The Church and the World

Faith and the world intro:

The Beatitudes: Matthew 5:1-12

Salt and light: Matthew 5:13-14

The Fulfillment of the Law and prophets: Matthew 5:17-20

What do you think that Jesus is trying to tell us in these passages about the relationship between faith and the world?

How does He encourage us when He shares the beatitudes? He gives us hope that even though we may suffer on earth, we can hope in God’s promise.

What does He challenge us to do when talking about how we are salt and light? We must share our faith with the world and glorify God.

What does He warn us against when talking about the Law? We must remain true to what He taught us.

What is the Church’s role in the world?
General question that we will be exploring tonight. What do you think about it?

Understanding the Church:

What is the Church and why do we have it?

As went through salvation history, we saw how God’s covenant grew from between just Adam and Eve to the entire nation of Israel. When Jesus instituted the final covenant, His covenant was with the Church, a group even bigger than a nation, a group meant to include the entire world. Jesus founded a church on Peter, and we see this in Matthew 16:18-19. Because of this, after Jesus gave them the great commission, (Matthew 28:16-20), the Apostles (“apostle” means “sent”) went all over the world proclaiming the Gospel, baptizing, and building up the Church. For example, St. James went all the way to Spain, St. Thomas went to India, St. Paul traveled the Mediterranean.

How are the Church and Jesus related? The Church is the Body of Christ, that is, the Church is Jesus in the world today. Thoughts on this?

Jesus taught, Jesus served, Jesus sacrificed. The Church teaches, the Church serves, the Church sacrifices.

What authority does the Church have?

Jesus gave the Apostles the great commission, which we already covered, and founded the Church, in Matthew 28:16-20 and Matthew 16:18-19, respectively. Another couple key points are John 20:23, giving the Apostles the ability to forgive sins, and Luke 22:19, telling the Apostles to celebrate the Eucharist in His memory.

How was this lived out in the days of the Apostles? The apostles can make laws (Acts 15:28-29, 1 Corinthians 7:12), teaches (Acts 2:37-39), teaches as the word of God (1 Thes 2:13), punishes (Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor 5:1-5), administers sacraments (Acts 6:1, 16:33, 20:11), provides successors (2 Tim 1:6, Acts 14:23).

In sum:

We only have the Church because of Jesus, Jesus founded the Church as a gift for the whole world, for ALL nations. The Church’s job is to share the faith with the world. Sometimes the Church seems out of date and out of touch, but that is because the doctrines do not change, the truth does not change. Praise God that the Church still preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ 2000 years after!

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