Eph 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.
|EXAMPLES OR FIGURES OF THE CHURCH
The word church (ecclesia) means an assembly of people, who have been called out and are to be separate from the world. The church is not a building but is made up of people. When a person is added to the Church they becomes members of one another. God in His wisdom used many different examples or figures to symbolize and describe the function of the Church and how it operates. Listed below are the examples or figures that the scriptures use to describe this Church.
|EXAMPLES OR FIGURES||MEANING||COMMENTS||SCRIPTURE|
|FLOCK||Shows our dependency on our Savior or shepherd.||A flock needs protection, and God designed that there should be shepherds who protect the younger ones.||Acts 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.|
|BODY||Shows our need for one another||A body has different parts but only one head, which is Christ. We are all a part of the same body but have different functions.||Eph 1:22,23 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Col 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.
|FAMILY||Shows our inheritance and privileges of being part of the family||Christians call themselves brothers and sisters because they have the same father, God.||Gal 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
Gal 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
|KINGDOM||Shows the rule of Christ and his law||A kingdom has a
King – Christ
Law – the New Testament
Subject – Christians
Territory – Hearts of man.
|Col 1:13,14 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.|
|BRIDE||Show the submission, purity and holiness that we should demonstrate.||We are waiting for the great marriage feast that will join the Bride – Church, with the Groom – Christ.||2 Cor 11:2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.|
|BUILDING||Emphasizes that Christ is the chief corner stone and we are living stones.||We set our lives according to the corner stone – Christ and are built as living stones as part of the walls.||1 Cor 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Eph 2:19-21 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
|TABERNACLE||Shows the work and the design of the church||We are called priests and we serve as those did in the Old Testament in worshiping our God.||1 Pet 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
|ARMY||Indicates the battle and the fight that we have become engaged in.||We are in a war and our commander and chief is Christ.||Rev 19:19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.|
|KINGDOM/CHURCH PREDICTED TO COME|
|OLD TESTAMENT||There are many passages in the OT that tell of the coming Kingdom that God is going to establish.||Dan 2:44 “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.|
|JOHN THE BAPTIST||John the Baptist preached that God’s kingdom was soon to be established||Matt 3:1,2 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”|
|JESUS||Jesus preached the same message that God’s Kingdom was soon to be established.||Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”|
|JESUS TO PETER||Notice how Jesus uses the words “Church” and “Kingdom” interchangeably. Jesus was going to build His church and give Peter the keys to open up the Kingdom/Church.||Matt 16:16-19 And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”|
|JESUS TO THE CROWDS||Jesus said that this Kingdom was going to come before those standing there would die.||Mark 9:1 And He was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”|
|THE TWELVE||Jesus sent the 12 Apostles out preaching this message.||Matt 10:7 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’|
|JESUS BEFORE HIS ASCENSION||Jesus after He resurrected and before he ascended into heaven was teaching about the coming Kingdom. It had not yet come, but was to shortly.||Acts 1:6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”|
|PENTECOST||This was 10 days after Jesus had ascended into heaven. It was the day of Pentecost, in Jerusalem, when the power from heaven came. Here we see the Kingdom is established and people are being added to it.||Acts 1:4-8 And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel? He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. KJV
|KINGDOM ESTABLISHED||Notice that the Kingdom is spoken of in the present tense. It is here!||Col 1:13,14 For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Rev 1:5-6 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
|ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH|
|CHRIST IS THE HEAD||Christ is the head of the Church. He communicates His authority through the Bible. Spiritual men are given the responsibility to see that it is taught correctly.||Mat 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Eph 1:22,23 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
|APOSTLES & PROPHETS||God used these offices to establish the church. There no longer is an office of apostle or prophets in the church.||Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;|
|EVANGELISTS||Evangelist spread the good news of the Gospel. They begin new congregations and equip others on how to win people to Christ.||Acts 21:8 And on the next day we departed and came to Caesarea; and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him.
2 Tim 4:5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
|ELDER||Elders are to shepherd the flock of God, oversee its affairs and guard against false teachings. There are very high standards for one to become an Elder. The elder must meet these qualifications in order to be qualified for the position of an elder according to scriptures.||1 Tim 3:1-7 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.|
|DEACON||Deacons are servants. They have no special authority other then to serve the congregation as the elders see fit.||1 Tim 3:8-10 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.|
|TERMINOLOGY OR NAMES USED IN THE BIBLE|
|INDIVIDUALS||Christian||Belongs to Christ||Acts 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.|
|Disciples||Learners of Christ||Acts 11:29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.|
|Saints||Cleansed by Christ||Rom 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.|
|Sons of God||Relationship through Christ||Rom 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.|
|Brethren||Relationship in Christ||Rom 12:1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.|
|CONGREGATIONS||Churches of Christ||Churches that belong to Christ||Rom 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.|
|Churches of God||Churches that belong to God||1 Cor 1:2 to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:|
|The Church||The name most used in the Bible.||1 Thess 1:1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians|
|OUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE CHURCH
Just like in any family you have certain responsibilities and blessings, so also in God’s family.
|SUPPORT THE CHURCHES MISSION & PURPOSE||Our Mission simply stated is:
To Love God And to Love our Neighbor. The purpose of the church is to baptize people into Jesus and membership in His family, develop them to Christ-like maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and their life mission of evangelizing the lost world, in order to magnify God’s Name.
|Mat 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Mat 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
|SUPPORT THE CHURCHES LEADERS||God gave biblical leaders the role of watching out for the spiritual health of the congregation.||Eph 4:11-12 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Heb 13:17 Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
|SERVE WITH YOUR GIFTS||God has given every Christian spiritual gifts that He expects each person to use in serving others. You have been called to serve and it is your responsibility.||Rom 12:6-8 And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.|
|We encourage each other by coming to services and fellowshipping with the saints. We have the responsibilities to attend services every Sunday.||Heb 10:25-26 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,|
|LORD’S SUPPER||The church comes together each week to observe the Lord’s Supper . We have a responsibility to partake of the Lord’s Supper each week and to remember the reason for this observance, which was the death of Christ.||Acts 2:42 And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 20:7 And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
GIVE AS GOD’S HAS GIVEN TO US
|We are to give as God has so richly given to us. This is the spirit of Christ. We want to give because this is so close to the nature of God and Christ. Through the Bible God has always expected His followers to give a tithe. Today we have been given the job of evangelizing the world, its a work worthy to give to.||1 Cor 16:1,2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.
2 Cor 8:1-5 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord, begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
Mal 3:8-10 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
|TO BE A WITNESS||Not everyone is gifted to be a preacher but everyone can witness for Christ. This is our responsibility to confess Christ wherever we go.||Acts 1:8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Luke 12:8,9 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.