1. We learn from Revelation 1:9-11 that the Lord instructed John to send his book to the 7 churches in Asia. 2. In ch.2-3 the Lord sent a message to each of these congregations. 3. The first message (2:1-7) was sent to the church in Ephesus. 4. According to vs.7a, the Lord wants His people to "hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." 5. The Spirit inspired the apostle Paul as he wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus ("Ephesians"). 6. In our lesson we are studying a number of passages in Ephesians that will help us to "learn about the church."
I. FROM EPHESIANS WE LEARN THAT THE CHURCH IS THE LORD'S BODY
A. The church is identified as the Lord's body in Ephesians 1:22-23. B. Unfortunately, many people are confused about how many bodies and churches there are [there are just as many bodies as the number of churches that Jesus promised to build]. 1. (Ephesians 4:4) "There is one body." 2. (Matthew 16:18) Jesus said, "I will build my church." C. Being a member of the Lord's body is very important because we are reconciled to God in the one body (Ephesians 2:14-16).
II. FROM EPHESIANS WE LEARN THAT CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH
A. Christ is identified as the head of the church in Ephesians 1:22-23. B. Woe to the men and women who consider themselves to be heads of the church because Christ has all preeminence (Colossians 1:18). C. As the head of His church, Christ has a special relationship with it that is compared to the husband-wife relationship (Ephesians 5:22-33). D. To be the Lord's church we must submit to His authority (Colossians 3:17).
III. FROM EPHESIANS WE LEARN THAT THE CHURCH [THE BODY] IS COMPOSED OF MEMBERS
A. The members of the Lord's church are identified in Ephesians 5:30; 1:1. B. Additional passages include: 1. Romans 12:4-5 2. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27. C. According to 1 Corinthians 12:13, the members of the body [the church] have been baptized into it. 1. This is what the people in Ephesus did (Acts 19:5). 2. This harmonizes with Acts 2:38, 41, 47. D. We learn from Ephesians 4:16 that each member is to contribute his/her part to the edifying of the body.
1. We have studied passages primarily from Ephesians to help us learn about the church. 2. To be the Lord's church today we must follow His plan as it is revealed in the Bible. 3. Have you complied with the Lord's will so He can add you to His church?