We Can Know the Truth about the Church (John 8:31-32)
1. In these verses Jesus mentioned an important subject -- "knowing the truth." 2. Jesus also revealed: a. the key to knowing the truth -- "continuing [abiding] in His Word" b. 2 blessings associated with knowing the truth: 1) "being His true disciples" 2) "being made free." 3. Recently, we have studied passages that teach the truth about "the great salvation," "God being our Creator," "the Lord's identity," and "the inspiration of the Scriptures." 4. This brings us to our lesson for today -- by continuing in the Lord's Word, "we can know the truth about the church." 5. As we search the Lord's Word to know the truth, we see that . . .
I. THE CHURCH WAS PURCHASED WITH A HIGH PRICE
A. The price is revealed in: 1. Acts 20:28 [Jesus purchased the church "with his own blood"] 2. Ephesians 5:25 [Christ "gave himself for it"]. B. Since Jesus paid such a high price for His church, what does this say about the opinion that the church is not important? [It is not based on the Scriptures].
II. THE CHURCH IS THE LORD'S BODY
A. This great truth is revealed in Ephesians 1:22-23. B. In connection with this, how many bodies are there? (see Ephesians 4:4) C. Since the Lord's church is His body, and there is only one body, what does this say about the opinion that the Lord approves of many churches? [It is not based on the Scriptures]. D. We understand that every body has a head -- this leads us to our next point.
III. JESUS IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH
A. We have already seen this in Ephesians 1:22-23, but the same point is also made in Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:18. B. Since Jesus is the head of His church, what does this say about the opinion that some man is the head of the church? [It is not based on the Scriptures]. C. In addition to having a head, a body is also composed of other parts.
IV. THE CHURCH IS COMPOSED OF MEMBERS
A. This point is clearly stated in Romans 12:4-5. B. Question: How does a person become a member of the Lord's body? 1. This question is answered in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 [a person is baptized into the one body]. 2. In connection with this, let us read Acts 2:47. a. The Lord adds members to His church. b. Peter would be given "the keys of the kingdom" (Matthew 16:19). c. Let us examine what Peter said and the response (Acts 2:38, 41). 3. What do these passages say about the opinion that a person must "pray the sinner's prayer" and "join the church of his choice?" [It is not based on the Scriptures]. C. How are members of the Lord's church to behave? 1. According to 1 Timothy 3:14-15, we can know how to behave properly by examining the things that are written. 2. What does this say about the opinion that a member of the Lord's body can live as he pleases? [It is not based on the Scriptures].
1. Regardless of the many opinions that exist today, we can know the truth about the church by continuing in the Lord's Word. 2. Have you become a member of the church that Jesus purchased with His blood by being baptized into it? 3. If you have, are you behaving as the Scriptures teach?