Ecclesiology (Part Three)


ECCLESIOLOGY (Part three)

INTRO: God works through the local church.

Heb 12:22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

The church is called out of this worldly system:

Rom 1:3  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
Rom 1:5  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Rom 1:6  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

God still blesses the church and blesses through the church:

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Jas 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The Gospel still spreads through the persecution of the church.

I.)  THE CHURCH AT THESSALONICA:
 
    a.) This Church was founded by the Apostle Paul on his second missionary journey.

Act 17:1  Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
Act 17:2  And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Act 17:3  Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

When the Apostle Paul went to a new city and found a synagogue he would if allowed go into that synagogue and with their own scrolls of the old testament he would preach to them Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Isa 48:12  Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
Isa 48:13  Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
Isa 48:14  All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.
Isa 48:15  I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
Isa 48:16  Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.
Isa 48:17  Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
Isa 48:18  O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

   b.) There was a great harvest of souls.

Act 17:4  And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

We must remember a DEVOUT GREEK would have been one who was ingrained in Greek Mythology. For them too come to Christ was a truly the miracle of salvation.

   c.) They began to accuse the Apostle Paul.

Act 17:5  But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
Act 17:6  And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

Aren’t you glad that the Gospel of Jesus Christ STILL TURNS THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN. HE TURNED MY LIFE AROUND.

    d.) They took a stand AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.

Act 17:7  Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
Act 17:8  And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.

The Bible also says:

Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

This could happen in America and any other nation one day soon. The Bible says:

Pro 20:18  Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

   e.) The Apostle Paul wrote two back to this church.

1Th 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 1:2  We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
1Th 1:3  Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1Th 1:4  Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
1Th 1:5  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

2Th 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th 1:2  Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

   f.) This church had a reputation for being witnesses, EVANGELIZING.

1Th 1:7  So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
1Th 1:8  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

2Ti 1:8  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

   g.) The Apostle Paul called Timothy to be Pastor of this church.

1Th 3:1  Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
1Th 3:2  And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
1Th 3:3  That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

You can also see from these words of Paul that we will all SUFFER AFFLICTIONS as did Paul.

   h.) There were some LAZY MEMBERS in this Church.

2Th 3:9  Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
2Th 3:10  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

This came to man from God way back in Genesis:

Gen 3:17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

You know if someone does not eat they will soon die.

   i.) There were some BUSYBODIES in this Church.

2Th 3:11  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

This is robbing from God.

1Pe 4:14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

   j.) There were some disobedient people in this church.

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

We must be forgiving. We must remember there is no perfect church and that ONLY JESUS CHRIST IS PERFECT.

Mat 5:23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Mat 5:24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

   k.) THE LESSONS LEARNED:

     1.) THERE IS NO PERFECT CHURCH, THEY ALL HAVE FLAWS.

     2.) LOVE EVEN THE WRONG DOERS.

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

     3.) BE SEPARATE:

2Th 3:5  And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
2Th 3:6  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

II.) THE CHURCH AT BEREA:

Berea was a large city in Macedonia.

Act 17:10  And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

   a.) This was a great church but WITHOUT RECOGNITION.

We do not have to be RECOGNIZED BY MAN TO BE A SUCCESS WITH GOD.

Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

    b.) They lived in a PURE FASHION.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

More noble means they had INTEGRITY.

Psa 26:11  But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.

   c.) They were NOT NEGATIVE MINDED.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, [in that they received the word with all readiness of mind], and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

They had a ready mind

The Bible says:

Pro 2:1  My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
Pro 2:2  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Pro 2:3  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
Pro 2:4  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Pro 2:5  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Pro 2:6  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

   d.) They STAYED IN THE WORD.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and [searched the scriptures daily], whether those things were so.

They searched the scriptures dailey

The Bible says:

2Pe 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

   e.) THE LESSONS LEARNED:
 
     1.) ALL PHYSICAL THINGS ARE TEMPORARY.

The city of Berea nor the Church at Berea exist anymore.

2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

     2.) THOSE THAT ARE TRUELY GREAT DO NOT SEEK RECOGNITION.

John the Baptist had these words:

Joh 3:27  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Joh 3:28  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
Joh 3:29  He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.
Joh 3:31  He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

2Co 4:5  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1Co 10:32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

     3.) YOU WILL NEVER AMOUNT TO MUCH UNLESS YOU STAY IN THE WORD.

Jesus Christ said:

Joh 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Paul wrote:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

again:

Col 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Col 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Col 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Let’s pray for the Church!

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