The Dynamic Church
Why the course on the church?
Because of the importance given to this subject by the Lord Jesus, out God and Savior.
Because of its divinely assigned role as the pillar and ground of the truth in the world (1 Tim. 3:15).
Because its lack (where the church is not established) is a disaster, or its weaknesses and failures are crippling disabilities to the work of God.
Because the lack of understanding or appreciation in many quarters undermines its proper support and function.
Because its Biblical principle of function have been confused and obscured by centuries of distortion, disobedience, neglect, compromise, expediency, and indifference to divine order. Modern churches often claim to follow the Bible alone, but do not seem to model what we read in its pages. The argument that something was merely cultural or local and not binding is freely used to excuse the contradiction.
This course cannot perfectly cover all issues or please every point of view. Its purpose is to review major principles relating to a Biblical church, and consider the question, “What says the Scriptures?” That is not the same thing as saying, “What is the view of Luther, Calvin, or some other leader?” Nor, “What do the creeds and councils say?” Nor, “What helps increase numerical growth as proven by surveys?”
Quotations from Scripture will be used to establish points—as well as possible in a limited space. The New Testament records the beginning of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ with instruction or examples needed to regulate it.
Please read each lesson thoughtfully. In sections where it may seem wrong to you, please be patient and do not let this deter you from considering the remainder or the material. Where it is evidently right, ask yourself if you are following its principles faithfully, true to Christ the Head.
The Lord of the church will soon return to evaluate what we have done in the church in His Name. Maranatha!
O. J. Gibson was for years a close co-worker with Bill MacDonald. He was a premiere personal evangelist and a mentor to missionaries and assembly elders. Mr. Gibson went to be with the Lord in May 2006.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Lesson 1 The Importance and Definition of the Church
Lesson 2 The Purpose of the Church
Lesson 3 The History of the Church
Lesson 4 The Lord of the Church
Lesson 5 The Shepherds of the Church
Lesson 6 The Priesthood of the Church
Lesson 7 The Divine Life of the Church
Lesson 8 The Divine Roles in the Church
Lesson 9 The Meetings of the Church
Lesson 10 The Discipline of the Church
Lesson 11 Evangelism and the Church
Lesson 12 The Discipling of the Church
Lesson 13 Missions and the Church