The Christian Church

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The Christian Church

1. What is the Christian Church?

2. Who is the head of the Church?

3. How is Jesus Christ headship related to the local Church today?

4. What is the purpose of the Church to its family, the believers?

5. What is the purpose of the Church to the world?

6. The Church and Christ second coming.

7. Conclusion

1. What is the Christian Church?

a. The word “church” is derived from the Greek word “ekklesia” that means “called out”, “a gathering”, or “assembly”.

b. The Church is the entire gathering,assembly, body of believers who are saved by their faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:5-13, Gal. 3:23-29).

c. The Church is the one that is united with Christ, pure, holy, free from sins, and in right standing with God (1 Cor.1:30-32).

d. The Church is a mystical body of Christ of which He is the head (Eph. 1:22-23, 3:3-6).

e. Jews and Gentiles are reconciled back to Christ through the Church (Eph. 2: 11-22).

f. The Church is one flesh with Christ (Eph. 5:23-28, Acts 2:44-47), and espoused to Him as a pure virgin to one husband (2 Cor. 11: 2-4).

g. The Church is the people and not the building (Rom. 16:5, 1 Cor.16:19, Col.4:15, Philemon 1:2)

2. Who is the head of the Church?

a. Jesus Christ is the head/husband of the Church and Church is the body of Christ (Eph.1:22-23).

b. As the head, Jesus Christ is the source of the Church’s life and strength (1 Cor. 1:30-32, John 15:5, Phil. 4:13, Gal. 2:20, Col. 3:4).

c. As the head/husband, Jesus Christ directs the Church and its work (Acts 9:1-16, 10:17-21, 21:10-15).

d. As the head/husband, Jesus continues his earthly ministry through His Church (Luke 4:18-19). The Church stands to fulfill Israel’s original calling to be a blessing to all nations (Gen. 12:2, 22:15-18), to bring the good news to the poor (Isa. 52:7), and to be a light to the world (Isa. 49:6). The Church stands as the new Israel to the world (Rom. 10:14-15).

e. As the head/husband, Jesus Christ nourishes His body, the Church (Eph. 4: 14-16, 5:29).

f. As the head/husband, Jesus Christ wants to express his nature and character through His Church (1Cor.13, John 3:16, Acts 2:40-47, Mat. 9:35-37).

3. How is Jesus Christ headship related to the local Church today?

a. The local Church is part of the universal body of Christ with individual members and Christ is the head (1 Cor. 12:27, Eph. 1:22-23).

b. Christ exercises His headship over the Church through spiritually mature leaders (1 Tim. 3, Titus 1).

c. The Bible uses two main words, “elders” and “overseers’ to describe these leaders (Tit. 1:5, 1:7,1 Tim. 3:1).

d. “Elder” refers to a man. It refers to a man of maturity, not in years, but in spiritual discernment to watch over the Church (1Pet.5:1-4).

e. “Overseer” looks at the nature of the work. It refers to a man who is spiritually mature to superintend, guard, or watch over the local church (pastors and elders (1 Tim. 3:1-2).

f. The pastor is an elder and overseer that shepherds the Church (John 10:1-21,

g. These overseers are selected by the Holy Spirit and MUST be subject to Christ who is the head of the Church (Acts 20:28).

h. The key question in Church government is not “What is the mind of members, elders, overseers, and pastors?” but “What is the mind of Christ?”

4. What is the purpose of the Church to its family, the believers?

a. The purpose of the Church to its family, the believers is seen in Acts 2:42. This purpose includes teaching of sound doctrines, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayers.

i. Sound teaching/doctrine

– Believers need to be taught the word because it teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains everyone to be fully equipped to do good works (2 Tim.3:16).

-This teaching enables every believer to study the word, not to be ashamed of it and to rightly share this word of truth with others (2 Tim. 2:15).

-Sound teaching leads to spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity leads to the building up of church (Eph. 4: 11-13).

ii. Fellowship

-Fellowship means companionship, a relationship in which people hold things in common. It is a familiar interaction.

-Christians have fellowship with the Father and the Son (1 John1:6) and the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14), and with one another (1 John 1:3).

-The fellowship of believers with one another include Confession of sins one to another with prayers (Jam. 5:16). Assembly with encouragement and stimulation to love and do good works (Heb. 10:24-25). Partaking of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:24-25). Contributing to the needs of the saints (Rom. 12:13, Acts 11:29, I Cor. 16:1-2, Heb. 13:16). Bearing one another’s burdens (Gal.6:2), and Pleasing one’ neighbor (Rom. 15:1-2).

-Love for and fellowship with one another are necessary to, and an evidence of our fellowship with God (1 John 4:12).

Iii. The Breaking of Bread

-The breaking of bread means eating together and living life together (Acts 2:42, 1 Cor. 11:23-29).

-This practice unifies us as it reminds believers that we are saved by Christ’s sacrifice (Eph. 1:7, Gal. 1:4, 3:13, Heb.9:15).

-It also provides us the opportunity to reconcile our differences and make wrongs right as we examine our interactions with our fellow believers (1Cor. 11:27-29, 1 John 1:6-9).

iv. Prayers

-Prayer is the action of asking, begging for something earnestly or humbly from God (Psa. 65:1-2, 80:4, Isa. 1:15).

-It is the principal means by which man, created in the image of God expresses his attitude towards Him (Phil. 4:6-7).

-Believers need to pray without ceasing (1Thess. 5:17); believers ought to pray and not to faint (Luke18:1).

-Prayer requires sincerity of heart, repentance, spirit of consecration, faith, and submission to the will of God.

vi. Other purposes of the Church to believers.

-Within the Church, we are expected to show honor (Rom. 12:10), compassion (Eph. 4:32), encouragement (1 Thess. 5:11), love (1John 3:10-11), and to give freely (Acts 20:34-35, James 1:27).

5. What is the purpose of the Church to the world?

-The purpose of the church to the world is to fulfill the Great commission (Mark 16:15-17, Mat.28: 19-20).

-The Church has the noble role of introducing Christ to the world (Rom. 10:14-15).

-The Church can only fulfill this purpose when it is blameless, innocent, and without blemish in the mist of this wicked, crooked and twisted world (Phil. 2:14-17).

6. The Church and Christ second coming.

-Christ second coming is for His Church (Heb.9:28, Rev. 22:12).

-He is coming for His church that is without wrinkle and blemish but holy and blameless (Eph. 5:27).

7. Conclusion

-Christ is writing to the seven churches in Asia Minor (Modern Turkey) (Rev. 2 & 3) which represents the Church at large throughout the ages. In this letter, Jesus Christ is warning the five sinful Churches to repent while commending the other two for their faithfulness and perseverance.   .

-In the coming weeks, we will be studying each of these Churches in detail. Lessons learned from these letters are important for our comfort, encouragement, challenge, and instruction.

1. The Ephesian Church-the loveless Church (Rev. 2:1-7).

2. The Smyrna Church-the persecuted Church-(Rev.2:8-11).

3. The Pergamos Church -the compromising Church (Rev. 2:12-17).

4. The Thyatira Church-the corrupt Church (Rev. 2:18-29).

5. The Sardis Church-the dead Church (Rev. 3:1-6).

6. The Philadelphia Church-the faithful Church (Rev. 3:7-13).7. The Laodicean Church-the lukewarm Church (Rev. 3:14-22).