Tag Archives: Bible doctrine of the church

I. B. Bible Doctrine of Church

 


Click here to go to Short Answers to Some Important Questions

Links to lessons:

  1. Introduction 
  2. Christ Ordained the Church and Builds It upon the Rock
  3. A Church Is a Mystery, an Assembly, a Spiritual Body
  4. The Holy Spirit Forms a Church which Is a Temple, a Spiritual Body, the Body of Christ
  5. Christ, the Head/Bridegroom/Husband of the Local Church
  6. The Love between Christ and His Churches
  7. Other Bible Metaphors for a Church: Family, Etc.
  8. How To Recognize a New Testament Church
  9. Heresy and Apostasy

Conclusion


Click here to go to Short Answers to Some Important Questions. 
Click here to go to links to the written lessons.
Click here to go to links to the 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to to to Why Understanding and Applying Church and State Law Is Important for Believers and Churches

Click here to go to Articles, Essays, and Other Resources Related to the Doctrine of the Church, Incorporation, 501c3, Etc.

Click here to go to Essays on the Bible Trust Relationship: Links to Essays and Other Resources


 

Lesson 1 on Colossians: Christ, the Head of the Local Church

Introduction and Paul’s Prayer – Colossians 1.1-14
(14 questions with answers following)
Added on  April 28, 2017

Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 2 on Colossians

Answers at the end, following the questions. Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

This is an open book quiz meant to challenge the Bible believer – the saved person who believes the Word of God rather than the person who tries to fit particular Scriptures into a system of interpretation meant to validate one’s desired view of how things should be by philosophizing, allegorizing, or spiritualizing chosen Scriptures. The literal meaning, taken in its immediate context and within the context of all related Scripture is the basis for these studies. It is presented for the glory of God.

Colossians directs our attention to the head of the body who is Christ. The body itself is secondary. Christ is the theme. He is the center of the circle around which all Christian living revolves. Christ is the fullness of God. The dominating thought is that Christ is all I need; He is everything. He is the primary object, and the thought passes downward to the church as the body of Christ.

Colossians was written to the local church at Colosee (with the principles to be applied by all local churches and believers) to counteract the heresy of Gnosticism, the first heresy in the church. There were many forms of Gnosticism, and in Colossee there were the Essenes. There are three points of identification for this group: (1) They had an exclusive spirit. They felt that they were the people—they had knowledge in the jug and held the stopper in their hands. Thus, they felt that they were super-duper in knowledge and knew more than anyone else, including the Apostles. (2) They held speculative tenets on creation. They taught that God did not create the universe directly, but created a creature who in turn created another creature, until one finally created the physical universe. Christ was considered a creature in this long series of creations.  Paul refutes this in Colossians 1:15-19. (3) They practiced asceticism and unrestrained licentiousness. They got the asceticism from the influence of Greek Stoicism and the unrestrained licentiousness from the influence of Greek Epicureanism. Paul refutes this in Colosians 2.16, 23 and 3.5-9.

See, J. Vernon McGee, Colossians for more on this.

Colossians 1:1-8 [Introduction] “1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”

Colossians 1.9-14 [Paul’s Prayer] “9 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 10 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Questions:

INTRODUCTION: COLOSSIANS 1.1-8:

  1. Paul

    a. was an apostle of Jesus Christ
    b. was in his position by the will of God
    c. had decided to go to work for the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved
    d. both a and b
  2. ____ made Paul an apostle. He was therefore in the ______ of God when he was an apostle. It is important for a believer to function in a local New Testament church ______ of believers in the _______ way. Our gifts are ___________. Therefore, and we are each going to function ____________. Make the application as to a local church body and the treatment of a brother in the church you are a member of. A sample application is included in the answer below.
  3. Paul is talking to one group of people.

    a. to the saints at Colosee
    b. to the faithful brethren at Colosee
    c. both a and b
    d.  neither a nor b

    Explain your answer.
  4. Those to whom Paul is speaking are “___ ________” and “___ _________.” They had an address in ________ and on the _______.
  5. “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” [Co. 1.2b]. We must know the _______ of God in order to experience the _______ of God.
  6. “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” [ 1.3]. We can go directly to ____ through our ______ _______ _______.
  7. In Colossians 1.4, 5, Paul links the trinity of graces for believers: (1) _______—past, (2) ______—present, and (3) ______—future. Paul lists these three graces in 1 Corinthians 13.13 where he puts ______ first because ______ is then only thing that is to abide. ______ is for the present, but it will make it to eternity. _______ rests upon historical fact—the truth of the Gospel. Too many saints, no matter their God-given role, look down on their fellow believers for one reason or another. If we have disagreements with our brethren, we are to bear with them, ______ for them, to honor them, and to ______. The “hope that is laid up in heaven” is the blessed hope.
  8. Paul, in Colossians 1.6, says that the gospel has come to the Colossians as it has come to “_____ _____ _______.”
  9. Paul, in Colossians 1.7, calls Epaphras our “______ _____________.” Apparently, Epaphras was the leader or the _________ of the church in Colosee.
  10. Paul, in Colossians 1.8, emphasizes the ______ ________. He makes clear that the Colossian believers would not have been able to exhibit this love unless it were by the ______ _________.

    PAUL’S PRAYER: COLOSSIANS 1.9-14:
  11. The first thing (verse 9) Paul prayed was that they might be filled with ____________. The Gnostics, the heretics there at Colosse, boasted that they had a super knowledge. But Paul confines this knowledge to knowledge of the will of _____ “in all ________ and spiritual ____________.”
  12. The second petition (verse 10) is that they might be ___________ to God. His third request is that they might be “___________ in every good ______.” His fourth request is that they be “increasing in the ____________ of God” (growing in the ______ of God).
  13. The fifth request (verse 11) is that they be “____________ with all might, according to his glorious _______, unto all __________ and ________________ with _____________.”
  14. In verses 12, 13, and 14, Paul gives a list of things for which Paul is thankful: (1) for God’s grace which has given us an “_____________ of the saints in light,” (2) that we have been delivered from the “_______ of darkness,” (3) that we have been translated into the ____________ of his dear Son,” and (4) that we have been redeemed “through his _______, even the forgiveness of _____.”

Answers

INTRODUCTION: COLOSSIANS 1.1-8:

  1. Paul: d. both a and b (was an apostle of Jesus Christ and was in his position by the will of God
  2. God made Paul an apostle. He was therefore in the will of God when he was an apostle. It is important for a believer to function in a local New Testament church body of believers in the right way. Our gifts are different. Therefore, and we are each going to function differently. If you have a brother who has a gift, do not belittle or marginalize him because you do not like his style, because you do not like the way he does things, or because you are jealous. If he speaks the truth from the Word of God according to knowledge, love him and give him the freedom and encouragement to exercise his gift.
  3. Paul is talking to one group of people: c. both a and b (to the saints and the faithful brethren at Colosee).

    Explanation: to the saints and the faithful brethren at Colosee, who are the same group of people.
  4. Those to whom Paul is speaking are “in Christ” and “at Colosee.” They had an address in heaven and on the earth.
  5. “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” [Co. 1.2b]. We must know the grace of God in order to experience the peace of God.
  6. “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” [ 1.3]. We can go directly to God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  7. In Colossians 1.4, 5, Paul links the trinity of graces for believers: (1) faith—past, (2) love—present, and (3) hope—future. Paul lists these three graces in 1 Corinthians 13.13 where he puts love first because love is then only thing that is to abide. Love is for the present, but it will make it to eternity. Faith rests upon historical fact—the truth of the Gospel. Too many saints, no matter their God-given role, look down on their fellow believers for one reason or another. If we have disagreements with our brethren, we are to bear with them, pray for them, to honor them, and to love them. The “hope that is laid up in heaven” is the blessed hope.
  8. Paul, in Colossians 1.6, says that the gospel has come to the Colossians as it has come to “all the _________.”
  9. Paul, in Colossians 1.7, calls Epaphras our “dear fellowservant.” Apparently, Epaphras was the leader or the pastor of the church in Colosee.
  10. Paul, in Colossians 1.8, emphasizes the Holy Spirit. He makes clear that the Colossian believers would not have been able to exhibit this love unless it were by the Holy Spirit.

    PAUL’S PRAYER: COLOSSIANS 1.9-14:
  11. The first thing (verse 9) Paul prayed was that they might be filled with knowledge. The Gnostics, the heretics there at Colosse, boasted that they had a super knowledge. But Paul confines this knowledge to knowledge of the will of God “in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
  12. The second petition (verse 10) is that they might be pleasing to God. His third request is that they might be “fruitful in every good work.” His fourth request is that they be “increasing in the knowledge of God” (growing in the Word of God).
  13. The fifth request (verse 11) is that they be “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”
  14. In verses 12, 13, and 14, Paul gives a list of things for which Paul is thankful: (1) for God’s grace which has given us an “inheritance of the saints in light,” (2) that we have been delivered from the “power of darkness,” (3) that we have been translated into the kingdom of his dear Son,” and (4) that we have been redeemed “through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 5: A Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

The Church Is a Mystery – Ephesians 3
(9 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 6
Added on March 23, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

  1. The theme of Ephesians 3 is that the church is a __________.
  2. The meaning of mystery in this context is “something that had not ____________ been revealed but is currently made __________.” This mystery being revealed by Paul was made known to him by the ________. (See Ep. 3.3-5).

    “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ep. 3.5).

    “ Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the _________, which was kept secret since the world began” (Ro. 16.25).

    Even the _________ which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints” (Col. 1.26).
  1. The institution of the ________ was not revealed in the _____ Testament but is solely revealed in the _____ ____________.
  2. Paul, unlike the other apostles, was sent to the ___________. He became a prisoner because he took the Gospel to the ___________.

    For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you ___________” (Ep. 3.1).
  3. A brand _____thing is taking place. It is a new ________________or _________ from what they had in the Old Testament.

    ”If ye have heard of the _______________ of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ep. 3:2).
  4. This mystery had not been made known before, “as it is now revealed unto his holy __________ and __________by the ________” (Ep. 3.5).
  5. The mystery was not that the Gentiles would be __________. (See, e.g., Is. 11.10; 42.6; Zec. 2.11; Mal. 1.11).
  6. This new mystery was not to be __________or argued, but___________!

    “And to make all men ______what is the fellowship of the___________, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ep. 3.9).
  7. Another purpose of the mystery is revealed. God’s created intelligences are learning something of the _________ of God through the_________. They not only see the love of God displayed and lavished upon us, but the _________of God is revealed to his angels.

    “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold _________of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ep. 3.10-11).

Answers

  1. The theme of Ephesians 3 is that the church is a mystery.
  2. The meaning of mystery in this context is “something that had not previously been revealed but is currently made manifest.” This mystery being revealed by Paul was made known to him by the Spirit. (See Ep. 3.3-5).

    “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ep. 3.5).

    “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Ro. 16.25).

    Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints” (Col. 1.26).
  1. The institution of the church was not revealed in the Old Testament but is solely revealed in the New Testament.
  2. Paul, unlike the other apostles, was sent to the Gentiles. He became a prisoner because he took the Gospel to the Gentiles

    “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles” (Ep. 3.1).
  3. A brand new thing is taking place. It is a new dispensation or economy from what they had in the Old Testament.

    “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ep. 3:2).
  4. This mystery had not been made known before, “as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ep. 3.5).
  5. The mystery was not that the Gentiles would be saved. (See, e.g., Is. 11.10; 42.6; Zec. 2.11; Mal. 1.11).
  6. This new mystery was not to be debated or argued, but preached!

    “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ep. 3.9).
  7. Another purpose of the mystery is revealed. God’s created intelligences are learning something of the wisdom of God through the church. They not only see the love of God displayed and lavished upon us, but the wisdom of God is revealed to his angels.

    “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ep. 3.10-11).

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 4: A Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

The Church Is a Temple and the Method and Materials of Construction – Ephesians 2
(17 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 5
Added on March 23, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

  1. To whom was Ephesians written?
  2. What is the theme of Ephesians 2?
  3. Paul said to the church at Ephesus:

    “19 Now therefore ye are no more _________ and _________, but _________ with the saints, and of the _________ of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the _________ and__________________, Jesus Christ himself being the chief _________ _________; 21 In whom all the _________ fitly framed together groweth unto an holy _________ in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are _________ together for an _________ of God through the _________.” (Ep. 2:19-22).

    Verses 19-22 tell us that the “saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” are identified three distinct ways: (1) As ___________________ (of heaven-see verses 6-7) (2) who are of the household (_________) of God along with all the saints no matter which local church they are members of. They are also identified as (3) a ________ or spiritual ___________ or _______ made up of the _________ of the ________ at Ephesus who are united together by the ________ to be an habitation of ________. All believers, individually, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are an individual temple of God (See 1 Co. 3.16-17, 6.19. Ep. 2.1-10). Paul says, “ye also are _________ together.” Who is the ye he is speaking to? They are, in context, the saints which are at _________ and the faithful in Christ Jesus to whom he is writing (Ep. 1.1); and, in applicability, to all individual believers and all New Testament churches from that day until the marriage of the lamb.
  4. Thus, the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus are builded ________ for an ___________ of God through the _______. (Ep. 2.22). They are built upon the foundation of the ________ and _______, _______ _______ himself being the chief corner stone. Every local New Testament ________ fits this model.
  5. Paul’s epistles were always written to a________ assembly, a local _______, but the principles he spoke were and are applicable to every New Testament ______ body and the saints in each _________.
  6. Thus, as to the local “habitation of God,” “the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” were builded _________ for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ep. 2.22). They are “_________ _________” All parts of a building must be connected—they must be “_________—that is, __________  __________, each being a part of the same _________ organism (See also, Ep. 2.21, Ep. 4, and 1 Co. 12). Every local New Testament ________ fits this model. If they are not “________,” they are not a ________, they are not a ________. A believer in China may or may not be a member of a church. He definitely is not a member of a church such as Old Paths Baptist Church in Minnesota, a church he has never heard of.
  7. Paul’s epistles were always to a local church whose members were connected. The members came together spiritually for _________, _________, _________, and ___________. Every member attended _________ meetings unless sick or for some other acceptable absence. They were members of a particular local _______ (such as the Church at Ephesus).
  8. The principles Paul spoke were and are ___________ to every New Testament ___________ body and the saints in each ___________.
  9. All Bible references to a church here on the earth refer to an local autonomous ________ of Jewish and/or Gentile believers and not to a ___________or catholic church. Nowhere in the New Testament is a ___________ here on the ________ever referred to as anything other than a local spiritual body and nowhere does Scripture teach that a church is to have any type __________ above it other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Some examples of references to churches as they existed in the New Testament follow:

    “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied” (Ac. 9.31).

    Paul said, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house. (Ro. 16.5)” Notice that the church refers to the local body of baptized believers. The house was just the place where they met; it was not a church.

    Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Paul … Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s” (1 Co. 1.1-2).”

    “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place…” (1 Co. 14.23).

    “The churches [Not “the church of Asia”] of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house” (1 Co. 16.19).

    “Paul … unto Philemon … and to the church in thy house” (Philemon 1-2).

    In Revelation, the Lord speaks to “the church of Ephesus” (Re. 2.1), “the church in Smyrna” (Re. 2.8), “the church in Pergamos” (Re. 2.12), “the church in Thyatira” (Re. 2.18), “the church in Sardis” (Re. 3.1), “the church in Philadelphia” (Re. 3.7), and “the church of the Laodiceans” (Re. 3.14).
  10. Those believers who spiritually unite together in a local body are a ________. A body must be __________; without unification and connection to the other parts, a ________ cannot exist.
  11. The building which Paul is speaking of is___________, ___________, and ___________, not ___________, ___________, and ___________.“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ep. 2:2-3)”“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ep. 2:4-7)

    “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ep. 2.22).
  12. The material for the construction of a church does not include those:

    “who were ______ in trespasses and ______; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this ________, according to the ________ of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of ______________: Among whom also we all had our _______________ in times ______ in the lusts of our _______, fulfilling the desires of the ________ and of the ________; and were by nature the children of _________, even as others” (Ep. 2.1-3).
  13. The material for the construction of a church is:

    Those (speaking in context to the members of the Church at Ephesus, but also in applicability to all believers) whom He hath _______________. See Ep. 2.1, 5 et seq.
  14. Thus, a church is a __________ organism, since it is built by bringing together __________beings. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a ___________ house, an holy priesthood, to offer up __________ sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pe. 2:5).
  15. The first step in the construction of a church is the combining of believers, Jew and _________, into a ______ ______ (See Ep. 2.11-16).
  16. The new man has a new citizenship and family. All believers, including the “saints which are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Jesus Christ” are, along with all believers, no matter their local church affiliation, “________________ with the _________, and of the ______________of God,” who sit in “___________ places in Christ Jesus.” Ep. 2.1, 5, 19. Being a _______________ and “of the household of God,” speaks of _______________ and _________, not of local _________ body. All believers are therefore citizens of heaven and members of the family or household of God.
  17. Those believers in the church at Ephesus are (1) ________________ with the saints, (2) members of a new _________, the household of God, and (3) a local New Testament church assembly, an holy _________ of the Lord.

    “19 Now therefore ye are no more ___________ and _________, but _______________ with the saints, and of the _______________ of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief ________ ________; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together ___________ unto an holy ________ in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are _________ together for an___________ of God through the ___________” (Ep. 2:19-22).

Answers

  1. Ephesians was written to “to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ep. 2.1.)
  2. The theme of Ephesians 2 is that “A church is an holy temple in the Lord.” (The answers below which examine Ephesians 2 will make this clear.)
  3. Paul said to the church at Ephesus:

    “19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ep. 2:19-22).

    Verses 19-22 tell us that the “saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” are identified three distinct ways: (1) As fellowcitizens (of heaven-see verses 6-7) (2) who are of the household (family) of God along with all the saints no matter which local church they are members of. They are also identified as (3) a temple or spiritual building or body made up of the members of the church at Ephesus who are united together by the Spirit to be an habitation of God. All believers, individually, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are an individual temple of God (See 1 Co. 3.16-17, 6.19. Ep. 2.1-10). Paul says, “ye also are builded together.” Who is the ye he is speaking to? They are, in context, the saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus to whom he is writing (Ep. 1.1); and, in applicability, to all individual believers and all New Testament churches from that day until the marriage of the lamb.
  4. Thus, the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ep. 2.22). They are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Every local New Testament church fits this model.
  5. Paul’s epistles were always written to a local assembly, a local church, but the principles he spoke were and are applicable to every New Testament church body and the saints in each church.
  6. Thus, as to the local “habitation of God,” “the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” were builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ep. 2.22). They were “builded together.” All parts of a building must be connected—they must be “together”—that is, connected spiritually, each being a part of the same spiritual organism (See also, Ep. 2.21, Ep. 4, and 1 Co. 12). Every local New Testament church fits this model. If they are not “together,” they are not a body, they are not a church. A believer in China may or may not be a member of a church. He definitely is not a member of a church such as Old Paths Baptist Church in Minnesota, a church he has never heard of.
  7. Paul’s epistles were always to a local church whose members were connected. The members came together spiritually for worship, preaching, teaching, and fellowship. Every member attended church meetings unless sick or for some other acceptable absence. They were members of a particular local church (such as the Church at Ephesus).
  8. The principles Paul spoke were and are applicable to every New Testament church body and the saints in each church.
  9. All Bible references to a church here on the earth refer to an local autonomous body of Jewish and/or Gentile believers and not to a universal or catholic church. Nowhere in the New Testament is a church here on the earth ever referred to as anything other than a local spiritual body and nowhere does Scripture teach that a church is to have any type authority above it other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Some examples of references to churches as they existed in the New Testament follow:

    “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied” (Ac. 9.31).

    Paul said, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house” (Ro. 16.5). Notice that the church refers to the local body of baptized believers. The house was just the place where they met; it was not a church.

    Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Paul … Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s” (1 Co. 1.1-2).

    “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place…” (1 Co. 14.23).

    “The churches [Not “the church of Asia”] of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house” (1 Co. 16.19).

    “Paul … unto Philemon … and to the church in thy house” (Philemon 1-2).

    In Revelation, the Lord speaks to “the church of Ephesus” (Re. 2.1), “the church in Smyrna” (Re. 2.8), “the church in Pergamos” (Re. 2.12), “the church in Thyatira” (Re. 2.18), “the church in Sardis” (Re. 3.1), “the church in Philadelphia” (Re. 3.7), and “the church of the Laodiceans” (Re. 3.14).
  10. Those believers who spiritually unite together in a local body are a church. A body must be united; without unification and connection to the other parts, a body cannot exist.
  11. The building which Paul is speaking of is spiritual, heavenly, and eternal, not fleshly, earthly, and temporal.“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ep. 2:2-3)”“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ep. 2:4-7)

    “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ep. 2.22).

    The Testament temple (the church) will be contrasted with the Old Testament temple in Lesson 6.
  12. The material for the construction of a church does not include those:

    “who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ep. 2.1-3).
  13. The material for the construction of a church are:

    Those [speaking in context to the members of the Church at Ephesus, but also in applicability to all believers] whom He hath quickened. See Ep. 2.1, 5 et seq.
  14. Thus, a church is a spiritual organism, since it is built by bringing together spiritual beings. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pe. 2:5).
  15. The first step in the construction of a church is the combining of believers, Jew and Gentile, into a new man (See Ep. 2.11-16).
  16. The new man has a new citizenship and family. All believers, including the “saints which are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Jesus Christ” are, along with all believers, no matter their local church affiliation, “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” who sit in “heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ep. 2.1, 5, 19. Being a fellowcitizen and “of the household of God,” speaks of citizenship and family, not of local church. All believers are citizens of heaven and members of the family or household of God. All believers are not members of a church.
  17. Those believers in the church at Ephesus were (1) fellowcitizens with the saints, (2) members of a new family, the household of God, and (3) a local New Testament church assembly, an holy temple of the Lord.

    “19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ep. 2:19-22).

For more on the universal church doctrine, see
C.I. Scofield’s “true church” doctrine

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 3: A Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Protecting the Church – Ephesians 1.13-14
(14 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 4
Added on March 21, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

The work of the Holy Spirit in protecting the church

  1. Ephesians 1:13-14: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were ________ with that holy Spirit of __________, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the ___________ ___________, unto the praise of his glory.”
  2. The believer is a purchased possession, as explained in Ephesians 1.14.
  3. The body of the believer is the __________ of the ________ __________.
  4. To whom does the body of the believer belong?
  5. Who is in the body of the believer?
  6. Ephesians 4:30: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the _____ of _____________.”
  7. From the above, it is clear that one who has been saved is regenerated. He is not the same as before. 2 Corinthians 5.17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

    Romans 8:16 “The _________ itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the __________ of ______:”

    Romans 8:21 “Because the___________ itself also shall be___________ from the ___________ of ___________ into the glorious __________ of the ________ of _____.”
  1. Before, (2) the believer did not ________ to _____; (2) he was not the _______ of God; (3) the ____ _________ did not live in him; (5) he was not a ___ _________; (4) ____ things had not passed away; (5) all things had not become _____; (6) he was not a _____ of God; (7) he had not been delivered from the_________ of _________ into the glorious ________ of the _________ of God.
  2. There is a two-fold purpose in the sealing work of the Holy Spirit. He implants the _________ of God upon the heart to give reality to the believer. When a seal is put down on a document, that document has the ________ of the seal on it. John 3:33: “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his _________ that God is true.”
  3. The second purpose of sealing is to denote rightful ___________. 2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this ________, The Lord __________ them that are _______. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
  4. The ______ ________ is the seal, and that guarantees that God is going to ________ We are _________ unto the day of redemption. The day will come when the _______  _________will _________ us to Christ.
  5. The third and final work of the Holy Spirit in protecting the church is to serve as the ______ _______ for the __________ and the ______. The Holy Spirit is our ________ ________.

    Ephesians 1:14 “Which is the _________ of our ___________ until the redemption of the ___________ ______________, unto the praise of his glory.”
  6. Earnest money is put down as a ____ ________ and _______ on a piece of property to _______ the property for the ________. It also promises more ________ to follow. He has been given as a pledge and token that there is more to follow in the way of ___________ ___________.
  7. Believers in a _________ _________, as in the church at Ephesus, combine to build up a spiritual house, the local New Testament _________.

    1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a ________ _________, an holy _____________, to offer up ___________ sacrifices, acceptable to_________ by Jesus Christ.”

Answers

  1. Ephesians 1:13-14: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

    1 Corinthians 6.19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
  1. The believer is a purchased possession, as explained in Ephesians 1.14.
  2. The body of the believer is the temple of the Holy Ghost?
  3. The body of the believer belongs to God (not to the believer)?
  4. The Holy Ghost is in the body of the believer?
  5. Ephesians 4:30: “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
  6. From the above, it is clear that one who has been saved is regenerated. He is not the same as before. 2 Corinthians 5.17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

    Romans 8:16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

    Romans 8:21 “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
  7. Before, (2) the believer did not belong to God; (2) he was not the temple of God; (3) the Holy Ghost did not live in him; (5) he was not a new creature; (4) old things had not passed away; (5) all things had not become new; (6) he was not a child of God; (7) he had not been delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
  8. There is a two-fold purpose in the sealing work of the Holy Spirit. He implants the image of God upon the heart to give reality to the believer. When a seal is put down on a document, that document has the image of the seal on it. John 3:33: “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.”
  9. The second purpose of sealing is to denote rightful ownership. 2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
  10. The Holy Spirit is the seal, and that guarantees that God is going to deliver We are sealed unto the day of redemption. The day will come when the Holy Spirit will deliever us to Christ.
  11. The third and final work of the Holy Spirit in protecting the church is to serve as the earnest money for the believer and the church. The Holy Spirit is our earnest money.

    Ephesians 1:14 “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
  12. Earnest money is put down as a down payment and pledge on a piece of property to hold the property for the buyer. It also promises more money to follow. He has been given as a pledge and token that there is more to follow in the way of spiritual blessings.
  13. Believers in a church body, as in the church at Ephesus, combine to build up a spiritual house, the local New Testament church.

    1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.