The following list is a set of of terms and their definitions used throughout this web site:
Body of Christ, Local: The visible apostolic standard for all churches as measured by all the Christians in a locale worshiping Christ and serving each other with their gifts in a single local church (also called in the NT the “whole church” or “whole body”). In the NT the local body of Christ is the corollary to the local church, and is explicit in Rom. 12:4-5, 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 1 Cor. 12:12-27, Eph. 4:12, Eph. 4:16, Col. 2:19, Col. 3:15.
Body of Christ, Universal: The apostolic writings clearly demonstrate that all Christians of all time are “one body” comprised of three groups: those already with Christ in heaven, those living on earth and “in Christ,” and those who have yet to come to faith but shall in the future. In the NT the Universal Body of Christ is explicitly taught in Eph. 1:23, Eph. 5:23, Eph. 5:30, Col. 1:18, Col. 1:24, Col. 2:17, and is the corollary to the Universal Church.
Christian: A man or woman forgiven and regenerated by the power of God in spiritual baptism, at which time he or she is freely given a new nature in conformity with the New Covenant. Such a person is a new creation in Christ, and thereby empowered to believe God’s word and manifest genuine love for all those in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13, 2 Cor. 5:16-17).
Church: An assembly of persons gathered together to worship Jesus Christ in two, and only two forms. Jesus Christ taught the Universal Church of all Christians who shall ever live in Mat. 16:18, and the local church in Mat. 18:17. Following this, the apostolic writings never deviate from these two forms, and hence there is no vague or mystical third form of “church” in the New Testament.
Church, Eldership: A local church led by a plurality of scripturally qualified men who share equal authority. Scripturally qualified elders, and not young inexperienced men, are to shepherd the local body of Christ (Acts 20:17-32, Titus 1:5, 1 Pet. 5:5).
Church, Schismatic: A church that rejects the teachings of the apostles in matters of ecclesiology by pursuing its own identity instead of unity in the local body of Christ. It’s leaders refuse to love Christ’s local body above themselves as commanded by Christ and the apostles (John 13:34-35, Eph. 4:16).
Church, Heretical: A professing Christian church that rejects the saving gospel of the apostles in one of two matters: soteriology , i.e., justification by faith alone (Acts 20:29-30, Phil. 3:9, 18-19, 2 Tim. 2:18, 2 Peter 2:20-22), or the Trinity.
Heretic: A church leader who teaches contrary to the Trinity (Mat. 28:19, 2 John 7) or the apostolic gospel (justification by faith alone).
Schism: The division or separation of a local body of Christ into two or more churches (1 Cor. 1:10, 11:18-19, 12:25-27).
Schismatic: A church leader who desire schism in the local body of Christ rather than unity (Acts 20:29-30, Rom. 16:17-18, Phil. 3:18-19).
Separation: A division that occurs when a group of Christians leaves a church of professing but disobedient Christians in order to continue in obedience to universal apostolic teaching (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1, 10:6-8).
Sphere of Ministry: A contiguous geographic locale that contains one local body of Christ (2 Cor. 10:13-16).