What We Believe #10 – The Church
3 Minute Video version: https://fb.watch/goRDP-EILa/
Some years back I went with others on a missions tour to Ecuador. We wanted to see what God was doing in his Church.
We visited urban churches in the capital city of Quito, and we visited rural churches in the Amazon jungle. We toured some expansive church complexes, and we toured some very simple church structures.
We talked with strong leaders, and we talked with quiet leaders. We experienced joyful, Spanish worship in metropolitan Ecuador, and we experienced joyful, Quechuan worship in the Andes mountains.
The overwhelming reality that stood out is that the church of Jesus Christ is the same everywhere, always, by all! The one true gospel of Jesus Christ that changes lives is the same.
People are different. Churches are different. But the Church, capital C, is the same under one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our Statement of Faith reads: “The Church consists of all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are redeemed through His blood, and are born again of the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Head of His Body (Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:18), the Church, which has been commissioned by Him to go into all the world making disciples of all peoples (Matthew 28:19-20).
“The local church is a body of believers in Christ (Ephesians 5:30) who are called to love (1 Thess. 3:12) and joined together for the worship of God, edification through the Word of God, prayer, fellowship, the proclamation of the gospel through word and deed (Luke 4:18-19), and observance of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-47).”
When most people refer to “church”, they are talking about a local church that meets in a particular location or building. But church buildings didn’t even exist until the third century.
In fact, the primary pictures of the church in the New Testament are all relational: The Body of Christ. The family of God. The temple of the Holy Spirit. The Bride of Christ.
As the church, we live in fellowship with Jesus Christ and in community with one other. With our center of attraction as Christ, we genuinely seek to love one another despite our differences and imperfections.
And as the church, we live for those outside it. The same love of God “poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5), we pour out to others.
Jesus only started one organization and it’s called the Church.
~ Pastor Dave