What is Church?
Our term “church” is derived from a Greek word which literally means “belonging to the Lord”. The church is made up of all people who by faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ have been born again as children of God.
“Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone…” Ephesians 2:19-20
The church was not founded by any man or group, but by God Himself in the person of Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:1). He alone is the head of the church (Ephesians 4:15). Jesus promised that He would build the church (Matthew 16:18). Jesus’ purpose for the church is that we would be with Him forever as His bride, completely free of spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:25-27).
We become part of the church not by completing a set of requirements or rituals, but by the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation (1 Corinthians 12:13). We are each given gifts by the Holy Spirit to use in the ongoing work of building up the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
The goals of the church include worshipping and loving the Lord (Revelation 2:4), encouraging one another in love and good works (Hebrews 10:24-25), reaching out to the lost and dying world with the Good News of salvation in Jesus (Matthew 28:18-21), practical expressions of care for the needy (James 1:27), and helping produce stability and maturity in the lives of believers (Ephesians 4:11-13).