What is the Church of Christ?

BuildingTITLE: What is the Church of Christ?

SUBJECT: The Church

PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we will answer the question, What is the Church? We must understand God’s original design in the creation. When we understand this, we will understand what the church is in relationship to God’s great plan to restore unity between God and man, and between man and man.

OBJECTIVE: That each member understand God’s desire for unity in the church as the restoration of His purposes in creation.

INTRODUCTION:

1. Read: Ephesians 3:9-11

2. About the Text:

1) The book of Ephesians is about the church.

2) It teaches about Christ’s sacrifice for the church (Ephesians 5:25-26).

3) It also teaches God’s purpose for the church, which defines the church.

4) We need to be the church today and we do this by fulfilling God’s purposes.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: The church is . . .

I.   God’s Plan for the Restoration of Fallen Humanity – The Place of the Saved

1. God created man in His image.

1) Read Genesis 1:26-28.

2) Both male and female were created in His image.

3) God’s creation was good.

2. God did not want man to be alone.

1) Read Genesis 2:18-25

2) God made woman so that man could have a suitable help.

3) God wanted unity and fellowship to exist between people.

3. God wanted to have fellowship with man.

1) Read Genesis 3:8

2) God walked in the garden with man in unity and fellowship until man’s sin.

4. Man’s sin destroyed unity and fellowship with God.

1) Read Genesis 3:22-24.

2) Man could no longer live in the garden where there was access to the tree of life.

3) God sent man out of the garden.

5. Man’s sin destroyed unity and fellowship with other men.

1) Read Genesis 4:3-8.

2) Cain murdered Abel because of the sin of envy and hatred.

6. Sin had destroyed God’s original purpose of unity and fellowship.

1) Read Ephesians 2:1-8.

2) “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body” (Ephesians 5:23).

3) “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to 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” (Acts 20:28).

II.  The Place Where People are Reconciled to God – The Family of God

1. God’s desire has always been that there be unity and fellowship between Him and mankind, and among mankind.

1) “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them” . . . “And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (Lev.26:3, 11-12).

2) “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5-6).

3) Israel failed to be a holy nation; they sinned and went after false gods/idols.

4) “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

2. God does this through His Son, Jesus.

1) “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3).

2) “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).

3) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

3. The church is the body of Christ where we are reconciled to God in Christ.

1) “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

2) “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” (Col.1:18).

3) “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Col.1:19).

4) “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col.2:9).

4. The church is the place of unity between God and men.

5. Read Ephesians 2:14-18.

III. The Place Where People are Reconciled to One Another – The Body of Christ

1. Jesus restored unity between men also. Read Ephesians 2:14-22.

2. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12).

3. We are all baptized into one body. “For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

4. This restores God’s originate purpose for humanity—to have loving fellowship with one another through His Son, Jesus.

5. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).

6. The church is the place of unity for all mankind.

7. This is what Ephesians 3:9-11 is saying—it is the fellowship of the mystery.

CONCLUSION:

1. What is the church?

1) The Place of the Saved

2) The Family of God

3) The Body of Christ

2. Unity is the purpose of the church!

3. Invitation