The Church Building
I Corinthians 11:26-34
• In this section Paul is correcting the Corinthians abuse of the
Lord’s supper
• They had perverted it by making it a meal for the body rather
than a spiritual one- v. 21
• In Paul’s instructions we see that Christians in the 1st century
were in the habit of assembling regularly for worship
• They were commanded not to forsake their assemblingHeb.10:25
• They gathered every first day of the week to observe the Lord’s
Supper- Acts 20:7
• The christians comprising a local congregation met together in
one place- v. 20
• Such an assembly requires a place large enough to
accommodate the whole church
• Thus a necessary inference and authority exists for a building or
a meeting place for the church
• Many churches met in private houses- I Cor. 16:19 & Col. 4:15
• In the past churches have also met in tents, brush arbors and
rented buildings
• But buildings built or purchased with funds from the church
treasury are most common today
• Today buildings are being built and used by many churches of
Christ for a number of things other than the worship and the
work of the church
• I want to examine the church building and its use in our lesson
this morning
Opinions Concerning the Church Building-1
1. Since there were none in the 1st century, there are no
directions regulating their use in the New Testament
• The reason for this claim is to allow buildings to be used for
whatever church leaders want
• But it also says that there is no authority in the scriptures for a
local church to build or acquire a meeting place
• As we have already noticed, both command and necessary
inference authorize the church to acquire a place to assemble
Opinions Concerning the Church Building-2
2. The church building is just like any other building
• Like a rented building or one’s own house
• Therefore, anything that is appropriate to do in one’s house can
be done in the church building
• I once heard a preacher use that comparison to defend pot luck
dinners in the church building
• This is the answer frequently given for the various activities
conducted today in buildings owned by churches of Christ
Opinions Concerning the Church Building-3
• David Lipscomb made that claim in answering a question from a
reader of the Gospel Advocate about placing a Christmas tree in
the church building
• Paul told the Corinthians to eat their common meals at homev. 34
• He did not say “wait until worship is over”
• Eating potluck dinners in the church building today makes it and
other social functions a work of the church
What Is the Church Building?-1
• It is a building purchased with funds from the church treasury
• Money given to the Lord for the work of His church
• That alone makes it different from other buildings
• Money in the church treasury is no longer under the control of
the givers- Acts 5:4
• It is logical, reasonable and scriptural that its use should be
regulated by His word- Col. 3:17
What Is the Church Building?-2
• Social activities, recreation, sports, general education and
entertainment are works of the home not works of the church
• A church has no authority to build a building for these things, or
to use an existing church house for them
• Yet many local churches, some nearby, are doing these very
things today
• This is the reason that the Hickory Ridge Church does not support
these activities from its treasury
The Proper Use of the Church Building-1
• Worship which brings honor and glory to God
• The use which authorizes the building of it
• The works of the church clearly identified in the New Testament:
• The primary work of the church is preaching the gospelPhil. 4:15
• Christ wants His church to be the “pillar and ground of the
truth”- I Tim. 3:15
The Proper Use of the Church Building-2
1. Evangelism which is preaching the gospel to the lost- II Cor. 11:8
2. Edification- preaching the gospel to the saved
• A part of the great commission- Mt. 28:19-20
• Needed to keep the church the “pillar and ground of the truth”
3. Providing for needy Christians- Acts 6:1 & II Cor. 8:1
• These are the only three areas of work in which the New
Testament church was involved
In Conclusion
• The church building is not just another building
• It was purchased with money given to the Lord for a place of
worship and should be used to do the work that He has
authorized for His church
• To use it regularly for other purposes is without scriptural
authority and a misuse of church funds
• Such use has and will cause division in the church
• And will lead to other errors in the future
• Let us be content to do the Lord’s work in His way

Powerpoint file - Hickory Ridge Church of Christ