For the past year or so, I've been preaching through the gospel of Matthew during our church gatherings. Last week, we studied Matthew 16:18-20. Since this is the first time Jesus deals specifically with the church, I thought it would be a good time to look more closely at what the church is. This coming Sunday, I'm preaching on the subject, "What is the Church?"
Unlike what the picture to the left suggests, the scriptures make it clear that the church is an assembly or community of people. But what are key characteristics of the church that make it unique?
The following are the nine characteristics I am going to emphasize. What do you think? Have I left any out that should be added? Are any of the nine unnecessary? Please tell me what you think and why.
1. The church falls under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
2. The church is guided by the Holy Spirit.
3. The church is built upon the scriptures.
4. The church is made up of followers of the triune God.
5. The church pursues holy, self-sacrificial living.
6. The church practices the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper.
7. The church is committed to unity and edification of the body.
8. The church is on mission to make disciples of all nations.
9. The church strives to do all for the glory of God.