For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.  -- 2 COR 4:5

Grace Church at Franklin is an independent, autonomous body of believers which strives to clearly declare the whole counsel of God, as revealed in Scripture, through the person and work of Jesus Christ the Lord. The end for which we strive is the glory of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


A. Definition

The English word church, is from the Greek word, Ekklesia {ek‑klay‑see'‑ah} From a compound of EK, (out of, from, by, away from), and KALEO (to call). Thus, Church means simply, "the called out ones." In the New Testament, Ekklesia is translated "church" one hundred fifteen times, and "assembly" three times. Ekklesia may mean all or any of the following, depending upon the context:

  • A gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly.
  • An assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating.
  • An assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting.
  • The whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth.
  • The assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven.

B. Summation

  • The Church is the Ekklesia, "the called out ones."
  • The called out ones are SANCTIFIED (separated, set apart for the use and service of the Lord), SAVED (rescued and preserved), REGENERATED (born from above), and JUSTIFIED (declared not guilty).
  • It is God Himself who adds members to the church, not the Pastors, Elders, Deacons or personal workers [Acts 2:47]

Consider the following Scriptures:

Acts 2:38-41

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls ... And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

John 10:1‑4

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

Romans 1:1

        Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God ...   6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:28‑31

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

1 Corinthians 1:1‑3

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ ... 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:23

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

Galatians 1:15‑16

        But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.

Ephesians 4:4‑6

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

1 Thessalonians 2:11

As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

1 Thessalonians 5:23‑24

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

II Thessalonians 2:13‑14

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 6:12

        Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

II Timothy 1:7‑9

        For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Hebrews 3:1

        Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 1:15‑16

        But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1 Peter 2:6‑10

        Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

1 Peter 5:10

        But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

II Peter 1:10‑11

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

1 John 3:1

        Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Jude 1

        Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.

Revelation 17:14

        These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Church Government: Which one is Biblical?

There are three prominent forms of Church government.

  • Autocratic : Leadership by one person.
  • Democratic : Leadership by the membership.
  • Theocratic : Leadership by Jesus Christ

There are several modes of church government, namely . . .

  • Parliamentary : Presbyterian, Episcopalian, etc,.
  • Congregational : Baptist, Churches of Christ, Nazarene, etc,.
  • Hierarchal : Roman Catholic

The form of government at Grace Church is best described as Congregational Involvement.

  • Duly qualified, elected and installed Elders and Deacons provide leadership.
  • Teachers and Staff members work with the Elders and Deacons.
  • The congregation is involved in the work of the ministry and in the decision making process.

Congregational Involvement ...

  • Prevents the leaders of the church from lording themselves over Christ's heritage (I Peter 5:1-4).
  • Prevents the congregation from lording it over Christ's servants (Heb. 13:7,17).
  • Prevents bogging down the entire congregation over trivial matters.
  • Involves the congregation in all vital-decision matters.
  • Best enables the entire church body - leaders and congregation - to do the will of Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church.

Biblical Examples:

O.T. - God spoke to Moses, Moses spoke to the Elders, the Elders spoke to the people, the people consented (Exodus 4:1-30; 12:21-Passover; 17:1-6).

  • Moses could not decide everything himself (Exodus 18:13-18).
  • Moses was to teach the people God's will (18:19-20).
  • The Elders assisted Moses in teaching and leading the people.
  • The Leaders (staff) assisted Moses and the Elders (18:21-26).

N.T. - Christ ordained and trained Apostles, who made, trained and ordained disciples within each assembly, who helped teach, train and lead the church in doing Christ's will.

The Apostles tended to teaching. Deacons were selected out of the congregation, approved and ordained by the Apostles, and given certain duties of service (Acts 6). Later, each member of the church body was helped to discover, develop and utilize their particular gifts to serve the Lord (I Peter 4:10).