What is a church?
The New Testament local church is the means of Christ’s redemptive work whereby He…
- calls and gathers his people through regeneration of the Spirit, confession of faith in Christ, and proclamation in baptism (Matthew 16:18, Hebrews 10:19,25, 2 Cor. 3:3, Acts 2:41,44, Col. 2:12, Titus 3:5-6).
- dwells among his people (Ephesians 2:21-22), a new man/creation that incarnates Christ with the message of reconciliation (Eph. 2:15-16, Cor. 5:17-21).
- reigns over his people by his Word through elders (Colossians 1:18, Hebrews 10:19, Acts 2:33).
- covenants with his people to be their God and they his people (Hebrews 8:10, Luke 22:20).
- feeds his people through the Proclamation of Word/Gospel and Lord’s Table (Col. 1:24-29, Romans 10:14-17, Acts 5:42, 6:7, 8:25, Matt. 4:4, 1 Corinthians 11:26).
- purifies his people and protects the gospel in discipline (Matt. 18:15-20, Heb. 4:11-13, 1 Cor. 5, Heb. 12).
- expands his kingdom through Proclamation, gifts, and multiplication (Acts 1:6-8, 6:7, 9:31, 12:24, 16:5, 19:20, 20:25, 28:31, Eph. 4:7-16).
The New Testament local church is Christ’s calling of, gathering of, dwelling among, reigning over, covenanting with, feeding of, his people in expanding His glory and fame over the whole earth.