The Church Defined
I recently came across this definition of the church from Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears (This is how we define the church):
The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. In obedience to Scripture they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and Communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and their joy.
I found this definition particularly helpful in comparing it to what I compiled by way of preaching the recent sermon series, “Why the Church Matters”. Here is my best summary. The church is:
- A people who submit to the Father through Jesus by submitting to the Spirit-inspired word.
- A local gathering with a biblically qualified shepherding and caring authority (1 Timothy 1:1-13; 1 Peter 1:1-5; Hebrews 13:17).
- Universal: The true people of God in Christ for all time (Matt. 16:18).
- Local: A visible gathering or assembly of people in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2).
- God’s plan to display and advance the gospel to all creation (Ephesians 3:8-11, Acts 1:8 and all of Acts).
- A local body with various gifts from the same Spirit, unified for the common good and joy of others, and God’s glory through Jesus (1 Cor. 12:1-30).
- A united household of God that has been reconciled by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:11-22).
- Summary: The church is God’s possession and plan.