I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me (John 17:20-21, NKJV).
The roots of the Christian church can be traced back to Adam, Abraham, and the sons of Israel. The Lord had called Abraham, and later the Israelites, to enter into a covenant relationship with Him in order to bless the world through them. In the course of sacred history, that covenant relationship was continued by the church.
The church was not an invention of the apostles or of any human being. During His ministry, Christ Himself announced His intention of establishing His church:
I will build My church (Matt. 16:18, NKJV). The church owes its existence to Jesus Christ. He is its Originator.
According to the Gospels, the term church appears on the lips of Jesus only three times (Matt. 16:18, 18:17). This doesn’t mean, however, that He didn’t deal with the subject. In fact, He taught very important concepts relating to the church. Our study this week will center on two main ideas: the foundation of the church and the unity of the church.
*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, August 23.