Wednesday: Unity of the Church
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

The church-depicted as the “called out” of God, the “people of God,” the “body of Christ” and the “temple of the Holy Spirit” – is fitted for service or mission. Unity is essential to the church because without it the church cannot successfully accomplish its mission. It is no wonder that the issue of unity … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: The Mission of the Church
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

The church as ‘the body of Christ’ means that the church is to do what Christ would do if He were still on the earth ‘bodily’. It is for this reason that the church as an ‘assembly’ has been called out. The church does not simply have a mission; the church is mission. Read Matthew 28:19-20. How does … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Nature of the Church: Part 2
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Besides the word ecclesia itself, the New Testament describes the church with several images that further explain its nature and function. Today we will look at just two crucial concepts regarding the church: the church as the people of God and the church as the body of Christ. 1. The “people of God” as a concept is applied … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Nature of the Church: Part 1
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

When we speak about the nature of something, we are usually interested in its origins, function, and purpose. Besides providing several images to depict the church, the Bible uses a particular word in reference to it, ecclesia, which means “called out” or “called forth.” In secular Greek life the word was used primarily to describe a group … [Click to read more …]

Further Study: Arming for Victory
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Read Ellen G. White, “Importance of Seeking True Knowledge,” pp. 312-314, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8;“The Color Line,” pp. 219, 220, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9; “O God! Help Me to Higher Levels,” p. 105, in My Life Today; “Called to Reach a Higher Standard,” pp. 311-315, in The Acts of the Apostles. “In every soul two powers are … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Praying Always
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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Ephesians 6:18 begins with the phrase “praying always,” which suggests that praying is connected with the previous verses. The idea is that the putting on, taking up, and receiving of heaven’s armor all necessitate reliance on God. Hence, “prayer is not another weapon; rather, it is the spirit, the manner, in which the whole armor is … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Helmet and Sword
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

The helmet of salvation in Ephesians 6:17 is most likely taken from Isaiah 59:17, although Paul applies it differently. In Isaiah 59, it is God who wears the helmet of salvation; here, in Ephesians, the Christian is called upon to receive it. Whereas the previous items may have been laid out for the soldier to be picked up, the helmet is … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Preparation and the Shield of Faith
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Image © Bill Osborne from GoodSalt.com

The Roman soldier armed himself to ensure that his steps would not be impeded on rough terrain. To facilitate movement over all kinds of roads, Roman soldiers often wore shoes studded with sharp nails. Such shoes ensured a good grip, and Paul likens the shoes to the “readiness,” or “preparation,” of the gospel of peace (Eph. … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Girdle of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:14, NKJV). Though it’s a little difficult to know the exact nature of the girdle, it seems that in Ephesians 6:14 Paul may have been referring to a leather apron that offered some protection to the lower abdomen but also made freedom … [Click to read more …]