The Christ Community: What on Earth Is the Church, and Why Are We Here?

The church’s approval rating these days is slightly above that of the U.S. Congress—not exactly encouraging news for the faithful. In some ways, the church’s low approval rating is well deserved. Our historical record has stains on it. Moreover, believers today can blow it with the best of them. Still, the church marches onward. Rumors of her death have been greatly exaggerated.

But, what is the church? If three professing Christians meet in the produce section of their local grocery store, and they talk for ten minutes about what God is doing in their lives, did they just have “church”? In other words, is the word “church” simply plural for Christian? Does that idea square with what Jesus taught about the church? Does it align with what the apostles taught?

Our goal in this series is to answer the question, “What on earth is the church, and why are we here?” Another goal is to train ourselves to see the church as Christ sees it—as uniquely precious, supremely valuable, and infinitely glorious—despite its many flaws. We do so by looking at some of the major images of the church in the New Testament.

Part 1: The Church of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:13-20; 18:15-20) 

Part 2: The Church as God’s New Humanity (Ephesians 2:11-18)

Part 3: The Church as the People of God (1 Peter 2:4-12)

Part 4: The Church as the Family of God (Hebrews 2:10-13 & Various)

Part 5: The Church as the Temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 & Various)

Part 6: The Church as the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)

Part 7: The Church as the Company of Saints (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Part 8: The Church as the Pillar & Foundation of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:14-16)

Part 9: The Church as the Manifold Wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:1-13)

Part 10: The Church as the City on a Hill (Matthew 5:13-16)

Part 11: The Church as the Army of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-13)

Part 12: The Church as the Ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2)

Part 13: The Church as the Golden Lampstand (Revelation 2-3)

Part 14: The Church as the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-33)

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