Memory Verse: “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 Peter 2:5).
INTRODUCTION: “The Church owes its existence to Christ. Christ is builder and foundation of the Church. His sacrificial death and resurrection to immortality provide the basis of salvation and foundation of the Church. If Jesus had not become man’s sacrifice, there would have been no Church; sinners would have no salvation. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, the Church would have been without a living head; it would have no life. In Christ, the Church has its origin, growth, and hope of glory. The triumph of the Church during the Church Age is proof that Christ is alive and is working in His Church. The Church is able to fulfill its divine purpose because of its relation with Christ. It is able to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth because of its union with Him. The relation between Christ and His Church is vital, real, and personal.
“The Church equals the sum of its membership. The Church is spiritual if its members are spiritual. The Church is holy if its members are holy. The Church maintains a living contact with Christ only if its members have a redemptive relationship with their living Lord. The Church is the body of Christ because each member presents his body as a living sacrifice and permits Christ to be Lord and Master. The Church is the building of Christ because each member is a living temple, built upon the Lord Jesus Christ and indwelt by His presence. The Church is the bride of Christ because each member sustains a loving relationship with that divine Lover. Christ’s union with the Church, therefore, is made a reality through His union with believers” (Alva G. Huﬀer, Systematic Theology, The Restitution Herald: Oregon, Illinois, 1961, p. 451).
“When Solomon built the temple at Jerusalem, the building was assembled without a sound of tool (1 Kings 6:7). Stones for the temple were quarried east of the Jordan River, carried to Jerusalem, and quietly assembled according to a pattern. In like manner, members of Christ’s Church, His invisible temple, are being quarried out of the world, shaped into the moral image of Christ, and prepared for a glorious use. When Jesus comes, the stones will be assembled; all true Christians will be gathered together. They who have fallen asleep in death will be raised to immortality. Christians living when Jesus comes will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. The temple will not be completed and assembled until Christ returns. There is still opportunity for one to become a living stone in His glorious building, the Church” (Ibid. p. 454).
- Upon what did Jesus say He would build His church? Matthew 16:15-18. [NOTE: It was Peter’s declaration of faith which Jesus referred to as “this rock. “]
- Upon what conditions are members added to the church? Romans 10:9.
- Who is the head of the church? Colossians 1:18.
- Who else had a part in the foundation of the church? Ephesians 2:19-22.
- What is God’s ideal for His Church? Ephesians 4:11-16.
- Do we each have our special place and job in the Church? 1 Corinthians 12:18-20.
- What kind of church is Jesus coming back for? Ephesians 5:25-27.