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The Church – Part 10

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM SCOFIELD’S PROOF TEXTS

We have looked at Scofield’s proof texts without finding a universal church doctrine explicitly or even implied within the Bible. We have seen that the passages used by Scofield to support his “true church” do not support this doctrine. It must be admitted that some of the passages he used can, if taken in isolation, be used to support the universal church doctrine. When considered in the whole of the teaching in the New Testament on the church, using proper rules of interpretation, and with the proper use of the institutional sense of words, none of the passages of Scripture cited above require the word ecclesia to mean anything other than a local assembly.

The vast majority of the passages where the word “ecclesia” is used refer without question to local churches. Those few that are not clearly speaking of a local church do fit well with the idea of a local church. There must be a contextual reason to change the meaning of a word. One cannot change the meaning of words simply to support a preconceived doctrinal system. The doctrine of the universal church should be rejected because there is no scriptural support.

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