The Church of God is not a building. The church meets in a building, but it’s much more than that. Unfortunately, the image most often in people’s minds when they think of the church is a building made out of bricks, with stained glass windows, and a steeple. The Church, however, is made up of all those who trust in and follow the life and teachings of Jesus.
The Universal Church is made up of all believers in every age who have been incorporated into the body of Jesus by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus. The Church in called the Body of Christ because it physically represents Jesus here and now. This means that the Church takes their marching orders from Jesus and strives to look like Jesus. Jesus fed the hungry, helped the poor, and pointed people to himself for salvation. The Church today is to do the same thing by helping those in need, working for justice, defending the helpless, and pointing sinners to the person and work of Jesus for salvation. It’s a community set apart for the purpose of declaring the freedom found in Jesus with the singular goal of glorifying God.
The Church is made up of men and women from every nation, race, color, and language. It isn’t for perfect people who think they have it all together, but instead a community for those who are hurting, fighting sin, and desiring to truly know the God of the Bible. If you feel like you don’t have it all together, like you’re too messed up to be loved and helped, then please hear and believe us when we say this, YOU ARE INVITED AND WELCOME HERE!
The local church is a visible manifestation of the universal church in a particular geographical location—it is a group of Jesus followers that are called to represent God in their city and neighborhood. As an extension of the universal Church, the local church exists to glorify God through corporate worship, the preaching of the Word, and acts of service. All Christians are commanded to connect with a local body of believers for encouragement and accountability, and only those who profess Christ as Lord and Savior are eligible for membership. We take membership in the church seriously because of scripture does.
All throughout the New Testament we see churches being established and called to live out the mission of Jesus. The reality is that the church is an important part for someone growing in their faith in Jesus. The Christian life was never meant to be lived in seclusion. The church is a place to connect with other believers and have the help we need to live out our faith in Jesus.
- What comes to mind when you think of “church”?
- How does your community impact your decisions and how would a church community encourage your faith?
- What would it look like for you to be a part of a church that shares the love of Jesus in their city and neighborhood?
Doctrine of the Church
The Church is called the Body of Christ because we represent Jesus to all people, in all places, and at all times. Everyone who has come to faith in Christ is filled with God’s Spirit and considered a member of God’s Church. Christians are to be baptized, actively involved in a local church, and using their gifts to build up the church.
Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 2:19-22; Colossians 1:15-23