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The Church © John Stevenson, 2012
Matthew 16: 13 -15 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. ” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. ”
Ekklesia • Ek: “Out of” • Kaleo: “To call”
Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete (Deuteronomy 31: 30). I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. (Psalm 22: 22) Bless God in the congregations, Even the LORD, you who are of the fountain of Israel. (Psalm 68: 26).
Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours (1 Corinthians 1: 1 -2).
And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1: 22 -23).
• Acts 9: 31 tells us how the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace. • The Jerusalem Church was of a size that made it obvious that it met as a number of congregations, yet it is described in the Bible as a single church.
• There is only One Church: There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling (Ephesians 4: 4). • Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church: For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body (Ephesians 5: 23); He is also head of the body, the church. . . (Colossians 1: 18).
• The Church is Holy: Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. (1 Corinthians 3: 16 -17).
• Every Believer is a Priest of God. . you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2: 5).
• Every Believer is a Priest of God. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2: 9).
• Every Believer is a Priest of God. • The Mandate of the Church is to make Disciples. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28: 19 -20).
Fuller says that “the basic premise of Dispensationalism is two purposes of God expressed in the formation of two peoples who maintain their distinction throughout eternity. ” (Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, Pages 44 -45, citing Fuller’s Doctoral Dissertation).
The Plan and Purpose of God • Dispensationalism teaches that God has two separate plans and two separate and distinct peoples through whom He works, Israel and the Church “those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham” (Galatians 3: 7).
The Law • Dispensationalism says that the Mosaic Law is done away in Christ. • Dispensational views on the Sermon on the Mount. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5: 17).
The Nature of the Church • Dispensationalism sees the church as a parenthesis, a temporary situation lying between God’s two dealings with Israel.
“…to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3: 9 -10).
Old Testament Promises • Dispensationalism says that all of the promises given in the Old Testament must be fulfilled to a political nation of Israel. “they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel” (Romans 9: 6).
National Israel True Israel
National Israel True Israel National Israel Church (True Israel)
Two Future Comings of Christ • Dispensationalism teaches that Christ will return to the earth is a secret “Rapture” in which all believers will be removed from the earth. This is later followed by the “Second Coming of Christ” which is a distinct and separate event.
Dispensationalism Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible Covenant Theology Accepts both literal and figurative (spiritual) interpretation of the Bible “Israel” always means “Israel” may mean only the literal, either physical descendants of Jacob, of Jacob or spiritual Israel, depending on context
Dispensationalism Covenant Theology “Israel of God” in Galatians 6: 16 means physical Israel alone spiritual Israel, parallel to Gal. 3: 29; Rom. 2: 28 -29; 9: 6; Phil. 3: 3. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly). God has one covenant people. Those in this age have become a part of God’s continuing covenant people.
Dispensationalism Covenant Theology All Old Testament Some Old Testament prophecies for “Israel” prophecies are for are only for the national Israel, others physical nation of for spiritual Israel, not for the Church The Church is a The Church is the parenthesis in God's culmination of God's program for the ages saving purpose for the ages
Dispensationalism Covenant Theology The main heir to Abraham’s covenant was Isaac and literal Israel The main heir to Abraham’s covenant was Christ, the Seed, and spiritual Israel which is “in Christ”
Dispensationalism sees… • Two future comings of Christ (or in some cases, three). • Multiple future judgments in which people shall come before Christ to be judged. • Multiple future days of the Lord.