Is Church Partnership Biblical? Yes....here's 4 reasons why I think so.
Since the beginning, the church was a definable, countable body.; which indicates some concept of organized belonging.
- 1 Corinthians 12 Paul tells the Corinthian church that it is a body.
- Ephesians 2:21-22 Paul tells the Ephesian church that it is a temple.
- 1 Timothy 5:1-2 Paul taught Timothy to view believers in the Ephesian church as family.
To function as a body or a temple or a family, a local church had to have a process that identified who belonged to the family.
- Acts 20:28 Paul says to the elders in Ephesus “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood”
- 1 Peter 5:2 Peter says to the elders: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers”.
If a church doesn’t have a defined body, then for whom exactly are the elders accountable for as shepherds? To obey these texts, the church must know who is within their local body.
- Matthew 18:15-17 Jesus gave us a process for confronting sin in the local church that includes, as a last resort, bringing an unrepentant Christian before the church to be removed from the body.
- 1 Corinthians 5:1-2. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for allowing a man to sleep with his step-mother without kicking him out of the church.
If there is no commitment to the local body, then what does it mean to bring someone before “the church” for discipline? Who is the church in a case like that?
So, does the bible show us that commitment to a local body is necessary?
It seems that a formal, intentional commitment to a local church is everywhere assumed in New Testament Christianity. Simply put, being committed to a local body of believers is a structure for putting biblical Christianity into practice.