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THE CHURCH, THE BODY OF CHRIST

The Greek word for "Church" is ekklesia – "called out" ones.  The Church is not a place, a building, an organizational structure, or an institution.  The Church is a people who are called out of the world by God to be indwelt by Him, so that we can be like Him and offer Him to the world.  People do not enter a holy sanctuary on Sunday; holy sanctuaries enter a building on Sunday and on other days.

 

UNIVERSAL OR LOCAL CHURCH?

    Universal (Eph 1:22,23; Col 1:18; Matt 16:18; Heb 12:23)
    Local (I Cor 4:17, 16:19; II Cor 11:8; Gal 1:22)

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST – UNITY, DIVERSITY, AND MUTUALITY

1. Unity – we are one (Eph 4:4-6): One__________, One__________,
    One__________, One__________, One__________, One__________, and
    One___________.


How we maintain our unity:

        Humility (Eph 4:1-3; Rom 12:3)
        Purity of heart (James 3:13-18)
        Love (Col 3:12-14)
        We do not become one: we are one and want to stay one!

2. Unity and diversity: The same Spirit, but different gifts, different kinds of         service, and different workings (I Cor 12:4-6, 27).

3. Mutuality:

    We are all part of the Body of Christ (I Cor 12:12,13).
    No member is inferior or unimportant (I Cor 12:14-20).
    No member is superior (I Cor 12:21-24). 
    Each member shares the joys and sorrows of the other members (I Cor
    12:25,26)

 

GOD'S GOALS FOR THE CHURCH
    The fullness of God (Eph 3:14-21)
    Jesus Christ (Col 1:27)
    Spiritual fruit (John 15:5,8)
    Love (John 13:34,35)
    Salt and light (Matt 5:13-16; Eph 5:8-11)
    The Great Commission (Matt 28:19, 20)
    God's glory (I Pet 4:11).

GOD'S METHODS FOR REACHING HIS GOALS
1. The role of gifted men (Eph 4:11-13): They are to prepare God's people for
    ______ ______  ___ ______, so that the Body of Christ may be  ________ 
    ____ until we all reach (1) ________  ___  _____  ___________ and in (2)
    _____  _________  ___ ____ _______  ___ __________ and become
    ___________, attaining to the _________ ____________  ___  ____
    ___________  ____  ___________.

2. Mutual ministry of Christians (Eph 4:14-16): We grow into a fully effective
    and functioning Body of Christ when we are truthing it in love and when each     person is doing his or her part!

3. What we are to do for one another:
    Encourage one another (Heb 10:24,25; I Thess 4:18)
    Pray for one another (James 5:16; Eph 6:18)
    Edify one another (Rom 14:19; I Thess 5:11)
    Correct one another in love (James 5:20; I Tim 5:20).

4. Why we are to get together:
     To eat together (Acts 2:46; Jude 12)
    To pray together (Acts 1:14, 2:42, 12:12)
    To worship together (Eph 5:19,20; Col 3:16,17)
    To learn together (Acts 19:9,10).

5. The role of spiritual gifts in the Body of Christ (I Pet 4:10,11; Eph 4:16)

6. The role of discipling in building up the Body of Christ (Col 1:28; II Tim 2:2)

RESOURCES: THE CHURCH IN GOD'S PROGRAM by Saucy; BODY LIFE by Stedman; THE CHURCH THE BODY OF CHRIST and MASTER'S PLAN FOR THE CHURCH by MacArthur

ASSIGNMENT:
(1) Give examples in our local Church of unity, diversity, and mutuality.
(2) Do you believe that God's goals for the Church are unrealistic?  Why do you      believe that God has set such high goals for the Church?
(3) What are we presently doing well in our local Church so that the Body of
     Christ will be built up? (universal Church? local Church?) Where can we
     improve?