a) The People of God
b) A Building
c) The Body of Christ
d) The Temple of the Holy Spirit
e) All of the Above
f) None of the Above
g) Some of the Above
Milliard Erickson, “The church is the chosen people of God; they belong to Him and He belongs to them.”
There is nothing like the local church when it’s working right. Its beauty is indescribable. Its power is breathtaking. Its potential is unlimited. It comforts the grieving and heals the broken in the context of community. It builds bridges to seekers and offers truth to the confused. It provides resources for those in need and opens its arms to the forgotten, the downtrodden, the disillusioned. It breaks the chains of addictions, frees the oppressed and offers belonging to the marginalized of this world. Whatever the capacity of human suffering, the church has a greater capacity for healing and wholeness. Still to this day the potential of the church is almost more than I can grasp. No other organization on earth is like the church. Nothing even comes close.
- Bill Hybels in ‘Courageous Leadership’
Three Biblical Images of the Church
1.The People of God
Often we identify it as a building, such as ,”Let’s go to church!” But the church is made up of people.
2 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
2. The Body of Christ
The church is the body of Christ.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.Christ is the head of this body.
3.The Temple of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit brought the church into being in Acts 2. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit with individuals and the collective group indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
The Holy Spirit makes the church holy and pure.
There is nothing like the church when it is in unity, has Christ as the head and the Holy Spirit present.