Further Study: The Church: In Service to Humanity
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Read Raoul Dederen, “The Church,” pp. 538-581, in Raoul Dederen (ed.),

Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology; Ellen G. White, “‘Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me,’” pp. 361-364, in Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers; “The Church the Light of the World,” pp. 455-467, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5.

“If a man is sanguine of his own powers and seeks to exercise dominion over his brethren, feeling that he is invested with authority to make his will the ruling power, the best and [...]

Inside Story: A Changed Heart
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Fourteen-year-old Veresa [veh-REH-sah] listened as the doctor spoke to his parents.

“Veresa has a hole in his heart. But surgery can repair his heart and help him live a normal life.” Veresa tried not to worry about the surgery; he just wanted to be well.

Veresa’s surgery was a success. His parents couldn’t stay with him while he recovered in the hospital, so his nurse stopped by often to chat. Veresa looked forward to her visits and enjoyed hearing him talk about [...]

08: The Church: In Service to Humanity – Thought Starters
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Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

[Thought questions for The Church: In Service to Humanity November 21, 2012]

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

1. The essence of church. When did you go to church last? Were you blessed by being there? Were you able to share Christian love with someone who was there? What is church? Do you think Satan goes to church every week? According to the first paragraph of the lesson, is it possible to be a Christian without church? What is contradictory in the [...]

Thursday: Governance of the Church
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Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

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 [...]

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.

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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 [...]

08: The Church: In Service to Humanity – Teaching Plan
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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 [...]

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’.

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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 [...]

Monday: Nature of the Church: Part 2
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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 [...]

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.

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

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 [...]

Sabbath: The Church: In Service to Humanity
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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, [...]