Although we often refer to the building that we meet in as the church, I think we all know that the building is in fact not the church. The church is the people. You and I make up the church. We often talk about the church, and we have read about it in the Bible, but if someone were to ask you about it, what would you say? Today, we will try to help one another to better understand what the Bible affirms about the church.
READ Scriptures- Acts 20:28; 2:40-41; Ephesians 4:11-16
Purchased by the Blood of Christ (Acts 20:28)
The Flock, the Church of God, was purchased with the blood of Christ. This is why the cross has such great significance in Christian doctrine. God has redeemed us with the blood of His Own. We are His purchased possession. We are not independent men and women, and the church does not belong to itself, but we are all bought by the blood of Christ.
Populated by All True Believers in Christ (Acts 2:40-41)
One the day of Pentecost, when the church was first established, those who heard the message of the Gospel and received it were baptized and added to the church. Those who had genuinely repented and believed were baptized and added. We, too, have all heard and believed the Gospel. All of us who have put our faith in Christ belong to, and are in fact the body of Christ.
Provided Leadership (Eph 4:11, 15)
The chief point that we must grasp is that the Church was bought by the blood of Christ, it is His, and Christ is the head of the body. Let us constantly remember that we belong to and answer to the Lord Jesus Christ. After we understand that we can begin to see how He establishes His church. He Himself gave some apostles and some prophets to the church. They were the unrepeatable foundation on which the church is built. Those offices are not held today. Yet, Christ still makes provision for the church as He gives some evangelists and some pastor/teachers. Evangelists establish churches and trouble-shoot for them. They are not always around, but pastors are locally resident. We have already seen in Acts 20 that God has given the church elders who are to shepherd the flock. They are first to take heed to themselves and then to the church. I have argued in the past that our English translations use five different words for one position. Elder, Pastor, Overseer, Bishop, and Shepherd are all terms that refer to the one office in the church that is responsible for the well-being of the whole church. This is a great responsibility mainly because the church was purchased with the precious blood of Christ. Men and women that we can also talk about as a gift to the church, not mentioned in this passage, are the deacons. They are to serve the church, mainly tending to the physical matters of the body, under the direction of Christ-the-Head and the Elders.
Preparing for Ministry (Eph 4:11-12)
The passage tells us that the Elders are to be preparing the church for ministry. You, the saints, are to be equipped for the work of ministry. The Elders and I are supposed to be equipping you for ministry and building you up in Christ. Whether you take advantage of them or not, we are constantly trying to offer you several opportunities to grow and serve one another and the community.
Promoted by Unity (Eph 4:13-14)
This work in the church is supposed to continue until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. We are aiming to measure up to the stature of the fullness of Christ. Disunity is one of the greatest enemies of individual congregations and the church as a whole. If we are going to be edified, there’s going to have to be some love. We are going to have to come here to worship together and much more. We are going to have to gather around the Word of God, we are going to have to serve one another, and we are going to have to reach out to our community.
Conclusion“Christ is at once the One into whom all Christians grow and out of whom . . . the church [unites] itself in love” (Wood, 59).