Recovering the Church

To recover something is to get back what has been lost. In today’s church, what has been largely lost is a robust biblical understanding of the church. What is the church? What authority does the church have? Who holds the authority of the church? What is church membership? Who leads a church? What is church discipline? What function does baptism and the Lord’s Supper have in the local church? This series will be exploring questions like these, forming a foundation for a church that can endure until Christ returns.

Christ Loves The Church • Ephesians 5:22-33
To begin understanding what the church is, we need to understand the particular redemptive love of Christ for the church.

Christians Love the Church • 1 John 3:10-18
Not only does Christ love the church, but because the Spirit of Christ dwells in every believer, Christians will also love the church. While our love for the church is imperfect, every true believer loves the gathered people of God.

Keys of the Kingdom: Part 1 • Matthew 16:13-19
What is the church? Here we start at the foundation and see that the church is a gathering of those who truly profess Christ and who speak for Christ on earth.

Keys of the Kingdom: Part 2 • Matthew 16:19
The existence of the church is primarily identified by the exercise of Christ’s authority on earth.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Here we explore this key identity marker of the church.

Church Discipline • 1 Corinthians 5
The practice of church discipline is how the church exercises its Christ-given authority on earth. There can be no true church of Jesus Christ apart from the biblical practice of church discipline. Faithful church disicpline is how the church loves the unrepenant sinner, the purity of the church, and the testimony of the church to the glory of Christ.

Church Membership • 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Is church membership in the Bible or is it made up? In today’s world, informal association is often preferred over formal church membership. But in this message, we see that in the New Testament church, each local church was made up of formally recognized and known members.

The Right Preaching of the Gospel • Ephesians 1:3-14
Without the right preaching of the gospel, there can be no true church of Jesus Christ. Here we explore the necessary componenents of the true gospel.

Elders and the Church • 1 Peter 5:1-4
The Bible has not left us to figure out how a local church ought to be led. Christ has given the church elders / pastors to teach the Word, to reject false teaching, and to lead the flock as an example to others.

The Mission of the Church • Matthew 28:16-20
The church is called to make disciples of all nations. This begins in our own local church, but also includes reaching our local communities through personal evangelism and the ends of the earth through global missions.

Church Unity and the Question of Conscience • Romans 14:1-15:7
Preserving the unity of the church is one of the church’s greatest battles. One key to preserving unity is to remember that many issues in our lives are matters of conscience, and that in these areas, we must allow others the freedom of their own conscience.

Baptism: Brought Safely Through Water • 1 Peter 3:13-22
Baptism is the initial covenant sign for the believer. Here we explore what it means in terms of a sign of our passing through judgment through faith in Christ.

Baptism: The Initial Oath-Sign of the Covenant • Romans 6:1-11; Acts 2:47-57
Baptism identifies us visibly as members of the new covenant in Christ. In this way, it also identifies us as members of the church, which is Christ’s body. Baptism is inseparable from ongoing full participating in the life of the local church.

The Lord’s Supper: Establishing Fellowship with Christ and the Church • 1 Corinthians 10:1-22
The Lord’s Supper is a sign, but it is not merely a sign. By faith, it truly establishes fellowship both with Christ and his church and is a means of God’s grace to us.

The Lord’s Supper: Our Responsibility to One Another • 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
In our church culture, we tend to view the Lord’s Supper as between “me and Jesus” alone. But in the Bible, we see that the sign of the Lord’s Supper is also a sign of our commitment to the other members of the church. If we receive the Lord’s Supper while ignoring the responsibilities God has given us to the other members of the church, we eat and drink in an unworthy manner.

The Lord’s Supper: The Family Supper • 1 Corinthians 10:17
The Lord’s Supper: The Family Supper • text transcript
Here, we go back to the fundamental nature of the church, which is a body of disciples of Jesus Christ who exercise his authority on earth. The visible sign of this authority is the Lord’s Supper. Therefore, when the church welcomes someone to the Lord’s Table, they are affirming them as belonging to Christ. This makes the Supper a great encouragement to those who receive it, as it is a sign that the church continues to receiver them as a brother or sister in the Lord. For this reason, the most consistent and historical practice is to welcome members of faithful churches to the Lord’s Supper, since they are accountable to a local church.

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