What Is Church?

Name: Antonio Gonzalez
Question: Can you show scripture on what church is? Some believe it’s a denomination or feel it’s their faith.

Thank you

Answer: Thanks for the question Antonio.

The church is the body of Christ, with Jesus at the head.

The definition of “church” means, an “assembly” or a “Christian community of members”.

The Bible never describes the church as a brick building or a denomination. The church has always represented God’s people when they are gathered together; to learn, give praise, and honor to God.

Church Is The Gathering Of Christians

The church is the gathering of God's people, let’s document that.

Turn your Bible with me to,

Acts 14:27
And when they were come and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

I guarantee you they were not gathering sticks and stones.

They were gathering the people together to “rehearse all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles”.

Notice, there was nothing mentioned about buildings, beliefs, or denominations.

Instead, the church is made from an assembly, a Christian community of members.

The Church Of God

Acts 20:28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Also: 1 Thes 1:1, 1 Tim 3:15

It is interesting to note, if you serve “the church of God”, He decides who is an “overseer”, which means a “Christian officer in general charge”.

Numerous times in the Bible the church is referred to as “the church of God”.

It is His Church, and He appoints others to maintain it here on earth, (Ephesians 4:11).

The Body Of Christ

There should only be one church united under God. Anything else is added by men, and soon becomes church tradition.

Ephesians 4:4-5
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

That describes the body of Christ, (1 Corinthians 12:27).

We are called in one faith, the Christian faith. Together we form the church, we form “one body” in Christ, (Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:12).

Further, “Faith” means, “the truthfulness of God”.

Think about that.

We are told there is one truthfulness of God.

Not thousands of different truths, not thousands of different denominations.

Since there is only one truth of God, then the thousands of Christian denominations are wrong by definition.

We are to uphold His Truths, not bring about our own, not bring about our own doctrines which men have been doing for thousands of years calling it God's Word, (Jeremiah 23:30-32, Matthew 15:9).

Ephesians 4:6
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

So always remember, it is our Father's Church, His House, His Son leads it, and the Holy Spirit appoints overseers to guard the church here on earth, (Eph 1:22, 5:23, 1 Cor 11:3, 12:28).

Christ Establishes The Church

Matthew 16:18
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Christ was not talking about a stick and brick building. Essentially, Christ was talking about Himself and those who would carry on Christianity after He ascended into Heaven in the presence of God, (Hebrews 9:24).

Peter” means “a piece of rock”, while “rock” means “a mass of rock”. If Peter is the “rock” referenced, we can see that through his prominence in Scripture, his stance on Pentecost Day, and the revelation concerning the Gentiles, (Acts 1:15-17, 2:14, 11:1-18). Of course, Peter fell short on many occasions, as we all do.

Yet, Scripture makes it clear, Christ is the “chief corner stone”, a “sure foundation”. So it's possible Christ is the intended subject of “rock”. Peter himself would reiterate some of this in 1 Peter 2:4-9.

However, Ephesians 2:20 tells us,

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

This verse explains, the foundation of the church is twofold.

Christ is the “chief corner stone” of this foundation, which is also composed of the apostles and prophets. When we think about it, every apostle and prophet, led by the Holy Spirit brought about our Scriptural foundation with Christ forming the basis of it.

Let me paint a picture for you.

When large buildings are constructed, pilings are set into bedrock. This bedrock is our “chief corner stone”. The building now has a firm footing that will support the “foundation” the building will rest on above the surface.

This signifies the structure of the church today.

Jesus Christ is the “chief corner stone”, He is the bedrock of our foundation. Then we have the apostles and prophets who make up the building's foundation above the surface.

The point being, we cannot alter this great foundation Christ laid before us, (1 Corinthians 3:11). Christ confirmed the words of the Old Testament by quoting the prophets of old, and Christ established the New Testament.

Jesus provided everything for the church. We are to simply carry on what He started, we are to continue to share His Message with the world.

The Purpose Of Church

Listen to the words of Christ.

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The purpose of church is for God's people to gather together in fellowship, to learn about the Bible, and share that message with the world. That is the great commission.

The Seven Churches

We are going to close by considering the Seven Churches of Revelation 2-3. When you read those chapters, you will discover Jesus Christ was only content with two of the churches, only two stayed faithful to Christ.

Think about that.

Most of the churches were teaching falsely.

If we think today is any different, we are mistaken.

So the question becomes, how can I tell if I am in God's Church or man's church?

By what they are teaching.

  • Is it from a book of man?
  • Is it church doctrine?
  • Is Scripture read, and in context?

Each one of us must answer these questions for ourselves and our families. Each one of us must ensure we are being taught correctly by becoming a “Berean”. By verifying in the Scriptures, if what we are taught is true, (Acts 17:10-11).

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