Route 20 - The Church - Ephesians 1:22-23
When a group is formed, for any purpose, there must be organization to it for it to function properly.  There will be
someone in charge to carry out its purpose, and others who will be given assignments unique to their position.

The church of our Lord is no exception.  Today's lesson will look at the scope and nature of this God-ordained
organization.  In another lesson, we will look at who has assignments to fulfill, and why they are qualified to be given
those responsibilities.




Church of Christ
at
Locks Cross Roads
Definition of word "church" - Greek word is ekklesia, meaning "called out."
 - The church is made up of people who have been called out of the world into the church whose head is Jesus
   Christ.

20 - Ephesians 1:22-23
 - Those making up the church have been called out:
       - By God - Philippians 3:13-14
       - From the darkness of sin - Colossians 1:13-14
       - By the gospel - 2nd Thessalonians 2:14
       - In obedience - Romans 6:17-18

                                                                      The Church Universal

20 - Matthew 16:18
 - Christ promised to build His church
 - That promise began to be fulfilled in Acts 2 as the church was established on the Day of Pentecost following
    Christ's death, burial and resurrection.

20 - 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18
 - When Christ built His church, He established a body of believers who are all the saved of all time throughout the
    world, both those who have lived and died in the Lord, and those who are alive and in His body today.
 - There is no scripture that assigns a task to the Lord's body universal, no mission or work in a collective sense.

                                                               
Head of the Church Universal - Christ

20 - Colossians 1:18
 - Christ is the head of the church universal.
 - There are no scriptures calling for earthly structure or arrangement, legislative bodies or governing councils with
    earthly headquarters for the church universal.
 - There is no biblical reference to plural use of the term church in the universal sense.  There is only one:  Christ's.

20 - John 15:5
 - Not only is Christ called the head of the church, but He is also called "The Vine," while individuals are called "the
    branches."

                                                           
Content of the Church Universal: The Saved

20 - Acts 2:38, 41, 47
 - That which saves a person from their sins is that which adds them to the church universal - Ephesians 5:23

20 - 1st Timothy 3:15
 - In the sense of the church universal, we act only as individuals.

                                                                                 
The Local Church

20 - 1st Corinthians 1:2
 - The local church is the only unit of organization known in the New Testament for carrying out the work assigned
    to the church.
 - So, we have local churches or congregations of believers in their own geographical area, who meet together for
    edification, work, and worship.
       - Philippians 1:1, Galatians 1:2, Romans 16:16

20 - Acts 9:26:28
 - While we have seen that it is the Lord who adds the saved to the church universal (Acts 2:47), scripture shows
    that local congregations accept (or do not accept) people into the local membership.

                                                       Christians, Members, Saints, Disciples, Brethren

20 - Acts 13:1
 - Each local church is made up of a certain identifiable group of people.

20 - Acts 11:26
 - Followers of Christ (disciples) are called "Christians."

20 - 1st Corinthians 12:27
 - Those who make up the body (church) of Christ are called "members."

20 - Philippians 1:1
 - Members are also called "saints."

20 - Galatians 6:1
 - Members are called "brethren."

                                                                         
Qualifications of Members

20 - Matthew 28:18-20
 - Followers of Christ (disciples) have been baptized unto salvation.
       - 1st Corinthians 12:13 - They have been baptized into the one body, the one church (Ephesians 1:22-23).

20 - 1st John 1:3, 7
 - Members of the church have fellowship with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and with one another.
 -
From among this group of people come all other positions of responsibility in the local church.

Conclusion:
Christ's church, purchased by the blood He shed on the cross, has been called out of the world of sin by the gospel
of Jesus Christ.  He is its head.  It is made up of every saved individual, from any place, who has ever lived or is
living now, and therefore has a universal nature.  It has no assigned mission.  Its members, however, do have work
God has assigned them to do, much of which can only be carried out in a group.  Thus, congregations of believers,
local churches of Christ, are formed in their own geographical area, meeting together for edification, work, and
worship.
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