1) Couple of weeks ago, we began a ("first principles") study titled "The Church"
A) In it we concluded there is a True Church! -- & the way we go about identifying it is by looking to scripture & properly interpreting what we read.
1) Since Jesus Christ is the "head over all things to the church" (Eph. 1:22)
2) Since He is the "Cornerstone" & His Apostles & Prophets the "Foundation". (Eph. 2:20)
a) Then we must listen to What He & His Spokesmen say if we are to become part of the True Church.
But why would someone care if they are part of the true church? -- What difference does it make?
2) Hopefully we answered these types of questions by asking "Why study about the Church?" (What's so important about it?)
A) First it is important because God planned it "from the beginning of the ages, and it is throu the church the Manifold wisdom of God is made known." (Eph. 3:8-12)
B) Second, Christ died for the church & Gave himself for her, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy & w/o blemish. (Eph. 5:25-27)
C) Third, Eph. 5:23, He is the Savior of the body. (therefore we understand, if we are not in this body then Jesus is not our Savior.)
So why is the church so important? -- & Why should someone care if they are a part of it? Because it is the only organization of which Jesus is the savior...
a) He's not the Savior of the "Sam's Wholesale club"
b) or the "investors Club"
c) or the "Lion's Club"
d) He not the savior of your local "Insurance group"
c) And friends as much as some despise it: He is not the savior of some religious man made organization.... But the only thing He is the Savior of is HIS CHURCH.
As stated: The church is not the savior... Christ is.... But Christ makes clear He will not save us, if we are not part of His Body, (i.e.. His Church.)
And indeed we see that from the religious people Jesus prophecies of in Mt.7:21 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
When Jesus fulfilled the promise, "I will build my church" (Mt. 16:18) He meant what He said.... and this foretelling is of those who fail to Remember, Believe , or listen. (Perhaps they just don't know...) But at any rate:
1) Our proper understanding & application of Truth regarding the Church Jesus Built, is ALL important... (Having to do w/ our very salvation.)
[IN this lesson, we want to Briefly examine the pattern of the N.T. Church, regarding it's organization.
Q: Why? (Why Be concerned about "Church Organization") Sounds awful boring... & the only people really concerned w/ such things are priests and Pastors and so on... you know.... "clergy"
(Many are surprised to find that most of them are NOT concerned about such topics as the True Church or they would not use some of the titles & abide by some of their Creeds which we commonly see among most in the religious world. -- it's their lack of care about the True Church that cause them to go off into error.)
Such a comment concerning one's disinterest... would certainly indicate a terrible need for study on this very topic. -- for it is anything but boring if the Lord put so much emphasis on it in Scripture.
A) Why Be concerned about Church Organization? Because Organization reveals Purpose...
1) When God creates something.... He has a purpose in mind.
a) When He created man and woman... He gave them a brain, a backbone, arms legs, feet... etc. All for fulfilling a purpose for which He crated them....
1) He didn't give them a mission they could not complete w/o the necessary organization abilities of mind & body. (he made & organized us perfectly that we might perform & complete the duties He had in mind.)
b) So it is in the Church, He designs His creation (the church) w/ the organization to accomplish the purpose for which it was created.
2) And so in seeing the Proper organization of the church we become better
equipped to see her purpose. (this will especially be helpful in latter lessons as we look @ the Biblical work of the church).