Summary: Church Names of Christ
There are five names/metaphors that link Jesus to His church. Each metaphor emphasizes life and growth.
Christ the Head
Christ the Shepherd
Christ the Bridegroom
Christ the Cornerstone
Christ the True Vine
B. THE HEAD OF THE BODY
1 Cor. 12:12-31; Col. 1:18, 2:19; Eph. 4:12-16
1. Body – the favorite metaphor for the church. Why?
2. The head is never attached to a dead body. Both head and body are alive.
3. The head is the determinative center of the physical. The body must not (1) act independently, (2) seek preeminence (3 John 9), (3) abuse itself.
4. The body grows when Christ has first place.
a. He created all things (Col. 1:16).
b. He holds together all things (Col. 1:17).
c. He before all things (Col. 1:17 b).
d. He heads all things (Col. 1:18).
e. Characteristics of a growing body
f. When does disease or sickness strike the body?
(1) Not eat properly.
(2) Not stay away from sin.
(3) Not rest properly.
C. THE SHEPHERD AND THE SHEEP – John 10:1-18
1. Growth occurs when Christ is recognized as the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4), this is ownership.
2. Growth occurs when the sheep follow the Shepherd (Ps. 23). “He leadeth me.”
3. Growth occurs when under shepherds provide for the sheep.
a. Finding sheep evangelism.
b. Folding sheep leads to salvation.
c. Feeding sheep teaches the Word.
D. THE BRIDE AND THE BRIDEGROOM – Eph. 5:25-27, 32
2. Growth occurs when we submit to Christ’s love (1 John 4:7).
a. “A rational and volitional affection having its ground in truth as holiness, and is exercised in free choice” ~L. S. Chafer
b. “Love seeks the highest good in the other person” ~C. Ryrie
c. “The perfection of divine nature whereby He is moved to communicate Himself” ~H. Thiessen
d. “Love is the opposite of selfishness.”
e. “Love is giving yourself to another, therefore, it is reflected in a relationship.”
E. THE CORNERSTONE AND THE BUILDING – Eph. 2:19-22
1. To Israel, Christ is a stumbling stone or rock of offence (Rom. 9:32-33). To the world a stumbling stone (Dan. 2:34). To the church, the head stone (1 Peter 2:7).
2. The building grows with proper relationship to the cornerstone (1 Cor. 3:10-11).
3. The building grows when proper building material is used (1 Cor. 3:12-15).
F. THE TRUE VINE AND THE BRANCHES – John 15:1-7
1. Growth occurs when branches abide in the vine (v. 4).
2. Harvest occurs when branches abide in the vine. Fruit (v. 2), more fruit (v. 2), much fruit (v. 5).
3. Growth occurs from double transference. “Abide in Me” communion, and “I in you” union.
4. Growth occurs when branches respond to pruning (v. 2), “purgeth.” Purgeth means cleanse.
a. It is positive discipline.
b. It is administered by the Gardner.
c. It is for believer’s good and growth.
d. It is for the glory of God.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
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