Page 4 - April 2024 - Truth & Tidings
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Introduction                          in heaven, the “church of the firstborn,
          The purpose for the writing of some   which are written in heaven” (Heb 12:23).
                                              It is of this aspect of the Church that the
        of the New Testament books is stated   Lord Jesus promised, “I will build my
        specifically, as when John wrote his Gos-  church” (Mat 16:18), and daily, across the
        pel for sinners to promote faith in Christ   world, living stones are being added to
        (20:31), or when he wrote his first epistle   this spiritual edifice.
        to saints to give them the assurance of   As far as that aspect of the Church is
        salvation (5:13). In other cases, while the   concerned, it is a single organism – “there
        major theme is not specified, the subject   is one body” (Eph 4:4). By contrast, 1 Cor-
        is clear from the reading. There are two   inthians focuses on the local aspect of the
        books in the New Testament in which the   Church, “the church of God” (1:2), and
        Church features prominently but with a   the fact that he refers to “the churches of
        different emphasis in each. The Epistle   God” in the plural (11:16) shows that there
        to the Ephesians focuses on the “Body   are many such congregations scattered
        of Christ” aspect of the Church. It is the   throughout the world. First Corinthians
        book that explains that God’s intention to   was written to adjust some irregularities
        create a new spiritual entity had been in   at Corinth; in a strange way, misbehavior
        His holy heart from eternal days; it had   at Corinth has worked out to our benefit!
        “from the beginning of the world … been   We now have an inspired account of some
        hid in God” (3:9).  Thus, the Church does   aspects of assembly life that we might
        not feature in the Old Testament nor is   never have known about otherwise. Some-
        there any hint of it there. It is “one new   times the epistle has been referred to as
        man” (2:15), comprised of converted Jews   “The Charter of the Church.” This series
        and converted Gentiles, and that is the   of articles will focus on the usage of the
        “mystery” that Paul unfolds in the epistle,   word “church” throughout the letter and
        stating “that the Gentiles should be fellow-  highlight lessons for assembly life today.
        heirs, and of the same body” (3:1-6). This   The word is employed in around
        is the Church which incorporates every   20 different verses throughout the 16
        believer in Christ, membership of which   chapters, but first of all it might be helpful
        depends on having our names written   to explain the meaning of this Greek word
                                              ekklesia, translated “church” in the KJV. In
        1  Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV.  his Expository Dictionary of New Testament

        100 TRUTH kTidings   April  2024
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