Test for fogbo unit 9a

The Church as the Body and Bride of Christ.


  
Syllabus and assignments for The Church as the Body & Bride of Christ 
 
1. Assignment: Look up all references given, and summarize them.
 
Table of Content by Subject 

The Church as the Body Of Christ.
The Church as the Bride of Christ.
The Apostle Paul spoke of each Church as a member of the Family of God.
Jesus writing the seven Churches of Asia as a member of the Family of God.
The importance of the unity in purpose in the family of God.

 
The Church as the Body of Christ.  The Church as the Body is the instrument for God's work in the world. Remember as the individual is the primary unit in the family of God, so the local church family as a body of believers is the primary unit in the extended family of God.

Each local church being a part of the family of God. Christ is the sovereign head of the body of believers in the local church as He is of the entire family of God. "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Eph. 1:20-21

Consider: Col.1:13-18, 2:9-10

There is an inseparable union in the body of Christ, as there is in the Godhead. That is each member is chosen of God and placed in the body by the Holy Spirit for a particular work. "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him." 1Cor. 12:12-18

Consider: John 15:16; 1 Cor. 3:9

There must be doctrinal unity in the local church family as well as the extended family of God to effectually and successfully manifest Christ in its work. "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." Eph. 4:13-16 

Consider: Phil. 2:5-17
 
Therefore, each member of the body of Christ is important to the function of the whole, be it in the local or extended family of God.  "And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." 1 Cor. 12:19-27 

Consider: 1 John 5:1-2

Every one in the local church family, as well as the extended family is vitally important to God, and to each other, in accomplishing the work of God in the world.  Therefore, God gives spiritual gifts to enable each one to accomplish His will and work, individually and collectively. "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Pet. 4:7-11  

Consider: 1 Cor. 12:25-13:13; Eph. 4:11-13

Everyone in the local church is responsible for the increase of the body, as well as to disciple those in the body. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."  Math.28:18-20

Consider: John 8:31, 10:27; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 2 Tim.2:2

When a member placed in the local church ceases to function, it causes a failure to fulfill the will of God for that local church.  A failure in the plan of God, for the family of God in that area of the world. Everyone is important, everyone is vital to the work of the local church.  It is important to notice that the Church assembled together every day of the week, not just on the seventh day. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers....... And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."  Acts 2:41-42 ....... 46-47 

Consider: Acts 5:42

Note that Paul and the Disciples had weekly meetings together. "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." Acts 20:7  The first day of the week apparently was also the day they took up collections for the churches in need. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." 1 Cor. 16:2

There is no room for doubt that the work of the church is evangelism and discipleship seven days a week. Obviously meeting in homes could not accommodate all the people at one time, even the use of synagogues could not have handle all the Christians in a given community. Therefore, they met in small groups on different days of the week, no doubt at different times of the day as well, to meet the needs of the converts. These cell churches spread over much of the then known world during the 1st Century, setting the pattern in Godís plan the church to be spread by dividing and multiplying. This is a glaring testimony as to the priority the early Christians had for meeting together to learn of the Lord and His ways that is missing today, Any wonder they were blessed and we are not.
 
The church is declared as the bride of Christ, because of the union of its members and Christ. They are to manifest the character of Christ to the world. "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." 2 Cor.11:2

Consider: Eph. 5:30-32; Rev.19:7, 22:17

The church as Christ's bride, is to be in subjection to Him, as a wife is to be to her husband. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." Eph.5:22-24

Consider: 1 Cor. 11:1; Col. 1:16-18

Christ loves His bride, the church, and gave Himself for it.  He set it apart from the world unto Himself as a chaste virgin bride. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."  Eph.5:25-27 

Note: Keeping His bride holy and righteous is by His Word.

Consider: John 17:17-19; 2 Cor. 11:2

As His bride, the church is to take on the nature and character of Christ, in faithfulness to Him.  Manifesting His Holiness, and righteousness, as well as His love, mercy, and grace, in its actions and relations in itself and the world. Also note the home is to be an example and demonstration of this relationship. Eph. 5:28-29

Paul expresses the Lord's Heart for His Churches as His bride. "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." 2 Cor. 11:2

As the bride of Christ, the church is to be faithfully committed to Christ, taking on His character so as to reveal Him to the world as the one it loves. This cannot be done collectively if it is not done individually. Remember we were made to be in His image and likeness. Gen. 1:26-27 and Rom. 8:29 "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." 2 Cor. 3:2-3  

Consider: 2 Cor. 4:3-4

Remember each member of the local church is a part of that body of believers or family of God, that is to be His bride. They are to be collectively working together, functioning as Christ in their local community, through which the will and work of God, as well as His character, is seen or manifested to those around them. The responsibilities of functioning as Christ in the world must be accepted individually or they cannot be manifested collectively as a church, the body of Christ, in the family of God.

The family of God is an extended family, that is, it is a clan of families with the eldest as its head.  Jesus Christ is the eldest member of the family of God. "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." Col.1:17-18

Therefore, Jesus Christ is the only head, and authority over the church. He is sovereign over each in Him, individually or collectively as the church family. As each local church family is made up of many individuals and families so the extended family of God is made up of many local church families. The first clear picture of this concept is seen in the family of Jacob, whose twelve sons became the twelve tribes of many families that comprised the one family of God, the nation of Israel. The Apostle Paul spoke of each church as a member of the family of God.


 


The Church of Jerusalem: The first church council was held there, but they were homebody's that required persecution to get them to scatter and multiply.

The church of Rome: This letter of instruction was sent to them by the Apostle Paul while he was at the church of Corinth. This church was established without doctrinal instruction.

The church of Corinth: The Apostle Paul wrote them instructions as a result of their letter of request to him while he was at Ephesus, and also perhaps when he was at the church of Philippi. This church had many worldly practices, and those living in sin in it.
This church needed discipline and holy living.

The church at Colossi: This church sent messengers to Paul while he was in prison in Rome to which Paul sends instructions concerning their problem. This church was heavily influenced by Gnostic heresy and philosophy.

The church of Galatia: Was probably written to by Paul while he was at the church of Ephesus. This church had a problem with religious legalism.

The church of Philippi: This was a faithful and benevolent church.

The church at Thessalonica:  Written to by Paul from Corinth. In his second letter to them Paul stresses the pretribulation rapture of the church, that is all in Christ as the Body of Christ. Chapt 2
 

Note: The spiritual condition of each church was different. Each one was in a state of immaturity, which Paul was striving to correct in some area or another. Some were grossly in error. Some had a miserable testimony as a whole. But Paul counseled them as a part of the family of God to correct their errors, clean up their walk with the Lord, and each other as the children of God.

Jesus writing the seven churches of Asia founded by Paul addresses them as all belonging to Him.  Pointing out their spiritual condition and pleading with them to correct themselves or face His sovereign judgment of His churches. Rev. Chpt. 2 & 3

The church of Ephesus: ("Desirable" as a bride is to her groom.) A backslidden church, left its first love.

The church of Smyrna: ("Myrrh" must be crushed to give off a fragrance.) A faithful church, that loved the Lord and gave their lives for their testimony of Him.

The church of Pergamus: (Marriage) Tolerated corrupt doctrines and heretics, were unequally yoked.

The church of Thyatira: (Continuing sacrifice) Had lax discipline, and tolerated a corrupt prophetess, bringing in heresy.

The church of Sardis: (Remnant) Unequal yoking of those with spiritual life among the spiritual dead.

The church of Philadelphia: (Brotherly love) A church that loved the Lord and each other.

The church of Laodicea: (Peoples rights) A democratic church seeking the will of the people rather than the will of God, having no spiritual substance, only religion. Note: Both the local and extended family of God has been weakened by carnal (worldly) living children of God. It has been infiltrated and polluted by the unsaved, and blasphemed by apostasy.

However, you see reading Rev. chapters 2 & 3 Jesus love and concern for those in God's family, be it individuals or churches, did not justify unequal yoking, nor does it today. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Cor.6:14-18

 
Consider: 1 John 1:5-7, 2:6; Eph. 5:11; 2 Thes. 3:6

Note, we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers; we are already yoked to Christ.  Nor are we to be yoked to those who hold to false doctrines or vain religious works. However, we are to love and exhort those that are unequally yoked in the family of God, to come out from such yoking, as did the Apostle Paul and Jesus. Remember, the church is betrothed to Christ therefore, when it takes up a relationship with the world, it is an adulterous relationship. Warning against spiritual adultery "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?" James 4:4-5 

Consider: Mat. 15:8; Eph. 5:1-18

God's heart desire for the fallen is always restoration. Consider God's heart for Israel as the wife of Jehovah. Israel declared to be Jehovah's unfaithful wife. "The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD." Hosea 1:2  

God's heart for Israel is seen in His promise to restore her as His faithful wife. "And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; [husband] and shalt call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD." Hosea 2:16-20  

Note: God takes away their adulterous heart Vs 16-17 (Ishi = My husband, My Lord, My master) A new covenant given, Jehovah's wife is restored in righteousness forever. Vs 18-20 

Consider: Jer. 31:31-35

The fact of being in God's extended family does not justify unequal yoking together, or ignoring wrong doers in the family, but rather calls for our being responsible as our brother's keeper, as was Paul and Christ to the churches." Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Gal. 6:1-3 

Consider: Rom. 15:1-7; Eph. 5:11; 1 Thes. 5:14; 2 Tim. 4:2 1 Cor. 5:1-13; cf 2 Cor. 2:4-11

The focus of God heart is always on the restoration of His family. Consider: The three Parables in Luke 15:1-32. The Lost Sheep. :1-7  The Lost Coin :8- 10  The Prodigal Son :11-32

So let's learn of the Lord's heart for His churches as He sees them  come to the fork in the road to Biblical Christianity or Apostasy.

 

Background: Rev. chapt. 1. Jesus speaks to His churches as their eternal, Almighty God and Saviour, their sovereign Lord. He speaks to the pastors of His churches, represented as stars to give light to His people. They are His messengers or servants represented as angels. Although they have authority to lead the church in His place, they are in His hand. He is still sovereign and addresses the angel as the watchman of His churches.  (read and Consider: Ezek. chapt 33 & 34)   These churches were literal churches founded by Paul and existed at that time, the conditions of each were more prevalent in the churches at specific periods of time. They also represent a progressive condition of the church in relation to the time of Christ return. This is evidenced by the fact that these conditions also prevail in various churches today. Therefore, He calls for us today as He did then. . . ."He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;"

Rev. 2:1-7 The church in Ephesus: (Desirable) 30-100 AD The late Apostolic age. His commendation: Their good works, sound doctrine, church discipline, steadfastness and hatred of evil. His rebuke and call: "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Rev.2:4-7

See the Lord's heartbreak over their leaving their first love.  Hear His call to their first work of loving Him, as He loves them. Note: the deeds of the Nicolaitans may have been idolatry and immorality. It could also be a reference to the name of those that sought to "lord over the people" and establish a priestly order of the clergy. It is most likely both. Also note the Lord hated the deed not the doers.

Rev. 2:8-11 The church in Smyrna: (Myrrh a plant when crushed gave off a pleasant fragrance.) The early centuries of suffering and persecution. 100 -316 AD His commendation: Their faithful endurance in suffering, poverty and  persecution."I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." 2:9-11

Note: Smyrna was a blessed church to the Lord, there was no condemnation. The Apostle Paul had the same heart for the Lord. "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" Phil..3:10 

Consider: Rom. 8:17-18
 
Rev. 2:12-17 The church in Pergamos: (elevated or married) Beginning with Constantine's embracing Christianity 316 AD, the ecumenical church with the rising clergy. His commendation: There were some that was stedfast though they were in an evil environment. His rebuke and call: "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." 2:14-17

Think about the heartbreak of Jesus as He looks at His unequally yoked Church. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1

Rev. 2:18-29 The church in Thyatira (sacrifice which continues) rising to power 500 -1500 AD through this present day. The age of Papal apostasy, deny Christís finished work of salvation and being our only High priest and mediator between God and man, by their sacraments and priesthood. His commendation: Their charity (love), service, faith, patience, and works, which were greater than the others. (as they believed works necessary to salvation.) His rebuke and call: "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel,which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." 2:20-29

See how God hates religion, as it substitutes religious works for a relationship with Him based on His work for them. But also notice His heart of grace for those that love Him in spite of it.

Rev. 3:1-6 The church in Sardis: (remnant) This age begins with the reformation, it represents all dead Protestantism, which failed to come out from the apostate catholic church. Only separating from its governing body, while carrying on its sacraments. His commendation: Is only for a remanent of true believers who kept themselves pure. His rebuke and call: "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thouhast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Rev. 3:7-12  The church in Philadelphia: (brotherly love) all earnest spiritual churches. This church like Smyrna receives no rebuke from the Lord, rather His encouragement and blessing. His commendation "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.....Vs 8 Notice His love in His promised blessings to them. "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: andI will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." 3:9-13

See his great love for this church, and the intimate relationship of their service with the Lord.   Remember the Apostle John who teaches us most of what we know about the love of God and love of the brethren. He was the disciple Jesus loved most of all, who also had such a close relationship with Him. That's the relationship I want with my Lord, too. How about you?

Rev. 3:14-22 The church in Laodicea: (the people rule or democracy) This is a church which seeks popularity and acceptance through the will of the people. They are so independent of God they are unaware the Lord is not in there among them. He is outside seeking to come in, but they are so satisfied with themselves they do not miss Him, or hear His call. This assuredly is typical of the church of this age, as it was of Laodicea."And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." 3:14-22

This is the only church the Lord has nothing to say to them but to rebuke, with a broken heart. He must even give up speaking to the pastor [the angel of the church] and calls for any man to hear Him. Heartbroken He stands at the door of the church He gave himself for!....Seeking any man to want fellowship with Him. Think about it! How lonely, and heartbroken He must feel over His bride, the church.  Even its pastor is unaware Jesus is not in their midst, and does not hear His cry.  So Jesus calls to any man to open the door of that church to Him!

Jesus has been treated this way for almost 2000 years. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." John 1:11 Yet our wonderful Lord receives any that come to Him. What humility, love, mercy, and grace He shows to us. Still He stands at the door, of the church rejected by those He gave Himself for, ready to receive any man that open the door and receive Him. Does not Jesus desire that we all share His heart for restoration of His church, especially His appointed under shepherds of the flock of His heritage?

His message today is the same as it was to Israel. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chron. 7:14 

Remember the Church is not the building or institution but the people He gave himself for, only they can repent and receive His grace and blessing.  If that's true of you ?  If so  Press Here   

Self test on the Church as the Body and Bride of Christ. These questions are more than an academic quiz, they help you think through the facts you have learned, so that you can form convictions as to the will of God for your life. Remember meditation on Godís Word is the key to gaining wisdom, and only when it is applied in your life are you assured of being in the will of God and the place of His blessing.

Things to Consider:
Q1. In what way does the church to manifest the body of Christ differ from the bride of Christ?
Q2. In what way is the church to manifest itself as the bride of Christ?
(A) Individually [in the local church family]
(B) Collectively [in the greater extended church family]
Q3. How are those fulfilling their responsibilities as the bride of Christ respond to those that are not doing so?
Q4. What must those in the family of God be on guard for and what must they do about it?
 
You are now ready to study Spiritual Growth and Worship Unit 10 
     
May your decisions bring you the promise Romans 8:28 " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Ē   

Your friend in Christ Warren T. Smith


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