The building of the Church, the body of Christ, is an incredibly great event for both time and eternity.
In Matthew 16:18 the Lord Jesus Christ said: "Upon this Rock I will _______________ My _________________." From this important verse we learn at least three things:
1. CHRIST IS THE BUILDER!!
2. THE BUILDING IS UPON A ROCK!!
3. THE CHURCH IS THE BUILDING!!
This building is not made of lifeless bricks or cement or steel or wood. This building is made of living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5) and these "stones" are those people who have believed on Christ (the crucified and risen One) and have received Him as their personal Lord and Saviour! Who lives in this building (Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:15)? _______________________
On the night before He died, the Lord Jesus Christ promised His disciples that Someone would be sent to comfort them (John 14:16), to abide with them (John 14:16), to live in them (John 14:17), to teach them (John 14:26), to testify (bear witness) of Christ to them (John 15:26) and to guide them (John 16:13). Who was this Person that the Lord referred to? ___________________________
The coming of the Holy Spirit was one of the most important events of history! Christmas reminds us of the time when God left heaven and came to live in a human body, as the GOD-MAN. This is called the INCARNATION, God in human flesh, or in a human body – see John 1:14 and 1 Timothy 3:16). In Acts chapter 2 we learn about the day of Pentecost. Pentecost should remind us of the time when God the Holy Spirit came to live in a BODY (the BODY OF CHRIST which is the Church).
The following chart shows when the Holy Spirit came (this great event took place on the Day of Pentecost):
We learn about the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. It was on this day that the Holy Spirit came and the Church was born! God began to live in His believers in a very special way!
As you read Acts 2:1-11, what are some of the things which happened that made it quite clear that God was doing something very special on this day?
Yes, the day of Pentecost (which took place less than two months after Christ died), was the birthday of the church. On this day the Lord Jesus Christ began building His building. On the Day of Pentecost the Body of Christ was first formed.
People are born and people die. Every person has a date of birth (a birthday) and every person has a date of death. [See Chapter 1 in this set of notes to see how death entered the world.] Go to any cemetery and you will see birth dates and death dates on the gravestones!
We will now look at your own gravestone! Please fill out your own tombstone below:
"All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again"
"It is appointed unto
The Church is different than a person. The Church had a birthday (the Day of Pentecost – about 30 A.D.) but it will never have a "death-day." Today the Church is almost 2000 years old, and it has not died yet! The Church has many enemies, and men and (evil) angels have tried to destroy it, but the Church lives on. Members of the Church have been persecuted and tortured and burned and stoned and executed, but the Church lives on. Jesus said, "I will build My Church; and the gates of Hell (Hades) shall _________ prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). No church-age believer will ever enter Hades. When a believer dies, where does he go (Phil. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:8)? _________________________________________________________________
Where does the Church get its life from (Colossians 3:4)? _________________ Therefore, to kill the Church, you must kill the HEAD of the Church! Who is the Head of the Church (Colossians 1:18 and Ephesians 1:22-23)? ______________________ Is it possible to kill Him (see Revelation 1:18 and Romans 6:9)? ______ The Church will never die, but someday Christ will come to take His Church to heaven (John 14:3; Philippians 3:20-21; Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Therefore, the victory stone of the Church reads like this:
The Church is in the world but not of the world.
(John 17:11-15; Philippians 2:15)
The Church is to be a witness to the world of God's victory.
How does a person become a member of the true Church? How does a person become a stone in this building? How does a person become a member of the body of Christ? Perhaps this diagram will help:
In the above diagram we see that the Head is in heaven (Col. 3:1-2) and the Church is on the earth (John 17:15). Each member of the Church is related to the Head and to every other member. No one can become a member of Christ's Church unless they go through the cross (by faith.) When a person does this, God places them (baptizes them) into His body (see 1 Cor. 12:13).
Are you a member of His body? Are you a living stone in His building? Has the Holy Spirit come to live in your life (John 7:39)? Do you have a love and concern for others who are members of His body (1 John 3:14)? Is it possible to attend a church (even a Bible believing church) and not really be a member of Christ’s Church? How does a person become a member of the Body of Christ? The Church is not an organization; it's an organism. An organism has life (see 1 John 5:12). Do you have life? See John 14:6; 5:24; 11:25-26.
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