Intro: Exactly what is the Church?
A. What the Church Is - Church - means an assembly of called out ones.
1. The Local Church - A house consecrated to the worship of God, among Christians; the Lords house. To call out or call together, denotes an assembly or collection. A particular number of Christians, united under one form of ecclesiastical government, in one creed, and using the same ritual and ceremonies;
2. The Body of Christ (synonymous words) The collective body of Christians, or of those who profess to believe in Christ.
B. What the Church is not. (Local Church)
1. The Church is not man-made but is a divinely given.
2. The Church is not a Bible study, but is a body properly organized according to the N.T. pattern.
3. The Church is not Christendom. Christendom is more properly identified as the Harlot of Re. 17, and her daughters.
4. The Church is not a denomination.
5. The Church is not a building. - Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
1.The Church is built upon Christ. “Upon this rock”.
a. 1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
b. Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
c. 1 Peter 2:6-8 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. 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, 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.
2.The Church is built by Christ ("I will build"). Ephesians 2:8-22
a. It Is Christ That Saves Us Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
b. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
c. Acts 2:46-7 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
d. Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
3. The Church belongs to Christ ("I will build my church").
a. Mark 12:10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
b. Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
c. Ephesians 4:14-16 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
d. Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the
church: and he is the saviour of the body.
e. Colossians 1:17-18 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the
head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things
he might have the preeminence.
4. The Church is loved by Christ (“my church”).
a. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
b. 1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
c. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
5. The Church will be preserved by Christ ("the gates of hell shall not prevail against it").
a. Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
b. Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
6. The Church is the used by Christ ("And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven...").
a. Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The Person of the Church