154. How is the Christian church described in the New Testament?
The church of Jesus Christ and God (150 times in the New Testament).
The body of Christ, through Whose members He (the Head) wants to continue His work:
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:7,11-12)
The flock of Christ (150 times in the New Testament):
The church of Christ consists of the “elect”; those called out from the world. But what is the “world” but all who do not accept the message of Christ as the risen One and are therefore still wholly at the mercy of Satan, the “prince of this world”? These powers fight desperately against the Holy Spirit and therefore persecute the “saints”. This is how suffering and struggles arise for the church.
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28)
The holy nation and
His purchased possession:
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
God’s temple and dwelling place:
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
The bride of Christ (the wife of the Lamb) – the perfect Church:
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7)