Purpose : No one will not be left to fend for one’s self after baptism. Instead, Jesus baptizes us into the body, the church (1st Corinthians 12:12-13) to be joined by a team of like-minded disciples in our devotion to Him. These brothers and sisters are meant to be a continual source of encouragement in our walk with Christ.
The Greek word for church is “ekklesia” which is a compound word meaning a calling out, an assembly.
1. Colossians 1:18
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
a) The church is the body of Christ.
b) The body needs the head. Christ is the head of the church.
c) The church is essential. One cannot say "yes" to Jesus and then say "no" to his church.
2. 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,
24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it,
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
a) All who have been saved are members of Christ’s body
b) We are baptized by one Spirit into his body.
c) Every member of the body is important and needed.
d) There should be no division in the body of Christ.
e) We should have mutual concern for one another.
3. 1 Timothy 3:15
if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
a) The church is God’s household[family].
b) Church is to be the pillar and foundation[base] of truth.
4. Ephesians 2:19-22
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
a) God’s church is built on Christ as the cornerstone.
b) Apostles and Prophets are the foundation.
c) The Bible is the church’s authority on matters of doctrine.
5. Ephesians 4:11-16
11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
a) God provides his church with various ministers to prepare his people for works of service.
b) God’s desire is for his church to become mature and unified in the faith.
c) His church grows when “each part does its work.”
d) How can God use you to build up his church?
6. Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
a) Church has appointed Leaders and one must submit to their authority.
7. Hebrews 3:12-13
12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
a) We are to see to it that our brothers are helped to stay spiritual.
b) For that we are to encourage one another Daily.
8. Hebrews 10:24-25
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
a) We are to think about how to “spur” one another on in Christ. [Spur is also translated stimulate, provoke, stir up]
b) We are to be devoted to the habit of meeting together (Acts 2:42).
c) We are to encourage one another.
9. Acts 2:42
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
a) The early church devoted [continued steadfastly] to the apostles teachings, fellowship, breaking of bread and to prayer. We need to imitate their devotion.
10. Colossians 3:12-17
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
a) These qualities should characterize our relationships in God’s church: Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
b) Bear with each other and forgive any grievances.
c) Be thankful.
d) Admonish and teach one another.
11. Matthew 18:15-17
15 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
a) Jesus teaches how Christians are to resolve conflicts in the church.
Conclusion: Do you understand the plan of God for you to be part of His church? Do you understand what it means for you to be part of this church? In which way can you fulfill your responsibility as a member of God’s church? How important do you see it is to attend church meetings?