Subject Details

The Definition and Purpose of the Church

(Also see Pastor Jim’s book, Dispatches from the Front Lines: The Glory and Grind of Pastoral Ministry)

Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”

In these messages, Pastor Jim will distinguish between the invisible Church and the visible church. We will learn how the living organism of the invisible Church expresses itself through the outer shell of the visible church, despite its many imperfections. Both entities are ordained by our Lord Jesus Christ. In these various studies, we will discover the apostolic prescriptions for the 1) purpose of the Church, 2) its priorities in worship, and 3) the principles of unity and diversity.

1. The distinction between the local (outer shell) church and the universal
(living organism) Church
Ephesians 4:3-16

2. The purpose of the Church
Acts 2:41-42
Acts 2:42-43
Acts 2:44-3:10
Ephesians 3:17-4:2
Ephesians 4:3-16
Ephesians 4:16
1 Peter 2:4-6
1 Peter 2:6-9
1 Peter 2:10-11

3. The priorities within worship
Ephesians 5:18-28
2 Timothy 4:1-14

4. The principles of unity and diversity
Galatians 3:15-29
Ephesians 2:11-22
Ephesians 4:3-16
James 2:1-9

Sermons in The Definition and Purpose of the Church