What is the Church? Is it a building? a religious service? an institution? a congregation? a denomination? an affiliation? It is all of these, but it is something more. The Church is the Body of Christ, of which He is the divinely appointed Head, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. The Head rules in heaven from the right hand of the Father. The Body works on earth which is the footstool of the Father.
All those who have accepted the Son, who have believed in Jesus, have become members of “the church, which is his body” (Eph. 1:22, 23). This Church is the fellowship of the redeemed, the people of God. It consists of all those in every place in all ages who by faith have been placed into vital, living union with the Head of the Church – Jesus Christ. Planned by the Father, the Church was founded by the Son and is empowered by the Spirit.
On a narrower scale, it is a local community, since the believer finds himself actually meeting together with those living in his vicinity who profess this same faith – loyalty to Jesus Christ.
The New Testament never speaks of the universal church as the sum total of all local churches. It is a totality of redeemed people, not an organization of local congregations. The New Testament writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, thought of only one church because there is only one Savior and Lord of the Church.
Lessons in this coming quarter include:
- The Lord of the Church
- Prophetical Picture of the Church
- The Unity of the Church
- Membership in the Church
- The Maturity of the Church
- Cooperation in the Church
- Worship and the Church
- Spiritual Gifts and the Church
- Leadership in the Church
- Evangelism and the Church
- The Influence of the Church
- Discipline and the Church
- The Destiny of the Church
Look ahead at future quarters.
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