The Doctrine of the Church-Ephesians 1:22-23

The Doctrine of the Church-Ephesians 1:22-23

        When you ask someone, “What is the church?” The answers can be numerous. Some say it an institution. Some say it is a set of beliefs. Some say it is a social religious organization. Many say it is a special religious building for Christians. Some say it is “an assembly of Christians.”

        In the broad sense of the word, we are the church. It is not centered in any one place, but made up of people from all nations, tribes, people and language. Gr.“ekklesia” combines two words – ek= out & klesia = from the verb “to call” Therefore, the church is a group of people that are called out from the population. Referring to the OT, Stephen in the Book of Acts, describes Moses in Acts 7:38 as being in the church.

2 views of the church from Greek Christians and Jewish Christians.

1. Greeks looked at it as self-governing Christian society

2. Jewish Christians thought of it as a theocratic society loyal to their King Jesus.

In A cts, the church is employed in two distinct senses (in a local sense and also in the universal sense). Biblically, there is always a universal church worldwide but equally there is to be multiple local expressions of the church in the same city. Rome had many house churches by 60 A.D.

The Scriptures teaches that in the Church universal and local, there is 1 purpose expressed by 3 functions.

The Church as the Eternal Purpose of God.

a. Eph 3:9

b. Eph. 3:10 -11 manifold is a compound word “much+various in character”

c. Eph. 3:12 Purpose is God’s wisdom (manifold wisdom to all) creating God’s people (relationship). The holy angels, who look into the mystery of our redemption by Christ, could not participate in this mystery. The Eternal Purpose of God for the Church is expressed by 3 functions explained in metaphors. They have their origin in the OT.

1. The Church as the Body of Christ.

1 Cor 12:12-13, 1 Cor 12:27

If the church functions as the body of Christ, it receives from Christ 2 vital functions.

a. source of strength

b. power for service

2. The Church as the Family of God.

Jesus Christ is the head of the family.

Eph 2:19

If the church functions as a family, then we are the bride and Christ is the bridegroom. Healthy families require 2 things.

a. Love

Eph 4:15-16

Do families act unkindly to each other? Do families show favorites? Do families fight? Sometimes they do.

b. Commitment

Gal 6:10

God will provide the opportunities, we provide the commitment. Healthy families care for one another. Ask yourself, “What would the church be like if everyone was just like me” John 13:34 “as” means “to the degree that”

3. The Church as the temple of God.

a. Worship

The church worship service is not the church. It is an expression of the church.

2 Cor 3:18 .

The Israelites saw the glory of God in a cloud, which was dark and mysterious. The temple of God, the church, sees the glory of the Lord as in a glass that is becoming more and more clear. Moses spoke with God face to face but now all true Christians see Him more clearly with open face His glory. Paul is saying the more you gaze into His glory, the more of His glory reflects back on you.

b. Build on the foundation

Eph. 2:20

One Purpose – to express the manifold glory of God by showing the world that Christians are:

1) a body 2) a family and 3) a temple for His glory.

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