Series on the church of Christ
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:
DIVINELY PLANNED TO ACCOMPLISH DIVINE WORK
Intro.1. The church is under attack: False doctrines, worldliness, humanism, apathy, etc.
2. Many teach the church is unimportant, a "non-essential!" Yet -- Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28.
3. Without a thorough knowledge of the churchs work & its sufficiency to do its work, its source of authority & its organization, we will only be paying lip-service to the grand house of God -- eventually its true identity will be destroyed by lack of knowledge! - 1 Cor. 3:16-17.
a. Brethren / churches have failed due to misunderstand the nature & work of the church.
b. Only Gods word can bring about unity (Jno. 17:20-21).
I. THE CHURCH IS A VITAL PART OF GODS ETERNAL PURPOSE - Eph. 3:10-11.
A. The Church Displays The Eternal Wisdom Of God - v. 10. -HOW?-
1. Church is Christs body - The saved (ekklesia -"To call out of," hence, called out ones).
-The church shows forth Gods plan to save mankind.
2. Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28 - Built & bought with blood of Christ - Church exhibits the love & sacrifice of God for sinners!
3. Acts 2:38, 41, 47 - Entrance. Church shows that the transformation of lives & fellowship with God is now possible!
B. As a Result, The Church Is Not An Optional Relationship!
1. God is the Architect of the church (Eph. 3:10-11).
2. Christ is Builder & Head of church (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22).
3. H.S. the Revealer of the church's place & work (Eph. 3:3-5).
4. The church of Christ is not the work of man, it is the work of God!
C. The Church Was Built By Divine Pattern - Matt. 16:18; Heb. 3:3-4.
1. Heb. 8:1-5 - Importance of following the divine pattern:
a. OT tabernacle - v. 5; (Exo. 25-27; 25:9, 40).
b. Ark of Noah - (Gen. 6:13-22).
c. Pattern for bearing the ark of covenant (Exo. 25:14).
-Different pattern (new cart) - Uzziah killed (2 Sam. 6:3, 6-7).
-1 Chron. 15:12-15 - Wasnt according to the ordinance!
2. Principle applies to church (Gods house) today:
a. God has told church what to do & how to do it!
b. 1 Cor. 3:11 - Christ is only foundation for church.
c. 1 Cor. 3:16-17 - Destroy church - Be destroyed!
d. Therefore, must honor divine pattern & plan for the church!
II. THE DIVINE PLAN FOR THE CHURCH FULFILLS GOD'S PURPOSES - Eph . 4:11-16.
A. This Plan Rests Squarely Upon The Gospel (Rom. 1:16) - Eph. 4:11.
1. Apostles & prophets: Divine revelation.
a. Their work -- Make known the will of God (1 Cor. 2:11-13).
b. Their work is preserved -- NT / Complete.
2. Evangelists: T heir work -- Preach the gospel (2 Tim. 4:2, 5).
3. Pastors & teachers: Their work -- Congregational.
a. Pastors: Shepherds - Overseer - Feed flock (Acts 20:28).
b. Teachers: Instruct in the word.
B. The Objectives Of This Divine Plan - 4:12.
1. Perfecting of the saints - "To render fit, complete" to perform tasks & bare responsibilities (Education, training). Edification
2. Work of ministry - To render service. Includes, but not limited to Benevolence.
3. Building up of the body of Christ - (same word "build" - Matt. 16:18. Enlarge, growth). Evangelism
C. The Results Of This Work - 4:13-16.
1. v. 13 - Completeness of revelation (apostles &prophets).
-A standard (pattern) given by which to measure ourselves.
2. v. 14-15 - Spiritual growth & stability (evangelists, pastors, teachers).
3. v. 16 - Mission (work) will be accomplished.
III. WHAT THE DIVINE MISSION OF THE CHURCH IS NOT.
A. Not A Social Mission (Not a social organization).
B. Not An Economic Mission (Not a business).
C. Not A Domestic Mission (Not a home).
D. Not A Political Mission (Not a "theocracy").
E. A Spiritual Mission! - 1 Pet. 2:5.
-The church of Christ is a relationship of saved people to God, to each other & to the world.
1. Any intrusion of another kind of work into churchs divinely planned work violates the pattern God's word establishes for its work.
2. Church of Christ - Divinely planned, built & organized - Heb. 8:5!