Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE CHURCH? The English is from the Greek kuriake; but the word here is ecclesia used in the New Testament sometimes for —
1. The place where the disciples met to worship God (1 Corinthians 11:22).
2. The assembly met together to worship God. Any particular congregation of saints (Colossians 4:15; Romans 16:3, 5; 1 Corinthians 16:19). If the apostle had meant their private family he would have expressed it so (Romans 16:10-15; 2 Timothy 4:19). He means therefore the congregation usually met in some part of their house consecrated to the service of God.
3. The whole body of saints in any city or country a church: as the Church at Jerusalem (Acts 8:1); Antioch (Acts 13:1); Caesarea (Acts 18:22); Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 1:1).
4. The body collective of all Christians in the world whereof Christ is Head (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Ephesians 5:23, 25). Thus Christ uses the word (Matthew 16:18), and thus it is understood in the Creed and in the text.
II. WHAT ARE THE PROPERTIES OF THIS CHURCH. It is —
1. One(1) As having one Head and built on one Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:19, 20).
(2) As agreeing in one faith (Ephesians 4:5).
(3) As led by one Spirit (Ephesians 4:3, 4).
(a) Not as though there were no unholy persons in it, for Christ compares it to a floor, wheat and chaff (Matthew 3:12); a field, good seed and tares (Matthew 13:24, 25; a casting-net, good and bad fishes (Matthew 13:47, 48); a house, vessels of honour and dishonour (2 Timothy 2:20).
(b) Not as if any were perfectly holy in this world (1 John 1:8).
(2) Positively. The Church is holy because —
(a) It calls men to holiness (2 Timothy 1:9).
(b) It engages men to holiness (2 Timothy 2:19).
(c) In it many are sincerely holy (Titus 2:14).
(d) It brings them to a perfect holiness hereafter, when the Church will be all holy (Ephesians 5:26, 27).
3. Universal: as —
(1) Spread over all places and ages (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Revelation 5:9).
(2) Teaching all necessary truths (John 16:13).
(3). Enjoining universal obedience, and the exercise of all graces (1 Peter 1:15).
III. SUCH AS ARE SAVED ARE BROUGHT INTO THE CHURCH BY GOD.
1. The Lord brings or adds them to the Church (John 6:44; Acts 16:14).
2. They that are saved are thus brought by the Lord into the Church (Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31).
Use 1. Thank God for being brought into the Church (Matthew 11:25).
Use 2. Continue in the Church and live up to its doctrine and discipline (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12). Unless ye do this, it will avail you nothing. If you do you will get to the Church triumphant (Hebrews 12:22).
Parallel VersesKJV: Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.