The Church

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What the church is not?
But Before we discuss what a church is lets talk about what the church is not.
1. The church isn't reformed Judaism. It isn't a modification of the old .
The church is not the new Israel .
- Israel and the church are not synonymous Terms ( having the same or nearly the same ) terms .
The church isn’t old wine in new wine skins . But new wine in new wine skins Matt 9:17
Matthew 9:17 (NKJV)
Matthew 9:17 NKJV
Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
John the baptist was a reformer, bringing about repentance to Israel. But Jesus wanted to bring true righteousness that only came from Himself .
There are connections with the saved of all ages John 10:16 Romans 11:16 , 24 , 1 Peter 2:9 )
Also Paul makes distinction between Jews , Gentiles and the church
1 Cor 10:32 “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,”
Paul also speaks to the church as one new man . Eph 2:15 “having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,” , Col 3:11 . The church is composed of believing Jews and Gentiles .
Eph 2:14 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,”
Christ has made both Jew and Greek both one . So the oneness we have is entirely different then Judaism.
Christ destroyed the spiritual seperation , that some of the Jews paraded over the gentiles . This enmity is what caused the seperation.
The Spirit of God is what makes the church and Unifies the church .
Also in Romans 11 - Israel still has a future . God is provoking Israel unto jealously through the church .
So the church is not a continuation of Israel/ Jusdism. It is a completely separate entity entirely .
Theres a big movement about who is a spiritual Jew So if someone tells you they are a spiritual jew that is false
2. The church is not a kingdom.
This Kingdom began when The Lord was rejected by his own , ( they where calling Jesus satan Matt 9:34, 12:22-37 ) and when he began and planned the purpose of God for this coming age . This happened around the time Jesus began to proclaim about the mysteries behind the kingdom . ( Matt. 13 ) - The Kingdom of heaven parables .
When did the church start ?
The church started at Pentecost .(Acts 1:5; 2:1–2; 11:15–16
. The Holy Spirit is the creator of the church .
So though the church is apart of the Kingdom of God its not equated as being one and the same .
3. The church is not a denomination.
We can often believe that our church is the only church out there . We can get the Elijah complex . We are the only ones .
Some churches refer to themselves the only “ Only true church “ Catholism consider themselves to be the one true church . “The church of the living God”
But theres only one church . “ All of the redeemed member's of this age is the one universal church .
Paul actually warns us about such divisions in the church . 1 Cor 1:11-17
1 Corinthians 1:11–17 NKJV
For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
4 . The purpose of the church is not to make the world better citizen’s.
I appreciate a good neighbor just like the next man. But the church primary goal isn’t to make good neihbors.
We realize that world is going get worst and worst as time progresses.
Like a good nieghbor state farm is there.
If you read your Bible you will realize the World events will sour and become much worst . ( 2 Tim 3:1-7 , 2 Peter 3:1-5 )
2 Peter 3:1–5 NKJV
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
2 Timothy 3:1–7 NKJV
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The purpose of the church is not to convince non believers to be good and civilized.
5. The church purpose isn’t become or imitate the world.
I went to one church and they had no preaching . The church service was they played a movie and every 5 minute in between the Pastor would say something spiritual about the video.
The purpose of the church is not to romanticize of a perfect world when we still have our sin nature still intact
We are in the world not of the world
6. The purpose of the church isn’t to isolate yourself from the world.
monasticism -is removing yourself from the world to escape the perversions of the world . Monks and Nuns came from this belief .
7. The church isn’t called to serve the world.
nowhere in the Bible are we told to lobby for pollution laws .
or to build wells . or to fight for rights for others .
or do humanitarian exploits
And our walk with God can lead to these things but they are not the primary purpose and focus of the church.
What is the church ?
The church is used in two sense . The “Universal” sense and the “Local” sense .
The universal sense is referring to the church at Large and the local sense has to do with geographical location .
The universal church are those who have been born of The Spirit and in by the same Spirit have been baptized into The Body of Christ . ( 1 Cor. 12:13 , 1 Peter 1:3,22-25 )
1 Cor 12:13 “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
Key point : The Spirit of God is the creator of the church. Thats how you know you're a member is by the Spirit of God. The Spirit is Who unifies us . and it doesn’t matter of your nationality ( Jew or Greek ) or your station in life ( bond or free ) if you have The Spirit of God living in you, you are apart of the church
1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
Begotten means to be born again .
Verses on the universal church .
1. The term universal church is used because Christ spoke of building His church not churches . Read : Matt 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” -
Church is singular. not plural
Its Christ doing the building not man . I have to constantly remind my self its Christ who’ s building His church . Not my methods not my preaching, its Christ .
2. Paul was grieved because he persecuted the church (1 Corinthians 15:9 “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” , Gal 1:13 , Phil 3:6 ) . Paul persecuted the church not churches . Universal
3. Christ is said to have loved the church and given Himself for her. ( Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,” )
4. Our Lord is purifying and sanctifying the church.
Eph 5:26f “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
This speaks about progressive sanctification.
5. Christ is the head of the church ( Eph 1:22 , 5:23, Col 1:18 )
Ask the church: what does it mean that Christ is the head of the church ?
the final manifestation of Christ headship over all creation will be in the future .
When it speaks about Christ being the head of church. Its referring to position but as well as submission .
Man is not the head over Christ He is the head over man. So we submit to that reality.
The same way the wife isn’t more inferior then the husband . but she submits because of her services rendered to The Lord. Eph 5:23 “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”
6.He has set gifted men in the church ( 1 Cor 12:28 )
1 Corinthians 12:28 NKJV
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
The church makes known to the ruler and authorities in heavenly places the manifold wisdom of God ( Eph 3:10 ) - The church reveals the wisdom of God .
Ephesians 3:10 NKJV
to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,
In all these scriptures the Greek word ekklesia is used. The word simply means a body of “called out people”.
The world “church” was used by three separate people groups . Heathen ( or the nations , secular world ) Jewish , and Christians
Technical definition for church : assembly , or assembly of citizens in a self governing state.
Jewish definition for church : the Septuagint uses the word for “the congregation of Israel” also “Summoned for a purpose “1 Kings 8:65
Christian definition for church : A group of people called out of the world and belonging to the Lord.
Theres a progression thats takes place . A more nobler translation of the word Ekklesia
The new birth is an essential requirement for membership of the universal church .
These are the key terms of the universal church .
1. The church is describe as “ a Building of God “ ( 1 Cor 3:9 , 16f Temple of God , 2 Cor. 6:16 the temple of The Living God Eph 2:20-22 , 1 Tim 3:15 Pillar and ground of the truth) we possess God . How profound is that !!
2. Christ is the cornerstone of this building ( Matt 16:18, 1 Co 3:11 , 1 Peter 2:6f ) Read 1 Peter 2:6f Christ is the visible support on which we rely for strength and stability . The church trust in Christ as much as a building relies on this cornerstone.
3. He dwells ( lives , takes up residence ) in us by His Spirit .1 Cor 3:16,6:19
4. The believer performs priestly service in the Temple . Hebrews 13:15 ( giving thanks in the Temple ), 1 Peter 2:9 ( proclaim His praises ) Rev 1:6, We have access to God . Romans 5:2 “through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
5. The universal church is also called The Body of Christ ( Romans 12:4 , 1 Cor 12:12 -27 , Eph 1:22f , 3:6, 4:4 ,12, 16 , 5:23 ,30 , Col 1:18 , 24, 2:19 , 3:15 ) . Hence thats why the church is presented as an organism .
In the OT the word EKKLESIA was never used in a religious sense but only for a geographic assemblies of people .
Dt 4:10 “especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’”
Dt 9:10 “Then the Lord delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.”
Dt 18:16 “according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’”
In Greece the assembly of people gathered in one place was consider EKKLESIA
It is used in for the assembling of Jews in the dessert .
In the NT the word churches are used of a congregation of Christians in a given location .
Acts 9:31 (NKJV): 31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Act 14:23  And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Act 15:40  And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
Act 15:41  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches
1Co 1:2  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:
But in some cases EKKLESIA is used of a body of believers regardless of location
Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 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.
Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27  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
Col 1:18  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.
This isn’t talking about location but a people group .
Before churches before religious gatherings what was it?
There is no evidences of an organized religious life in the earliest accounts of the Scriptures .
The nearest approach to it was the family .
The father acted as priest and leader in the worship of God .
Noah was evidence of this
Gen 6:18 “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.”
God made promises to the father to lead the sons .
Job 1:5 “So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.”
Job being an upright man he wanted to make sure his family’s sins where properly atoned for before God .
God blessed Jacob because of His fathers faithfulness.
Gen 26:2-5 “Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.””
The nations of Israel started to become organized under Moses. The twelve tribes were organized into a nation , a people of God Ex 19:6 “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.””
This theocracy under Moses involved the total life of the people , their political , social , and religious life .
God was the chief ruler the priests, kings , prophets where merely the executors of Gods will .
The bond of this union was circumcision , the law , and the tabernacle and temple worship .
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