The New Testament describes three pictures of the church:
- The body of Christ, with each believer as a member of that body (1 Corinthians 12).
- The building/temple of Christ, with each member serving as a ‘brick’ that’s lined up with Jesus as the cornerstone. Each member serves as His priesthood (1 Peter 2:4-10; cf. Exodus 19:5-6).
- The bride of Christ, with Christ as the bridegroom and the church as His bride (Ephesians 5:25-33). The family dynamic is a portrait of Christ and His church.
The word ‘church’ in the Greek is translated from the word ‘ekklesia,’ which means ‘called out ones,’ that is, called out from the kingdom of this world. Christ is present in the church by the Spirit who seals and indwells each believer (Ephesians 1:13-14); and also by His Word and the ordinances in which He has commanded us to preach and observe (Acts 20:24-28; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; 2 Timothy 4:1-5).
A church is marked by unity in Christ with no partiality due to background or race (Ephesians 2:11-22; Ephesians 4:13-14), harmony in coming together with the different gifts (Romans 12:3-8), and is ready to, as mentioned previously, to fulfill the Great Commandment and Great …read more