ecclesiology: the church i. the nature of the church ii. the church universal

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Ecclesiology: The Church I. The Nature of the Church II. The Church Universal III. The Church Local I. The Nature of the Church The Church and the Kingdom of God FIRST — We want to mark at the beginning the relationship of the Church and the Kingdom of God. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ecclesiology: The Church

I. The Nature of the Church II. The Church UniversalIII. The Church Local

I. The Nature of the Church

The Church and the Kingdom of God

FIRST We want to mark at the beginning the relationship of the Church and the Kingdom of God.

What is the kingdom of God? Well, it is best defined as the rule of God.

WHERE is the Kingdom of God?

The kingdom of God is present wherever God is reigning.

What is the relationship of the Church to the kingdom?

Surely it is this: the Church is an expression of the kingdom but is not to be equated with it. The kingdom of God is wider and bigger than the Church. Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1998). The church and the last things (4). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

The Great Division: The World and the Church

QUOTE: DML-J Authentic Christianity p. 77 (1st U.S. ed.) (77). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.)

The World Human beings trying to organize themselves and their lives without God.

The Church Men and women who have been taken from the world, though they still live in it, and are joined to this other body of people whom they resemble in most essential respects the Christian church.

The Greek word which is translated church is the term ekklesia = those who are called out called together.

In Greek culture this word was not used exclusively of Christians

It was used to speak of those called out of society for some particular function and purpose.

We can translate ekklesia by the word assembly.

EXAMPLE: In Acts 19 we have the account of a riot a meeting that took place that in Ephesus which almost became a riot

The town clerk calls it an assembly, an ekklesia because a number of people had come together.

REMEMBER The Holy Spirit did not just inspire thoughts He breathed out the very words to be used in the Scriptures.

He by divine choice took this word ekklesia

And did to THIS word what He loves to do

Take things common and fallen and because of the Cross of Jesus give to them divine meaning and purpose.

Elevate them use them to speak of the most glorious works and expressions of God.

EXAMPLE: grace common greek greeting.

The Holy Spirit chose to use charis to speak of the matchless and undeserved kindness of God in saving us

In so doing He has forever ELEVEATED that common word giving it divine meaning and purpose.

He does the same with the word ekklesia

He chooses THAT word to identify and speak of those called out of the world to be the EXPRESSION of the rule of God in a world that is totally outside of that rule.

SO we have this GREAT DIVISION

The ekklesia and the world

II. The Church Universal

Eph. 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

That is the Church universal

The whole number of the redeemed who look to Christ as their life and their authority.

In this sense there could never be such a thing as churches.

There is only "one body" (Ephesians 4:4) thus there is only ONE Church,

Within the Church Universal ALL are on level ground BEFORE Christ and IN Christ

III. The Church Local

Philippians 1:1 To all the saints in Christ Jesus WHO ARE IN PHILIPPI

They have a SPIRITUAL POSITION

IN CHRIST

But they have a GEOGRAHICAL ADDRESS.

These people gathered OUT of the world placed INTO Christ were placed into communities CRUCIAL: The word "church" in the NT never refers to a building or a place --- It always refers to a people:

Either the total number of believers who have ever lived (Eph 1:22-23 and 1 Cor. 12:28)

Or a local group of those believers in a particular city and/or in a particular house.

Acts 11:22 refers to the "church in Jerusalem,"

1 Corinthians 1:2 refers to the "church of God which is at Corinth,"

1 Corinthians 16:19 says, "The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord."

In Colossians 4:15 Paul sends greetings "to Nympha and the church in her house."

And Paul's letter to Philemon is also addressed to "the church in your house.

SO we have THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL

The universal body of Christ including all believers of all times --- the saints IN CHRIST

THEN we find the CHURCH LOCAL ---

Christians associated because of their geographic togetherness in a city.

Sometimes so few in number that they could all meet in one home.

CRUCIAL INSIGHT: People often CONFUSE the Church with the church.

As you read and study the New Testament

1.) You see the clear distinction between the CHURCH UNIVERSAL and the CHURCH LOCAL

2.) You can not miss the FACT that Gods plan for exalting Jesus in worship, the Word, in missions --- lies solely with the local assembly.

That being said --- What is it that CONSTITUTES a local church?

I would define a local church like this: a group of men and women who

recognize the lordship of Jesus Christ

are truly born again

and as such are members of the unseen spiritual Church, the true body of Christ. Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (1998). The church and the last things (7). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books. These men and women meet regularly

> to worship God through Jesus Christ

> to be exhorted from the Word of God,

> to celebrate the Lord's Supper

> under the guidance of duly appointed leaders.

By definition

Para-church organizations Home gatherings that do not possess these essentials

Do not constitute Gods ordained economy of the local church.

Believers should never be content with participation in any of these groups while neglecting the regular life of the local church.

Which leads us to our third point here.

3.) There is no Divinely prescribed authority from OUTSIDE of the local assembly that can dictate in matters of worship, ministry, missions.

We will see in the course of our study in Ecclesiology that Paul appointed elders in all the churches (Acts 14:23),

He gave instruction about the qualifications of deacons and elders in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1

He said that Christ had given these pastor-teachers to the church to equip

Historically there have been disagreements about what to call these leaders and how to organize them.

But historic Christianity has always affirmed that

> They must be present in a group in order for that group to be a church

> And these divinely appointed offices are necessary for

The SAFETY of the flock ---

The NURTURING and GROWTH of the believer

It is crucial that Metro have a clear and Biblical Ecclesiology for

> LEADERSHIP

> AUTHORITY

> LINES OF DECISION MAKING in Metro.

If NOT we will INEVITABLY end up with one of two things

1.) INFORMAL LEADERSHIP

Where the strongest personalities push their ways into places of influence

2.) CONGREGATIONAL GOVERNMENT

Though not Metros official doctrinal position

People will decide that majority rules and make decisions whether or not pastoral leadership is on board.

Ecclesiology: Elders and Deacons

I. The Role of Jesus II. The Role of EldersIII. The Role of DeaconsIV. The Role of Members

ALL DOCTRINE begins with a proper CHRISTOLOGY

For men to rule Biblically and effectively in the Church they MUST have a HIGH VIEW of Jesus!

As the male leadership of the Church they should aspire to BE LIKE Jesus

CHRISTOLOGY is the core component of EVERY ASPECT of theology because THEOLOGY is all about JESUS.

I. ECCLESIOLOGY begins with the understanding that JESUS is THE SENIOR PASTOR of the church.

Jesus is the HIGHEST AUTHORITY in the Church

Jesus Christ is the apostle who planted THE Church

Hebrews 3:1 ESV Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,

In 1 Peter 5:4 Jesus is called the Chief Shepherd

The elders and pastors of a local church are men chosen by Jesus, doing what Jesus is telling them to do!

Jesus IS the HIGHEST AUTHORITY

Colossians and Ephesians repeatedly say that Jesus is the HEAD OVER the Church.

Matt. 16 Jesus said I will build MY Church

Church growth is the work of Jesus. Evangelism is the work of Jesus.

Attraction of men and women to a local church is the work of Jesus

CRUCIAL: Jesus said When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32)

The Goal of Metro was NEVER to merely plant a church

The goal was to EXALT Jesus in worship in the teaching and preaching of His Word!

When Jesus is exalted you get a church.

When Jesus is lifted up

Lives get changed

People get saved

People gather together.

BY THE WAY

Jesus in the Book of Revelation is also the One shuts down local churches when they are faithless or fruitless

He literally turns off the lights removes their lampstands. (Rev. 2:5)

In order to have a proper understanding of the nature of the local church ----

We MUST understand that it is Jesus Christ who

Plants the church

Leads the church

Grows the church

Disciplines the church

And if need be closes down the church

AS we look at

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