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Summary:

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A. REVIEW

1. We were introduced last week to the two understandings of the term "church" as presented in the New Testament:

a. the Church U __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __, that great assembly of all the saints who have ever lived, and

b. the Church P __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __, the communio sanctorum, the local congregation of believers -- sometimes referred to as the "v __ __ __ __ __ __" church -- who live in community for the purpose of making visible the "invisible" kingdom of God by bearing witness to Jesus Christ.

2. We considered the primary purposes for each as they are set forth in Scripture.

a. Christ's G __ __ __ __ C __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ to all His disciples is recorded in Matthew 28:18-20:

"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and m __ __ __ d __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." [ NKJV ]

b. The purpose of the local church in the fulfillment of Christ's Great Commission is contained in Ephesians 4:11-16:

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the e __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ of the s __ __ __ __ __ for the w __ __ __ of the m __ __ __ __ __ __ __ , for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of 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 cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ -- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. [ NKJV ]

3. Having given us this profound charge, God has also provided for us the power required for the successful pursuit of the church's mission: the H __ __ __ S __ __ __ __ __.

ref: John 15:26 - 16:15

Acts 1:4-14

4. This powerful ministry is undertaken under the "umbrella" of God's g __ __ __ __ and is undergirded by the p __ __ __ __ __ of the faithful.

ref: Acts 4:43

Ephesians 1:7-12

James 4:6-10; 5:16b

5. We concluded last week that the mighty working of the Holy Spirit in and through a community of committed, obedient believers who are in full pursuit of the task to which Christ has commissioned His church will produce that for which most of us choose to attend a particular local church:

a. w __ __ __ __ __ __ in spirit and truth, and

b. authentic f __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

6. As we continue our study of the church this morning, we want to discover what constitutes true discipleship. What is a "disciple?"

B. TEXT: Colossians 1:3-12


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