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Bible Study Course Lesson 10: What Is the Church?

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Table of Contents


What are the roots, the history, of the Church? What sets apart people whom God calls His own? How does God use the Church to achieve His purposes? What does the Church do for you, and what should its members do for the Church? How can you be part of what God is doing through His Church?

A Reminder

To gain the most from this lesson, be sure to look up all the scriptural references listed and not directly quoted in the text.

The Church Is Not The Building

When the New Testament talks about the Church, it speaks of an assembly of people.

A Chosen People

God has a plan for bringing mankind to salvation in His Kingdom. Since His creation of Adam and Eve, God has worked with people in various ways but always with the same goal in mind.

The New Testament Church Begins

With the coming of the promised Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the stage was set for a new phase in God's plan of salvation.

Why The Church?

For many people a church is mostly a social club or a place to be seen as an upstanding member of the community. But God had a bigger purpose in mind for His called-out people. We can have a role in the greatest work being done on earth today!

The Body of Christ

The Bible uses several analogies to teach us about God's Church—how it is organized, how it works and how we should relate to the Church and each other. One of these compares the Church with something close at hand—our amazing human body.

The Bride of Christ

The Bible shows that God's Church is to be the Bride of Christ. Let's see what that means both now and in the future.

Recognizing the Church

Today, with so many churches professing Christianity while teaching widely divergent doctrines, how can we recognize the Church? What are the hallmarks of God's Church? What does it teach? What does it do?

The Historical Background of the Word Church

Church is the English translation of the Greek word ekklesia. The use of the Greek term prior to the emergence of the Christian church is important as two streams of meaning flow from the history of its usage into the New Testament understanding of church.

What Did the Early Church Believe and Practice?

Shouldn't you look into your Bible to see if your beliefs and practices square with what Jesus and His apostles practiced and taught?

God's Church Is Like a Loving Mother

God's love is like a mother's love for her children, but God's love goes much deeper. God's true Church conducts herself as a caring mother toward her children.

God's Church Welcomes You

God makes people from all races and ages and from both sexes as one body of believers. We fellowship as the family of God. But how does this godly fellowship begin?

How Is the Work of the Church Supported?

Today God's truth continues to go out free of charge to those who request it. Let's look at the biblical example for financing the work of preaching and publishing the good news.

What Now?

Is God calling you to His Church, to participate in its important work?

Points to Ponder

The following questions are intended as a study aid to spur further thought on the concepts discussed in this lesson and help you personally apply them.