The digital age has created new ways of connecting with people. Social networks, online gaming, smart phones and texting all give people the ability to stay in touch with friends and family around the world. It has never been easier to connect with others. Yet somehow, amid all the technology and connectedness, people are beginning to feel lonelier than ever before.
God knows that people need each other. It’s why he created both Adam and Eve – it wasn’t good for them to be alone. In his love for us, he created a family to which his people belong. That family is called the church.
Just like any family, the church bears similarities in character, traditions, and personalities. Spiritually speaking, they even share the same genetic make up. The characteristics of the church make her unique in the world and a blessing to the world.
A Marked People
When someone comes to Jesus by faith in his saving work on the cross, they immediately become one with Jesus. This oneness is just like being in a body. Jesus becomes our head (or authority) and we become members of his body. The group of people that make up this body is called the church.
Families all have many similarities. Because the church shares a life in Christ, there are many similarities in her too. Christians are each given virtues by the Holy Spirit. These virtues are sometimes called the fruit of the Spirit. This fruit is defined by love. In fact, you can recognize the church because of their love.
The church also proclaims publicly that they follow Jesus as Lord. Each believer is marked by baptism, which is immersion in water that shows they have been washed clean of sin and live only to obey Jesus. Their new life is marked by this love, trust, and obedience to Jesus. It is also marked by love, compassion, and service to their communities and the world.
So the church is marked in a way that is noticeable to people around them. As such, their personal standards are carefully watched. The result is that the church diligently measures herself against a standard of love and service set by Jesus.
I John 4:15; Ephesians 5:29; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4:1-6; Galatians 5:22-23; John 13:35; Acts 10:48; Acts 8:38
A Measured People
Being a part of the church changes everything about the way you live. The church cares for each other in remarkable ways. The bond of love and affection for one another is so strong that even when someone has great need, the church rallies to meet their need.
One way to describe the church is as the bride of Jesus. The church will live together with him forever. Because a husband loves and cares for his bride, Jesus loves and cares for his church. His love compels the church to love one another, meet each other’s needs, and see to it that each individual glorifies God by living a life that pleases him.
All people struggle against sin. When you live as part of the church, you will always have people in your life to help you live a life that is pleasing to God. They will pray for you, encourage you, help you, and even admonish you.
The most beautiful picture of this relationship is when Christians gather together and take the Lord’s Supper. The eating of bread and drinking of the fruit of the vine symbolizes the body and blood of Jesus, broken and poured out for his people. When we eat and drink in remembrance of his sacrifice, we also examine ourselves and 0ne another to see if we are living in a way that honors Jesus. Even when we find shortcomings in ourselves and others, the Supper reminds us that Jesus died for our sins and loves us completely.
The love of Jesus for the church causes her members to measure their lives carefully, to give freely to one another, and to help each other live godly lives. When the church is carefully measured, she is most effective then in her mission.
Acts 2:42-47; Revelation 21:9; 2 Corinthians 5:14; John 13:34; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; I Thessalonians 5:14; Matthew 26:26-28; I Corinthians 11:27-32
A Missional People
Jesus didn’t save people and make them part of his church so they could sit around and do nothing. The church has been given clear instruction to make disciples of Jesus wherever they go.
As people who have believed in Jesus and been changed by him, the church acts as an agent for God in the world. They urge men and women everywhere to be reconciled to God through the saving work of Jesus.
People need the message of the gospel, which explains our sinful condition and the work that Jesus did to secure forgiveness for sin. In fact, if they never hear the message, they can never believe. The church truly believes that without the good news of Jesus, each and every person is doomed. Since that is true, it is the serious duty of the church to continually proclaim Jesus to every person in every place.
The mission of the church drives everything she does. Loving each other, providing for one another, holding each other accountable, meeting needs, identifying with Jesus through baptism, remembering his sacrifice through the Lord’s Supper; all of these actions take place because the church is on mission to proclaim Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:19-20; II Corinthians 5:18-20; Romans 10:14; Romans 3:10; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:22; Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 2:19; Revelation 21:1-8; Revelation 21:22-27
If you want to talk to someone about a relationship with Jesus Christ, or want more information on becoming a member of the church, please let us know.