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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

The Church and the Holy Spirit

The Church is Kingdom sign and outpost.

The Heart of God: Covenant Life (2)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 2 and 3, 1 Peter 2, and 1 John 3.
The Church is the focal point of the ongoing work of Christ, as we saw in the book of Acts. The local church is a sign and outpost of the Kingdom of God. We need to make sure we understand the nature and purpose of the church, and our place in it as members of Christ’s Body.

For reflection
1.  Read each of the assigned chapters in a single sitting. What is the church, and how does it come into being? What images do the apostles use to guide our thinking about what a church should be?

2.  The apostles considered it important that members of churches should strive to grow in the Lord. How do you see that in these chapters? What’s the difference between one who is not growing in the Lord and one who is?

3.  How can you see that the Church brings to full and complete expression the Old Testament idea of a people created for God’s glory (cf. Heb. 12.18-24)? What does this suggest about how we as church members should read the Old Testament images and stories of Israel and Jerusalem? What lessons, or what visions of what churches should be, do these Old Testament images and stories provide?

4.  What distinguishes – or should distinguish – the Church from the rest of the world? What should a local church look like in its community?

5.  What are the role of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in helping local churches to realize their full potential as signs and outposts of the Kingdom of God?

Churches are comprised of people who have come to faith in Jesus Christ and are indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God. They are priests and kings unto the Lord, called to grow in Him and to carry on the work He began in that first generation of believers in the book of Acts. Does this describe your church? In what ways?

Closing Prayer
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain.
Beautiful in elevation,
The joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.
God is in her palaces;
He is known as her refuge.
For behold, the kings assembled,
They passed by together.
They saw it, and so they marveled;
They were troubled, they hastened away.
Fear took hold of them there,
And pain, as of a woman in birth pangs,
As when You break the ships of Tarshish
With an east wind.
As we have heard,
So we have seen
In the city of the LORD of hosts,
In the city of our God:
God will establish it forever.
We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness,
In the midst of Your temple.
According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Let Mount Zion rejoice,
Let the daughters of Judah be glad,
Because of Your judgments.

Psalm 48.1-11

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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