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Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 43:10-12

Marks of the New Testament Church

(Part 1)

 

Intro.

1.  The church of Christ is identifiable, recognizable.

  a.  Not by physical complex; not by size of bank accounts, not by any this-world measurement, Jno. 18:36.

  b.  Measurements are God-defined, Ezek. 40:3-5, 43:4-7, 10-12. Visionary depiction of the church (temple of God, 2 Cor. 6:16-17).

2.  Contrast this with the following:

    Choosing a Church

    The marks of a New Testament church...
     "A passion for God"
     "A preoccupation with prayer"
     "The presence of true community"
     "The priority of a global outreach"
     "A practice of equipping believers"
     "The proliferation of lay servants and ministers"

        -(From "Marriage--Clues for the Clueless" by Promise Press, Len Woods (editor), cited in "Growthtrac Build a Better Marriage", Jan. 24, 2012)

3.  According to these "marks", a Mormon Church qualifies! From a denominational mindset, that sees "the church" as subdivided into many worthy and acceptable (though different) churches. Eph. 4:4

4.  The Bible does not contain denominationalism; The church of Christ is not a denomination.

5.  Consider some identifying marks of the New Testament church. (Part 1 looks at prophecies and establishment of the church.)

 

I.  MARKS OF DIVINE ESTABLISHMENT (Matt. 16:18).

  A. When Would the Church be Established?

    1. Prophecy:

      a.  In the latter days, Isa. 2:2 (Micah 4:1-3).

      b.  In the days of the kings of Rome, Dan. 2:31-44.

    2. Fulfillment:

      a.  Days of the Roman empire, Lk. 3:1; Mk. 1:14-15.

      b.  Lifetime of those who heard Jesus, Mk. 9:1; Lk. 24:44-47.

      c.  Day of Pentecost, Acts 1:8; 2:1-4.

  B.  Where Would the Church Begin?

    1.  Prophecy: Out of Zion / Jerusalem, Isa. 2:1-4.

    2.  Fulfillment: Jerusalem, Lk. 24:49-52 (Acts 1:12; 2:5-6).

  C.  How Would the Church Begin?

    1.  Prophecy: Joel 2:28-32.

       -With power (Mk. 9:1; Lk. 24:49).

    2.  Fulfillment, Acts 2:1-4; 17-21.

      a.  Plan of salvation for the lost, Acts 2:36-40.

      b.  Church came into existence, Acts 2:41, 47.

 

Conclusion

1.  The kingdom in prophecy is the church of Christ in fulfillment.

2.  This is the church you must find and be added to by the Lord.

3.  Part 2: Marks that identify the New Testament church.