Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb
For His Glory!
What is the Church?
The word "church" in Scripture
"Of or belonging to the Lord,"
From Part One
Yeshua (Jesus) is building His Church
Matt 16:15He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. ," "
17Jesus answered and said … 18 … on this rock I will build My church..."
This series of lessons is based on the definition of the Church taken from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia* (ISBEJ. C. Lambert). (Some slight editing is done to condense article length.)
*A reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either general or special to a particular field or discipline.
I. PRE-CHRISTIAN HISTORY OF THE TERM (part I)
II. ITS ADOPTION BY JESUS (part I)
III. ITS USE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. In the Gospels
2. In Acts
3. In the Pauline Epistles
1. In the Gospels:
Apart from the passage just referred to (Mt 16:16 Part I), the word ekklesia (Church in English) occurs in the Gospels on one other occasion only (Mt 18:17). Here, moreover, it may be questioned whether Our Lord is referring to the Christian church, or to Jewish congregations commonly known as synagogues (see the Revised Version, margin) The latter view is more in keeping with the situation, but the promise immediately given to the disciples of a power to bind and loose (Mt 18:18) and the assurance "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mt 18:20) are evidently meant for the people of Christ. If, as is probable, the ekklesia of Mt 18:17 is the Christian ekklesia of which Christ had already spoken to Peter, the words show that He conceived of the church as a society," possessing powers of self-government, in which questions of discipline were to be decided by the collective judgment of the members.
2. In Acts:
In Acts the ekklesia has come to be the regular designation for the society of Christian believers, but is employed in two distinct senses. First in a local sense, to denote the body of Christians in a particular place or district, as in Jerusalem (Acts 5:11; Acts 8:1), in Antioch (Acts 13:1; Acts 15:22), in Caesarea (Ac 18:22)--a usage which reappears in the Apocalypse in the letters to the Seven Churches.
Rev 1:4John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
Rev 1:11saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
Then in a wider and what may be called a universal sense, to denote the sum total of existing local churches (Ac 9:31 the Revised Version (British and American)), which are thus regarded as forming one body.
Acts 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
3. In the Pauline Epistles:
In the Pauline Epistles both of these usages are frequent. (local and universal)
Thus the apostle writes of "the church of the Thessalonians" (1Th 1:1), "the church of God which is at Corinth" (1Cor 1:2; 2Cor 1:1). Indeed he localizes and particularizes the word yet further by applying it to a single Christian household or to little groups of believers who were accustomed to assemble in private houses for worship and fellowship (1Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Philemon 1:2)…
Rom 16:5Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ.
--an employment of the word which recalls the saying of Jesus inMatt 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
The universal use, again, may be illustrated by the contrast he draws between Jews and Greeks on the one hand and the church of God on the other,
1Cor 10:32Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,
and by the declaration that God has set in the church apostles, prophets, and teachers.
1Cor 12:27Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
1Cor 12:27Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
But Paul in his later epistles has another use of ekklesia peculiar to himself, which may be described as the ideal use. The church, now, is the body of which Christ is the head .
Eph 1:22And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
Col 1:18And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Col 1:24… for the sake of His body, which is the church,
It is the medium through which God's manifold wisdom and eternal purpose are to be made known not only to all men, but to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
Eph 3:9and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
It is the bride of whom He is the heavenly Bridegroom, the bride for whom in His love He gave Himself up, that He might cleanse and sanctify her and might present her to Himself a glorious church, a church without blemish, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
Eph 5:25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Eph 5:31"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church,". 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
This church clearly is not the actual church as we know it on earth, with its divisions, its blemishes, its shortcomings in faith and love and obedience.
It is the holy and catholic church that is to be when the Bridegroom has completed the process of lustration, having fully "cleansed it by the washing of water with the word." It is the ideal which the actual church must keep before it and strive after, the ideal up to which it shall finally be guided by that Divine in-working power which is able to conform the body to the head, to make the bride worthy of the Bridegroom, so that God may receive in the church the glory that is His.
Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Next time Part Three
IV. THE NOTES OF THE CHURCH
V. ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH
1. The General and Prophetic Ministry
2. The Local and Practical Ministry
Proverbs9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs3:9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Proverbs3:11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs7:1 My son, keep my words, and hide with thee my commandments. 7:2 My son, honor the Lord, and thou shalt be strong; and fear none but him:
Proverbs14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.
Proverbs15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Proverbs16:9 A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
Proverbs20:12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made them both.
Proverbs22:2 The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all.
"Lord / LORD"*
Psalm 8:9O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!
Psalm 22:30A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
Psalm 35:22This You have seen, O LORD; Do not keep silence. O Lord, do not be far from me.
Psalm 38:15For in You, O LORD, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.
Psalm 51:15O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
Psalm 54:4Behold, God is my helper…
Psalm 62:12Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.
Psalm 66:18If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
Psalm 68:19Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah
*Vine:(edited for length)
Lord [A-1, Noun, G2962, kurios ] a master, lord, one who possesses supreme authority,"
properly an adjective, signifying having power" (kuros) or "authority," is used as a noun, variously translated in the NT, "'Lord,' 'master,' 'Master,' 'owner,' 'Sir,' a title of wide significance… It is used
(a) of an owner, as in Luke 19:33, cp. Matt 20:8; Acts 16:16; Gal 4:1; or of one who has the disposal of anything, as the Sabbath, Matt 12:8;
(b) of a master, i.e., one to whom service is due on any ground, Matt 6:24; Matt 24:50; Eph 6:5;
(c) of an Emperor or King, Acts 25:26; Rev 17:14;
(d) of idols, ironically, 1Cor 8:5, cp. Isa 26:13;
(e) as a title of respect addressed to a father, Matt 21:30, a husband, 1Pet 3:6, a master, Matt 13:27; Luke 13:8, a ruler, Matt 27:63, an angel, Acts 10:4; Rev 7:14;
(f) as a title of courtesy addressed to a stranger, John 12:21; John 20:15; Acts 16:30; from the outset of His ministry this was a common form of address to the Lord Jesus, alike by the people, Matt 8:2; John 4:11, and by His disciples, Matt 8:25; Luke 5:8; John 6:68;
(g) kurios is the Sept. and NT representative of Heb. Jehovah ('Lord' in Eng. versions),
"Christ Himself assumed the title,", Matt 7:21-Matt 7:22; … Mark 5:19; Luke 19:31; John 13:13, apparently intending it in the higher senses of its current use, and at the same time suggesting its OT associations.
"His purpose did not become clear to the disciples until after His resurrection… Thomas, when he realized the significance of the presence of a mortal wound in the body of a living man, immediately joined with it the absolute title of Deity, saying, 'My Lord and my God,",' John 20:28. Thereafter, there is no record that kurios was ever again used by believers in addressing any save God and the Lord Jesus; cp. Acts 2:47 with Acts 4:29-Acts 4:30.
"… in Peter's declaration in his first sermon after the resurrection, 'God hath made Him, Lord,",' Acts 2:36, and that in the house of Cornelius, 'He is Lord of all,' Acts 10:36…
" Jude 1:4, speaks of 'our only--Lord, Jesus Christ,",' …
"Paul ordinarily uses kurios of the Lord Jesus, 1Cor 1:3, e.g., but also on occasion, of God, in quotations from the OT, 1Cor 3:20, e.g., and in his own words, 1Cor 3:5, cp. 1Cor 3:10. It is equally appropriate to either in 1Cor 7:25; 2Cor 3:16; 2Cor 8:21; 1Thess 4:6, … then kurios here also = God.
"The full significance of this association of Jesus with God under the one appellation, 'Lord,' is seen when it is remembered that these men belonged to the only monotheistic race in the world.
"The title 'Lord,' as given to the Savior, in its full significance rests upon the resurrection, Acts 2:36…
[ A-2,Noun,G1203, despotes ]
"a master, lord, one who possesses supreme authority," is used in personal address to God in Luke 2:29…
[ B-1,Verb,G2961, kurieuo ]
denotes "to be lord of, to exercise lordship over," Luke 22:25; Rom 6:9…
[ C-1,Adjective,G2960, kuriakos ]
from kurios (A, No. 1), signifies "pertaining to a lord or master;"
How much of yourself do you engage in when you pray? The Word tells us to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. For it is possible to pray without being fully engaged. Do we want our prayers to be effective? Again the Word says that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Fervent prayers are not offered while we are distracted. They occur when we are intently focused and involve our mind, will, and emotions, even the position of our body. This is a demanding task, but we have His promise that if we are fully engaged in prayer, our prayers will be effective.
(Adapted from a Dale Cresap blog)
"For those who have not known the love of Jesus, for those who have not known the redemptive and restorative power of His blood, these are dark days, and as dark days do, they are bringing dark thoughts."
Michael Boldea Jr.
"A smile is a curve that helps to set things straight"
Subject: The Wandering Day -Sabbath Fight
During the 1920s international businessmen, politicians, and social reformers mounted a campaign to eliminate the irregularities in the Gregorian calendar - the calendar that had become the standard in most nations around the world. The League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations, became the venue for intense controversy over competing calendar proposals. Caught in the middle of the conflict was a handful of Jewish and Protestant dissenters - men who recognized that calendar reform would strike directly at the religious observance of all who maintain a weekly day of worship. Based on extensive archival research, The Wandering Day spotlights the clash of ideas about minority rights, freedom of conscience, and religious liberty. This is a documentary presentation that will resonate with all who are concerned about these issues today.
Why didn’t I think of that?
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