The Church
by Pastor Derrick Jackson on November 27th, 2011


Acts 2 : 36 - 47 (v. 42)

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
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.
39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

A Vital Church Grows
40 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.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 Then fear came upon every soul, and mmany wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
45 and sold their possessions and goods, and odivided them among all, as anyone had need.

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And sthe Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

ECCLESIOLOGY

Much of what comes to life in this world comes to life via a seed.
- A seed is planted and a tree is born.
- A seed is planted and a stalk of corn grows tall.
- A seed is planted and a baby comes forth.
Seed planting is essentially to the circle of life.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Just like much of God’s Creation coming to life through a seed, the Body of Christ, THE CHURCH, was birthed through a seed. In Acts chapter 2, the Apostle Peter stands among the great crowd of multinational visitors to Jerusalem during the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and boldly preaches the Gospel.
The Gospel, the SEED of the Word of God, God’s Message of Love, is preached.
This SEED, the SEED of the Word of God, is deposited into the rich soil of the hearts of unbelievers.
This SEED, the message of Love about the birth, life, death, and resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ, falls deep into the rich soil of the hearts of unbelievers.
And the result is LIFE.
The Result is the BIRTH of the Church.

The Bible says in Acts chapter 2 verse 41,
41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

THE CHURCH IS BORN.

What is the Church?
The average person just thinks of the church as a “building” or an “institution”.
This view does not correlate with the biblical definition of the church.
The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.”
- The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people.
- It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. Romans 16:5 says “… greet the church that is in their house.” The Apostle Paul refers to the church in their house—not a church building, but a body of believers.

Ecclesiology is the Doctrine or the Study of the Church.
Ecclesiology is the Doctrine or the Study of Us – the called out ones.

One source says, “Ecclesiology helps us to understand the role of the church and our role in the church.” It teaches us about:
- the ordinances of the church,
- how church leadership is to be chosen and structured, and
- what the church is to be doing in regards to believers (worship and discipleship) and unbelievers (ministry and evangelism).

Acts 2:42 says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." – this is, in a nutshell, what Ecclesiology is all about.

Believers, we are the Body of Christ.

Ecclesiology, the Doctrine of Church, helps us understand who we are and what we supposed to be doing.

Ecclesiology points us to the Purpose of the Church.
How that Purpose is manifested before all is discovered within two (2) expressions of the church.

I. The Church – THE PERSON

The Church is the BODY OF CHRIST. The Body of Christ is a Living Spiritual Organism.
The Church is a Body that is alive.

Everything that makes US, the Body of Christ, function has been given by God.
<< Example: Offspring receiving their attributes from their parents. >>

According to God’s order, everything in Creation that is alive possesses the attributes of the source from which they came.

To Be the Body of Christ, God had to give us some of His Attributes.

- God has given us His Spirit. We are made alive in His Spirit.
- Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6 : 11)
- God has adopted us into His Family. We are sons and daughters of God.
- 3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ, 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, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (Ephesians 1 : 3 – 5)
- God has made us to be one body. Just as God is One, we, the body of Christ, are one.
- 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12 : 4 – 5)
- God has given us Spiritual giftings.

1 Corinthians 12
- 12:1 With regard to spiritual gifts,* brothers and sisters,* I do not want you to be uninformed.* 12:2 You know that when you were pagans you were often led astray by speechless idols, however you were led. 12:3 So I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
- 12:4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 12:5 And there are different ministries, but the same Lord. 12:6 And there are different results, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 12:7 To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all. 12:8 For one person is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, and another the message of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 12:10 to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 12:11 It is one and the same Spirit, distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things.

Different Members in One Body
12:12 For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body – though many – are one body, so too is Christ. 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves* or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit. 12:14 For in fact the body is not a single member, but many. 12:15 If the foot says, “Since I am not a hand, I am not part of the body,” it does not lose its membership in the body because of that. 12:16 And if the ear says, “Since I am not an eye, I am not part of the body,” it does not lose its membership in the body because of that. 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, what part would do the hearing? If the whole were an ear, what part would exercise the sense of smell? 12:18 But as a matter of fact, God has placed each of the members in the body just as he decided. 12:19 If they were all the same member, where would the body be? 12:20 So now there are many members, but one body. 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor in turn can the head say to the foot, “I do not need you.” 12:22 On the contrary, those members that seem to be weaker are essential, 12:23 and those members we consider less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our unpresentable members are clothed with dignity,* 12:24 but our presentable members do not need this. Instead, God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member, 12:25 so that there may be no division in the body, but the members may have mutual concern for one another. 12:26 If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a* member is honored, all rejoice with it.
- 12:27 Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it. 12:28 And God has placed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helps, gifts of leadership, different kinds of tongues. 12:29 Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? 12:30 Not all have gifts of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they?* 12:31 But you should be eager for the greater gifts.
- And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.*

These giftings have been given simply for the equipping of the Body.

Our Purpose is TO BE THE BODY OF CHRIST.


II. The Church – THE PLACE

The LOCAL Church is the place where the Community of Believers gather on a regular basis to live out the purpose of the Body of Christ.

The LOCAL Church is the place where the Community of Believers gather on a regular basis TO BE THE BODY OF CHRIST.

What do we DO when are BEING?
We DO Acts chapter 2 verse 42:
- (1) we teach Biblical doctrine,
- (2) we provide places of fellowship for believers,
- (3) we observe the Lord’s supper, and
- (4) we pray.

Acts chapter 2 verse 42 again says, 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

We DO these things wherever we are AND especially at the place we call church.

Acts chapter 2 verse 42 reveals that we are:

(1) Supposed to be teaching and following the Apostle’s doctrine,
- Where did the Apostles get their doctrine from?
- Who did the Apostle get their doctrine from? THEY RECEIVED THEIR BIBLICAL DOCTRINE FROM JESUS, GOD THE SON.
- Whatever Jesus taught, they taught.
- Whatever Jesus lived, they lived.

(2) Provide a place of fellowship for believers,
- That place is NOT just the church edifice, it is the Community, the community where the Church edifice stands as a visible beacon of Glory of The True and Living God.

(3) Observe the Lord’s Supper,
- We are to observe the ordinances of the church, this passage placing special emphasis upon the observance of the Lord’s Supper which we commonly call Holy Communion.

AND

(4) When we come together at church, we are supposed to PRAY
- It is a natural part of our supernatural nature to communicate with God in prayer.

"We are the Church, and this is what we do."

What does the Bible Call US?

Body of Christ - Ephesians 1 : 22, 23; Colossians 1 : 24
Bride of Christ - Revelations 21 : 9
(The) Church of God - Acts 20 : 28
Church of the Living God – 1 Timothy 3 : 15
Church of the first-born – Hebrews 12 : 23
Family in heaven and earth – Ephesians 3 : 15
Flock of God – 1 Peter 5 : 2
Fold of Christ – John 10 : 16
General assembly of the first-born – Hebrews 12 : 23
Golden candlestick – Revelation 1 : 20
God's building – 1 Corinthians 3 : 9
God's field (husbandry) – 1 Corinthians 3 : 9
God's heritage – 1 Peter 5 : 3
Habitation of God – Ephesians 2 : 22
Holy city – Revelation 21 : 2
House of God – 1 Timothy 3 : 15; Hebrews 10 : 21
House of Christ - Hebrews 3 : 6
Household of God – Ephesians 2 : 19
Israel of God – Galatians 6 : 16
The Lamb's wife – Revelation 19 : 7; 21 : 9
New Jerusalem – Revelation 21 : 2
(The) Pillar and Foundation of Truth – 1 Timothy 3 : 15
Spiritual house – 1 Peter 2 : 5
Temple of God – 1 Corinthians 3 : 16, 17
Temple of the Living God – 2 Corinthians 6 : 16
His Vineyard – Matthew 21:41

"We are the Church, We are the Body of Christ."


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