I. The basic meaning of the word "church" in the New Testament is found in two Greek words:
A. KURIAKON meaning "that which belongs to the Lord." Illustrations: I Corinthians. 11:20, "The Lord's Supper." Romans. 14:8, "We are the Lord's."
B. Most common: EKKLESIA (used 111 times in the New Testament). It is made up of "ek" meaning "out of," and "kaleo" meaning "to call." So the word actually means "that which has been called out from."
II. FUNCTIONS OF THE CHURCH (The duties and activities of the early church)
A. Special positions of service: Prophet, Evangelist and Teacher Ephesians, Bishops, Elders and/or Pastors, Deacons
Romans 12:4-6 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
B. While we all have special gifts, observe where it leads
NKJ Ephesians 4:11-15 -- And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head Christ.
C. The saints -- the entire church family.
1. They were to lead a holy and blameless life to the glory of God's grace, Ephesians 1:4,6.
5. They were to strive for unity, Ephesians 4:3, 4,13.
6. They were to love one another, I Peter 1:22;
7. Pray much, Acts 4:32, 12:5,
III. Responsibility in the Church is to know and to do God's will
A. NKJ Mark 3:35 "For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.''
1. From the heart (Eph 6:6).
B. NKJ Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
C. NKJ 1 John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
IV. Comes to three important questions.
A. What is the will of God?
B. How do we know the will of God?
C. How do we do the will of God?
1. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a nice little step by step process to follow the Will of God? Why would God ask / command us to do His will and not tell us how?
2. It requires effort and some know how.
9. For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10. that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11. strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
12. giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14. in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
We observe the prayer of a saint for his friends
D. Hard pressed to find a better verse that is plainer teaching about living the Christian life.
1. C. F. D. Moule has said, "It asks for the discernment of God's will and then for the power to perform that will."