March 22, 2010

Chapter 15 One Church

**This chapter is the one where I found the word that didn't mean what I thought it meant.**

We believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church...
1.  To many Protestants (term used broadly), the church is not a vital or essential part of their individual existence/experience.  They feel that the church plays a role, but it is not central and therfore would not be readily part of their gospel confession.
2.  There is a movement away from the word "church" as old fashioned and irrelevant.
3.  The word 'holy' indicates that the church is of God, set apart by Him for His people and His purpose.
4/5.  Christians are 'set apart' by the work of the Holy Spirit and are called to be part of the church.  Torrance states, "The one holy Church is thus as it were the complement of the one Holy Spirit."  We don't have a choice about this - when we become a Christian, we become a member of Christ's body - the church.
6. Even's creation as Adam's wife points to our relationship as Christians with the church.  Eve was made for a specific purpose - to be Adam's wife & help-meet.  We become Christians and are given new life, new birth into our place in the church body with our purpose.
7.  The word "catholic" in the creed simply means "universal".  It does not reference a specific denomination as we now know it.
8.  The Greek word for church ekklesia means the called out ones.
9.  We tend to see the church as reflective of our unique culture or 'tribe'.  However, God's true church is universal, not tribal or denominational.
10.  The church reverses what happened at the Tower of Babel.  People were then driven apart by language into tribes - away from each other.  After Acts 2, we are called to Christ - and the church - from every tongue, tribe & nation.
11.  Every Christian is a fellow-citizen in Christ.
12.  We are members of the household of God - the church.  This means we share in teh blessings and lives of others in Christ.  We are family.
13.  The church is apostolic since it is founded on the gospel and called to fulfill the apostolic mission given by Christ.
14.  The church has access to God & can be used by God to fulfill His purposes.  We, as the church, are to reflect God's glory & seek to be a light to lead others to Christ.
15. Verses:
Acts 20:28  Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Heb 10:24-25  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Rom 12:5  so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
Col 3:12-17  Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.