What is The Church?

Fundamentally, God intends the local church to be a corporate display of his glory and wisdom, both to unbelievers and to unseen spiritual powers (John 13:34-35; Eph. 3:10-11). More specifically, we are a corporate dwelling place for God’s Spirit (Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Cor. 3:16-17), the organic body of Christ in which he magnifies his glory (Acts 9:4; 1 Corinthians 12). The Greek word for church is ekklesia, a gathering or congregation of people. The church is God’s vehicle for displaying His glory to His creation.

The uniqueness of the church is her message – the Gospel. The church is the only institution entrusted by God with the message of repentance of sins and belief in Jesus Christ for forgiveness. That Gospel is visualized in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both instituted by Christ. The distinguishing marks of the church, then, are the right preaching of this Gospel and the right administration of the biblical ordinances that dramatize it.

The structure we’re building, then, is fundamentally God-centered – it is a Godward structure, designed to display the glories of God’s character and the truth of His Gospel. It is also an outward-looking structure; but even in its outwardness it is God-centered, since we look outward for the purpose of spreading God’s character and Gospel through all the nations – to gather more worshipers for Him and thus magnify His glory.

Ours is a ministry of magnification – making God’s glory appear to the eyes of the world as big as it really is by bringing it into closer view and sharper focus in the form of the local church. What we are building, then, is not simply another nonprofit organization or Christian company. We are building a corporate, organic structure that will accurately magnify God’s glory and faithfully communicate His Gospel.

Jesus is the One who is ultimately building His church (Matt. 16:18). But He has graciously allowed us to participate in the construction process, and it is therefore according to His biblical blueprint that we must build the structure and life of the church. What are you trying to build?

This was taken from Mark Dever‘s and Paul Alexander’s Book (published back in 2005) The Deliberate Church. I know it isn’t new but I loved it when it came out and I still do. Want a better church pastors and leaders? Read this book. Want to catch a vision for what the church ought to be and how to begin getting there? Read this book. Buy it inexpensively Here.


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