I have been blessed today with a study of the Church that has brought to light many common themes that appear in Scripture. Some of what I learned today is:
* Christ established the church with His blood. The church is His Bride and Treasure.
* The Church is the assembly of the Living God where He is present.
* The Church is the household of God.
* The Church is charged with preserving and proclaiming the Gospel.
* God has placed us in this family. He has chosen and adopted us as sons and daughters to an inheritance in Christ.
* God is present and we meet Him in the church.
* Christ is the head, builder, foundation and sustainer of the Church.
* The Church is to proclaim the truth of God that is the Gospel which is the Treasure of the Church.
* The Church calles the people of God to holiness.
The theme that I want to commend to you today is the church's message as found in scripture. 1 Peter reminds us that the church is responsible to 'proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness." That is Jesus Christ.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1Pe 2:9 ESV)
Some other New Testament verses with a similar theme include Eph 3:10, Col 1:24-29 and 1 Tim 3:14-16. All these verses emphasize that the church has a unique and special truth that no other institution can offer. This truth, this message, this Gospel that the church proclaims and witnesses to is that by which we are saved and become the assembly of the LIVING GOD.
so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Eph 3:10 ESV)
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Col 1:24-29 ESV)
I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
(1Ti 3:14-16 ESV)
Take some time to study the message of the church proclaimed in these and other New Testament verses. Then begin to look at the other themes that were found at the top of this post.