Summary: A Foundation Series Bible Study. The church is Christ’s body and is made up of members with different functions. REVISION EXERCISES and TEST included.
Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Pastor), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.
Note to the reader:
If you have been blessed with this sermon compilation, I would be honoured to receive an e-mail from you merely telling me where in the world you are based- I do not need any other information. This is merely so that I can have the pleasure of giving thanks to Almighty God that all over the globe the ministry which he has entrusted to me, is blessing the body of Christ and helping to extend the Kingdom of God.
Cape Town, South Africa.
CORNERSTONE FAITH MINISTRIES - FOUNDATION SERIES
LECTURE 6 – UNDERSTANDING THE CHURCH
The Word church (Greek- ekklesia) means the “called out ones”. The church is the community of those:
¨ who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and have been born again in Him;
¨ who have been sanctified (set apart) in Christ Jesus;
¨ who have been called to be holy, and
¨ who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. (1 Cor 1:2)
In the New Testament the word Church always refers to people, never, as it often does today, to a building. In fact for several generations Christians had no purpose-built meeting places. The early Christians met in homes and went from house to house to proclaim the Good News that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah). Teaching, prayer, fellowship and breaking of bread (communion) all took place in the believers’ homes.
Jesus promised Peter that He would build His Church, and it was Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) that led to about 3000 people being baptised and joining the Christian group. In the Old Testament God had chosen the Israelites to be His special people; the New Testament states that all those who believe in Jesus - whatever their race or social standing - are now God’s chosen people, His Church. They are being prepared for the day He returns - The Great “Wedding Day “ of Jesus and His people (the church).
In the N.T. the word for Church refers both to a local group of Christians and to all Christians throughout the world. The church is often called “the Body of Christ” in Paul’s letters. Each Believer is a part of the Body - no Christian stands alone but is part of the whole. “We who are many, are one body” (1 Cor 10:17) in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of the one body.
All the members of the Body should care for each other and love one another deeply. When one member of the body suffers, we all suffer. (“An injury to one is an injury to all”). We are joined together in the body by God the Holy Spirit who has given to each one of us at least one gift for the common good of all (“Unity is strength”) and for the extension of God’s kingdom. Though our functions and responsibilities in the church may differ (leadership, music, teaching, etc.), no one is greater or more important than the other for we are all one and equal in Christ.