The Church – Jesus Died for Her
Are you a part of her (the church) and do you love her (the church)?
Matthew 16:16-19: The church belongs to Jesus.
The essential unity of Christ, the Word of Christ, and the church of Christ:
- The rejection of Christ means the rejection of His Word and His Church.
- The rejection of the Word of Christ – the sacred Scriptures, means the rejection of Christ and His Church.
- The rejection of the church of Christ means the rejection of Christ and His Word.
The local church is the Church (that belongs to Jesus).
- The church is one; the church of the New Testament is local, i.e., people meeting in congregations.
- In Scripture, to be a Christian is to be a member of a local body of believers; church membership is not a mystical connection to a transcendental ideal. The glory of the Church is the glory of the LOCAL church.
- Philemon 1:2 – the church met in the homes of Christians (local).
- Rev. 1:4 – seven churches were in the province of Asia (local to various areas).
- 2 Cor. 1:1 – the church existed in Corinth (local).
- Col. 4:15 – the church met in the house of Nympha (local).
The Biblical concept of the church:
- The church was purchased and established by Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit by means of the Apostolic WORD (both spoken and written), God revealed the church. I Thess. 2:13; Eph. 2:20.
- Scripture, the words of God and the Word of God; the absolute authority on, for, and over the church; the positive, apostolic design for the local church.
The Church (the Kingdom) – consider these Holy Spirit inspired scriptural passages:
- The “church age” as the Last Days: Acts 2:15-17; Hebrews 1:1 – 2; II Tim. 3:1; II Peter 3:3; I John 2:18.
- During the public ministry of Jesus, the Kingdom “at hand”: Matt. 3:1 – 2; 4:17; Mark 1:14 – 15.
- Kingdom preaching characterized the ministry of Jesus and the apostles: Matt. 4:23; 9:35; Mark 1:14; Acts 8:12; 15: 13-18; 28: 23.
- Jesus promised that some of His generation would witness the coming of the Kingdom: Mark 9:1; Matt. 16:28.
- The church and the Kingdom are synonymous: Matt. 16:15.
- The parallel use of “Kingdom of God,” “Kingdom of Christ,” and “Kingdom of Heaven”: Eph. 5:5; Luke 16:16; Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:14 – 15; Matt. 5:3; Luke 6:20; Matt. 10:7; and Luke 9:2.
- Christians are said to have inherited and to be in the Kingdom of God: Col. 1:13 – 14; Heb. 12:28; Rev. 1:9.
The local church is the world’s last chance; the redemptive work of Christ is committed to the local church; the local church must understand its own significance, glory, and responsibility.
The local Church as Ekklesia (the “called out”):
- Christians as those who have answered a divine call: I Thess. 2:12; II Thess. 2:14.
- Christians as those who stand distinct from the world: Eph. 4:17.
- Christians as those who congregate in affirmation of their identity: Acts 20:7.
New Testament Images of the local Church:
- The Body of Christ: Eph. 1:22 – 23; Rom. 12:4-8; I Cor. 12:12-31.
- Christ is the Head of the Body; authority administered through apostolic word: John 20:21-23.
- Christians as members of the body
- Submission to the Head in all things: Eph. 5:24.
- Unity in diversity: Eph. 4:11-13.
- Mutual and common responsibility within the local body: I Cor. 12:25-30.
- The mission and expression of Christ in the world: Eph. 4:14-16.
- The requirement of fruitfulness: Matt. 13:23; 21:43.
- Human (all Christians) responsibility in sowing: I Cor. 3:6
- The danger of Satanic interference: Matt. 13:19; 38.
Christ’s Flock (the Church):
John 10:1-16; Acts 20:28-30; I Peter 5:1-4.
- Christ as “Chief Shepherd”: I Peter 5:4
- Elders as shepherds: I Peter 5:2; John 10:1
- The unity of the flock: John 10:16.
The Bride of Christ (the “elect” – the Church):
Eph. 5:25-32; John 3:29; Rev. 19:7; 21:2-4; 22:16; II Cor. 11:2; Matt. 22:1-10.
- The church as the beloved of Christ: Eph. 5:25.
- The future honor and glory of the wedding feast: Rev. 19:9; Mark 2:19 – 20.
- Constant readiness for the arrival of the groom: Luke 12:35, 36; Matt. 22:8.
- The bride is the possession of the groom: Rom. 16:16.
- The bride wears the name of her groom: Acts 11:26.
Significant Characteristics Required of the Church in the New Testament:
- Fidelity to the Apostle’s Doctrine: I John. 2:24-28.
- No respecter of persons: James 2:1-9; Acts 11:1-18.
- Expecting the return of Jesus: James 5:8; Phil. 3:20.
- Obedient to the Word of Christ: Phil. 2:12-16.
- Earnest and faithful in prayer: Acts 2:42.
- United: Eph. 4:3-6.
- Missionary minded: Acts 13:1-3.
- Generous to sister congregations: II Cor. 11:8, 9.
- Faithful in the Lord’s Supper: I Cor. 11:23-34.
- Given to agape (love): I John 4:7-21.
The Glorious Destiny of the Church in the New Testament:
- The defeat of death: Matt. 16:18; I Cor. 15:54, 55; Rev. 1:18; 21:1-4.
- The Return of Jesus and the resurrection of the saints: I Thess. 4:13 through 5:11; I Cor. 15:50-58.
- Eternal fellowship with God: Rev. 21:3.
DO YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN?
ARE YOU A PART OF THE CHURCH THAT JESUS DIED FOR?
The body of believers at Oak Grove lifts up Jesus so you will know Him as your Lord and Savior so that you will be “added” to His Church (by God).
At Oak Grove, we LOVE THE CHURCH!