Tag Archives: doctrine of the church

Conclusion to the Doctrine of the Church


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


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Jerald Finney
Copyright © January 9, 2018


The Supreme Ruler ordained the church, as He ordained civil government. He gave churches—as He has given individual, family and civil governments—His Word wherein they can learn God’s guidelines which He desires that they choose to follow. Most churches have followed Satan’s, not God’s, principles. He has used false teachers from the beginning. As a result, apostasy crept into the church shortly after its inception. That apostasy has accelerated in America as the  tribulation approaches.

Many American churches today are heretical or apostate. They say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing. As to them, God says, you “knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Re. 3.17). They follow the principles of the god of this world, not God’s principles. They are of this world and follow the principles of the god of this world. Christ is not of this world, nor are his followers. [i]

Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression (1 Ti. 2.14, Ro. 5.14, Ge. 3.1-6).  Christ was not deceived, but His bride was. “As the first Adam had to give up a perfect existence in order to be with his wife, so the last Adam, Christ (1 Co. 15.22, 45), stepped down from heaven to save his bride. While the first Adam ‘blew it,’ the last Adam would make everything right! (Ro. 5:12-21) Charles Wesley set this doctrine to music with the words, ‘Second Adam from above, reinstate us with thy love.’ … “The all-important verse that connects this typology to the present Laodicean apostasy is Ec. 1:9a: ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done….’ Thus, the history of mankind will undoubtedly end the same way it began—with a bride being deceived!” (William P. Grady, How Satan Turned America Against God (Knoxville, Tennessee: Grady Publications, Inc., 2005), p. vii.).

Regardless of this inevitable apostasy and the events that are to follow, things are looking good for you and me—that is, if you are a Christian! Christians can have the ultimate hope: the hope that they will reign with the Lord. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Ro. 8.16-17) [Bold emphasis added]. This should be a cause for great rejoicing as well as incentive to be responsible members of a local autonomous New Testament church and to make sure that every effort is made to glorify God and assure that a church remains totally under Christ in every way. The Holy Spirit is now calling out, not the subjects, but the co-heirs and co-rulers of the kingdom.[ii]

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (Jn. 3.16-19).

“[Jesus], being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Ph. 2.6-8).


Endnotes

[i] See Jn. 8.23-45.

[ii] “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Ti. 2.11-12).

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Re. 1.6).

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne” (Re. 3.21).

“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Re. 5.10).

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Ro. 8.15-18).

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life” (1 Co. 6.2-3)?

 

1. Introduction to New Testament Church Doctrine


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


Previous Chapter:
A. Bible Doctrine of Government

Next Lesson:
2. Christ Ordained the Church and Builds It upon the Rock

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © January 1, 2018


These short lessons will reveal the truth about Christ’s true church and churches and in the process of doing so will also shatter myths fostered by religio-political lawyers, pastors, establishments, politicians, and theologians. “The house of God, which is the church of the living God,” is to be “the pillar and ground of the truth,” and not a bastion of the lies of Satan.[i]

Untold damage to the cause of Christ has been caused by unbridled allegorization or spiritualization of Scripture by Catholics and Protestants. Some of those religions, due to their heinous theologies (false interpretations of Scripture) have, since the early fourth century:

  1. prostituted religion by joining hands with the state and continuing to call the resultant religious organizations “churches;”
  2. violently persecuted and murdered others, including true believers who stood on God’s Word in spite of persecutions and martyrdom, down through the last 2,000 years;
  3. lied about the history of true believers and churches whom they tried to stamp out and obliterate using every conceivable means, including barbaric torture, murders of horrific proportions, imprisonment, conficscation of property, and banishment.
  4. destroyed or confiscated and held the writings and documents of those persecuted ones in their libraries;
  5. continued their tactics as far as possible, absent the persecutions, against God’s true churches.

Satan and his demons never give up. They continue to attack on all fronts. Because of great religious victories by true believers in America, the efforts of true believers and churches can no longer be thwarted by the atrocious persecutions of the past. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution and corresponding provisions in the constitutions of every state protect freedom of religion, conscious, press, association, and speech from persecution.[ii]

But Satan never ceases to fight. He unceasingly uses any and all tactics to hide the truth about establishmentarian[iii] theology, history, persecution, and goals.[iv] Perhaps Satan’s greatest tool of warfare is lies, as always. He keeps people in the dark through lies. Most of mankind hate the light (truth, Jesus Christ[v]) and come not to the truth lies because their deeds are evil.

On the other hand, even most believers do not come to the truth. They have not taken the time to study the credentials, motives and teachings of “Christian” revisionists. The father of those revisionists is the devil, the god of this world. He controls the institutions of the world—civil government, secular media, and secular education. Most believers do not continue in the Word of God and studies of the Word of God, much less legal, earthly, historical facts. They have become easy prey for that old serpent and his army.

Let us never join, through ignorance of the Word of God, history, and law with those religions who have prostituted God’s church. God wants His children, and especially pastors, to take the time to study preeminent Bible issues (1 Ti. 2.15) and relevant historical and legal facts concerning the doctrine of the church.

These lessons will provide a good starting point for those who wish to step out of the dark into the light of Christ. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Ro. 13.12). “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (Jn. 3.21).


Click here to go to Bible Study of Ephesians. Ephesians reveals the institution of the church as God’s masterpiece. It is more wonderful that any temple made with hands, constructed of living stones, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1 presents the church as a body.

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

The Local Church: A Building or What?

Bible Studies of various Books on the Doctrine of the Church.

The Biblical Doctrine of the Church


Endnotes

[i] John 8:39-45: “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”

[ii] See, ESSAYS, ARTICLES, AND OTHER RESOURCES RELATED TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, INCORPORATION, 501C3, ETC.

[iii] Establishmentarian definition: “Adhering to, advocating, or relating to the principle of an established church; a person adhering to or advocating this.”

[iv] The history of religious freedom in America and the past, present, and future of the efforts of the religious Calvinists, Catholics, and Charismatics to return America to the days of Old World establishment and persecutions are chronicled in The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus/A Case of Premeditated Murder/Christian Revisionists on Trial/The History of the First Amendment.

[v] John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Philippians

Click here to go to “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” from other books of the Bible.

Great Message from Philippians 2: The Mind of Christ by Charles Lawson


Ph.1.6Contents:

INTRODUCTION
THEME
PAUL AND EPHESUS
OUTLINE
NOTES


NOTE. For more details see, McGee, Philippians. This study is taken from that book with significant modifications mainly dealing with organization and method aligned to Bible principle and teaching. The study is also available online in audio at: Philippians.

DATE. A.D. 64 is the commonly received date.


INTRODUCTION

Four men left Rome in A.D. 62 bound for Turkey. These men had four of the most sublime compositions of the Christian faith. When these men bade farewell to the Apostle Paul, each was given an epistle to bear to his particular constituency. These four letters are in the Word of God, and they are designated the “Prison Epistles of Paul,” since he wrote them while he was imprisoned in Rome. He was awaiting a hearing before Caesar Nero. The four men and their respective places of abode were: (1) Epaphroditus from Philippi who had the Epistle to the Philippinans (Philippians 4.18). (2) Tychicus from Ephesus who had the Epistle to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6.21). (3) Epaphras from Colosse who had the Epistile to the Colossians (Colossians 4.12). (4) Onesimus, a runaway slave from Colosse, who had the Epistle to Philemon, his master (Philemon 10).

These epistles present a composite picture of Christ, the church, the Christian life, and the interrelationship and functioning of all. These different facets present the Chritian life on the highest plane.

The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians was written to the believers in Europe in the city of Philippi. Paul had a wonderful relationship with the Philippian church. This church was closer to Paul than to any other church. Their mutual love is mirrored in this epistle. It deals with Christian experience at the level on which all believers should be living.

Paul visited Philippi on his second missionary journey. Paul had taken Barnabas with him on his first missionary journey. Paul took Silas with him on his second missionary journey. They retraced Paul’s steps  into Galatian country, visiting the churches they had established in the first missionary journey.

The Spirit of God put a roadblock on Paul’s attempt to go south, so he went north, to where Turkey is today, but when “they assayed to go into Bithynia . . . the Spirit suffered them not” (Ac. 16.7). He can’t go south or north, he has come from the east, so there is but one direction to go. He went west as far as Troas. To go further, he would have to go by boat. He was waiting for instructions from God. Sometimes we feel God must lead us immediately, but He can let us wait, let us cool our heels. Finally Paul was given the vision of the man of Macedonia, recorded in Ac. 16.9, 10. Paul & his companions boarded the ship which took them to Europe. His first stop was Philippi. There he met Lydia, a seller of purple. See Ac. 16.13-15. She was saved and baptized. She besought them to stay at her house.

Lydia was the man in Macedonia. She was holding a prayer meeting down by the river, which probably had a lot to do with bringing Paul to Europe. That was the greatest crossing that ever took place. Lydia was the first convert in Europe.

Lydia was a member of the Philippian church to which Paul wrote this epistle. Anoterh member was a girl who was delivered from demon possession (Ac. 16.16-18).

And the Philippian jailer and his family were members of this church (See Ac. 16.30-34). All the members were very close to the Apostle Paul. They followed him in his journeys and ministered to him time and time again. The lost sight of him 2 years after his arrest in Jerusalem. They finally heard he was in a Roman prison. They immediately dispatched their pastor, Epaphroditus, with a gift that would minister to Paul’s needs.

So Paul wrote this epistle to thank the church and express his love for them. He had no doctrine to correct as in his letter to the Galatians. Neither did he have to correct their conduct as in his epistle to the Corinthians. There was only one small ripple in the fellowship of the church between tow women, Euodias and Syntyche, and Paul gives them a word of admonishment near the end of his letter. He didn’t seem to treat it as being serious.

His letter to the Philippian believers is the great epistle of Christian experience. that is his subject in Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians.


OUTLINE

I. PHILOSOPHY OF CHRISTIAN LIVING, Chapter 1
1. Introduction, verses 1, 2
2. Paul’s Tender Feeling for the Philippians, 3-11
3. Bonds and Afflictions Further the Gospel, 12-20
4. In Life or Death—Christ, 21-30

II. PATTERN FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING, Chapter 2
1. Others, 1-4
2 Mind of Christ—Humble, 5-8
3. Mind of God—Exaltation of Christ, 9-11
4. Mind of Paul—Things of Christ, 12-18
5. Mind of Timothy—Like-minded with Paul, 19-24
6. Mind of Epaphroditus—the Word of Christ, 25-20

III. PRIZE FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING, Chapter 3
1. Paul Changed His Bookkeeping System of the Past, 1-9
2. Paul Changed His Purpose for the Present, 10-19
3. Paul Changed His Hope for the Future, 20, 21

II. POWER FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING, Chapter 4
1. Joy—the Source of Power, 1-4
2. Prayer—the Secret of Power, 5-7
3. Contemplation of Christ—the Sanctuary of Power, 8, 9
4. In Christ—the Satisfaction of Power, 10-23


Chapter 1
The Philosophy of Christian Living


As we study this letter, we will not be seated in the heavenlies as in Ephesians. Philippians is practical. We will be down where the rubber meets the road.

Introduction (vv1, 2)

Ph.1.1-2v1 Paul associated Timothy with himself. Paul is encouraging Timothy. Paul loved Timothy. He was Paul’s son in the Lord—he won him to Christ—and he was very interested in him. Paul is constantly identifying certain young preachers with himself.

Paul identifies himself and Timothy as servants of Jesus Christ; this contrasts with Galatians and Corinthians where Paul began with, “Paul, an apostle.” The Philippians loved him and accepted his apostleship. So Paul takes a humble place, his rightful position.

“To all the saints….” Paul is not writing to one little clique.  Every believer is a saint. There are 2 groups in the human race: the saints and the ain’ts.  Saints are believers in Christ. They are saints, not because of their conduct, but because of their position in Christ. “Saint” means holy, set apart for God.

The saints are “in Christ Jesus.” You are put in Christ by the Holy Spirit who baptizes you into the family of God.

Salvation is to be in Christ. You get in Christ when you accept Him as your Saviour.

“With the bishops and deacons.” “Bishop” means “overseer or shepherd; it refers to the office. “Deacons” refers to spiritual men who are performing an earthly service (Ac. 6).

v2 Peace always follows grace. There is a peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Ro. 5.1). The grace and peace are “from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit was already there in Philippi, indwelling the believers.

PAUL’S TENDER FEELING FOR THE PHILLIPPIANS (vv3-11)

v3 All believers should have this tender relationship.

v4 Always in prayer for them and making “request with joy.” “For you all.” He is speaking to all the saints, the whole body of believers. He was in Roman prison, but he makes his request with joy! The word joy is used 19 times in this epistle. The name of Jesus Christ appears over 40 times in this epistle. Christ is the center of the epistle. The emphasis should be on Christ rather than upon joy. The philosophy of Christian living has to do with Christ; the pattern has to do with Him. The price of Christian living has to do with Him, and the power has to do with Him. It is a personal relationship with Christ that brings joy to a believer’s life.

We try to produce joy in a church by external means. We have programs and invite people to enjoy them. We have a banquet. Actually, joy does not depend on outward circumstances. Real joy depends on the inward condition of the individual. You may have a little fun at a church banquet, but that will not be joy. When a believer gets to the place where he finds himself in the center of the will of God and know he is in His will regardless of circumstances, then there will be joy in our lives.

Paul said, “As I am here in jail, it is a lot of fun to pray for you Philippians; it brings joy to my heart.” Now, having told them he thanked God for them, he gives a reason.

Ph.1.6v5 “For your fellowship in the gospel.” Fellowship means that which believers can share in the things of Christ. There are three elements which must enter into it: spiritual communication (sharing the things of Christ), sympathetic cooperation (working together for Christ), and sweet communion (this makes us partners with Christ).

“From the First day until now.” From the day Paul met Lydia til now!

v6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.The Holy Spirit has sealed you and me until the day of redemption. In the meantime, Ep. 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

v7 “Meet” is an old Elizabethan word that means “right.” “Because I have you in my heart.” “Partakers of my grace.” Paul is saying that he and the Philippians are all wrapped up together as partners in the gospel.

Paul was closer to the church at Philippi than to any other church. With a church like this, there is that sympathetic cooperation, besides spiritual communication, and it always produces sweet communion.

v8 “Bowels” really means tender feelings. Paul says he longs for them in the tender feelings of Jesus Christ. Very little takes place in the head. Paul’s reaction is not mental but emotional.

v9 Paul prays that “Your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment [or discernment]. We are to love all believers in Christ. Some believers are a little difficult to love. We are to love the unlovely, but we are to love with knowledge and with discernment.

v10 When Paul says “That ye may approve things that are excellent,” he means that you need to try the things that differ. That has to do, according to Dr. McGee, with the Lord’s will for your life. There are times when there are two or more routes that we could go. There are times we do not know which route to go. The Lord will not send an angel to tell us, nor will he turn on red or green lights to give us signals. He expects us to use a little consecrated and concentrated gumption. Try the things that differ.

“That ye may be sincere.” Paul is saying, “Don’t be a phony. Be real, be genuine, be sincere.”

“Without offense,” means blameless. Just make sure that the bad things people say about you are not true. “Till the day of Christ.”

v11 The “fruits of righteousness” are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. See Ga. 5.22, 23.

BONDS AND AFFLICTIONS FURTHER THE GOSPEL (vv12-20)

v12 Paul says that the Gospel is going out and that they things that have happened to him have not curtailed but have actually furthered the gospel. Now he will make clear what he means by this.

Paul was chained to a member of the Praetorian Guard, and these members where the Roman patricians, members of Caesar’s household. See Ac. 28.16. The Lord said Paul would “bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Ac. 9.15). Until this point, Paul had taken the gospel to largely the common, vegetable variety of citizens in the Roman Empire. Now he has members of the royalty chained to him. What do you think Paul talked about? Many of the royalty did come to know Christ and Tertullian wrote that the Roman government killed many of those in authority when they were found to be Christians. Here Paul reveals that his imprisonment enabled him to reach into Caesar’s household with the Gospel.

v14 Many brethren became emboldened to preach the gospel without fear by Paul’s example.

v15 Some preached Christ of envy and strife. If you will exercise your gift in love, you will not envy someone else. The believer is warned against strife and envy. “Strife means to stir up, referring to demons. Demons stir up strife. Envy and strife hurt a church. Alcohol and drugs on the outside of a church cannot hurt it nearly as much as the envy and strife on the inside of a church.

Notice however that some preached Christ of good will.

v16 Some preached “Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing ot add affliction to my bonds.” They were envious of the Apostle Paul.

v17. “The other of love.” There were 2 groups. What was Paul’s attitude toward them?

v18 The main thing to Paul was that Christ be preached, whether in pretense of by true motives. Christ can be preached insincerely and yet people can still be saved. God honor His Word, not the man nor the organization.

V19 By “salvation” here, Paul means deliverance from prison. Paul says that through their prayers he hopes to be set free. “Through … the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

v20 Paul said he did not want to be ashamed of his witness while in this life and also when he came into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

IN LIFE OR DEATH—CHRIST (vv21-30)

ph-1-21.jpgv21 To live is Christ and to die is gain. This is the philosophy of Christian living. The most important thing is to have fellowship with Him so that your joy might be full. Now we know why Paul was undisturbed by the criticism being leveled at him. You can’t hurt a man who is in fellowship with Jesus Christ. What could anyone do to such a man?

v22 Paul did not know his future—what a single day would bring forth. Same for everyone.

vv23-4 Paul says he was torn between wanting to go to be with the Lord, which is the better of the two, or to stay with the Philippian believers because they needed him. It is normal for a believer who is doing something for Christ to want to finish it before going home to be with the Lord.

vv25-26 Paul is practical. He still has work to do. Get busy for the Lord. “This is the stage on which you and I play our part. I want to stay as long as possible, and I have promised the Lord I would teach the Word as long as He lets me stay” (Dr. McGee).

v27 “Conversation” means your way of life which should be a credit to the gospel, as well as our speech.

vv28-9 Don’t be terrified by your adversaries, for it is given to you not only to believe on Him, but to suffer for Him.

v30 Paul knew what it was to suffer for Christ. Suffering for Christ is a token of blessing, not a sign that God has turned His face away.

Chapter 1 is summed up in one verse: “For me to live is Christ, and to die gain.”

Chapter 2
The pattern for Christian living

The pattern for Christian living is the mind of Christ as we shall see. It cannot be by imitation. Paul is not talking about imitation. He is talking about impartation. That is, the mind of Christ should be in us, and it can only be there by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We need to sit back and watch the Spirit of God move. Of course, we carry on the program that God has given us, but the power and dynamic comes from the Spirit of God.

OTHERS (vv1-4)

v1 “If” here is not conditional.

v2 Even though he is in prison, he is rejoicing in the Lord. Paul wants the Philippian church to be of one mind. To be of one mind is to let the mind of Christ be in you. We won’t be beating each other over the head because of disagreements.

v3 “In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory.” Most problems in a church are due to strife and envy. Some people just naturally cause trouble. If you are doing something through strife and vainglory, you would be better off not to do it at all. The same thing is true if you do it to be recognized.

v4 “Look nor every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Christ came from heaven’s glory to this earth for others. Why should we carry the gospel? For others.

THE MIND OF CHRIST—Humble (vv5-8)

Ph.2.6-11v5 Humility characterized the mind of Christ. Ephesians 4:1-2: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”

You and I can’t be humble. We are not made that way. We can’t be meek. None of us want to be offended, or ignored. We develop hang-ups if we are brought up in such a way that we have been trampled on.

We not come to the emptying, the kenosis, of Christ It wll give us the seven steps of humiliation which Christ took. Then we have listed 7 steps upward. Then we will see the mind of God. It is in the mind of God the Father to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. Since it is the purpose of God the Father to exalt Jesus Christ, Dr. McGee believes it is the will of God for every one of us. We are to exalt Jesus Christ wherever we are and whatever we do. We are to be one with the Father in this ultimate purpose of the exaltation of Jesus Christ.

The first step downward was when He left heaven’s glory. He came all the way down to where you and I are. It is absolutely beyond human comprehension to understand what He did for us.

v6 Jesus Christ was God. He did not have to hold to it or fear that an angel might take His place.

Now we see the 2nd step down

v7 “Made himself of no reputation” means to empty. Christ emptied Himself. The Gnostics propounded the first heresy that He emptied Himself of His deity, that the deity entered into Him at the time of His baptism and left Him at the cross. This theory is not substantiated anywhere in the Word of God. He emptied Himself of something, but it was not His deity. There was never a moment when He was not God. See John 1.1-3, 14.

Dr. McGee believes He emptied Himself of the prerogatives of deity. He lived on this earth with limitations which were self-limitations.

The whole universe, not just a few shepherds and wisemen, and even the multitude of angels were a sorry turnout.

Jesus did not force them to come because he had laid aside His prerogatives of deity. He was willing to be born in a dirty, filthy place—not the pretty, clean stable of Christmas pageants and Christmas cards. He was willing to grow to manhood in a miserable town named Nazareth. He was willing to be an unknown carpenter. He could have had the Shekinah glory with Him all the time, but he didn’t. He didn’t have a halo around His head as we see in so many paintings of Him. Judas has to kiss Him the night he was betrayed so that the crowd would know which was the man they were to capture. He didn’t stand out from other men by some kind of inner light or glory around Him. He was a human being, but He was God manifest in the flesh. He laid aside the prerogitives of His deity.

Can we be sure of that? Dr. McGee thinks we can. After He finished His ministry, He gathered His own about Him on His last night on earth, and He prayed a very wonderful prayer to His Heavenly Father. On thing He said in that prayer is this: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (Jn. 17.5). Notice this carefully: He prayed to have His glory restored. He did not pray to have His deity restored, because He had never given up His deity. He is asking that His glory, the glory light, a prerogative of deity, be restored. Obviously, He had laid that aside. Philippians 2:6: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

The 3rd step downward  in the humiliation of Christ is this: “And took upon him the form of a servant.” Jesus came to earth as a servant. He worked as a carpenter. He came as a working man, a humble man, a little man. He was one of the little people.

Isaiah wrote that Christ would come as a “root of Jesse) (Is. 11.10). Yes, Mary was in the line of David as was Joseph by another route. But Jesse was a farmer in Bethlehem, and his line had dropped back to the place of peasant. Our Lord was born into a peasant family.

The 4th step in his humiliation is this: “And was made in the likeness of men.” For a man to become an ant would be humiliation. But that is nothing compared to what my Lord did when He left heaven’s glory and became a man, when He took upon Himself our humanity, when He was made in the likeness of men.

The 5th step in our Lord’s humiliation is that He humbled Himself. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself.” For a man to humble himself is very unusual, but here, God humbled Himself.

Example: One time John Wesley was starting over a bridge just wide enough for one person. As he was starting over, he met a liberal preacher of that day. This preacher swelled up and said, “I never give way to a fool.” John Wesley looked at him for a moment, smiled, and began to back off, saying, “I always do.” It is difficult to take that humble place. Our Lord humbled Himself.

The 6th step in His humiliation: “and [He] became obedient unto death.” Death is a very humiliating sort of thing. It is not natural. God did not create man to die. Man dies because of sin, because of his transgression. Death came by the transgression of one man, Adam; and death has passed down to all men.

Jesus came to earth to die. You and I came to live. He did not have to die, but He “became obedient unto death” and gave himself willingly. I have to die, but don’t want to. He didn’t have to die, but He “became obedient unto death” and gave Himself willingly. He did not have to die, but He wanted to. Why? In order that He might save you and me if we will put our trust in Him.  He said, “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (Jn. 10:15-18).

The 7th and last step in the humiliation of Christ is “even the death of the cross.” Not only did He become obedient unto death, but to the death of the cross. It was a disgraceful death. He came from the highest glory to the lowest place of humiliation. Why.  “Look not every man on hius own things, but every man also on the things of others.” He came to earth and suffered the death of a criminal for others—for y0ou and me. Thank god for that! This is the mind of Christ.

THE MIND OF GOD (vs. 9-)

The mind of God the Father is to glorify Christ. We have seen the seven steps downward; now we will see the seven steps upward. The mind of God is the exaltation of Christ.

The 1st step up: “God also hath highly exalted him.” The supreme purpose of God the Father is that Jesus Christ be glorified in the universe which He created., and that He be glorified on the earth where man dwells, where man rebelled against God.

Nothing but the death of Christ makes this little earth significant. The thing that has lent dignity to man and has caused him to look up into the heavens and sing the doxology is the fact that Jesus Christ came to this earth and died on the cross for him. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him.

Now the 2nd step. “and given him a name which is above every name.” The next time you take His name in vain, think of and drag in the mud. His name will be exalted above the names of all the great men of this world and above the names of all the angels in glory.

v10 gives the next 3 steps of Christ’s exaltation.

The 3rd step: “That at the name of Jesus”—“Jesus” means Saviour. Matthew 1:21: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Now notice the reference to prophecy: “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Mt. 1.22-23). One can find no verse where they called Him Emmanuel. But He can save His people from their sins because He will be Immanuel, God with us. Because of that, He can be called Jesus. Nobody else can properly be called Jesus.

The 4th step. “Of things in heaven.”

The5th step: “And things in earth.”

And the 6th step: “And things under the earth.” Here God is talking about the Lordship of Christ. God has highly exalted Him, that at the name of Christ every knee must bow, in heaven, in earth, and under the earth. That is, even hell will bow down to Him because He is the Lord. He is God. But merely bowing does not imply salvation.  Colossians 1.20 is not talking about Lordship, but about Christ’s reconciling work, His redemptive work. And what was reconciled? What was redeemed? Was Hell included? No. The tunings under the earth are not mentioned. Why? Because this verse is talking about redemption, and there is no redemption in hell.

v11 The final and 7th step of Christ’s exaltation: Every tongue shall “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” That doesn’t mean every man shall confess Him as savior. Even in hell, they will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Word of caution. Be careful about calling Jesus your Lord if He is not your Lord. Matthew 7:21-23: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” You better know Him as your Savior before you say He is your Lord. If He is your Savior, then you can become obedient to Him as your Lord.

Jesus said, John 15:14: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

MIND OF PAUL (vs. 12-18)

We have seen that the mind of Christ cannot be imitated. It can happen only be impartation. It is the work of the Spirit of God within us which will produce the fruit of meekness or humility in our lives. We will see the mind of Christ as it walked down Roman roads, lived in Roman homes, and in a Roman jail. We will see three examples; the mind of Paul, the mind of Timothy, and the mind of Epaphroditus (pastor of the church of Philippi).

v12 “Salvation” here is used in a general sense. Paul is talking about working out their problems which they had in the church, and working out the problems in their own Christian lives. He is in a Roman prison, so he does not know if he will ever be there with them again to help them. So he tells them to work out their “own salvation with fear and trembling.”

v13 God works out that which He had worked in. God saves a person by faith plus nothing. After one is saved, God talks to him about his works. He will work out the salvation He has worked in by faith. James 2:17-18: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” True faith will work itself out so that the people around us will be able to tell that we are different, that we are Christians.

v14 “Do all things without murmuring of disputings.”

v15. Be a light.

v16 “Holding forth the word of life.” Life and light are related. Holding for the word of life, we are lights to the world.

v17 This verse is one of the most wonderful in the entire Word of God. It pictures what the Christian life really should be. He is referring to one of the earliest sacrifices in the OT. Genesis 35:14: “And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.” Then in the books of Leviticus and Numbers, the sacrifices are described. The drink offering was to be added to the burnt offering and the meal offering, but never to the sin or trespass offering. It had to do with the person of Christ. They would bring in a skin of wine and pour it on the sacrifice which was being consumed by fire. It would just go up in smoke.

Paul was saying, “I want my life to be poured out like a drink offering on the offering in Christ.” Paul knows that the Lord Jesus Christ made the supreme sacrifice. He wanted his life to be a drink offering—just poured out to go up in steam. He wanted to be consumed and obscured that all that is seen is just Jesus. He wanted Jesus Christ to receive all the honor and the glory. This was the mind of Paul.

v18 In other words, “If your life commends the gospel, my life is just poured out as a drink offerning. Together we’ll rejoice over this.” Paul ends on a note of joy and rejoicing. If we are walking in humility, we will rejoice at the success of others. We have too much strife and vainglory. This hurts the cause of Christ.

THE MIND OF TIMOTHY—Like-minded with Paul (vs. 19-24)

v19 Timothy was Paul’s spiritual son. Paul had great confidence in him. He could trust Timothy to care for the state of the Philippian believers.

v20 He is like-minded with Paul which means he had the mind of Christ, and he was characterized by humility. If men have the mind of Christ, they are together.

Timothy had been faithful to Paul. Like minded men can work together. Sometimes a convert later turns against the person who led him to the Lord.

v21 There were many others who were seeking their own glory. They wanted to make a name for themselves. Because they were seeking their own glory, they were willing to belittle Paul.

v22 You can be miles apart from someone, but they can be together if they have the mind of Christ. When a husband and wife have the mind of Christ, they are really together. It is a glorious wonderful relationship.

vs.23-24 Paul wanted Timothy to be the one to bring them the message about what was going to happen to him in prison. He hoped to be released. He was released, but when the Christians were persecuted under Nero, Paul was brought back and executed. This is not recorded in Scripture.

MIND OF EPAPHRODITUS—The Work of Christ (vs. 25-30)

v25 Epaphroditus also had the mind of Christ. He, Paul and Timothy worked together. Paul had founded the church at Philippi, but Epaphroditus was not jealous of him. Paul calls him, “my brother, and my companion in labor, and my fellowsoldier.” Paul says, “He fights with me. He doesn’t stick a knife in my back when I’m away. He does not side with my enemies.” He was a practical help to Paul who is confined there in chains.

v26 Epaphroditus was sick, and word got back to the church at Philippe that their own pastor was sick. He longed for them. It hurt him that they were hurt because he was sick! This revealed the marvelous relationship between the church and their pastor.

The rejection of a Bible preaching pastor is the death knell of many churches . The devil has been very clever. He has shifted his attack from the Word of God itself to the man who teaches the Word of God.

Epaphroditus was greatly loved by his church, and that speaks well for the church in Philippi.

v27 Why did not Paul heal Epaphroditus? He was so sick he almost died! Paul and the apostles had the sign gifts because they did not have what we have today, a New Testament. His authority when he went into new territory was his message was nothing but sign gifts, which included the gift of healing. Paul had a thorn in the flesh which the Lord Jesus would not remove.  Instead, He gave Paul the grace to bear it. Timothy had stomach trouble. If Paul was a faith healer why did he not heal Timothy? Actually, he told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake.  In 2 Ti. 4.20, he said that he had left Torphimus in Miletum sick. And now here Paul says he has this young preacher, Epaphroditus, with him, and he was so sick he almost died. He did not heal him. Rather, he gives all the credit to God; he says that God had mercy on him. His healing came about in a natural sort of way. Paul made it a matter of prayer, and God heard and answered. Even at this late stage, even before the apostles disappeared from the scene, the emphasis is moving back to the Great Physician.

You see, this epistle is emphasizing the mind of Christ, a humble mind. If I were a faith healer, I would be in the limelight. I would be somebody very great and very famous. but I am not. The Lord Jesus is the great physician. So Paul here is putting no emphasis on healing whatsoever. He has a sick preacher with him, but is putting the emphasis where it should be, on the Lord Jesus Christ.

v28 Now Paul is sending Epaphroditus back to them. Paul wants them to rejoice, not sorrow, that he “may be the less sorrowful.”

v29 How gracious Paul is with this preacher from Philippi! A man like Epaphroditus whould be respected and loved. We should respect the one who is teaching the Word of God. Both the gift and the teacher should be respected. Our attention should be focused on the Word of God. Our problem is not the drug problem, the alcohol problem, the sex problem. The problem is that we don’t get back to the Word of God. It is the Word of God that reveals Christ and the mind of Christ.

v30 Epaphroditus was doing the work of Christ. He had to have the  mind of Christ to do that. “Because for the work of Christ, he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.” In the Roman Empire, there was no mercy shown to anyone, but there was law and order everywhere. Then there went out this little man, Paul the Apostle, and those who were like-minded with him, and they preached a gospel that there is a God of the universe who, through a redemption that He has wrought on a Roman cross, had provided mercy for mankind. Multitudes turned to the Lord Jesus in that day.

Now this little man, Paul, is chained to a Roman soldier. He is witnessing for Christ, and he is rejoicing in the Lord. He has the mind of Christ. And a find young man, Timothy, walking in that pagan city. He did pretty well in a godless society. He had the mind of Christ. And then Epaphroditus, a faithful pastor way up in the city of Philippi, a pagan heathen city. Epaphroditus had the mind of Christ.

Then I look at me. I say Stop offering excuses in this day in which you are living! Forget yourself, humble yourself, you have nothing to be proud about. Seek the mind of Christ! Yield to Him so the Spirit of God can produce in you the mind of Christ!

Chapter 3
The prize for Christian living

v1 Paul’s final message was going to be “Rejoice in the Lord.” He has shown 3 men, Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus who were able to rejoice in sickness and imprisonment. The early church could rejoice amid the first of persecution.

Paul is saying that it has been no burden for him to write this letter (as there had been in his heart when he wrote the Galatians and Corinthians). The Philippians had been a great joy to him. It is safe for him to write to the Philippians. He felt close to them. He knows they will understand.

v2 “Beware of dogs.” We get some insight into what Paul was writing by looking at Isaiah who warned against the false prophets of his day. Isaiah 56:10: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” The northern kingdom had already gone into captivity because the false prophets had given them a false security.  God was warning the southern kingdom not to do the same thing. He was calling the false prophets “dumb dogs.” They won’t speak out. They won’t tell it like it is. Dogs are those who are not declaring the full counsel of God.

We are comfortable today. We look for the same comfort in the church. There is a danger of comforting the church members because that is what they would like to find in the ministry.

Most church members don’t need messages of comfort but messages of warning. America has gone to sleep under the comfortable blanket of affluence.

“Beware of evil workers.” another group that would actually abuse them and use them They are not honest.

“Beware of the concision.” He is saying that they are no longer of the true circumcision, referring to the legalizers, those who were attempting to force Christians to keep the law of Moses for salvation and sanctification.

v3 “We are of the circumcision.” He makes clear what he means by this in Galatinas 6.15: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” True circumcision is of the heart. It is the new birth, a new heart attitude toward God. It is being in Christ.

“And have no confidence in the flesh.” No confidence in our old nature. We trust Christ alone.

v4 Paul answers those who speak behind his back that because of Paul’s ignorance and failure in life to measure up to the requirements of the law he says have no confidence in the flesh. Paul says he would be willing to stack his religious life against that of any man. He says, “And I more.”

Now, in vs.5-6 he is lists 7 things in which he trusted at one time. This is religion. He had godly parents and was circumcised on the 8th day. They brought him up according to the Mosaic law. (2) He was “of the stock of Israel.” (3) “Of the tribe of Benjamin.” Benjamin had been Jacob’s favorite son. (4) “An Hebrew of Hebrews.” This means he was a leader, in the highest strata of the religious circle. (5) As touching the law, a Pharisee.” The Pharisees represented the very best in Israel. They were a religious-political party and their aim was to establish the kingdom. They were fundamental Bible believers. (6) “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church.” He though he was doing God’s will by that. (7) Touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” He does not say he was sinless or perfect; he says he was blameless. Ro. 7:7:”What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” One can covet without anyone knowing. Paul says the law “slew him.”

By “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless,” Paul menat that he had brought the proper sacrifice for his sin to make things right before God. Paul was sincere.

Paul thought all those things commended him to God. However, he hated Christ and His followers and set out to eliminate them. Then He met Jesus and he changed his whole bookkeeping system.

v7 But then Paul met Christ and put all his trust in Him.

v8 Paul’s conversion was not just an experience of the moment. Conversion is not a balloon ascension. Conversion stays with you. It continues for a lifetime. Sanctification is a daily walk in dependence upon God. Paul flushes away all the things he used to trust. He now trusts the Lord Jesus and Him only for His salvation.

v9 “Not having mine own righteousness which is of the law.” That righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight (Is. 64.6). One comes to Christ as a bankrupt sinner offering Christ nothing. You have nothing; He has everything, and He offers it to you.

“By faith” is the important word. “The righteousness of God” came about because when Christ died on the cross He subtracted your sins, and He rose again from the dead for your justification, your righteousness.

PAUL CHANGED HIS PURPOSE FOR THE PRESENT (vs.10-19)

Paul is no longer trying o build up legal righteousness. He has changed his bookkeeping system and is going to change his purpose.

vs.10-11 Saving faith is a faith that moves you. James 2:18: “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” If you don’t have works, you are not saved! That is what Paul is saying. If you have faith that saves, you have a new motivation, a new life purpose, a new life style. If your faith in Christ has not saved you, you have not been saved.

Paul’s effort and energy comes from the Holy Spirit, which is far greater than any legal effort. Under the law system, he was willing to go to Damascus to stamp out the followers of Christ. Under the grace-faith system, he will go to the end of the earth to make followers of Christ and to witness for Him. Your works have nothing to do with your salvation. Your faith in Christ is the motivation for you to live for God.

“That I may know him”—Paul still had a motivation, at the end of his life, to know Christ. We need the reality of Christ in our lives.

“And the fellowship of his sufferings.” If you don’t enjoy praising Christ now, why should you go to heaven?

“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Paul is affirming that he will have a part in the rapture with great joy. He did not expect to attain perfection in this life. The church will be resurrected at the rapture. The rest of the dead will not be raised until the end of the millennium. And the Old Testament saints are not to be raised until the end of the great tribulation period.

v12 The knowledge that he will not already detained perfection does not deter Paul.

v13 Paul gives us the modus operandi of his life. “I count not myself to have apprehended”—Paul is saying that he had not arrived.

“This one thing I do.” Paul had whittled his life down to one point. “Forgetting those things which are behind.” He is leaving the past and its mistakes behind, not letting it handicap him for the future. The future—he lives in the present in the anticipation of the future when he will grow and develop.

v14 “I press toward the mark for the prize.” He likens himself to a track star, running for the prize. The Olympic Games were held at times in the amphitheater in Ephesus. Paul lived there three years. He used many figures of speech that were taken from those athletic events.

“The prize for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Not some earthly reward, but to be in His presence.

We don’t run for salvation. Salvation is not the prize. Either we trust Christ or we don’t. Faith in Christ is a gift. Ep. 2.8, 9.

Paul, after he received eternal life, is running for a prize. Christ is everything to him, and he is running a race that he might win Christ. His whole thought is “When I come into His presence, I don’t want to be ashamed.” John said it is possible to be ashamed at His appearing: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 Jn.2.28).

v15 “As many as be perfect.” By “perfect” Paul means arriving where one should be in maturation. If a 17 year old says, “Da-da,” there is something radically wrong.

“And if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God will reveal even this unto you.”  Maybe God does have something else for you to do. If you are willing to do it, He will show it to you. He is able to lead a willing believer. It is a matter of being in touch with the Lord, being close to Him.

v16 Paul is encouraging the Philippian believers to get out on the race track. He now gives himself as an example.

v17 “If you want to know how to do it, watch me” he says. Not an imitation. He means, “Learn to share the power of Christ in the body of Christ, the church.”

Now Paul discusses the negative side.

vs18, 19 This is a severe condemnation of those who profess to be Christians. They contradict their profession by their lives. Their God is their belly. This means they are led by their appetites. Some professing Christians have an appetite for money and will do most anything for the almighty dollar. For others, it is sex. Others covet. They live for self and self only, and glory in this.

If you have no works, you are not going to convince your neighbor. James 2:17-18: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

PAUL CHANGED HIS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE (vs20-21)

v20 “Conversation in heaven” means the total way of life, a new life style. We are to represent heaven and heaven’s message here upon the earth today.

“From whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul expresses the hope of the believer on a high plane.

v21 “Our vile body.” It means he shall change our earthly body.

One day our bodies will be transformed “unto his glorious body.” The trump shall sound suddenly (1 Co.15.51, 52). Revelation deals with Israel. In the OT we read that Israel moved in the wilderness march by the blowing of 2 silver trumpets. Israel is used to trumpets, we are not.  1 Thes. 4.16. It is the trump of God. Revelation 1:10: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.”

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” This is exactly the same thought that John had: 1 Jn. 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” When Christ appears, we shall be like him. This is a high hope.

Chapter 4
The power for Christian living

Philosophy, pattern, prize would be meaningless and useless if there were no power for them. Power is all-important.

JOY—THE SOURCE OF POWER (vs1-4)

v1: “My joy and crown.” Paul expected to receive a crown for winning these folk to the Lord. And they were his joy down here. He loved these believers in Philippi!

“So stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”

v2 Now he comes to the only problem in the Philippian church. It was a ripple, not serious. Apparently, these 2 ladies were not speaking to each other.

v3 Women had labored with Paul in the gospel. Etc.

v4 This is a commandment to the Christian: Rejoice always in the Lord, Rejoice. Regardless of the circumstances. We can’t produce this. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. There is no power in a Christian’s life if he has no joy.

PRAYER—THE SECRET OF POWER (vs5-7)

v5 We need to emphasize the person of Christ. The Lord is at hand” Paul believed the Lord would come at any moment.

v6 “Be careful for nothing.” Another commandment. Worry about nothing, pray about everything. Prayer is the secret of power. The reason we are to worry about nothing is that we are to pray about everything. Nothing leaves out everything. There is nothing in our life that is big to God.

“With thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

v7 Different kinds of peace. World peace. One day the world will have peace. The peace that comes when sins are forgiven (Ro. 5.1). Peace that is tranquility (Jn. 14.27).

The “peace that passeth all understanding” in this vers “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We entered this passage with anxiety, worry and fear and we come out of it w/peace. Between the two was prayer. We should be praying, “God change me.” Prayer is the secret of power. We enter with worry, we can come out in peace. Joy is the source or power; prayer is the secret of power.

COMTEMPLATION OF CHRIST—THE SANCTUARY OF POWER (vs.8-9 )

v8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Only the Word of God can bring strength to you. This world surrounds us with filth. Get into the Word of God.

v9 Paul says “Do what I do.”

IN CHRIST—THE SATISFACTION OF POWER (vs10-)

v10 Paul has been talking about the Christian experience. Now he is thanking them for their gift. He said, in other words, “You had lost contact with me; so that you didn’t have the opportunity ot help me.”

v11 Paul is content in whatever state he is in, even in prison.

v12 “Though I appreciate your sympathy, I know how to live on the lowest plane economically, and how to live on the highest plane.”

v13 Paul is saying he can do all things through Christ (in the will of God). He can’t go jump over a house. Whatever Christ has for you to do, He will give you the power. He will give you the power to manifest the gift He has given you. It is essential to be in God’s will, and His will is determined by a knowledge of His Bible.

v14 Paul wants them to know he appreciates their gift.

v15 This church was a jewel. They were the ones who sent him support. Paul was their missionary.

v16 No one was helping Paul but the Philippian believers.

v17 Paul wrote them to thank them.

v18 A Christian in his giving is like a high priest making an offering to God. When given with the right spirit, it is an offering, an odor of a sweet smell to God.

v19 Thinking of their sacrifice, Paul assures them that God would supply all their needs.

v21 God gets all the glory. He will not share it with another.

vs21-22 He greets each believer personally.

v23 Paul closes with a benediction.


Lesson 7 on the Doctrine of the Church

The Church Is a New Man: The Exhibition and Inhibition of the New Man – Ephesians 4.1-16
(17 questions from 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 8
Added on March 25, 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. Ephesians 4.1-6 consider the _______________ of the new man. The only way people can tell if you are a real child of God through faith in Christ is by your _______.

    “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye _______ __________ of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ep. 4.1)
  2. Paul begs believers to walk “With all ____________ and ____________, with __________________, forbearing one another in _______: Endeavoring to keep the _________ of the Spirit in the bond of __________” (Ep. 4.2-3).

    Lowliness is the flagship of all Christian virtues and is the opposite of _________. (See also, Philippians 2.3).

    Meekness means mildness but it does not mean ____________. Meekness is __________ yourself to the will of God. (McGee, Ephesians, p. 111).

    Longsuffering, a ________ of the Spirit, means that we don’t have a ________

    “Forbearing one another in love” means to hold one’s self _______ in the spirit of _______. (See also, Col. 3.13)
  3. “Endeavoring to keep the ________ of the Spirit” (See also, Jn. 17.21). There are seven unities to be kept: one _______, one __________, one _______ of your calling, one _______, one ________, one baptism, one _____ and Father of all, who is above _____, and through _____, and in you _____. (Ep. 4.3-6). God is not the _________ of unbelievers.
  4. In Ephesians 4.1-6, Paul started with the individual _____________. Then he widens out to the entire __________ which is one _______ and one __________. Then, he brings this passage to a great crescendo, which pictures the imminence and transcendence of _____.

Questions 5 through 17 are based on Ephesians 4.7-16

  1. In Ephesians 4.7-16, we learn of the ____________ of the new man. (Inhibition = Something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses).
  2. God has given ________ to every believer, not that he may develop him spiritually, but in order that each believer may function in the ______ of believers to ____________ and bless the __________. (See Ro. 12, 1 Co. 12.7, 1 Co. 12, 13, and 14). Every member of my body needs to work __________. My eyes, brain, legs, etc. need to work __________. When one member of a body is not exercising his gift, he throws the whole body out of tune.
  3. God “led captivity _____________, and gave ________ to men” “when he __________ up on high.” (Ep. 4.8). He first received those ________ for men (Ps. 68.18). Then He came to earth and went back to the Father and is now distributing the ________ among men. “When he ascended up on high” (the ascension) he did two things: (1) He “led captivity ____________” (referring to the redeemed of the ______ _______________ who went to _____________ when they died). (2) When He ascended, He conferred ________ on living believers in the church so that they might __________ to the world. At the day of __________, the Holy Spirit endowed ___________ with certain ________, enabling them to function as members of the _________ (the church at Jerusalem). The Holy Spirit put each of them in a certain place in the _______, and He has been doing that ever since.
  4. Christ takes certain men who have been given certain ________ and gives them to the ________:

    “And he [ __________ ] gave some, apostles; and some, ____________; and some, evangelists; and some, ___________ and teachers” (Ep. 4.11)
  5. An apostle had seen the Lord Jesus Christ but had also been directly and personally commissioned by Him to be an __________. He enjoyed special ______________. (See Ga. 1.1, 2).
  6. “Prophets” refers to New Testament prophets, men with particular insight into the ____________ of faith. (cf. Ep. 3.5).
  7. “Evangelists” were traveling missionaries. Paul was an example. They went ________ into new territory with the __________ of ______ who went before them.
  8. He also gave “pastors” who were _____________ of the flock.
  9. He gave some “teachers” who were to ____________ the flock. (See also, 1 Co. 12.28, 29, and 1 Ti. 3.2).
  10. He gave these men to the church for specified purposes:

    “For the ______________ of the saints, for the ______ of the ministry, for the ____________ of the body of Christ: (Ep. 4.12).
  11. A church has a purpose which is to complete itself that it might grow up:

    “Till we all come in the unity of the ________, and of the __________ of the Son of God, unto a __________ man, unto the __________ of the stature of the __________ of Christ: That we ______________ be no more ____________, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of ____________, by the sleight of _____, and cunning __________, whereby they lie in wait to __________;” (Ep. 4.13-14).
  12. A church is not to make a “nut” of herself before the ________; she is not to appear ignorant before the ________. All these men are to prepare the _________ so that the believers might do the work of _____________ and ____________ up the body of Christ. The pastor has a special ______, a ______ of teaching the Word of God so that his __________, those who are under him, might do the work of the ____________. A __________ or other member of a church cannot be all things. No man has ______ the gifts. The business of the pastor is to ________ the members of the church for the ______ of the ministry. All believers need to be ___________ in the Word of God so they can do the ______ of the ministry. Christ’s purpose in giving men with different ______ to a __________ is to __________ believers from babyhood to full maturity. (See McGee, Ephesians, p. 119-122).
  13. The final goal:“But speaking the truth in ______, may ______ up into him in all things, which is the ______, even Christ: From whom the whole ______ fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint ___________, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, _________ increase of the ______ unto the edifying of itself in ______.” (Ep. 4.15-16)

Answers

  1. Ephesians 4.1-6 consider the exhibition of the new man. The only way people can tell if you are a real child of God through faith in Christ is by your walk.

    “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ep. 4.1)
  2. Paul begs believers to walk “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love: Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ep. 4.2-3).

    Lowliness is the flagship of all Christian virtues and is the opposite of pride. (See also, Philippians 2.3).

    Meekness means mildness but it does not mean weakness. Meekness is bowing yourself to the will of God. (McGee, Ephesians, p. 111).

    Longsuffering, a fruit of the Spirit, means that we don’t have a short

    “Forbearing one another in love” means to hold one’s self back in the spirit of love. (See also, Col. 3.13)
  3. “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit” (See also, Jn. 17.21). There are seven unities to be kept: one body, one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ep. 4.3-6). God is not the father of unbelievers.
  4. In Ephesians 4.1-6, Paul started with the individual believer. Then he widens out to the entire church which is one body and one Spirit. Then, he brings this passage to a great crescendo, which pictures the imminence and transcendence of God.

Questions  through  are based on Ephesians 4.7-16

  1. In Ephesians 4.7-16, we learn of the inhibition of the new man. (inhibition = Something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses).
  2. God has given gifts to every believer, not that he may develop him spiritually, but in order that each believer may function in the body of believers to benefit and bless the church. (See Ro. 12, 1 Co. 12.7, 1 Co. 12, 13, and 14). Every member of my body needs to work together. My eyes, brain, legs, etc. need to work together. When one member of a body is not exercising his gift, he throws the whole body out of tune.
  3. God “led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men” “when he ascended up on high.” (Ep. 4.8). He first received those gifts for men (Ps. 68.18). Then He came to earth and went back to the Father and is now distributing the gifts among men. “When he ascended up on high” (the ascension) he did two things: (1) He “led captivity captive” (referring to the redeemed of the Old Testament who went to Paradise when they died). (2) When He ascended, He conferred gifts on living believers in the church so that they might witness to the world. At the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit endowed believers with certain gifts, enabling them to function as members of the body (the church at Jerusalem). The Holy Spirit put each of them in a certain place in the body, and He has been doing that ever since.
  4. Christ takes certain men who have been given certain gifts and gives them to the church:

    “And he [Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Ep. 4.11)
  5. An apostle had seen the Lord Jesus Christ but had also been directly and personally commissioned by Him to be an apostle. He enjoyed special inspiration. (See Ga. 1.1, 2).
  6. “Prophets” refers to New Testament prophets, men with particular insight into the doctrines of faith. (cf. Ep. 3.5).
  7. “Evangelists” were traveling missionaries. Paul was an example. They went alone into new territory with the Spirit of God who went before them.
  8. He also gave “pastors” who were shepherds of the flock.
  9. He gave some “teachers” who were to instruct the flock. (See also, 1 Co. 12.28, 29, and 1 Ti. 3.2).
  10. He gave these men to the church for specified purposes:

    “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ep. 4.12).
  11. A church has a purpose which is to complete itself that it might grow up:

    “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Ep. 4.13-14).
  12. A church is not to make a “nut” of herself before the world; she is not to appear ignorant before the world. All these men are to prepare the church so that the believers might do the work of ministering and building up the body of Christ. The pastor has a special gift, a gift of teaching the Word of God so that his members, those who are under him, might do the work of the ministry. A pastor or other member of a church cannot be all things. No man has all the gifts. The business of the pastor is to build the members of the church for the work of the ministry. All believers need to be trained in the Word of God so they can do the work of the ministry. Christ’s purpose in giving men with different gifts to a church is to develop believers from babyhood to full maturity. (See McGee, Ephesians, p. 119-122).
  13. The final desired result for a church:“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ep. 4.15-16)

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.