the reformation period. And where did the reformation come out of will? They came out of a Catholic Roman Catholic Church that was really as as we said earlier. And but you mentioned this is really a political organization more than a religious organization and because of that much of the response in the reformation was a return to the word God over the politics hierarchy me think about the way the Roman Catholic Church had has has developed over over those Middle Ages building this whole hierarchical structure trying to come up with the fact that they an authority that they put upon themselves a self-proclaimed authority that is over everything in in this world and they alone would argue that they alone. The Catholic Church alone are the only group that can interpret. God's word therefore you can't do it on your own and so we ended up seeing this. Even with Martin Luther Win. He was at the Diet of worms and would ended up being challenged with him from the Catholic Roman Catholic Church. That was putting him under investigation. One of the arguments made was that to luther was if they allow luther to have this private interpretation. They called it in other words. You have the ability the authority the right to interpret the Bible on your own. Then you'd have every every realm of heresy mean everyone's GonNa interpret it any way they want to my will say anything they wanted to say and losers response was. I would rather have that with the truth than the control of the Catholic Church without the truth and to Luther understood refers understood all of the bad teaching. That was GONNA come out of this as well but at least there's that thread where the true churches is allowed to proclaim the truth. Unlike before the true church is being killed because it goes against what the Catholic Church would teach there for. They stifle the truth. Rather let the church go free with a falsehood. Sali's the truth is out there then to stifle it and ultimately just have a false gospel and this goes back to a parable you mentioned in an earlier episode the Christ gave of the wheat and the tares. That's exactly what you see here. This is really Martin. Luther is saying the exact same thing. Jesus said rather the wheat and tears continue this side of Heaven. They will be judged on the other side better let it go then just have tears then to to destroy the the wheat with tears. He said you may pull up in a in a goal of pulling up tears. You might pull up the wheat words. He's saying you may damage the true believers when you try to get rid of the unbelievers. The same is going to be true with with trying to limit the word of God to an organization that says they have the right to interpreting it. And that's seen every Colt by the way is the you see an authoritarian. Ism that says they alone. Have the right to be the the arbiters or the interpreters of the word of God and that gives them by definition the authority. But I want you to think about some. Maybe you're a Roman Catholic listening to us today and I want you to think about something. In the Roman Catholic catechism the most recent one it very clearly states that in Roman Catholicism there are three authorities the scriptures the traditions and the Magisterial K. And if you want to get more information on this you can get my book. What do they believe? Not What do we believe we're going through? What do we believe now? But in my book what did they believe? I covered different religions. Catholicism is one of them and very clearly we'll say that these three are equal in authority. Okay Equal Authority. Is that really true? Think about this. The scriptures get interpreted by tradition and the magisterial so if you need tradition to interpret scripture and even more so only the magisterial because the magisterial interpret that the traditional set that tradition and magister him use the tradition to interpret scripture. Then really what is the ultimate authority? It's really not the word of God. It really is the church. The church sets themselves. Up is the ultimate authority because the word God is meaningless without the church in their system. So really it's not an equal authority. Once you set an organization up as the only organization that can interpret order. God then you can have the word of God without that organization. Therefore that organization is superior to the word of God Yikes Yeah it truly. Is You know from the churches standpoint in the Middle Ages. You have to understand as you pointed out. It was largely a mixture of political power and Ecclesiastical Authority in those two things were woven together in an all of society so that you would be considered a Christian merely if you're a citizen and when the reformation comes along and you've got luther who suddenly from you know Romans one seventeen understands this powerful doctrine of justification by faith alone. He understands no. There is a distinction. The genuinely redeemed. are justified by faith. And and these things like traditions and The authority of the Church has nothing to do with it. It's taken essentially. The Roman Church had taking taken the word of God which is transcendent Brought it alongside. What is temporal and worldly And in that diminishes the word of God. Luther rebelled against that a revolt against that and the other thing is that it it tends to show the lack of faithfulness in what the Ministry of the Holy Spirit is a genuine believer even if all these people have the word of God and that's becoming prevalent at this point in history. The the Bible is actually going to be printed and available to every person The Ministry of the of the Holy Spirit is going to lead them to truth. Those that here the shepherd's voice are going to be dwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. Who is going to convict them of Sin Judgment and righteousness? He's going to illuminate the scriptures to them. So you may have all these heresies that come out by unbelievers who have the word of God and teach it but we have faithfulness to know that the Lord is always GonNa providential protect his truth and protect his sheet and another aspect to think about. And now this I wanna read James Chapter Four Verse Eleven and Twelve. This doesn't fit perfectly with what we're saying. Okay but Y- speaking about when you speak evil of another brother but there's something in here. I think that does apply to the Roman Catholic Church to think about this. It says do not speak evil against one. Another brothers the one who speaks against a brother or judge. His brother speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law you are not a doer of the law but a judge therefore is only Therefore is only one law giver and Judge. He who is able to save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor now? This is speaking in the context of issues between two people right but the thing. That's interesting. Is this part in the middle if you judge the law in other words if you're setting yourself up to judge the word of God to judge his law you're setting yourself up not as a doer of the law but a judge of the law and there's only one law giver? There's only one judge and it's the one that's able to save and to destroy this is this is the backdrop to all that's going on at that time period. Do you have people who set themselves of judges over the law? And they're not under the law there over and so they are the they are setting themselves up as authority over God and his word and I know and he Roman Catholic. Listening is is getting upset with that but logically. There's no way around it and so it's unto consider because this is why the reformation occurred because what was lost was a biblical Gospel. And we want you to know the Biblical Gospel and so we ended up seeing that these these three the the the one that I think is striking for the Church. Today is really the third one but there are so many church that would not consider practicing church discipline. They want they want you know people coming regardless of being a believer or not they. They really just desire to see people. In the pews giving money you know really being a social club and that's what it turns into and I think that's the quote that you you had for macarthur. It ends up turning into a social club not a church. And what you're seeing now in this episode is really from the reformation period is what defines the difference between a social club and a church. Y You can go to the Masonic launch and they will have a form of God they. They supposedly worship. You can go to the Roman Catholic Church you could go to the Mormon Church or of witness keenum hall whatever you can go to all these places and what is it. It would be a gathering for the worship of God is the true God will know is it is but they would say they're gathering for the worship though that's early first century definition of church but it morphed it changed it more precise as time needed so as more and more unbelievers were in that gathering they had to define churches. Those who are part of a universal church versus an of local church in a local church could contain unbelievers and so they had to define it but now as there's the separation from the Roman Catholic Church happens with the reformation. They have to really be precise and this really if you think about for many churches in the world today what we see in the reformation would say that many churches are not churches when we say the term church now we talk about the function of the church many are not preaching the word of God. They're not proclaiming. They're doing dramas. They're literally I've pastors if you want to call them that that respond to newspaper articles. There's some that are do nothing but talk politics. There's so much that they pass off his as preaching but it's not the proclamation of God's word some of them don't practice the ordinances they'll do baptisms privately. They'll do. They won't even do communion because they don't want to have to explain. It just seems different. Church Discipline Wow so many churches. That just don't WanNa do that one and so. I think we look today when we talk about. Church we have to look at its function as well and recognize the fact. That many are not doing church. They're not churches because they're not doing that. Which is the function of a church and now some people may say but but Andrew that you're not showing that's this definition isn't from scripture. That's true but the definition that we had in scripture is not the definition that you use either think about it. The definition we have in scripture was gathering of people for the purpose of voting or giving an announcement. That was what it is is that are you going you? When you say you're going to church you're voting. You're going there for an inference. Now the word change you're using it in a different way than it was used before Christ so when we look at that word in the New Testament that word hadn't been fully defined even when Christ used it people weren't using it the way we would use it today so that were changed has become more precise. We're giving that precision so by the historical definition of the church as it came through the reformation period. I I would have to say unfortunately but a lot of these churches that say their churches are not churches. No No to the extent that they may claim that. We're preaching the word of God that can be very shallow that can be very superficial and that can be very false but they can claim that they can claim that they're doing the baptism me. We see these these festivals of instant baptisms with all kinds of nonsense. Going on it's theatrics. So maybe they're doing that and they can justify themselves by that and and they're going to have some frequency of doing the Lord's supper and so okay. We're we're a church. Were doing those two things but when you get to the issue of church discipline which is tied to the evidence of a genuine believer their sanctification their pursuit of holiness which is what. Church discipline is is addressing. They don't do that and they can't do that. Because you cannot discipline biblically. On regenerate people in that is to a large extent what evangelical ism today is comprised of it is mainly une regenerate and and part of that obviously is a result of the cereal's To the extent that they may have have preached the word they have so watered down the gospel they have so diluted the the Gospel Call of Christ to deny yourself take up your cross and me that if they can get a profession if they can get someone to repeat the Sinner's prayer which I'm still looking for in scripture if they can get someone to to to do that they're instantly declared a believer and we do have a responsibility to make a profession of faith. That's what the Orange Baptism testifies to. But they so watered down the the Gospel itself to be nothing but saying a prayer now. You're a believer. And there's no expectation of a changed life Crisis you'll know them by their fruit will. What's the fruit? Look like an original soul. It's going to look like holiness is GonNa look like an increasing conformity to the image of Christ. What's the purpose of your salvation? The purpose of your salvation from God standpoint is what he says through Paul enrollments to conform them to the image of his son What's that look like? It looks like holiness. The church to remain pure is going to employees church discipline not as a punitive thing but to keep people faith full fighting sin mortifying the flesh and walking and spirit and I think that this is the this is the thing we have to get people to recognize. Is We want to be a church because we want to serve God and so we but we're not going to be able to wrap this up. I think next episode we. We can wrap up so it'd be a four part series. I was thinking two or three will do no but I think it's good that we go slow through each of these time periods. Explain the stuff bringing into application. This is much more than I was able to do in the book. What do we believe? But there's a lot in that book that we didn't bring out next episode where I think we'll do is talk about the modern church and I think that's going to be more. We're going to get into more controversial things there because we're going to get into how the churches as it's continued to be defined more precisely. There's a big theological separation over that and I think it's good to bring that out and we're gonNA need to define some terms and things like that so we should look to do that in the next episode we do. We do want to know if you have feedback. If you agree disagree with anything said here LET BUTTON. I know email us at INFO at striving for eternity dot. Org Influence striving for turning dot org and check that out. But what do we got on the on the topic for this week? Even though by the time everyone hears this it'll be have been several weeks ago. what are we? What can we expect for for the Sunday coming up? Which will be in the past. Everyone hears it but For the your blog article on Komo's worship for the blog so actually when we finished recording here. That's my next chores to tidy up my thoughts but Really what I'm looking at Is just another issue of sanctification Kind of spiritual warfare. What what does that look like How does that fit into our understanding of who God is who we are? What's going on So I hope that it will be coherent. I'm never happy with anything of written Sung. It always cracks me up because you're always like on. I didn't do a good job. Not Happy with it and I read them. Like PAN is so. This is so amazing. The clarity of thought the the fact that you you give such insight into things. I'm always blown away by it and you're always like Oh what a good job. Okay or OK. Who's able to do this? You know? Pray for grace and wisdom and to the extent that there's anything good than I was granted my prayer to the extent that there isn't that's me. Well I I do appreciate The articles you right because they they helped me and my sanctification they give me a lot to think about and I greatly appreciate them so So go check out. Go to striving for Dot Org under the resources. Check out the articles They'll give you a list of all the articles that Bud Rights and Ashley in James White and Darryl Updike So we got a bunch of bloggers there that that rates very insightful. Things really you and Ashley I think are the ones that right on a weekly basis. James Darrow. I think right on a monthly basis And I may have left someone out. I don't even think I think that we have one more blogger and I can't remember who but but We do appreciate that. And it's there's there's a lot of good stuff going. They're gonNA STRIVING FRATERNITY DOT ORG. Check out the resources that are there. We have our free academy you could take classes for free. They're on Youtube. And you could take your classes on systematic theology classes on how to interpret the Bible called Biblical renewed. Ix we have classes on how disciple we've class on world religions. You could take those classes for free if you want to buy the syllabuses to follow along. Take notes those are available at striving for Attorney Dot. Org just go to the store. Saint Place where you can get my book. What do they believe in what we believe? And we're going through a chapter of. What do we believe here? I hope that this has been helpful to you. I hope that you've learned a lot will wrap this up next week with the modern church and then but in our talking we produce soon. We may do a an episode Sola Script Torah or Satori. Sola so in other words do we. Is it scripture? Alone is authority like we're talking about today or should we only be looking at scripture and not looking at a church commentaries other teachers? So we may get into that. That would be a good wrap up to this series on on the church. So if you've enjoyed the series could you let us know is very helpful for for us to know how this is ministering to you? What do you want to see the other topics you want to hear some of these things that we cover our because people emailed US said I'd like this as a topic and we cover that and so we try to incorporate. Would you want us to research study and provide some hopefully biblical answers on so email us at INFO at striving for eternity dot? Org and let us know. So with that Bud I. It's time for me to remind everyone to strive to make today in. Eternal Day for the glory of God and and you know what else what what else? That's a wrap. This podcast is part of the attorney ministries for more content requested Speaker for seminar to your Church Trinity Dot Org.