7024 church, nature and foundations of

7024 church, nature and foundations of

The church is the people called by God, who are united by their faith in Christ and by their common life in him. Various descriptions and metaphors emphasise the continuity between the people of God in the OT and NT.

NT images of the church

The body of Christ Ro 12:4-5 See also 1Co 12:12,27; Eph 3:6; Eph 5:23; Col 1:18,24; Col 2:19; Col 3:15

God’s building or temple 1Co 3:16-17 See also 1Co 3:10; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:21-22; Heb 3:6; Heb 10:21; 1Pe 2:5

A plant or vine Jn 15:1-8 See also Ro 11:17-24; 1Co 3:6-8

Jesus Christ’s flock Jn 10:14-16 See also Mt 25:33; Lk 12:32; Ac 20:28-29; 1Pe 5:2-4

The bride of Christ Rev 21:2 See also Eph 5:25-27,31-32; Rev 19:7; Rev 22:17

God’s household or family Eph 2:19 See also Jn 8:35-36; Gal 6:10; Eph 3:15; 1Ti 3:15; Heb 2:11; 1Pe 2:17; 1Pe 4:17

NT descriptions of the church

Emphasising continuity with the OT church Abraham’s offspring: Ro 4:16; Gal 3:7,29 The people of God: Ro 9:25; 2Co 6:16; Heb 13:12; 1Pe 2:9-10 The new Jerusalem: Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22; Rev 3:12; Rev 21:2,9-10
Gal 6:16 the Israel of God

Emphasising God’s call and authority in the church Sons of God: Mt 5:9; Jn 1:12; Ro 8:15-16; 2Co 6:18; Gal 3:26; Gal 4:5-6; 1Jn 3:10 The elect: Mt 24:22; Ro 11:7; 2Ti 2:10; 1Pe 1:1 Heirs of God and God’s inheritance: Ro 8:17; Gal 3:29; Gal 4:7; Tit 3:7; Heb 1:14; Heb 6:17; 1Pe 1:4 A priesthood: 1Pe 2:5,9; Rev 1:6; Rev 5:10; Rev 20:6

Descriptions applied to the church by outsiders Followers of the Way: Ac 9:2; Ac 19:9,23; Ac 22:4; Ac 24:14
Ac 11:26 Christians; Ac 24:5 “the Nazarene sect” means people belonging to Jesus the “Nazarene” (Mt 2:23)

Descriptions used by Christians The believers. All these titles are seldom in the singular, emphasising the corporateness of Christian life: Ac 1:15; Ac 2:44; Ac 5:12; Gal 6:10; 1Ti 4:12; 1Pe 2:17 The disciples: Ac 6:1-2; Ac 9:19; Ac 11:26; Ac 14:22; Ac 20:1 The “saints” is the most frequently used NT term for Christians. It means “set apart for God”, “made holy”: Ro 1:7; Ro 15:25; 1Co 6:1; 1Co 14:33; Eph 1:1; Php 4:21; Col 1:12; Jude 3

Other NT descriptions of the church 1Ti 3:15 the pillar and foundation of the truth; Heb 12:23 The church of the firstborn. “the firstborn” is plural, referring to Christians as those born again through their union with Christ, who is the firstborn.

The foundation of the church

Jesus Christ as the church’s foundation-stone 1Co 3:11 See also Mt 7:24-25; Mt 21:42 pp Mk 12:10 pp Lk 20:17; Ac 4:11; Eph 2:20; 1Pe 2:6; Isa 28:16; 1Pe 2:7; Ps 118:22

Apostles and prophets as founders of the church Eph 2:19-20 See also Mt 16:18-19; Rev 21:14

The church as God’s people

A people chosen by God 1Pe 2:9 See also Jn 15:16; Ro 8:33; Eph 1:4; Col 3:12; 2Th 2:13; Jas 2:5; 1Pe 1:2

A people called by God Ro 1:6 See also Ac 2:39; 1Co 1:2,9; Gal 1:6; 2Th 2:14; 2Ti 1:9; Jude 1

A people loved by God 1Pe 2:10 See also Eph 2:1-5; Tit 3:4-7

God’s covenant people Heb 8:8-10 See also Ro 11:27; Isa 59:20-21; Heb 10:16; Jer 31:31-33

See also

3278Holy Spirit, indwelling
5269cornerstone
5317foundation
5659bride
6638election
7105believers
7110body of Christ
7142people of God, NT
7155saints
7382house of God
7412priesthood
7620disciples