What is the church?
The church is a group of people; it is not a building or an event. These people belong to Christ, and He is their Head. The church will be constantly growing because Jesus is redeeming lost humanity to Himself by His grace. The church is not withdrawn from the world but militant in our desire to bring people out of the kingdom of darkness and into His marvelous light. The church is victorious!
The church is the body of Christ
All those who have been baptized into Christ have become members of His body. The body of Christ is composed of many different people from many different backgrounds with many different gifts that work together in unity to advance the agenda of Jesus in this world.
The defining characteristic of the church is love
If God is love, and He sent Jesus out of His love for the world then we would expect the church to be the most love-filled group of people on planet earth. The defining characteristic of the church is to be love. This love is going to result in a unified group of people that mirrors the Trinity, completely diverse yet entirely one. It is this incredible love and resulting unity that God is going to use to bring people to believe that God has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.
The church is the family of God
The church functions much like a family. God has adopted us into His family, and we are now His beloved children. God loves those who are lonely, and He gives them a family, the church. We must ensure that our church is a family that welcomes in those who are alone.
The offices of the church are elders and deacons
God has given many different gifts to each member of the church. All of these gifts are to be used to help the church grow in Christ likeness and love. God has ordained two office within the church, the office of elder and the office of deacon. The elders are to help the flock follow Christ and tend to spiritual needs while the deacons are to take care of the physical needs of the flock giving special care and consideration to the widows.
The church is to be pure and holy
Christ died to make His church pure and holy. As the body of Christ we must constantly be seeking to hold each other accountable and encourage each other to grow in holiness. Because wolves many times infiltrate the flock it is imperative to graciously and lovingly confront sin and seek to bring people to repentance. If they will not repent it is evidence that they are not regenerate and are a wolf.
Are you a part of the body of Christ? Are you using your gifts to help the church grow in love and unity?