I Believe in the Church
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What is the Church?
John Frame describes the church as the people of God in all ages.
We are taught as kids the saying, "Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors, and see all the people." The church is not the building, the church is the people in the building. When people come to worship together in a building, they are bringing the church to the building.
The Church is Universal.
Because the church is the people of God, the church is all around the world. Christians are all over the globe, and since the Holy Spirit came in His fullness (Acts 2), the church is continuing to expand. In the Apostles' Creed, Christians say, "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church" or "I believe in the Church Universal." The word Catholic means universal, comprehensive, and inclusive. The word Catholic does not simply mean the Roman Catholic Church. The Church Universal belongs to Christians who confess their sins and love Jesus and represent most, if not all, denominations (see Galatians 3:26,28; Ephesians 2:20-21).
The Church is Apostolic.
This does not mean that there is an apostolic succession where a pope or elder can be traced all the way back to the apostle Peter. This means that the church is built on the teachings of the Apostles. The church is built on the teachings of the men who saw Jesus, heard Jesus teach, and watched Him perform miracles (See Ephesians 2:20; Acts 2:42).
The Apostles' Creed represents statements of faith that stem from the Apostles' teachings.
The Church is Holy.
The Church is not holy because the building is sacred. The church is holy because of the people in the building. Every Christian is a sinner. Every Christian is a saint.
1 Peter 2:9 says:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
The Church is the Body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:27 says, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."
What happens when you don't go to Church? The rest of the church body suffers. We are all gifted with many different gifts (Romans 12:4-5). When you miss being with your church family, they miss out on what you contribute to help strengthen the body of Christ. You are not only wanted in the church, you are needed.
The Church is a Family.
Ephesians 2:19 says, "You are members of God's family (NLT)."
What do families do?
- They eat together. We need to spend time with other members of the church family, sharing our lives together (see Acts 2:42-47).
- They stick together. Through the good and the bad, families stick up for each other, and they are there for one another. That's what a church family does.
- They pray together. Prayer is vital to help carry each other's burdens. The family that prays together, stays together. A church family that prays together, stays together.
The Church is critical for everyone. In a world of rejection, the church is a place where you belong.
If you are not actively involved in a church family, you need to be.