Lesson 9: A Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

The Church Will Be a Bride: The Engagement of the Church – Ephesians 5.1-17
(13 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 10
Added on  March 28, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

These are open book quizzes. Refer to your Bible for answers.

  1. The emphasis on this chapter is the __________. The church will be a ________.
  2. Today the church is not a bride. The church is a _____ ______ walking in the world; and the church is espoused (engaged) to _________, but is not wedded to ______. On earth, we are to _______ as a future ________.

    Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Revelation 21: “2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
  3. 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 “For I am jealous over you with godly __________: for I have __________ you to one ________, that I may present you as a chaste ________ to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the ____________ that is in Christ.”

    In 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, Paul is speaking to the church at ________. The only representation of the institution of the church until the marriage of the lamb is the local, autonomous, New Testament _________.
  4. According to Ephesians 5.1-18, the future bride espoused to the Lord Jesus Christ is to _______ in a prescribed manner. This manner of walk parallels the proper walk of a woman who is espoused to a _________. This manner of walk is an __________ of _______. Before becoming a believer, the children of God walked on a very ________ worldly plane. After salvation they are called “________ children” and are lifted to the plane of the __________ which Christ exhibited when He loved us enough to give Himself as an offering and a _________ for our sin.

    Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a ________ to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
  5. Ephesians 5.3-5 describes sins prevalent among _____________. Paul is saying that the child of God cannot ____________ engage in these. Even a slight indulgence brings about a revulsion and agony of ______. If you can get into_____ and not be troubled or bothered by it, you are not a child of God.
  6. List the sins pointed out in Ephesians 5.3-4.
  7. Rather than partaking in those sins, the believer is to give _________.
  8. The _____________ man who practices these sins has no portion in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. God will pour out his ________ upon the children of ____________. If you are a child of God and do these things, God will __________ you.
  9. In Ephesians 5.8-10, Paul reminds believers of their former state: they “were sometimes ____________,” but now are “_________ in the Lord.” They are to “walk as children of  _________.” For the fruit of the spirit is all ____________ and _______________ and _________. They are “proving what is ____________ to the Lord.”
  10. In Ephesians 5.11-13, Paul speaks of the “unfruitful works of __________.” The believer is to have “no ______________ with them,” but “rather to reprove” “It is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in __________.” The ________, by __________, makes those things manifest.
  11. In Ephesians 5.14-17, Paul tells believers to ________ and _________ from the dead. Only ______ can _________ us from our spiritual stupor. He again instructs us to walk circumspectly, “not as _________, but as _______. We are to _________ the time, because the days are _______. He again, in verse 17, urges us to be ______, knowing the ______ of the Lord.
  12. Thus, we are instructed, to ______ a certain way during our engagement leading up to our marriage to the Lamb of God.
  13. These verses, in the context of this chapter and Ephesians as a whole, is speaking to the members of body of the church at __________ and to the members and bodies of all New Testament ___________.

Answers

  1. The emphasis on this chapter is the future. The church will be a bride.
  2. Today the church is not a bride. The church is a new man walking in the world; and the church is espoused (engaged) to Christ, but is not wedded to him. On earth, we are to walk as a future bride.

    Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Revelation 21: “2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
  3. 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

    In 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth. The only representation of the institution of the church until the marriage of the lamb is the local, autonomous, New Testament church.
  4. According to Ephesians 5.1-18, the future bride espoused to the Lord Jesus Christ is to walk in a prescribed manner. This manner of walk parallels the proper walk of a woman who is espoused to a man. This manner of walk is an imitation of God. Before becoming a believer, the children of God walked on a very low worldly plane. After salvation they are called “dear children” and are lifted to the plane of the love which Christ exhibited when He loved us enough to give Himself as an offering and a sacrifice for our sin.

    Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
  5. Ephesians 5.3-5 describes sins prevalent among unbelievers. Paul is saying that the child of God cannot habitually engage in these. Even a slight indulgence brings about a revulsion and agony of soul. If you can get into sin and not be troubled or bothered by it, you are not a child of God.
  6. The sins pointed out in Ephsians 5.3-4 are: fornication (both earthly and spiritual—a church can commit fornication by, for example, having a relationship with the civil government); all uncleanness (all forms of immorality); covetousness ( a grasping and desire and not just for material wealth; a church, for example is covetousness when it desires big buildings, wealthy members regardless of their spiritual condition, position, power beyond that provided by God, etc. ); this is a rotten sin “not to be once named among you.”); filthiness (the utmost in depravity); foolish talking (to gloat or brag about sinning); jesting (this does not include good, clean, humor).
  7. Rather than partaking in those sins, the believer is to give thanks.
  8. The unregenerate man who practices these sins has no portion in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. God will pour out his wrath upon the children of disobedience (Ep. 5.5-7). If you are a child of God and do these things, God will chasten
  9. In Ephesians 5.8-10, Paul reminds believers of their former state: they “were sometimes darkness,” but now are “light in the Lord.” They are to “walk as children of light.” For the fruit of the spirit is all goodness and righteousness and truth. They are “proving what is acceptable to the Lord.”
  10. In Ephesians 5.11-13, Paul speaks of the “unfruitful works of darkness.” The believer is to have “no fellowship with them,” but “rather to reprove” “It is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” The light, by reproof, makes those things manifest.
  11. In Ephesians 5.14-17, Paul tells believers to awake and arise from the dead. Only God can awaken us from our spiritual stupor. He again instructs us to walk circumspectly, “not as fools, but as wise. We are to redeem the time, because the days are evil. He again, in verse 17, urges us to be wise, knowing the will of the Lord.
  12. Thus, we are instructed, to walk a certain way during our engagement leading up to our marriage to the Lamb of God.
  13. These verses, in the context of this chapter and Ephesians as a whole, is speaking to the members of body of the church at Ephesus and to the members and bodies of all New Testament churches.

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 8: A Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

The Prohibition of the New Man (Ephesians 4.17-22)
(20 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 9
Added on  March 27, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

These are open book quizzes. Refer to your Bible for answers.

  1. As we have seen in lesson 7, Ephesians 4.1-6 deals with the ____________ of the new man.
  2. As we have seen in lesson 7, Ephesians 4.7-16 deals with the ____________ of the new man.
  3. Now, in Ephesians 4.17-32, we look at the ____________ of the new man. Prohibition means, “the act of ____________
  4. There is a ____________ side to a Christian’s life which is set out by ___________. God’s prohibitions for the new man are the ___________ of His Word. For example, the primary command in the Garden of Eden was __________: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt _____ eat of it. for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Ge. 2.17).
  5. Paul instructs Gentile believers to “_______ not as other Gentiles _______, in the __________ of their mind. Having the understanding __________, being ___________ from the life of God through the __________ that is in them, because of the ____________ of their heart: Who being past __________ have given themselves over unto ______________, to work all uncleanness with _____________” (Ep. 4.17-19).
  6. Paul, in Ep. 4.17-19, gives four aspects of the walk of the Gentiles which illustrate the absolute futility and insane purpose of the life of the lost man. What are they? Give a brief explanation of each.
  7. Who are the saved Gentiles now to listen to and be taught by?
  8. Where is the truth?
  9. The believer in Christ is to “put off the _____ _____, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ep. 4.22).
  10. Paul tells the believer in Christ is to “be _________ in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the _____ _____, which after God is _________ in righteousness and true holiness (Ep. 4.23-24).
  11. This putting on of the new man:

    a. is done by self-effort.
    b. is done by striving to imitate Christ’s conduct.
    c. has already been done for us when the old man was crucified with Christ.
    d. none of the above.
  12. We are to put off the old man by the power of:

    a. positive thinking
    b. the human will
    c. the Holy Spirit
    d. help from others
  13. Believers, in putting on the new man, are to live in their new nature, as a new man, as a result of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. This is a repetition of the great message in the book of:

    a. Revelation
    b. Psalms
    c. Romans
    d. Jude
  14. Since we are declared __________ and we are in ________ seated in the ____________, our ______ should be commensurate with our position. “”Which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
  15. List the prohibitions given the believer in Ephesians 4.25-29.
  16. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ep. 4.30). What grieves the Holy Spirit of God?
  17. True or false: A believer can grieve away the Holy Spirit of God. Give the reason for y0ur answer.

The answers to the questions below are based upon Ephesians 4.30-32:

Ephesians 4:31-32: “31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

  1. The sins listed in Ephesians 4.31 are sins of an emotional nature which are to “be put away from you.”
  2. In verse 32 we see:

    a. a radical change in the believer
    b. a marked contrast from the previous verse
    c. both a and b
    d. neither a nor b
  3. “Even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ep. 4.30c). All this is to be done on the basis:

    a. that his conduct will not grieve the Holy Spirit
    b. of command under the law of the grace of God
    c. of the grace of God. The basis of forgiveness is gracious. We are to forgive because we have been forgiven..
    d. both a and c.

Answers

  1. As we have seen in lesson 7, Ephesians 4.1-6 deals with the exhibition of the new man.
  2. As we have seen in lesson 7, Ephesians 4.7-16 deals with the inhibition of the new man.
  3. Now, in Ephesians 4.17-32, we look at the prohibition of the new man. Prohibition means, “the act of forbidding
  4. There is a negative side to a Christian’s life which is set out by Scripture. God’s prohibitions for the new man are the negatives of His Word. For example, the primary command in the Garden of Eden was negative: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it. for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Ge. 2.17).
  5. Paul instructs Gentile believers to “walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ep. 4.17-19).
  6. The four aspects of the walk of the Gentiles, with brief sample brief explanations of each, which Paul gives in Ep. 4.17-19 which illustrate the absolute futility and insane purpose of the life of the lost man are:
    (1) “In the vanity of their mind” means the empty illusion of the life that thinks there is satisfaction in sin.
    (2) “having the understanding darkened” means that the lost man has lost his perception of moral values.
    (3) “Being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them” is a picture of all mankind without Christ.
    (4) “Who being past feelings have given themselves over unto lasciviousness [which is uncleanness] to work all uncleanness with greediness.” Their continuance in this state of moral ineptitude brings them down to the level where they have no feeling of wrongdoing.
  1. Jesus. See Ep. 4.20-21.
  2. In Jesus. Ep. 4.21.
  3. The believer in Christ is to “put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ep. 4.22).
  4. Paul tells the believer in Christ is to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ep. 4.23-24).
  5. This putting on of the new man: c. has already been done for us when the old man was crucified with Christ. See, e.g., Romans 6:6 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
  6. We are to put off the old man by the power of: c. the Holy Spirit
  7. Believers, in putting on the new man, are to live in their new nature, as a new man, as a result of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. This is a repetition of the great message in the book of: c. Romans
  8. Since we are declared righteous and we are in Christ seated in the heavenlies, our walk should be commensurate with our position. “”Which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
  9. The prohibitions given the believer in Ephesians 4.25-29 are: “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  10. The offenses that have been listed grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
  11. False. Because the believer is “sealed unto the day of redemption.”
  12. The sins listed in Ephesians 4.31 are sins of an emotional nature which are to “be put away from you.”
  13. In verse 32 we see: c. both a (a radical change in the believer) and b (a marked contrast from the previous verse)
  14. “Even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ep. 4.30c). All this is to be done on the basis: d. both a (that his conduct will not grieve the Holy Spirit) and c (of the grace of God. The basis of forgiveness is gracious. We are to forgive because we have been forgiven)[Note on this answer: It is not to forgive that we get forgiveness. Note the contrast: Christ was stating the legal grounds for forgiveness in the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (mt. 6.14, 15). Here we are told to forgive on the basis of the grace of God which He exhibited in our forgiveness for Christi’s sake, because Christ died for us.]

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 7 on the Doctrine of the Church

The Church Is a New Man: The Exhibition and Inhibition of the New Man – Ephesians 4.1-16
(17 questions from with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 8
Added on March 25, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

  1. Ephesians 4.1-6 consider the _______________ of the new man. The only way people can tell if you are a real child of God through faith in Christ is by your _______.

    “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye _______ __________ of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ep. 4.1)
  2. Paul begs believers to walk “With all ____________ and ____________, with __________________, forbearing one another in _______: Endeavoring to keep the _________ of the Spirit in the bond of __________” (Ep. 4.2-3).

    Lowliness is the flagship of all Christian virtues and is the opposite of _________. (See also, Philippians 2.3).

    Meekness means mildness but it does not mean ____________. Meekness is __________ yourself to the will of God. (McGee, Ephesians, p. 111).

    Longsuffering, a ________ of the Spirit, means that we don’t have a ________

    “Forbearing one another in love” means to hold one’s self _______ in the spirit of _______. (See also, Col. 3.13)
  3. “Endeavoring to keep the ________ of the Spirit” (See also, Jn. 17.21). There are seven unities to be kept: one _______, one __________, one _______ of your calling, one _______, one ________, one baptism, one _____ and Father of all, who is above _____, and through _____, and in you _____. (Ep. 4.3-6). God is not the _________ of unbelievers.
  4. In Ephesians 4.1-6, Paul started with the individual _____________. Then he widens out to the entire __________ which is one _______ and one __________. Then, he brings this passage to a great crescendo, which pictures the imminence and transcendence of _____.

Questions 5 through 17 are based on Ephesians 4.7-16

  1. In Ephesians 4.7-16, we learn of the ____________ of the new man. (Inhibition = Something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses).
  2. God has given ________ to every believer, not that he may develop him spiritually, but in order that each believer may function in the ______ of believers to ____________ and bless the __________. (See Ro. 12, 1 Co. 12.7, 1 Co. 12, 13, and 14). Every member of my body needs to work __________. My eyes, brain, legs, etc. need to work __________. When one member of a body is not exercising his gift, he throws the whole body out of tune.
  3. God “led captivity _____________, and gave ________ to men” “when he __________ up on high.” (Ep. 4.8). He first received those ________ for men (Ps. 68.18). Then He came to earth and went back to the Father and is now distributing the ________ among men. “When he ascended up on high” (the ascension) he did two things: (1) He “led captivity ____________” (referring to the redeemed of the ______ _______________ who went to _____________ when they died). (2) When He ascended, He conferred ________ on living believers in the church so that they might __________ to the world. At the day of __________, the Holy Spirit endowed ___________ with certain ________, enabling them to function as members of the _________ (the church at Jerusalem). The Holy Spirit put each of them in a certain place in the _______, and He has been doing that ever since.
  4. Christ takes certain men who have been given certain ________ and gives them to the ________:

    “And he [ __________ ] gave some, apostles; and some, ____________; and some, evangelists; and some, ___________ and teachers” (Ep. 4.11)
  5. An apostle had seen the Lord Jesus Christ but had also been directly and personally commissioned by Him to be an __________. He enjoyed special ______________. (See Ga. 1.1, 2).
  6. “Prophets” refers to New Testament prophets, men with particular insight into the ____________ of faith. (cf. Ep. 3.5).
  7. “Evangelists” were traveling missionaries. Paul was an example. They went ________ into new territory with the __________ of ______ who went before them.
  8. He also gave “pastors” who were _____________ of the flock.
  9. He gave some “teachers” who were to ____________ the flock. (See also, 1 Co. 12.28, 29, and 1 Ti. 3.2).
  10. He gave these men to the church for specified purposes:

    “For the ______________ of the saints, for the ______ of the ministry, for the ____________ of the body of Christ: (Ep. 4.12).
  11. A church has a purpose which is to complete itself that it might grow up:

    “Till we all come in the unity of the ________, and of the __________ of the Son of God, unto a __________ man, unto the __________ of the stature of the __________ of Christ: That we ______________ be no more ____________, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of ____________, by the sleight of _____, and cunning __________, whereby they lie in wait to __________;” (Ep. 4.13-14).
  12. A church is not to make a “nut” of herself before the ________; she is not to appear ignorant before the ________. All these men are to prepare the _________ so that the believers might do the work of _____________ and ____________ up the body of Christ. The pastor has a special ______, a ______ of teaching the Word of God so that his __________, those who are under him, might do the work of the ____________. A __________ or other member of a church cannot be all things. No man has ______ the gifts. The business of the pastor is to ________ the members of the church for the ______ of the ministry. All believers need to be ___________ in the Word of God so they can do the ______ of the ministry. Christ’s purpose in giving men with different ______ to a __________ is to __________ believers from babyhood to full maturity. (See McGee, Ephesians, p. 119-122).
  13. The final goal:“But speaking the truth in ______, may ______ up into him in all things, which is the ______, even Christ: From whom the whole ______ fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint ___________, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, _________ increase of the ______ unto the edifying of itself in ______.” (Ep. 4.15-16)

Answers

  1. Ephesians 4.1-6 consider the exhibition of the new man. The only way people can tell if you are a real child of God through faith in Christ is by your walk.

    “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ep. 4.1)
  2. Paul begs believers to walk “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love: Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ep. 4.2-3).

    Lowliness is the flagship of all Christian virtues and is the opposite of pride. (See also, Philippians 2.3).

    Meekness means mildness but it does not mean weakness. Meekness is bowing yourself to the will of God. (McGee, Ephesians, p. 111).

    Longsuffering, a fruit of the Spirit, means that we don’t have a short

    “Forbearing one another in love” means to hold one’s self back in the spirit of love. (See also, Col. 3.13)
  3. “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit” (See also, Jn. 17.21). There are seven unities to be kept: one body, one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ep. 4.3-6). God is not the father of unbelievers.
  4. In Ephesians 4.1-6, Paul started with the individual believer. Then he widens out to the entire church which is one body and one Spirit. Then, he brings this passage to a great crescendo, which pictures the imminence and transcendence of God.

Questions  through  are based on Ephesians 4.7-16

  1. In Ephesians 4.7-16, we learn of the inhibition of the new man. (inhibition = Something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses).
  2. God has given gifts to every believer, not that he may develop him spiritually, but in order that each believer may function in the body of believers to benefit and bless the church. (See Ro. 12, 1 Co. 12.7, 1 Co. 12, 13, and 14). Every member of my body needs to work together. My eyes, brain, legs, etc. need to work together. When one member of a body is not exercising his gift, he throws the whole body out of tune.
  3. God “led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men” “when he ascended up on high.” (Ep. 4.8). He first received those gifts for men (Ps. 68.18). Then He came to earth and went back to the Father and is now distributing the gifts among men. “When he ascended up on high” (the ascension) he did two things: (1) He “led captivity captive” (referring to the redeemed of the Old Testament who went to Paradise when they died). (2) When He ascended, He conferred gifts on living believers in the church so that they might witness to the world. At the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit endowed believers with certain gifts, enabling them to function as members of the body (the church at Jerusalem). The Holy Spirit put each of them in a certain place in the body, and He has been doing that ever since.
  4. Christ takes certain men who have been given certain gifts and gives them to the church:

    “And he [Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Ep. 4.11)
  5. An apostle had seen the Lord Jesus Christ but had also been directly and personally commissioned by Him to be an apostle. He enjoyed special inspiration. (See Ga. 1.1, 2).
  6. “Prophets” refers to New Testament prophets, men with particular insight into the doctrines of faith. (cf. Ep. 3.5).
  7. “Evangelists” were traveling missionaries. Paul was an example. They went alone into new territory with the Spirit of God who went before them.
  8. He also gave “pastors” who were shepherds of the flock.
  9. He gave some “teachers” who were to instruct the flock. (See also, 1 Co. 12.28, 29, and 1 Ti. 3.2).
  10. He gave these men to the church for specified purposes:

    “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ep. 4.12).
  11. A church has a purpose which is to complete itself that it might grow up:

    “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Ep. 4.13-14).
  12. A church is not to make a “nut” of herself before the world; she is not to appear ignorant before the world. All these men are to prepare the church so that the believers might do the work of ministering and building up the body of Christ. The pastor has a special gift, a gift of teaching the Word of God so that his members, those who are under him, might do the work of the ministry. A pastor or other member of a church cannot be all things. No man has all the gifts. The business of the pastor is to build the members of the church for the work of the ministry. All believers need to be trained in the Word of God so they can do the work of the ministry. Christ’s purpose in giving men with different gifts to a church is to develop believers from babyhood to full maturity. (See McGee, Ephesians, p. 119-122).
  13. The final desired result for a church:“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ep. 4.15-16)

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 6: A Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

Introduction to The Church Is a New Man and Must Walk as a New Man – Ephesians 4
(13 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 7
Added on  March 24, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

Study Introduction to Study of Ephesians 4 for answers to these questions
Audio of Introduction to Study of Ephesians 4

  1. The theme of Ephesians 4 is: The church is a _____ _____; therefore the church must walk as a _____ _____.
  2. The subjects of Ephesians 4-6 are the __________ of the church and the __________ of the believer.
  3. Ephesians 1-3 considered the _________, ______________, and the ______________ of the church.
  4. Ephesians 3-6 considers the __________ of the church, the ____________ of the church, and the __________ of the church.
  5. In chapters 1-3 we have been on the __________ peak of the transfiguration, probably the _________ point in the New Testament.
  6. In chapters 4-6, we descend to the plane of living where we confront a __________________ world and a ___________ _____.
  7. It has been said that the book of Ephesians occupies the same position theologically as the book of ________ in the Old Testament.
  8. Joshua entered the land of promise on the basis of _________ made to _________, Isaac, Jacob, and _______.
  9. Joshua had to appropriate the land by taking ____________ of it for the enjoyment of it and for __________ in the land.
  10. __________ was a key word in the first half of Ephesians—God has blessed us “with all spiritual blessings.” God has given them over to us, but are we walking down here in ____________ of them?
  11. Now the believer is privileged to move in and occupy the “all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.” However, the unsearchable riches in Christ must be searched out with the spiritual Geiger counter, which is the ______ ____ ______.
  12. In Ephesians 4-6, we have come to the __________ side of Ephesians, the earthly ________ of the church; and in chapter 4 the church is portrayed as the ______ ______.
  13. This is restricted to those who have become ________ of God through _______ in Christ. ______ men cannot walk no matter how insistently they are urged to walk. ______ men must first be made alive.

Answers

  1. The theme of Ephesians 4 is: The church is a new man; therefore the church must walk as a new man.
  2. The subjects of Ephesians 4-6 are the conduct of the church and the vocation of the believer.
  3. Ephesians 1-3 considered the calling, construction, and the constitution of the church.
  4. Ephesians 3-6 considers the conduct of the church, the confession of the church, and the conflict of the church.
  5. In chapters 1-3 we have been on the mountain peak of the transfiguration, probably the highest point in the New Testament.
  6. In chapters 4-6, we descend to the plane of living where we confront a demonpossessed world and a skeptical mob.
  7. It has been said that the book of Ephesians occupies the same position theologically as the book of Joshua in the Old Testament.
  8. Joshua entered the land of promise on the basis of promise made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses.
  9. Joshua had to appropriate the land by taking possession of it for the enjoyment of it and for blessing in the land.
  10. Position was a key word in the first half of Ephesians—God has blessed us “with all spiritual blessings.” God has given them over to us, but are we walking down here in possession of them?
  11. Now the believer is privileged to move in and occupy the “all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.” However, the unsearchable riches in Christ must be searched out with the spiritual Geiger counter, which is the Word of God.
  12. In Ephesians 4-6, we have come to the practical side of Ephesians, the earthly conduct of the church; and in chapter 4 the church is portrayed as the new man.
  13. This is restricted to those who have become children of God through faith in Christ. Dead men cannot walk no matter how insistently they are urged to walk. Dead men must first be made alive.

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Introduction to Study of Ephesians 4

This is a sample of Dr. McGee’s excellent Bible teachings.
Click here go to all Dr. McGee’s audio teachings on the books of the Bible.
Dr. J. Vernon McGee

Ep.4.22-24_1We have now come to a new section of the Epistle to the Ephesians. The subjects of these last three chapters are the conduct of the church and the vocation of the believer. We have learned of the heavenly calling of the believer, and now we come to the believer’s manner of life, his earthly walk. This is not a worldly walk but it is an earthly walk. The true believers [are] seated in the heavenlies in Christ. Christ is the Head of the body and He is seated at God’s right hand. But the church is to live down here on this earth.

In chapters 1-3 we have considered the calling, construction, and the constitution of the church. In this last section of the epistle we shall consider the conduct of the church, the confession of the church, and the conflict of the church. The church is a new man; in the future the church will be a bride; and the church is also a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

In the first three chapters we have been on a mountain peak of the transfiguration, probably the highest spiritual point in the New Testament. That is the reason we spent so much time in those chapters. In this last division, we descend to the plane of living where we confront a demon-possessed world and a skeptical mob. It is right down where the rubber meets the road. Are we able to translate the truths of the mountain top into shoe leather? Are we able to stand and walk through the world in a way that is pleasing to God. Our Lord said that we are in the world but not of the world.

It has been stated that Ephesians occupies the same position theologically as the book of Joshua does in the Old Testament. Now we come to the position where this truth is manifest. Joshua entered the land of promise on the basis of the promise made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. It was his be right of promise, and he led the children of Israel over the Jordan into the land. Passing over Jordan is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We as believers have been brought into the promised land. that is where you and I live—at least we should be living in resurrection territory today.

Joshua had t appropriate the land by taking possession of it for the enjoyment of it and for blessing in the land. Possession is the great word in the book of Joshua. Although enemies and other obstacles stood in his way, Joshua had to overcome and occupy.

Position was a key word in the first half of Ephesians—God has blessed us “with all spiritual blessings.” God has given them over to us, but are we walking down here in possession of them? The children of Israel had been promised their land, but it remained a “never-never” land to them until they entered it. “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses” (Joshua 1.3). God says, “Joshua, all of it is yours, but you will enjoy only that which you lay hold of.”

Now the believer is privileged to move in and occupy the “all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies.” However, the unsearchable riches in Christ must be searched out with the spiritual Geiger counter, which is the Word of God. Up until now the epistle has been glorious declarations, but now there will be commands. Those who have been called to such an exalted place are now commanded to a way of life which is commensurate with the calling.

Some people dwell on the first part of the epistle and become rather super-duper saints, very spiritual. I remember a family like this when I first came to Southern California. They attended the church which I pastored but were not members. They were lovely, active people. I asked them one day why they didn’t join the church. They looked up to the ceiling and said, “We’re members of the invisible church,” and fluttered their eyelids. I have learned that a lot of these folk who are members of the “invisible” church are really invisible—invisible on Sunday night and invisible on Wednesday night. In fact, they are invisible when you need help from them. Now, my friend, let’s be practical about this: the invisible church is to make itself visible in a local assembly.

We have come to the practical side of Ephesians, the earthly conduct of the church; and in this chapter the church is portrayed as a new man. The new man is to exhibit himself down here. The members of the invisible church are to make themselves visible. They are to be extroverts, if you please, and they are to get out the Word of God.

What follows here is restricted to those who are in Christ. The Spirit of God is talking to saved people. If you are not a Christian, God is not asking you to do the commands in this epistle. First, you must become a child of His through faith in Christ; you must become a member of His [family]. What follows in this epistle is for those who have been redeemed and have heard the Word of truth. Dead men cannot walk no matter how insistently they are urged to walk. The dead man must first be made alive. Paul has told us that we were dead in trespasses and sins. That is the condition of all who are lost. The top sergeant doesn’t go out to the cemetery and yell, “”Attention! Forward march!” If he did, there certainly wouldn’t be any marching. Nobody would move. They first must have life. It is interesting that the religions are saying to a dying world, “Do something and you will be somebody.” God says just the opposite: “Be somebody and then you can do something.” If you are not a Christian, you just stay on the sidelines and listen. You will learn what God would ask of you if you were going to become a believer; and when you look around you, you will know whether or not the saints are living as God want them to live.

For a complete study of Ephesians, see Bible Doctrine of the Church.

Lesson 5: A Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

The Church Is a Mystery – Ephesians 3
(9 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 6
Added on March 23, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

  1. The theme of Ephesians 3 is that the church is a __________.
  2. The meaning of mystery in this context is “something that had not ____________ been revealed but is currently made __________.” This mystery being revealed by Paul was made known to him by the ________. (See Ep. 3.3-5).

    “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ep. 3.5).

    “ Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the _________, which was kept secret since the world began” (Ro. 16.25).

    Even the _________ which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints” (Col. 1.26).
  1. The institution of the ________ was not revealed in the _____ Testament but is solely revealed in the _____ ____________.
  2. Paul, unlike the other apostles, was sent to the ___________. He became a prisoner because he took the Gospel to the ___________.

    For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you ___________” (Ep. 3.1).
  3. A brand _____thing is taking place. It is a new ________________or _________ from what they had in the Old Testament.

    ”If ye have heard of the _______________ of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ep. 3:2).
  4. This mystery had not been made known before, “as it is now revealed unto his holy __________ and __________by the ________” (Ep. 3.5).
  5. The mystery was not that the Gentiles would be __________. (See, e.g., Is. 11.10; 42.6; Zec. 2.11; Mal. 1.11).
  6. This new mystery was not to be __________or argued, but___________!

    “And to make all men ______what is the fellowship of the___________, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ep. 3.9).
  7. Another purpose of the mystery is revealed. God’s created intelligences are learning something of the _________ of God through the_________. They not only see the love of God displayed and lavished upon us, but the _________of God is revealed to his angels.

    “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold _________of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ep. 3.10-11).

Answers

  1. The theme of Ephesians 3 is that the church is a mystery.
  2. The meaning of mystery in this context is “something that had not previously been revealed but is currently made manifest.” This mystery being revealed by Paul was made known to him by the Spirit. (See Ep. 3.3-5).

    “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ep. 3.5).

    “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Ro. 16.25).

    Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints” (Col. 1.26).
  1. The institution of the church was not revealed in the Old Testament but is solely revealed in the New Testament.
  2. Paul, unlike the other apostles, was sent to the Gentiles. He became a prisoner because he took the Gospel to the Gentiles

    “For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles” (Ep. 3.1).
  3. A brand new thing is taking place. It is a new dispensation or economy from what they had in the Old Testament.

    “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward” (Ep. 3:2).
  4. This mystery had not been made known before, “as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ep. 3.5).
  5. The mystery was not that the Gentiles would be saved. (See, e.g., Is. 11.10; 42.6; Zec. 2.11; Mal. 1.11).
  6. This new mystery was not to be debated or argued, but preached!

    “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ep. 3.9).
  7. Another purpose of the mystery is revealed. God’s created intelligences are learning something of the wisdom of God through the church. They not only see the love of God displayed and lavished upon us, but the wisdom of God is revealed to his angels.

    “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ep. 3.10-11).

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 4: A Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

The Church Is a Temple and the Method and Materials of Construction – Ephesians 2
(17 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 5
Added on March 23, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

  1. To whom was Ephesians written?
  2. What is the theme of Ephesians 2?
  3. Paul said to the church at Ephesus:

    “19 Now therefore ye are no more _________ and _________, but _________ with the saints, and of the _________ of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the _________ and__________________, Jesus Christ himself being the chief _________ _________; 21 In whom all the _________ fitly framed together groweth unto an holy _________ in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are _________ together for an _________ of God through the _________.” (Ep. 2:19-22).

    Verses 19-22 tell us that the “saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” are identified three distinct ways: (1) As ___________________ (of heaven-see verses 6-7) (2) who are of the household (_________) of God along with all the saints no matter which local church they are members of. They are also identified as (3) a ________ or spiritual ___________ or _______ made up of the _________ of the ________ at Ephesus who are united together by the ________ to be an habitation of ________. All believers, individually, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are an individual temple of God (See 1 Co. 3.16-17, 6.19. Ep. 2.1-10). Paul says, “ye also are _________ together.” Who is the ye he is speaking to? They are, in context, the saints which are at _________ and the faithful in Christ Jesus to whom he is writing (Ep. 1.1); and, in applicability, to all individual believers and all New Testament churches from that day until the marriage of the lamb.
  4. Thus, the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus are builded ________ for an ___________ of God through the _______. (Ep. 2.22). They are built upon the foundation of the ________ and _______, _______ _______ himself being the chief corner stone. Every local New Testament ________ fits this model.
  5. Paul’s epistles were always written to a________ assembly, a local _______, but the principles he spoke were and are applicable to every New Testament ______ body and the saints in each _________.
  6. Thus, as to the local “habitation of God,” “the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” were builded _________ for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ep. 2.22). They are “_________ _________” All parts of a building must be connected—they must be “_________—that is, __________  __________, each being a part of the same _________ organism (See also, Ep. 2.21, Ep. 4, and 1 Co. 12). Every local New Testament ________ fits this model. If they are not “________,” they are not a ________, they are not a ________. A believer in China may or may not be a member of a church. He definitely is not a member of a church such as Old Paths Baptist Church in Minnesota, a church he has never heard of.
  7. Paul’s epistles were always to a local church whose members were connected. The members came together spiritually for _________, _________, _________, and ___________. Every member attended _________ meetings unless sick or for some other acceptable absence. They were members of a particular local _______ (such as the Church at Ephesus).
  8. The principles Paul spoke were and are ___________ to every New Testament ___________ body and the saints in each ___________.
  9. All Bible references to a church here on the earth refer to an local autonomous ________ of Jewish and/or Gentile believers and not to a ___________or catholic church. Nowhere in the New Testament is a ___________ here on the ________ever referred to as anything other than a local spiritual body and nowhere does Scripture teach that a church is to have any type __________ above it other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Some examples of references to churches as they existed in the New Testament follow:

    “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied” (Ac. 9.31).

    Paul said, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house. (Ro. 16.5)” Notice that the church refers to the local body of baptized believers. The house was just the place where they met; it was not a church.

    Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Paul … 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 their’s and our’s” (1 Co. 1.1-2).”

    “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place…” (1 Co. 14.23).

    “The churches [Not “the church of Asia”] of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house” (1 Co. 16.19).

    “Paul … unto Philemon … and to the church in thy house” (Philemon 1-2).

    In Revelation, the Lord speaks to “the church of Ephesus” (Re. 2.1), “the church in Smyrna” (Re. 2.8), “the church in Pergamos” (Re. 2.12), “the church in Thyatira” (Re. 2.18), “the church in Sardis” (Re. 3.1), “the church in Philadelphia” (Re. 3.7), and “the church of the Laodiceans” (Re. 3.14).
  10. Those believers who spiritually unite together in a local body are a ________. A body must be __________; without unification and connection to the other parts, a ________ cannot exist.
  11. The building which Paul is speaking of is___________, ___________, and ___________, not ___________, ___________, and ___________.“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ep. 2:2-3)”“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ep. 2:4-7)

    “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ep. 2.22).
  12. The material for the construction of a church does not include those:

    “who were ______ in trespasses and ______; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this ________, according to the ________ of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of ______________: Among whom also we all had our _______________ in times ______ in the lusts of our _______, fulfilling the desires of the ________ and of the ________; and were by nature the children of _________, even as others” (Ep. 2.1-3).
  13. The material for the construction of a church is:

    Those (speaking in context to the members of the Church at Ephesus, but also in applicability to all believers) whom He hath _______________. See Ep. 2.1, 5 et seq.
  14. Thus, a church is a __________ organism, since it is built by bringing together __________beings. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a ___________ house, an holy priesthood, to offer up __________ sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pe. 2:5).
  15. The first step in the construction of a church is the combining of believers, Jew and _________, into a ______ ______ (See Ep. 2.11-16).
  16. The new man has a new citizenship and family. All believers, including the “saints which are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Jesus Christ” are, along with all believers, no matter their local church affiliation, “________________ with the _________, and of the ______________of God,” who sit in “___________ places in Christ Jesus.” Ep. 2.1, 5, 19. Being a _______________ and “of the household of God,” speaks of _______________ and _________, not of local _________ body. All believers are therefore citizens of heaven and members of the family or household of God.
  17. Those believers in the church at Ephesus are (1) ________________ with the saints, (2) members of a new _________, the household of God, and (3) a local New Testament church assembly, an holy _________ of the Lord.

    “19 Now therefore ye are no more ___________ and _________, but _______________ with the saints, and of the _______________ of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief ________ ________; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together ___________ unto an holy ________ in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are _________ together for an___________ of God through the ___________” (Ep. 2:19-22).

Answers

  1. Ephesians was written to “to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ep. 2.1.)
  2. The theme of Ephesians 2 is that “A church is an holy temple in the Lord.” (The answers below which examine Ephesians 2 will make this clear.)
  3. Paul said to the church at Ephesus:

    “19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ep. 2:19-22).

    Verses 19-22 tell us that the “saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” are identified three distinct ways: (1) As fellowcitizens (of heaven-see verses 6-7) (2) who are of the household (family) of God along with all the saints no matter which local church they are members of. They are also identified as (3) a temple or spiritual building or body made up of the members of the church at Ephesus who are united together by the Spirit to be an habitation of God. All believers, individually, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are an individual temple of God (See 1 Co. 3.16-17, 6.19. Ep. 2.1-10). Paul says, “ye also are builded together.” Who is the ye he is speaking to? They are, in context, the saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus to whom he is writing (Ep. 1.1); and, in applicability, to all individual believers and all New Testament churches from that day until the marriage of the lamb.
  4. Thus, the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ep. 2.22). They are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Every local New Testament church fits this model.
  5. Paul’s epistles were always written to a local assembly, a local church, but the principles he spoke were and are applicable to every New Testament church body and the saints in each church.
  6. Thus, as to the local “habitation of God,” “the saints at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” were builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ep. 2.22). They were “builded together.” All parts of a building must be connected—they must be “together”—that is, connected spiritually, each being a part of the same spiritual organism (See also, Ep. 2.21, Ep. 4, and 1 Co. 12). Every local New Testament church fits this model. If they are not “together,” they are not a body, they are not a church. A believer in China may or may not be a member of a church. He definitely is not a member of a church such as Old Paths Baptist Church in Minnesota, a church he has never heard of.
  7. Paul’s epistles were always to a local church whose members were connected. The members came together spiritually for worship, preaching, teaching, and fellowship. Every member attended church meetings unless sick or for some other acceptable absence. They were members of a particular local church (such as the Church at Ephesus).
  8. The principles Paul spoke were and are applicable to every New Testament church body and the saints in each church.
  9. All Bible references to a church here on the earth refer to an local autonomous body of Jewish and/or Gentile believers and not to a universal or catholic church. Nowhere in the New Testament is a church here on the earth ever referred to as anything other than a local spiritual body and nowhere does Scripture teach that a church is to have any type authority above it other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Some examples of references to churches as they existed in the New Testament follow:

    “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied” (Ac. 9.31).

    Paul said, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house” (Ro. 16.5). Notice that the church refers to the local body of baptized believers. The house was just the place where they met; it was not a church.

    Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Paul … 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 their’s and our’s” (1 Co. 1.1-2).

    “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place…” (1 Co. 14.23).

    “The churches [Not “the church of Asia”] of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house” (1 Co. 16.19).

    “Paul … unto Philemon … and to the church in thy house” (Philemon 1-2).

    In Revelation, the Lord speaks to “the church of Ephesus” (Re. 2.1), “the church in Smyrna” (Re. 2.8), “the church in Pergamos” (Re. 2.12), “the church in Thyatira” (Re. 2.18), “the church in Sardis” (Re. 3.1), “the church in Philadelphia” (Re. 3.7), and “the church of the Laodiceans” (Re. 3.14).
  10. Those believers who spiritually unite together in a local body are a church. A body must be united; without unification and connection to the other parts, a body cannot exist.
  11. The building which Paul is speaking of is spiritual, heavenly, and eternal, not fleshly, earthly, and temporal.“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ep. 2:2-3)”“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ep. 2:4-7)

    “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ep. 2.22).

    The Testament temple (the church) will be contrasted with the Old Testament temple in Lesson 6.
  12. The material for the construction of a church does not include those:

    “who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ep. 2.1-3).
  13. The material for the construction of a church are:

    Those [speaking in context to the members of the Church at Ephesus, but also in applicability to all believers] whom He hath quickened. See Ep. 2.1, 5 et seq.
  14. Thus, a church is a spiritual organism, since it is built by bringing together spiritual beings. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pe. 2:5).
  15. The first step in the construction of a church is the combining of believers, Jew and Gentile, into a new man (See Ep. 2.11-16).
  16. The new man has a new citizenship and family. All believers, including the “saints which are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Jesus Christ” are, along with all believers, no matter their local church affiliation, “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” who sit in “heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ep. 2.1, 5, 19. Being a fellowcitizen and “of the household of God,” speaks of citizenship and family, not of local church. All believers are citizens of heaven and members of the family or household of God. All believers are not members of a church.
  17. Those believers in the church at Ephesus were (1) fellowcitizens with the saints, (2) members of a new family, the household of God, and (3) a local New Testament church assembly, an holy temple of the Lord.

    “19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ep. 2:19-22).

For more on the universal church doctrine, see
C.I. Scofield’s “true church” doctrine

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