Matthew 6:9-13 - After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
The Sermon for this week is: Why I Believe In The Church
1. It is not uncommon today to hear people disparage the church...
a. I have heard people say in effect, “Christ, yes; the church, no”
b. Professing they love Jesus, desiring even to follow Him, they have little use for “the church”
2. In previous lessons in this series, I have offered some reasons “Why I Believe...”
a. In God
b. In the Bible
c. In Jesus Christ
[Now I would like to explain why I believe in the church mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 16:18
- And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. when He said “I will build My church”. Let’s
first note what is said about the church in the Scriptures...]
I. THE CHURCH DESCRIBED
A. IN THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS...
1. Christ is “head over all things to the church” - Ephesians 1:22 - And
hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the
head over all things to the church,
a. That Christ is head over all things is clear enough, but what is meant by the phrase “to the
b. Perhaps that Christ exercises His authority over all things “in the interest” of the church
(Hendriksen); i.e., the rule of Christ is for the benefit of His church!
c. Does this not say something about the Lord’s estimation of His church?
2. The church “is His body” - Ephesians 1:23 - Which is his body, the fulness
of him that filleth all in all.
a. The body of Christ!
b. It is His spiritual body, of which He is the head!
3. The church is “the fullness of Him who fills all in all” - Ephesians 1:23 - Which
is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
a. Christ fills all in all; what fills Him?
b. The church constitutes His fullness!
c. If one is to be in Christ, by implication he or she must be in the church!
4. The church is part of God’s “eternal purpose” - Ephesians 3:10-11 - To
the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known
by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
a. The manifold wisdom of God is made known through the church
b. In keeping with God’s eternal purpose; i.e., His plan which He had from eternity!
5. To God be “glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages” - Ephesians 3:21
- Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without
a. Certainly God is worthy of all glory
b. In the church and by Jesus Christ, God will be glorified forever!
6. “Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body” - Ephesians 5:23
- 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.
a. His authority over the church is again emphasized; also that it is His body
b. But here we note that Christ is the Savior, not of all men, but of His body, the church!
c. Again the implication is clear; to be saved, we must be in His body, the chur ch!
7. Christ “loved the church and gave Himself for it” - Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands,
love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
a. Jesus loves His church, even as husband is to love his wife
b. His death on the cross had His church in view; He was dying for the church!
8. Jesus’ design is to present it as “a glorious church” - Ep 5:26-27
a. He seeks to “sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word”
b. He desires for it to not have spot or wrinkle, but to “be holy and without blemish”!
9. Jesus nourishes and cherishes the church - Ephesians 5:26-27 - 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.
Ephesians 5:29-30 - For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For
we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
a. Even as you care for your own body
b. So Jesus has the same concern for His body, the church!
c. All because “we are members of His body”!
B. ELSEWHERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...
1. The church was purchased with the blood of Christ - Acts 20:28 - Take heed therefore unto
yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which
he hath purchased with his own blood.
2. The church is His body - Colossians 1:18 - 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.
; Colossians 1:24 - Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions
of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
3. The church is the family of God, the pillar and ground of the truth - 1 Timothy 3:15 - But
if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the
living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
[In view of the Scriptures’ high estimation of the church, it is something in which we should strongly
believe. But exactly what is this “church”? The word translated “church” in our Bible is ekklesia...]
II. THE CHURCH DEFINED
A. THE MEANING OF “EKKLESIA”...
1. Many note that this word is a combination of two words: ek (out of) and kaleo (to call)
a. Concluding that the primary idea is that of being “called out ”
b. That Christians were called the “ekklesia” because they were “called out”
1) It is true that Christians have been called out - cf. 1 Peter 2:9 - But
ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye
should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
2) But “ekklesia” does not stress the “called out” nature of the church!
c. This is a common mistake of defining a word by its etymology rather than by its actual usage in its
2. The word “church” as defined by Easton’s Bible Dictionary :
a. “In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ‘ecclesia ’, which
is synonymous with the Hebrew ‘kahal’ of the Old Testament...”
b. “...both words meaning simply an assembly. ”
3. Notice Thayer’s definition: “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes
into some public place, an assembly”
a. “an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating”
- cf. Acts 19:39 - But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful
b. “the assembly of the Israelites” - cf. Acts 7:38 - This is he, that was in the
church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our
fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
c. “any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously” - cf. Acts 19:40-41
- For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an
account of this concourse. And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
4. The word “ekklesia ” therefore emphasizes the “assembled” nature of a group;
i.e., it simply refers to a gathering, an assembly of people
B. AS USED IN THE CHRISTIAN SENSE...
1. Thayer offers the following uses of “ekklesia ” in a Christian sense:
a. “an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting” - cf. 1
Corinthians 14:19 - Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown
tongue. ; 1 Corinthians 14:35 - And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it
is a shame for women to speak in the church.
b. “a company of Christians, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus
Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations
prescribed for the body for order’s sake” - cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 - Paul, and Silvanus, and
Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father,
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
c. “those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into
one body” - cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2 - Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified
in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of
Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
d. “the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth” - cf. Ephesians 1:22-23
- And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to
be the head over all things to the church,
e. “the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven” - cf.
Hebrews 12:22-23 - But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven,
and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
2. Putting it most simply, we can think of the church in two primary senses:
a. The church universal - the whole assembly of people who are saved, both living and dead
b. The church local - a company of saved people in a geographical area who work and worship together
as a local congregation
c. It is the church “universal” of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 16:18 - And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it.
1. The church “universal” is that grand assembly or company of people...
a. Of which Christ is the head, and the Savior - Ephesians 5:23 - 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.
b. Which Christ loves, and for which He gave Himself - Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your
wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
c. Which Christ gave Himself to sanctify and cleanse - Ephesians 5:25-26 -Husbands, love your
wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
d. Which Christ desires to present as a glorious church, without spot or blemish - Ephesians 5:27 -
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.
2. Do you believe in that church...?
a. I hope that you do now, if you didn’t before!
b. If you believe in Jesus and in the Bible, then you must!
3. How does one become a member of that wonderful church...?
a. Note that the Lord added to the church daily those who being saved - Acts 2:47 - Praising
God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
b. Those being added were also those who were being baptized - Acts 2:41 - Then they that gladly
received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three
c. That’s because those being baptized were being saved - cf. Mark 16:16 - He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. ; Acts 2:38
- Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. ; Acts 22:16 - And now why tarriest thou? arise, and
be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
When a person responds to the gospel of Christ by faith, repentance and baptism, their sins are washed
away be the blood of Jesus, and the Lord Himself adds him or her to His church!
Have you been added by the Lord to His church through obedience to the gospel of Christ...?
Mark 16:15-16 - And
he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Matthew 28:19-20 - 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.
Prayer: Lord I truly thank
You for giving me the opportunity to present these words to my brethrens. I pray that You will give them Your eternal blessings
and accept them into Your heart - this I pray in the name of Thy Son, Jesus,
the Messiah, Your only begotten son which Ye sent to save mankind from themselves. Ephesians 6:23-24 - Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
This sermon is in the Public Domain - Free for all to use with the only requirement: That it never
be used for profit.