Scriptures

What Is The Church?

Introduction

The Origin of the Church

God is the originator of the church, according to His eternal purpose in Christ, Ephesians 3:11-12. He foretold of the church in the Old Testament, indicating that He’d establish it during the reign of Rome, Micah 4:1-3 / Daniel 2:31-45.

During the reign of Rome, the church began on Pentecost, a few days after Jesus ascended into heaven, Acts 1:6-8 / Acts 2:1-4.

The Church is the Called Out Body

The word ‘church’ is translated from the Greek word ekklesia, denoting a called out body of people. God calls us out of the world of sin through the gospel, 2 Thessalonians 2:14.

The church is composed of people who respond to God’s call. The word church is used in two ways. ‘Church’ can be used in reference to all Christians, or a specific congregation.

Jesus uses ‘church’ both ways. In Matthew, Jesus promises to build His church, speaking of Christians everywhere who would respond to the gospel call, Matthew 16:18.

In Matthew, Jesus uses the word ‘church’ regarding Christians in a local congregation, Matthew 18:17.

Membership in the Church

On Pentecost, people asked Peter what they should do. He told them to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins, Acts 2:38. The people who obeyed the gospel received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they were saved, and added to the church by the Lord, Acts 2:40-41 / Acts 2:47.

They were baptized into the body of Christ by the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:13. They were born again, born of water and Spirit, John 3:3-5.

The Church is God’s Kingdom

The word kingdom denotes the domain of the king. God rules over the church; therefore, it is His kingdom. We must be born again to see the kingdom of God, John 3:3-5.

We are born of water when we are baptized and born of the Spirit when we are added to the church, at which time we become a new creature in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Since we believed the good news about the kingdom of God and were baptized, Acts 8:12. We are members of God’s kingdom.

The Church is Christ’s Kingdom

God put all things under Christ’s feet, Ephesians 1:22-23. He is Lord of lords and King of kings, having all authority in heaven and on earth, 1 Timothy 6:15 / Matthew 28:18.

Therefore, He rules over the church (kingdom). As Christians, God has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His Son, Colossians 1:13-14.

As members of Christ’s kingdom, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Later in this epistle, Paul tells us exactly when these things transpire, Colossians 2:12-13.

Therefore, we are added to the kingdom when we are baptized, the time at which we are saved.

The Church is Christ’s Body

Paul tells us the church is the body of Christ, allegorically expressing our relationship to Christ as members of His body, Ephesians 1:22-23.

Since Christ is the head of the body, the church must be subject to Him in everything, Colossians 1:18 / Ephesians 5:24. If our congregation isn’t subject to Christ, we’re not His church! As head of the body, Jesus is also the Saviour of the church, Ephesians 5:23.

We must be members of His church to be saved. He is the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him, Hebrews 5:9. He is our Saviour if we obey.

The Church is God’s Household

Paul tells us the church is God’s household, allegorically expressing our relationship to God as His children, 1 Timothy 3:14-15. Just as Jesus is head of the body, He is over the house of God, Hebrews 3:6.

Since Jesus is God’s Son, and we are also God’s children, we are Christ’s brethren, Hebrews 2:11. We are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, Romans 8:17.

The Church is God’s Temple

Paul tells us the church is God’s temple, allegorically expressing our relationship to God as priests who render spiritual service to Him, 2 Corinthians 6:16. And Paul writes to the Ephesians, saying of the church.

‘Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit’. Ephesians 2:20-22

As God’s temple, we are responsible for conducting ourselves properly. Our bodies are members of Christ, 1 Corinthians 6:15. We are one spirit with the Lord, 1 Corinthians 6:17. We must glorify God in our body, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

We are not our own; we’ve been bought with a price.

The Church is the Bride of Christ

Paul tells us the church is Christ’s bride, allegorically expressing our united relationship with Him, as a husband is united to His wife, 2 Corinthians 11:2.

We are united with Christ when we are baptized, Romans 6:3-5 / Romans 7:4. Becoming one spirit with Him, baptized into His body by the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:17 / 1 Corinthians 12:13.

Most importantly, we will live with Jesus in heaven, united with Him for eternity.

Conclusion

The church is God’s kingdom, Christ’s kingdom, Christ’s body, God’s household, God’s temple, and Christ’s bride. There’s no greater privilege than to be a Christian.

But we also have responsibilities, as people upon whom God has bestowed so many blessings. Let’s make sure we are doing our part, to be the church God ordained from eternity!

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Hebrews 12:2

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