Question:

G'day Minister,

I just wanted, on impulse, to pay my respects and say what a fantastic premise you operate as a 'church'.

No frills, no nonsense, no pretensions - instead, just good old fashioned and solid focus on Scripture. I am most impressed, as I'm sure the Lord must be as well. And, yes, you are bang-on in saying today's modernity needs exactly what you provide.

My church is made up of just me in my room with my Bibles. I am not reclusive by any stretch, but my time with God is very personal. I reckon I get more revelations from my 'church' than spending a month of Sundays at the Vatican or some ostentatious Cathedral.

Anyway - love your work from afar.

Answer:

I'm glad you are finding the website useful in your studies.

The word "church" is a collective noun, both in the Greek and in English. A collective noun is a singular word that represents a plurality, just as "herd" represents a group of livestock. In Greek, the word is ekklesia, which literally means "the called out" or an assembly. It is not exclusively used for a religious body. When a mob stirred on the streets of Ephesus, it was called an ekklesia (Acts 19:32). Because of this word, we understand that a church cannot be an individual. One cow doesn't give a farmer a herd; one person having a tantrum doesn't create a rioting mob, and one Christian cannot assemble as a church.

Local brethren are in fellowship (a sharing). They come together or assemble as a church (I Corinthians 11:18). They share in the partaking of the Lord's Supper. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread" (I Corinthians 10:16-17). The church benefits from having different people, with different talents, working together for a common purpose. "For in fact the body is not one member but many" (I Corinthians 12:14).

When we sing, it is to teach and admonish each other. "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16). Singing by yourself doesn't fulfill this command.

Consider this, if a church was composed of just one person and that person sinned, how would the "church of one" withdraw from the sinner as commanded in I Corinthians 5:1-5? How can an individual cease to fellowship himself? The answer is that he cannot. A single person cannot constitute a church.

I'm glad you are spending time studying your Bible but don't fool yourself into believing that you are a part of a church when you are by yourself.

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