- Definition Of The Church
The New Testament Greek word of “church” is “ecclesia” meaning “an assembly of called-out ones.” The term is applied to:
- The whole body of Christians in one city. Acts 11:22; Acts 13:1.
- A congregation. I Corinthians 14:19 & 35, Romans 16:5.
- The whole body on earth. Ephesians 5:32.
The meaning of the following should be understood:
- Church – The actual body, composed of true born again saints.
- Christendom – Professing Christians of all denominations.
- Church militant – While on earth.
- Church triumphant – The church in heaven.
- Words Relating To The Members
- Brethren- The church is a spiritual brotherhood of fellowship in which all
divisions that separate mankind are abolished.
- Believers- Characteristic doctrine is faith in Jesus.
- Saints- (holy ones) – separated from the world and dedicated to God.
- The Elect- or Chosen – chosen by God.
- Disciples- learners or followers – taught by Jesus.
- Christians- (Christ-like) – religion centers around Jesus Christ.
- Those of the way – (Acts 9:2) – a special way of living.
- There Is Only One Church
- Ephesians 4:4-5
- I Corinthians 12:12-13
- There are hundreds of church organizations and denominations but there is only one church.
- She is the same church, the same body, no matter where the members dwell here on earth.
- When one is baptized into the body, he becomes a member of the one church, whether he is a Jew or a Gentile.
- The church is ONE as far as time is concerned.
- It is the same and one church whether the members are living today on earth, or have died in the Lord.
- The Church Is The Body Of Christ
- Ephesians 1:22-23
- The church is a living organism, not an organization.
- There is a vital relation between Christ and the Church, just as there is between the physical head and the body.
- We must be partakers of Christ’s life before we can become members of His church.
- The Church Is The Temple Of God
- I Corinthians 3:1 6-1 7
- I Corinthians 6:19
- A temple is a place in which God who dwells everywhere localizes Himself in one particular place where His people may always find Him “at home.”
- Acts 17:24
- The Church Is The Bride Of Christ
- Ephesians 5:32
- II Corinthians 11:2
- Jesus Christ is the bridegroom.
- The church is the bride-elect.
- The church is now preparing her to become the wife of the Lamb.
- Revelation 19:7
- The Church Was Promised By Jesus Christ.
- Matthew 16:18
- When Jesus spoke these words, He used the future tense; “I will build.”
- The church was born on the Day of Pentecost in the Upper Room
- When Jesus promised the church, He also stated that her future would be sure and certain.
- Paul stated that she is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus being the chief corner stone (Ephesians 2:20).
- The foundation rock was NOT Peter but it was Peter’s confession, the truth of “THE DEITY OF JESUS.”
We should note the following about the disciples while Jesus was here upon earth:
- They were disciples (followers, learners).
- Their names were already written in heaven. Luke 10:20
- They were not yet converted. Luke 22:32
- They were not yet members of the church for the church was still future.
- The Church Was Born On The Day Of Pentecost
- Acts 2:1-4
- Colossians 1:24
- The church is the body of Christ indwelt by the presence and Spirit of God Himself.
- Jesus had to ascend into Heaven and come back as the Comforter before the church could be born into being.
- The church was not brought into existence by man-made means, by human organization; the church was born into being.
- The one hundred and twenty believers (Acts 1:15) were the charter members of the church.
- Church Membership
- I Corinthians 12:13
- A study of John 3:3-6 and Acts 2:38 will reveal the necessary conditions to be met in order to become a member of the church.
- The physical body of Christ experienced death, burial and resurrection to provide salvation; likewise the mystical body of Christ (the Church) must experience death (repentance), burial (water baptism in Jesus Name) and resurrection (Holy Ghost) to receive salvation.
Self Help Test
Write out ONE Scripture in full with reference for the following truths:
- The church is the body of Christ.
- The church is the bride of Christ.
- There is only one Church.
- The foundation rock upon which the church is built is the “Deity of Jesus.”
- To have church membership we must be baptized into the body.
- The disciples’ names were written in heaven before they were born of the Spirit.
- During the ministry of Jesus upon earth the church was still future.
- The charter members of the church were about 120 in number.
- The church is the temple of God.
The church is a living organism.