Close Menu X
Navigate

What is the church?

While certainly not exhaustive, here's a brief portrait of the church based on numerous texts from Scripture. The portrait progresses from the universal church to the local church to health within the local church.[i]

The New Testament speaks of the church as the universal body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Matthew 16:15-19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:4; 3:10, 21; 5:22-32; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 11:39-40; Revelation 19:7–8; 21:2-3

Moreover, the New Testament emphasizes that in the age preceding Christ’s return, the redeemed should gather in and be accountable to visible, local churches. The local church is the primary context in which believers joyfully fulfill the demands of the new covenant. In essence, the local church is an assembly of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel.
Acts 2:41; 14:21-23; Romans 6:1-14; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 13-16; 10:16-17; 11:27; 16:13; Galatians 1:8-9; Ephesians 4:1-6, 13; Philippians 1:27; Hebrews 10:24-25

The local church visibly manifests obedience to Jesus when, depending on her Lord in prayer, the believers...

  • joyfully submit to one another...
    Acts 2:38, 41; Ephesians 2:1-22; 1 Corinthians 12:1-3; Galatians 5:13-6:10; Hebrews 12:22-23
  • under faithful leadership...
    Acts 14:23; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 16:15-16; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 5:17-25; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:2-3; cf. Acts 6:1-7; 14:23; James 5:14
  • to heed the gospel of Jesus Christ...
    Acts 2:42; Romans 10:16-17; 15:14; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 5:26; 6:11-20; Colossians 1:23-26; 1 Thessalonians 2:13
  • to celebrate the new-covenant ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper and practice corrective discipline when out of step with their meaning...
    Matthew 18:17-20; 28:18-19; Luke 22:14-23; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 10:16-17; 11:17-34; 14:26; 16:1-4; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 3:21
  • to edify and care for one another by the aid and gifting of the Holy Spirit, and...
    John 13:34; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 4:11-16; 5:19-21; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Hebrews 10:24-25
  • to scatter on mission to make disciples among all peoples both locally and globally.
    Matthew 24:14; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:7, 14; 10:12-15; 15:14, 20-21; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 10:31-11:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 2:1-8

[i]Content taken from the Statement of Faith of Redeemer Church. For more content, click here.