He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.Matthew 16:15-18 ESV
Where the teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the careful handling of God’s word takes place. There is a church.
Where there is a gathering of guilty sinners who submit to the authority and sufficiency of God’s word for worship in spirit and in truth. There is a church.
Where the people in attendance are openly taught, challenged, and led to partake in all the means of grace that God has provided. There is a church
Where the glory of God is the primary goal and the congregation sanctifies themselves to the Lord for worship on his day. There is a church.
Where earthly problems, dark providences, and all types of pain, sorrow, and sufferings are embraced with joy are taken to the Lord in prayer for grace and mercy. There is a church.
Having a building to gather in does not make a “church.”
The Church is the body of Christ.
The Church is the gathered people of God.
The Church is comprised of regenerated people who believe in the saving work of Christ and rely on it alone for their salvation.
These people submit to the authority of God and His word. Their convictions are formed by the word of God and are moved by His Spirit. They no longer make decisions that are self-serving but highly consider the situation and welfare of the whole body.
The Church can’t be destroyed or stopped by men. It is Christ that keeps it secure.
Christ is the Lord of the Church and it is Him who will sustain it until the end.
To God be the glory!