What Does "Church" Mean? (1 Corinthians 1:1-3)Phillip Stuckey, July 14, 2019
Part of the Church 101 series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
What does the word “church” mean to you? The church is not a building, but a covenanted community of believers (Acts 2:42-47). It is a people who have been called out of darkness into light and chosen by God through the gospel and have surrendered their lives to Jesus (1 Pet. 2:9-10; Luke 14:27). It means the great community of believers, the Church Universal (Matt. 16:18). But it also means a local community of believers like the church in Corinth. It is this last use we want to focus on in this lesson and in some upcoming lessons. Sometimes we struggle to fully embrace our identity as a member of a local church and tend to practice our faith in isolation with a focus on individualism and self-sufficiency. Let us consider how the New Testament uses several metaphors that teach us what “church” really means and what being a member of a church means.
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1 Corinthians 1:1–3 (Listen)
1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,
2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.