Lesson 2 – The churches of Christ Salute You Rom. 16:15

The churches of Christ Salute You

Jesus, presented Himself as the shepherd for the “lost sheep of Israel.” It was the need of the hour (Matt. 9:36). After preaching the kingdom of God and role-modeling the eternal life qualities of the kingdom for over three years on earth, He gave the people the opportunity to be transferred into God’s kingdom by a new birth (Acts 2:38; Col. 1: 13).

Everything had been made new in relation to the adminstration of God’s kingdom as Jesus had promised (Luke 5:36-39). The new personalized covenant in Jesus’ blood had been ratified by God “in Christ.” Luke 22:20; Heb. 8:10-12. They could approach the throne of God boldly in prayer because of Jesus’ priesthood (2:42; 4:24; 12:5; Heb. 4:14-16). He was at the right hand of God as their advocate (7:56; I John 2:1).

The apostles and the Holy Spirit gave the people the assurance they heard God’s truth. The promises and covenants of God were being fulfilled. This laid the foundation of His church. The church members were transformed to a higher quality of life by the teachings (2:42; 20:32; Rom. 12:2). Each member was given the opportunity to re-invent his or her “self” into “fruit producers.” John, the Baptist, and Jesus had clearly emphasized this point (Luke 3:9; 8:15; 13:6-9; Acts 26:20).

The sanctified were being taught by the author of life (2:47; 3:15). The “believers” had been taught the kingdom of God for development of their faith. In their repentance, they accepted the new covenant; therefore, the laws of life of the kingdom defined their new “self.” The kingdom of God came into the “self” of the members of the church (Luke 17:20, 21).

The Holy Spirit lived in each Christian (Luke 11:13; John 7:37-39; Acts 2:38, 39; 5:31). He led them in life; assured them of a new body in the resurrection; bore witness with them in their new identity as sons of God and assisted in their communication with God. Please read Romans chapter eight.

Each Christians was reassured of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 4:2; 23:6; 24:15, 21; 26:8). This gave them courage to use the material things over which God had made them stewards to secure their future home in heaven (Luke 9:59-62; 16:9-12; Acts 4:32; 18:1-3). Because the kingdom of God was within them; “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” Acts 8:4.

These people, who were later called Christians, immediately developed a loving fellowship centered on Jesus. They shared their food with one another (2:46; 4:32,36). The spirit of caring for the physical needs of other members of the church was an emotional attitude in their personality (Matt. 5:4, 7). Their mourner and merciful attitudes had become a component of their personalities. This had been taught by Jesus and developed in the members of the church (11:29; 20:1-6; 24:17; Rom. 15:26, 27).

This church Jesus built accepted the challenge to remember Jesus death on the cross each first day of the week by gathering together (2:42; 20:7; Luke 22:19, 20). This was not a ritual, it was a communion with Jesus (I Cor. 10:16, 17). They worshipped God “in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24. Jesus gave the commission to the apostles to “be My witness in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8. He also told them to teach the church “to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt. 28:20. Jesus came into the world to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). His goal was not to improve the worship of God’s people, but He did this too.

The theology of “in Christ” can be understood by the way the Apostle Paul made use of this term in his letter to the church in Ephesus. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:6.

The government ordained by God for His people is unique. A plurality of elders were ordained in every church (14:23; 20:28, 29). This is an office with specific qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9).

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