Governance means getting things done.
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This is true of general social life, and it is also true of church life. Governance also involves organization, which means the organizing of things into a functioning, coherent whole with rules, regulations, and structures designed to facilitate a task at hand. Authority is also critical to governance. At the practical level of church life, who has authority to authorize things and who can be authorized to do things? Different [...]
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.
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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 was on Christ’s mind toward the close of his earthly life (John 17:21-22).
Jesus prayed for the unity of the church (John 17:21-22); Paul [...]
Key Thought : The church is not a human invention; it was created by God for the purpose of bringing sinners into a saving relationship with Him.
[Teaching plan for The Church: In Service to Humanity November 26, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read I Timothy 3:14,15.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Why is the church called the pillar and ground of the truth? If a church claims to [...]
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’.
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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 it address the issue of the church’s mission?
Mission involves sending people out to speak for God. It is what God Himself [...]
Besides the word ecclesia itself, the New Testament describes the church with several images that further explain its nature and function.
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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 in the Bible to the children of Israel (Deut. 14:2). Read 1 Peter 2:9, where the concept is clearly applied to Christians. How [...]
When we speak about the nature of something, we are usually interested in its origins, function, and purpose.
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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 of citizens that had been called out from their homes into a public place for an assembly or gathering. The [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Pet. 2:9; Matt. 28:19-20; John 17:21-22; Acts 15:1-29.
Memory Text: “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:14-15, NKJV).
Key Thought: “We should remember that the church, enfeebled and defective though it be, [...]
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 struggling earnestly for the victory. Unbelief marshals its forces, led by Satan, to cut us off from the Source of our strength. Faith marshals its forces, [...]
[Thought Questions for Arming for Victory November 14, 2012]
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1. Arming ourselves. Before loading yourself down with shields and helmets, wouldn’t you like to be sure you’re really going to battle? I mean, what’s the use of building up your defenses if nobody is going to attack? Even more important, what kind of a battle would it be if you didn’t have weapons to return the attack? Wouldn’t it be as useful to lie down [...]
Ephesians 6:18 begins with the phrase “praying always,” which suggests that praying is connected with the previous verses.
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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 to be worn and the battle fought. Paul is here urging it as a perpetual state of mind, a continuous [...]