This is the second part in our series of Bible-marking topics about the church. For this topic, we’ll look at the different metaphors used to describe the church. These give us greater insight into characteristics of the Lord’s church. If you started this topic already last month, go to where you listed the topic, and underneath “It’s Establishment” write “Illustrations.” Next to it, write the first verse you will go to, which is Rom. 12:4,5.
Because there are so many different illustrations, and for the sake of space, we will simply list the various metaphors and the Scriptures that go with them. You can include as few or as many as you like when you Bible-mark this topic.
The Church is a Body
This wonderful description helps us see how each of us plays an important role in the function of the Lord’s church. We must work together in unity to be health and effective.
As you mark these verses, look for the word “body” and circle each one.
1 Cor. 12:12-27
This beautiful description gives us an idea of how precious the church is to Christ. It also represents the purity with which we are to come before Him. Circle the word “bride” in each verse.
The Church is the Kingdom
Every kingdom has subjects and a king. Our king is Jesus Christ, and we serve Him gladly. Those in His kingdom receive His protection and care. Circle the word “kingdom” in each verse.
1 Cor. 15:24-26
Remember, this is a metaphor, so it is NOT referring to the physical church building. However, Scripture refers to the church as a spiritual building. The church has a foundation, structure, and a cornerstone. In times of uncertainty and change, it is assuring to know the Lord’s church is steady, solid, structured. Circle the words “foundation,” “chief cornerstone,” “building,” “built,” and “spiritual house.”
1 Cor. 3:9-11
1 Pet. 2:4-6
The Church is a Priesthood
Under the Old Law, priests played important roles in the spiritual lives of God’s people. They offered sacrifices on behalf of the people. They communicated with God on behalf of the people. They took care of the tabernacle and then the temple. They gave offerings. Under the new covenant, all Christians are priests, with Christ as our High Priest, who paid the ultimate and final sacrifice. We offer up spiritual sacrifices (see Rom. 12:1), and we can all talk with God. In each verse, circle the words “royal priesthood” and “High Priest.”
1 Peter 2:9
The Church is an Army
Christians are soldiers. We have a formidable foe, but we have access to the best armor. Circle the words “armor,” “soldier,” and “warfare” in the following verses.
2 Tim. 2:3,4
The Church is a Flock
Christians are sheep, the elders are our shepherds, and Christ is our Chief Shepherd. Circle the words “flock,” “sheep,” “shepherd” and “chief shepherd.”
1 Pet. 2:25
1 Pet. 5:2-4
The Church is a Household of God
The church is the family of God. This is probably my favorite aspect of the Lord’s church. We’re brothers and sisters in Christ. We have a Heavenly Father. We are children of God. It’s about relationships. We’re family. Circle the words “household,” “brother,” “Father,” “children,” and “sons.”
1 Tim. 3:15
1 Tim. 5:1,2
1 John 3:1,2
What other illustrations can you find of the Lord’s church? Next month, we will continue our series by looking at the organization of the church.