What is the church? (Notes from a talk)


These notes from a talk I gave on the nature of the church may help you think through your Doctrine assignment. Let me know if you would like further information. They are posted on the website of our church plant at http://riversmeeting.wordpress.com

  •  The Nature of the Church: Popular conceptions: a club (Society of the Prevention    of  Cruelty to People?, a religious show? The NT conception of the Church ecclesia, the Hebrew idea of assembly qahal; temple of the Spirit. Characteristics: divine not human, fellowship not institution; corporate not individualistic; universal not local;  body of the living Christ; exisitng not for her own sake but solely for the glory of God. 
  • The Life of the Church : Man’s tragedy and God’s solution; Pentecost and unity; proclamation and witness; fellowship and family; service and worship.
  • The Historic Roots of the Church: The Covenant and its response; grace and responsibility; worship; the new covenant in Jesus.
  • The Lord of the Church: The apostolic testimony to Jesus; pre-existence and incarnation; the servant Lord; the cross; the resurrection and ascension; the centrality of Christ.
  • The Faith of the Church: Jesus is Lord!;an inclusive lordship; a real lordship; the final manifestation of his lordship.
  • The Worship of the Church: what does worship mean? The necessity of corporate worship; the place of ritual?; the elements of worship; the sacraments.
  • The Mission of the Church: the centrality of mission; the motive for mission; the sphere of mission; the dynamic for mission.
  • The Unity of the Church: the church is one; disunity is always sinful; excuses for disunity; unity is not uniformity; unity is God’s gift; eucumenicity and the generous spirit.
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