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  • Writer's pictureplbennett

What Is The Church

Pink and white lillies hanging from a tree on a beautiful day

The Church is the body of Christ, comprised of many members - you and me. It is not the building; it is the people. The building is God's house, and the 'people' is the church. Christ is the head of the church. The church is also called the 'bride of Christ'. Christ will return for His bride, us - the Church.

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Before Christ died, He confided in His disciples that He would build His church and hell cannot compete or overcome it. Christ died to save the world, and the church came into being after He rose. And just as Christ came to preach and teach the gospel - meaning the Good News, to save humanity. So too, His Church is designed to preach and teach the gospel - so that people can be saved. However, Christ does the saving, not us. We must keep it simple and preach the scriptures [Bible, Word of God] to the world. People are saved by hearing the Word of God and accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

Today, the term ‘church’ is used loosely by many to mean the building in which Christians worship. As stated earlier, the building is the house of God. The church worships in the house of God. The Apostles formed the first church after Jesus went back to heaven. They travelled through Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Antioch, Rome and throughout the world, preaching and teaching the gospel about Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The church structure we are used to today did not exist at that time.

Worship took place primarily in people’s homes, and anywhere they could meet. Christians assembling were known as the church, so the place in which they assembled also became known as the church.

The early church grew at an alarming rate and spread throughout Jerusalem and was not restricted to one building. During these travels to Antioch, the Apostles gathered together like-minded people and taught them. The Church believes and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The heart of the believer belongs to God, and the unshakeable love and faith in Him and Him alone defines the Christian and the Church - of the living God.

When Jesus returns for His church, it is the people He will take with Him and not the buildings with their ornate stained-glass windows or accessories. The term ‘Christians’ was first used in Antioch as Christianity began to spread.

From the first century AD - [Anno Domini], which means ‘The Year of our Lord’, the Apostles started setting up the first churches. Christianity then went through the dark ages when the gospel was distorted, and many innocent Christians were brutalised and died for no reason other than they were faithful followers of Christ. Christianity has experienced many highs and lows. Attacks on the faith, revivals, which is a refreshing of the faith where people’s spiritual eyes are opened, and they begin to search for God and give their lives to Jesus. During these revivals, we experience a real outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We see many miracles and a surge in the growth of the church.

The history of the church and how it evolved through the ages is a vast topic, and only the briefest overview can be afforded now. Read the Book of Acts in the New Testament to better understand the Holy Spirit, the work of the Apostles, and the emergence of the first church. The church came into being during a time of violence and unrest. The Apostle Peter preached his first message, and approximately three thousand people were saved that day... and we have never looked back!

The church continues to grow from generation to generation. When it is persecuted, we see supernatural growth as God continues to bring His people through their ordeals. Many are persecuted and die for their faith in Jesus Christ, and we pray that all who are going through these persecutions will know they are not alone. The armies of heaven stand with you, your brothers and sisters in Christ; all around the world, stand with you and pray for strength, peace, love, and endurance so that you will prevail and be victorious! The gates of hell cannot stand against the church of the living God!

Recommended Reading

Matthew 16

The Book of Acts

Next in the Series: What is Hell

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