Ridderbos on Church

From Paul: An outline of his theology

‘…….he makes the local congregation also realize their fellowship among each other and wishes to promote among them as large a degree of agreement in their actions as possible. Time and again he points the churches to what is taking place elsewhere.  They are to be conscious of the cosmic (”ecumenical”) relationships in which the gospel involves them (Col 1:6,23; 1 Tim 3:16; cf Eph 1:10). What happens in other congregations must have their full interest (cf 2 Cor 9:2ff; Col 4:16);  they are to participate in that which is undertaken elsewhere (1 Cor 16:1ff); they must allow themselves to be guided by the same line of conduct. Paul accordingly stresses that he gives the same distinctives in all the churches (1 Cor 7:17; 4:17;14:33); he wants them to pay heed to each other’s ecclesiastical rules; and he reprimands the Corinthians for  their individualising and independent attitude: ‘did the Word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached?” (1 Cor 14:14,36).’ p478

‘In the local church the universal church of Christ manifests itself’ p479


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