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The Church - The Body of Christ

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Text

Ephesians 1:22–23 KJV 1900
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.

Review

Things we have covered so far:
Paul is writing from Rome in prison
The church was one he started so he had a unique love and care for them as if they were his own children
The letter is unique in that is does not outline any particular issue or sin and is more “general” or circular - most likely meant for all the churches to read
The first half of the letter is doctrinal and the second half is more devotional (Paul describes then he instructs)
The theme is centered around our spiritual blessings - what are they and what do we do with them
Paul’s Prayer- At the end of the chapter Paul is praying for these Christians and he is specific about what he is asking for - he is not asking for any particular material need or for any physical need but rather that these believers would better understand and appreciate what they have in Christ. We have riches and many times we fail to appreciate them!!
The Hope of his calling - this encompasses our position - in Christ, in the Church
The Riches of his inheritance- every believer is part of this inheritance and we should treat one another as such!
The Exceeding Greatness of his power - The power of God is without equal as “wrought” or demonstrated in Christ - specifically in his resurrection

Transition into thoughts on the church:

Paul turns his attention to a very important subject in verse 22 and 23 as he begins to focus on the church. As we continue to work our way through this epistle we will find this a constant theme. So this morning I want us to look at some introductory thoughts on the church.
We will look at the Churches 2 main parts
1. The Head
The Head
2. The Body

Introduction

Remember - Paul is praying for revelation - that these believers would better comprehend what they are a part of
Ephesians 1:19–21 KJV 1900
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 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:
Ep 1:19-
First notice the head (seat of authority) ...

I. The Head - Jesus Christ

There is no other authority in the church but Jesus Christ. He is the head!

A. The Power of the Head - Unlimited

“the exceeding greatness of his power....the working of his mighty power

B. The Position of the Head - Highest Authority

Illustration: SCOTUS - The US Supreme Court - the highest court in the land
At the right hand of God -
Acts 2:33–36 KJV 1900
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Acts 2:
Above all
Above all
Principality - Local Authority
Power & Might - Physical forces
Dominion - Land border
Name - Family Lineage and Wealth
This world & that which is to come - Not limited by time and space!
Application: The Lord Jesus is the one in the position of authority - it is his church (not any pastors)!
We looked at the head ....no lets notice the body:

II. The Body - Individual Members

“which is his body, the fullness of him...”
Ephesians 1:22–23 KJV 1900
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.
Illustration: 3 dimensional shape with many facets (like a diamond) - show how all of them are a part of the whole. When we speak of Christ we speak of his deity as well as his humanity both are equally important and true. God is a 3 in one - he is Father, he is Son, he is Spirit (). Likewise the church has several facets that make up its whole.
Show Shape to illustrate
1. The Local Assembly
2. The Heavenly Assembly / Eternal Assembly
3. The Universal Body

A. The Universal Body / The Bride of Christ -

“which is his body”
1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV 1900
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.
Notice Paul’s use of the word “we” in this passage - he was not a member of the Corinthian Church - this includes all saits
Not Ecumenical (Protestant Universal Church Idea)
Individual Gifts that differ (Illustration- playing little league - there were some positions I did not play EVER)

B. The Heavenly Assembly -

Ephesians 2:6 KJV 1900
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

C. The Local Assembly -

Matthew 16:18 KJV 1900
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.
Is a Christian who is not part of a local assembly still part of his body?
How important is the local assembly? BALANCE IS NEEDED HERE
When did the church begin? - not a fundamental issue!
Note: (From Way Of Life)
I know that the Greek word “ekklesia” referred to an assembly in the days when the New Testament was written. But it didn’t always refer to a “called out assembly.” Consider the use of the term in . Here “ekklesia” is used three times (verses 32, 39, 41) to refer to an unruly mob that had not been called by anyone. 
According to the “local church only” doctrine, the term “church” must always be used in the exact sense of “a visible, called-out assembly,” but the Spirit of God can use words and adapt them as He pleases. In the New Testament, words are sometimes modified from the standard first century use. While it is interesting and educational to study the common first century usage of Greek words, at the end of the day we must let the Bible interpret its own words by context.

Conclusion

As important as the local church is, there is more to Christ’s church than the present assembly, and not only in the future.
If we are not careful we will place more emphasis on this particular assembly than is intended by God. This can cause confusion and actually displace Christ as head which is a subtle form of idolatry!
As in every case we must keep our focus on Christ!
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