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To answer the question: Why be part of a Church?
What church is and what it is not
What it means for us
The Mystery Revealed (Eph 3)
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery
hidden for ages in God who created all things,
so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord
Metaphors for the Church
Bride of Christ (love and relationship)
Temple or city (dwelling place of God)
Body (unity and love for one another)
Army (victory and purpose)
What does the word mean?
Greek ἐκκλησία(ekklesia) literally means “gathering”
Congregation would have been a better translation
Used for a riot in Acts 19:32 Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the gathering was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. [Acts 9:31]
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. [Eph 3:21]
But 80% of the time it refers to individual congregations:
And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. [Acts 15:41]
God’s new creation life inside us
Power, rule, values
Invisible, like yeast
The church is the visible manifestation of the new Kingdom community
The true church will be revealed as the pinnacle of the new creation
Regularly meet together (the word “church”)
Significant commitment to one another (body life)
Committed to a body of truth
Operation of the gifts of the Spirit for the building up of one another