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Adult Bible Study Guide

4th Quarter 2018- Oneness in Christ

The church is God’s family on earth: serving, studying, and worshiping together. Looking to Jesus as its Leader and Redeemer, the church is called to take the good news of salvation to all people.

But what do we mean by church? Who belongs to the church? The answer to these questions depends in part on our definition of the church.

A church is certainly the local community of believers in Jesus who obey the Lord and who assemble themselves for worship and service. They can meet in house churches or in larger congregations (Rom. 16:10, 11). By church we also mean the building in which Christians assemble. But this is hardly the best definition of the church.The church is about people, not about buildings.

In the New Testament, the church sometimes is referred to as the group of believers in a particular geographical area. So, when Paul addressed the church in Galatia, he referred to many local congregations in towns and villages in that region (Gal. 1:2; see also 1 Pet. 1:1). By church we sometimes also mean a group of people who belong to a particular denomination or who call themselves by a particular name given for their beliefs and heritage.

Yet, all these definitions are incomplete. The church is the people of God all over the earth. And though Christ has faithful followers in various denominations (many of whom will in the final crisis join God’s remnant [Rev. 18:1–4]), this quarter we are going to focus on our church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and what unity in Christ means to us.

The purpose of this series of Bible study lessons is to provide biblical instruction on the topic of Christian unity for us as Seventh-day Adventists, who, now, as always, face challenges to that unity, and will until the end of time.

However, in the Scriptures we find numerous insights and instructions on how to live God’s gift of oneness in Christ. Those insights, those instructions about living out and expressing in our church the unity we have been given, are the focus of this quarter.


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