FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

"The New Testament Church"

LESSON ONE.

 

This will be a series of lessons designed to define the church of the New Testament. Since the church was God's eternal purpose in Christ Jesus, we want to know as much about the church that Christ purchased with His own blood as possible!

 

Ephesians 3:10-11 “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, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,”

Acts 20:28 “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.”

 

WHAT IS THE CHURCH?

The Bible provides a kaleidoscope of imagery concerning the church, composed of many metaphors and statements. The thread on which all of these images hang on is the idea of the church as an assemble or gathering of those “called out” (the definition of the Greek word, ‘Ekklesia ').

The word ‘Ekklesia ' in a generic sense can be applied to a called out gathering of citizens of a city for civic meetings or protests as we find in the city of Ephesus , note:

Acts 19:32 “Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly (‘Ekklesia ') was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.”

 

However, the New Testament would give the term a much more specific definition in that the church of the New Testament was to belong to Christ, note:

Matthew 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.”

Ephesians 1:20-23 “which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Colossians 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 may have the preeminence.”

 

Finally, we can see both the definition (the called out) and the ownership of the church (belonging to Christ) in the letters of Paul to Christians, note:

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours”

Philippians 1:1 “Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in
Philippi, with the bishops and deacons”

1 Thessalonians 1:1 “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

DEFINITION OF TERMS:

Sanctified: Those who have achieved holiness (set apart) and obedience. The emphasis in the New Testament from that of the Old is found in the Christians process of entering a covenant relationship with the Lord and progressing towards the goal of becoming Christ like! It is used in I Corinthians and Philippians to describe those who are in Christ; describing the relationship created for those who come to God through Him.

Galatians 3:26-28 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus

 

Saints: The term saint denotes one who is set apart to God through Christ Jesus. A saint refers to a godly person who's spiritual and moral traits and behavior are what the Bible offers for approval and emulation.

Ephesians 1:4 “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love

 

Called: This describes the notion that those who are set apart to God have chosen this walk as their vocation. Christians are those who have chosen to make their vocation walking according to the doctrine of Christ.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

 

SUMMARY:

The church of the New Testament is those who in every place have been called out of the world by the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into a relationship with God through Christ (not a building or an organization).

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

40-41 “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

47 “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

 

The church of the New Testament is the body of Christ! He is its head and the church is His (His own body!).

Ephesians 5:23-26 “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,”

30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.”

32 “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

 

In addition, the New Testament church is the family of God and the pillar and ground of truth!

1 Timothy 3:15 “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

 

Next: “What Is It Called?