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Lesson: The Mission of the Church


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SCRIPTURE READING: Acts 20:17-38

GOLDEN TEXT: Matthew 28:19-20

1. Did Jesus say He would build His Church? Matthew 16:18. What had to occur before the New Testament Church could be founded? John 7:37-39. What do the Scriptures tell us the Church is? Ephesians 1:22-23; I Corinthians 12:27. (Note: the English word "church" comes from the Greek word ekklesia. Strongís Concordance #1577 defines it as: "ekklesia, ... a calling out, i.e. ... a popular meeting, espec. a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):--assembly, church." - The Church are the "called out ones" who have been separated and dedicated to God. The Church is the people not a building.)

2. Who is the HEAD of this body, the Church? Colossians 1:18. In what manner is Christ head of the true Church of God? Ephesians 5:23.

3. How did the Church of God come to be CHRIST'S body, thus belonging to Him -- did He PURCHASE it, -- and how? Acts 20:28. Since it is individual sinners, not organizations, who have forgiveness through His blood, do not the Scriptures plainly teach that THE CHURCH OF GOD is that body of individuals whose names are written in heaven, instead of some organization? Luke 10:20.

4. What are those in the Church of God members of? Ephesians 5:30. Can we become members of His Body by merely accepting so many points of doctrine approved by a board of men, and then joining an organization? Who is the one who adds to the Church? Acts 2:47, John 6:44. How are we PUT INTO, or baptized into the Church of God? 1 Corinthians 12:13. Can we be Christ's, and members of His Body without the Holy Spirit? Romans 8:9. How many churches does God recognize? 1 Corinthians 12:12, 20.

(NOTE: The true Church of God is that collective group of individuals who have the Holy Spirit, making it a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM instead of an organization or corporation. The true Church of God does not have corporation boundaries. The Church is a Spiritual Organism made up of converted spirit led Christians.)

5. Who forms the foundation of the Church and who is the chief corner stone? Eph 2:19-22. After having trained the twelve apostles, when did Jesus actually start the Church? Acts 2:1-4. (NOTE: The New Testament Church was founded on the day of Pentecost in A.D. 31.) In the soon coming millennial kingdom when Jesus will reign for one thousand years as King of kings and Lord of lords, who will compose the "pillars" of the temple? Revelation 3:12. (NOTE: The pillars of a building have a very important function in supporting the superstructure of the building. The Saints will be the pillars of the millennial temple and will reign under Jesus as kings and priests. Revelation 5:10.)

6. What was prophesied to occur within the true Christian Church? Acts 20:29-30. Was there a predicted falling away? 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Would some Christians turn from Godís truth and sound doctrine to false doctrines and fables? 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

7. Does our adversary, the Devil, walk about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may deceive and devour. 1 Peter 5:8 Whom did the Devil persecute? Revelation 12:17. (NOTE: The Woman in this scripture is a reference to the Church.) What happened to the saints who make up the true Church? Revelation 12:6. Was the apostate church small or great? Revelation 17:1.

8. Did God give a stern warning to the ministers and religious shepherds of Israel in that they were feeding themselves and making themselves rich but were neglecting the feeding of the His Sheep? Ezekiel 34:2, 4-6.

Jesus admonished Peter three times. What was the commission that Jesus gave Peter? John 21:15-19. (NOTE: We find that one of the primary missions of the Church is to "feed the sheep". Godís people need good spiritual food based upon His word the Bible. They need truth not fables.) Are we to worship God in truth and in the spirit? John 4:23. Is the Church to equip the saints and edify the brethren to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of Christ? Ephesians 4:12-13, 2 Peter 3:18.

9. Shouldnít Christians assemble together on Godís Holy Sabbath on the seventh day of each week worshiping God and exhorting one another? Hebrews 10:25; 4:9; Exodus 20:8-12.

10. God sent Jesus, His Son into the world in the flesh of a human being as a Messenger with a Message. What was the message that Jesus was to deliver? Mark 1:1-2,14. (NOTE: Jesus came to deliver the gospel, which means good news or good message of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the millennial kingdom when Jesus will reign for one thousand years as King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:16.)

11. Did God give the Church and His people a command to "preach the gospel" to the world and our local communities? Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:10. (NOTE: The King James Version of Mark 13:10 uses the phrase: "published among the nations." The Greek word for published means to preach, proclaim or publish. In modern day terminology we would think of this as being published in some form of printed media.)

12. In the last two verses of the book of Matthew Jesus gives His final instructions and commission to His disciples. What was this three fold commission? Matthew 28:19-20.

The mission of the Church is to make disciples, baptize disciples, teach new disciples, to feed the sheep, that being the entire congregation and to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God.



Scriptures


Scripture Reading: Acts 20:17-38.

(Acts 20:17-38 NKJV) "From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. {18} And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, {19} "serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; {20} "how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, {21} "testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. {22} "And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, {23} "except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. {24} "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. {25} "And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. {26} "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. {27} "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. {28} "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. {29} "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. {30} "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. {31} "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. {32} "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. {33} "I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. {34} "Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. {35} "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" {36} And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. {37} Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him, {38} sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship."

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Golden Text: Matthew 28:19-20.

(Mat 28:19-20 NKJV) ""Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen."

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1. (Mat 16:18 NKJV) ""And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."

(John 7:37-39 NKJV) "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. {38} "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." {39} But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."

(Eph 1:22-23 NKJV) "And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, {23} which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."

(1 Cor 12:27 NKJV) "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually."

2. (Col 1:18 NKJV) "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."

(Eph 5:23 NKJV) "For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body."

3. (Acts 20:28 NKJV) ""Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."

(Luke 10:20 NKJV) ""Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.""

4. (Eph 5:30 NKJV) "For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones."

(Acts 2:47 NKJV) "praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."

(John 6:44 NKJV) ""No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

(1 Cor 12:13 NKJV) "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit."

(Rom 8:9 NKJV) "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."

(1 Cor 12:12 NKJV) "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ."

(1 Cor 12:20 NKJV) "But now indeed there are many members, yet one body."

5. (Eph 2:19-22 NKJV) "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, {20} having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, {21} in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, {22} in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

(Acts 2:1-4 NKJV) "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. {2} And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. {3} Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. {4} And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

(Rev 3:12 NKJV) ""He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name."

(Rev 5:10 NKJV) "And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.""

6. (Acts 20:29-30 NKJV) ""For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. {30} "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves."

(2 Th 2:3 NKJV) "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,"

(2 Tim 4:3-4 NKJV) "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; {4} and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."

7. (1 Pet 5:8 NKJV) "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

(Rev 12:17 NKJV) "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

(Rev 12:6 NKJV) "Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days."

(Rev 17:1 NKJV) "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,"

8. (Ezek 34:2 NKJV) ""Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?"

(Ezek 34:4-6 NKJV) ""The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. {5} "So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. {6} "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.""

(John 21:15-19 NKJV) "So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." {16} He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." {17} He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep. {18} "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." {19} This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me.""

(John 4:23 NKJV) ""But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him."

(Eph 4:12-13 NKJV) "for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, {13} till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;"

(2 Pet 3:18 NKJV) "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen."

9. (Heb 10:25 NKJV) "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."

(Heb 4:9 NIV) "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;"

(Exo 20:8-12 NKJV) ""Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. {9} Six days you shall labor and do all your work, {10} but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. {11} For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. {12} "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you."

10. (Mark 1:1-2 NKJV) "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. {2} As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.""

(Mark 1:14 NKJV) "Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,"

(Rev 19:16 NKJV) "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

11. (Mat 24:14 NKJV) ""And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

(Mark 13:10 NKJV) ""And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations."

(Mark 13:10 KJV) "And the gospel must first be published among all nations."

12. (Mat 28:19-20 NKJV) ""Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen."