Today I want to begin talking about the True Church. Here is a line from my Church's statement of faith:
We believe that the true Church is the Body of Jesus Christ and consists of all believers in Him. Colossians 1:18; I Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23
What is the Church?
Dictionary.com has 17 entries for the word church, 17 various uses for this simple word, so let’s be clear about what the Bible means when it speaks of the Church.
When Christ says: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” (Matthew 16:18 NASB) what ‘church’ is He talking about?
This word church in the New Testament, or in the Greek ekklēsia, has as its core meaning “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly.”[i] So the word is not referring to a structure or building, but rather the people the Father has called out, chosen, who have responded to His call in faith. Church refers to all those who have called upon the name of the Lord, those who are in relationship with Him.
This is apparent when you hear His amazing prayer in John 17.
I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. - John 17:20-21 NASB
You see, Jesus’ request to the Father, just hours before His crucifixion, is that those who believe in Him through the Word passed on by His followers would be one – as ‘one’ as Jesus and the Father are ‘one’ – and that this ‘oneness’ would be a proof to the world that Jesus was sent from the Father.
For me this defines church.
There is only one Church. It’s not the Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Seventh day, Mennonite, Plymouth, Baptist, Lutheran, AOG, Pentecostal, Bible or Non-denominational. The one true Church is the born again, blood bought, Spirit indwelt believers in Jesus Christ. [Tweet this]
There are a number of metaphors that the New Testament uses to explain the Church. Tomorrow we will look at the Church as the Body of Christ
See you then,
[i] "Greek Lexicon :: G1577 (NASB)." Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. Web. 11 Mar, 2014. .