The church is presented by way of analogy often in Scripture, each figure helping the reader to grasp the true nature of the church, its purpose, the Christian’s role in it, and Christ’s glory within.
A. 1st Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6
The church is God’s “household”, over which Christ is head.
B. Ephesians 3:14-15; Acts 11:26
God’s family transcends the bounds of earth, with some members heavenside. This family is named for its head, Christ. We don’t keep our old names or hyphenate them when we enter this family; we’re not Lutheran-Christians, or Catholic-Christians, or Baptist-Christians – just Christians.
C. Galatians 4:1-7; John 3:1-7; 1st Peter 1:23; Galatians 3:26-27
Adoption is the means of entrance into this family. In an earthly adoption, the judge may issue a new birth certificate, listing the adopted parents as the birth parents. The spiritual adoption by which a soul enters the household of God involves rebirth, as well, a watery and spiritual birth in baptism.
D. 1st John 3:1; 4:7, 20-21
As God’s children, we experience our Father’s love.
E. Matthew 7:7-11; James 1:17
As God’s children, we experience our Father’s generosity.
F. Hebrews 12:7-11; 1st Peter 1:13-14; Ephesians 5:6
As God’s children, we experience our Father’s discipline.
G. Matthew 12:46-50; 23:8-9; 1st Timothy 5:1-2
Clearly, the relationship we have with brothers and sisters in Christ supersedes all physical kinship.
A. Matthew 16:18-19
The church may not be precisely synonymous with the kingdom, but they overlap significantly; the church is the most visible manifestation of the kingdom.
B. Revelation 19:16
Jesus is not only King, but King over any other kings there may be, an Emperor, if you will.
C. Luke 1:32-33; 1st John 3:8; Matthew 12:22-30
How did he gain His throne? By right of inheritance, He was born King. Moreover, by right of conquest, He vanquishes His enemy.
D. John 18:36-37; Ephesians 1:19-22
He reigns over an extraterrestrial realm, enthroned high above the heavens.
E. 1st Peter 2:9-10; Ephesians 2:19; Colossians 1:13
We who submit to the King are “a holy nation”, “the people of God”, regardless of race or nationality. Accordingly, we are “citizens”, not “foreigners”. We enter this Kingdom by leaving darkness behind.
F. Mark 9:1; Luke 16:16; 1st Corinthians 15:24-26
The kingdom came in the lifetime of Christ’s earthly contemporaries. In fact, it was already being preached in the ministry of John. The end of time is not the beginning of the kingdom, but its end, when Christ gives it to the Father.
G. 1st Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2; James 2:8; John 12:48
This kingdom certainly has a “law”, and it is “royal”. As Sovereign, Jesus is not only King, but supreme Judge, as well. His words will determine the eternal destination of every soul.
A. Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18
The church is the “body” and Christ is its “Head”. As such, the church is Jesus’ “fullness”.
B. Colossians 2:18-19
Religious error amounts to a departure from the Head, spiritual decapitation.
C. Ephesians 5:30
The role of Christians is that of “members of His body”, which is to say we’re the organs or the limbs.
D. Ephesians 4:11-16; 1st Corinthians 12:12-27
This body contains no vestigial organs, for “every part does its share”. No one is unimportant in the church.
E. Ephesians 2:13-16; 3:6
Organ transplantation is a spiritual reality, as enmity has been dissolved between former factions, God bringing them into one body.
F. Ephesians 5:23; 1st Corinthians 12:13
Christ is “Savior” to the body. One is placed inside the body by baptism. Therefore, one must be baptized to be saved.
G. Ephesians 4:4
There is only one body. Denominations do not fit the Scriptural pattern. If they did, the Head would have more than one body and that makes no sense.
A. 1st Corinthians 3:9-16
The church is “God’s building”, “the temple of God”, with Christ as “foundation”, and each Christian working to build on Him.
B. Ephesians 2:19-22
In this temple, Christ is the “cornerstone” and the apostles and prophets are the “foundation”.
C. 1st Peter 2:4-10
Christians are “living stones” built onto the precious stone that is Jesus. Unfortunately, to others He is seen as nothing other than a “stone of stumbling”.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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