TEXT: Matthew 16:16-18
ETS: The Bible defines what a church is.
ESS: Believers will understand what a church really is.
OSS: Believers will commit themselves to “Be” a church.
PQ: What does the Bible say about the church?
TOPIC: “What does the Bible teach about the church?”
A- The church – a term misunderstood by many.
B- It is time for the church to “Be” the church.
*Vance Havner said, “It is about time we quit playing church in these services that start at eleven o’clock sharp and end at twelve o’clock dull.”
C- What does the Bible say about the church?
I. THE CHURCH DEFINED
A The church is both local and universal.
1. It is local
a) The New Testament speaks of “Church” in the local sense 93 times.
b) “Church is never used in the sense of groups of churches (ie. Denominations).
c) When it is used to reference groups of churches, it is pluralized (churches) (Gal. 1:2).
2. It is universal.
a) Jesus referred to it as such here (text).
b) Paul referred to it this way (Eph. 5:25).
B The church is a believer’s church (Acts 2:42-47).
1. Only believers are fit subjects for membership of the local church.
a) Only believers are candidates for baptism – which is a prerequesite for membership.
(1) Ethiopian (Acts. 8:36-37)
(2) Cornelius (Acts 12)
(3) Pentecost (Acts 2:41)
II. THE CHURCH DESRIBED
A It is the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23).
1. Christ’s own presence is the life of the church (Jn. 15:1-7).
2. As Christ’s body, it is to be a unified whole (1 Cor. 12:12).
a) As the head, He gives the directions.
b) As members, we must be in tune with Him to function properly.
(1) Some are like pinched nerves.
B It is the People of God (1 Pet. 2:9-10).
1. Must take our directions from Him.
2. Must offer self to Him (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:5).
C It is a family of believers (Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:19; Gal. 4:6-7).
1. Love should prevail (1 Jn. 3:11).
D It is the Bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7-9).
1. Must keep ourselves in love and purity for Jesus.
E It is the expression of the Kingdom of God on earth.
1. The place where Christ rules (Col. 1:13).
III. THE CHURCH DEDICATED
A Dedicated to real Worship (Lk. 4:8).
1. In Spirit and Truth (Jn. 4:23-24).
a) John on Patmos (Rev. 1:10).
2. In faithfulness (Heb. 10:25).
B Dedicated to Missions (Mk. 16:15).
1. Our task knows no boundaries (Acts 1:8).
C Dedicated to discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20).
1. Discipling others to make disciples.
D Dedicated to fellowship (Rom. 12:15; Acts 2:42; 1 Jn. 1:7)
1. It’s reality (Acts. 2:42).
2. It’s depth (Rom. 12:15)
3. It’s basis (1 Jn. 1:7)
E Dedicated to Evangelism (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15).
1. Evangelizing as we go (Mt. 28:18-20).
2. Evangelizing in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).
3. Evangelizing everyone (Mk. 16:15).