I Am The Church
“The Body of Christ, the Church”
1 Corinthians 1: 1-10
I want to examine the body of Christ, the church. The church is no ordinary group of people; she is special in the eyes of God. The word church comes from the Greek word ecclesia and means “a called out assembly”. We have been called out of the world, set apart unto the Lord. One day we’ll be called out eternally!
Sadly, many view their association with the church in a very casual way. Being a member of the body of Christ has far too much significance for that; the price that was paid cost far too much for a casual attitude. I trust as we look at the significance of the church, we will consider how blessed we are to be a part of the church, and our responsibilities and obligations to the church. We have a lot to consider this evening, so let’s get into the message. I want to examine the details Paul provides as we think on: The Body of Christ, the Church.
I. The Origin of the Church (v. 2)
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: The church is divine in origin. It was instituted of God with Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. The church is not a man made institution. We are a product of God. Mat.16:18 – And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. We are part of something that is far greater than we can imagine. God ordained the church; He built it; He will sustain it!
The church began over 2,000 years ago. Down through the ages evil men, led of Satan, have tried to destroy it, but the church remains. There is no force on earth or in hell itself that can destroy what God has built. We like to think that we are holding this thing together, but it is God and God alone. Those who have been called out have been placed in the most glorious institution known to man, the church. We will face opposition and likely persecution, but the church of the living God will remain!
II. The Ordination of the Church (v. 2)
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: The church is really not an organization. I like to think of her as a living organism that was created and ordained of the Lord. Let’s take a moment to consider this glorious ordination.
A. Her Significance – Unto the church of God which is at Corinth…with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Paul reminds them that they are the church at Corinth. She had been placed of God within their own community. They were blessed to be part of the church and Corinth was blessed to have her within the city. He also reminds them that they alone do not constitute the church. She includes all of those who call upon the Lord and serve Him as their personal Savior!
I don’t know about you, but that brought joy to my heart. We are blessed to be part of this local body of believers. Mount Airy may not realize it, but the town is blessed by our presence here. We are a gospel witness to a lost world. I also rejoice that Fellowship alone does not make up the church. We have other local congregations in Mount Airy, Surry County, within our state, across America, and around the world. The church is of great significance to the world!
B. Her Sanctification (2) – Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints. Here we discover a glorious truth regarding the church. She is not perfect, but she is forgiven, cleansed in the blood of Jesus and sanctified in Him. That means “to make pure and holy; to render clean.” There are a lot of organizations that do good works that benefit the community, but none of them can boast of obtaining sanctification. The church was bought with a price, redeemed of God, washed and made clean by the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary! We are blessed beyond measure to be sanctified in Christ!
I. The Origin of the Church (2)
II. The Ordination of the Church (2)
III. The Opportunity of the Church (v. 4-6)
The church is unique; there is nothing else like it anywhere. She enjoys opportunities that others know nothing of. Notice:
A. Her Adoption (4) – I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; Paul reveals the gift of grace that the church has received. It is by the grace of God that we have the opportunity of salvation, being adopted into the family of God. We have spent much time considering the sinful state of man and the gracious gift of salvation. Apart from God providing a means of salvation for sinful humanity, none of us would have ever been afforded the opportunity of salvation! Were it not for the initial opportunity of salvation, we would have no way of gaining entrance to the body of Christ. We would never have experienced the joys and assurances associated with the being part of the church.
B. Her Abundance (5-6) – That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;