Friday, October 05, 2012

The Church, the Body of Christ, Literally (Part 2)

 This is the second lesson in a short series I am presenting to our Wednesday night gathering at church. Much of it is the same as what I posted last week with some additional explanation. Recently I've been looking at the church from a different angle. What I'm trying to help us see is that the church is somehow an extension of Christ. "Extension" may not be the right word, but in this study you'll find a reference to the church as the fullness of God. We are of {Christ's} flesh and bones. As Eve was created from Adam and was of his flesh and his bones, the church has a similar connection. It is more than a community, although it is that. It is more than a family, although it also is that. We are literally members of one another and of Christ in a different way than someone is perhaps a member of Kiwanis. 

I would like us to consider the fact that this plan of God from eternity past means resurrecting spiritually dead people such as ourselves, gifting us, giving us his spirit and placing us literally into the body of Christ, sharing his mind and his spirit. 

If you would like to print a copy of this study guide in pdf form, click here.

The Church is the Body of Christ, Literally (Part 2)
Ephesians 5:28-32

Ephesians 5:28-32 describe the relationship of Christ and the church as similar to marriage. The church is literally the body of Christ and we are members of his flesh and of his bones. As Eve was brought out of Adam while he slept, the church is a new creation resulting from the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

God is creating in Christ one new man. The church is that one new man. It is something new that didn't exist before.

All of this is the eternal purpose of God, hidden for ages. Ephesians 3:9, 10

This new “man” supersedes nationality, social status and even gender. Galatians 3:28

1. His body, the church, is the ______________ of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:23
In that regard we are to be ____________ with all the ___________ of God.

2. We are:
A _____ creation 2 Corinthians 5:17
Born _________ by an incorruptible 1 Peter 1:23
Given a ______ heart Ezekiel 36:26
Made __________ of the divine nature 2 Peter 1:4
One ____________ with Christ 1 Corinthians 6:17
Given the _________ of Christ 1 Corinthians 2:16
Baptized into the body by the _________ 1 Corinthians 12:13
The body of Christ and members ____________ 1 Corinthians 12:27
Members of one _____________ Romans 12:5

3. This truth should eliminate discouragement and jealousy. 1 Corinthians 12:15-17

4. This truth should eliminate arrogance and pride. 1 Corinthians 12:20-22

5. This truth should produce mutual care and encouragement. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26

6. God placed apostles, prophets and pastors and teachers to equip for ministry. Ephesians 4:11-16

7. The goal is to grow into the ___________ (or complete or mature) man unto the _____________ of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13. The man referred to here is not each individual man becoming like Christ, but the one new man, the church, which God is creating.

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