Summary: The establishment of the church or kingdom in complete fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies

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What the Bible Says About...

The church - part 2

#1. The Kingdom/the church

A. The prophecy of the church

1. The establishment of the church or kingdom in complete fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies.

2. Isaiah 2:1-5; Joel 2:28-3:2; and Micah 4:1-3 name the city of Jerusalem as the place of the establishment of the kingdom.

3. Daniel 2:31-45 teaches that Christ’s kingdom will to be established.

4. Jesus Christ did not come to establish an earthly or materialistic kingdom John 18:36-37.

B. How the church and kingdom are used in the New Testament

1. The kingdom and church are used interchangeably in

Matthew 16:18-19.

2. That text portrays Jesus promising "the keys of the kingdom" to Peter, which became the keys he used in Acts 2.

3. Acts two chronicles the conception of the church; from that point forward all reference to the church is in the present form, not yet to come.

4. It was Peter who used the keys of the kingdom to open the church.

5. The apostles made no distinction between the church and the kingdom.

a. Paul called Christians in Corinth saints, comprising the church of God in 1 Corinthians 1:2.

b. In Colossians 1:2,13 Paul addressed the Christians in Colosse as "saints," members of "the kingdom"

c. John said that he was a member of the kingdom

Revelation 1:9.

6. All the references were not only the New Testament church; they were the present day kingdom as well.

a. They were members of one body Ephesians 4:4.

b. Called the church Ephesians 1:22-23.

c. God’s Temple 1 Corinthians 3:16.

d. God’s Household 1 Timothy 3:15.

e. The kingdom Colossians 1:13.

#2. How to get into the kingdom

A. In His discourse with Nicodemus, Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit:

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

B. To be “born again” is to experience a new beginning, a fresh start in life.

1. When something is started, we say that it is generated.

2. If it is started again, it is regenerated.

a. The Greek verb geniauo that is translated as “generate” means “to be,” “to become,” or “to happen.”

b. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is a change. It is a radical change into a new kind of being.

c. To be regenerated does not mean that we are changed from a human being into a divine being.

d. It does mean that we are changed from spiritually dead human beings into spiritually alive human beings.

C. When Jesus uses the word unless in speaking to Nicodemus, He is stating what e call a necessary condition.

D. A necessary condition is an absolute prerequisite for a desired result to take place.

E. We cannot have fire without the presence of oxygen because oxygen is a necessary condition for fire.

F. The word unless makes regeneration. No regeneration, no eternal life. Without regeneration a person can neither see the kingdom nor enter the kingdom.

F. Nicodemus was puzzled by Jesus’ teaching so he replied:

How can a man be born when be is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? (John 3:4)

1. Nicodemus’s response almost seems like an attempt to ridicule Jesus’ teaching.

2. In unintelligent terms he suggests that Jesus must mean that a fully-grown person must attempt the impossible task of returning to his mother’s womb.

3. Nicodemus failed to distinguish biological birth from spiritual birth. He didn’t differentiate between flesh and spirit. Jesus answered his response by saying,

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of the water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” (John 3:5-7)

H. The word cannot is also crucial to Jesus’ teaching.

1. Without regeneration no one is able to enter the kingdom of God.

2. There are no exceptions. It is impossible to enter God’s kingdom without a rebirth.

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