After discussing my defintion with several friends, and after considering Lew’s comment, I’ve updated my working definition. This may happen several times. I will leave each definition in place, but date each update. Also, in the comments section, I will explain why I updated the definition.
Over the last few days, I have examined several passages of Scripture, attempting to define the church (see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4). Again, my desire is to develop a basic, biblical definition of the church, not to describe the church nor the various activities of the church. Furthermore, I recognize that there are healthy church, unhealthy churches, and everything in between (if that is possible); however, I am seeking the basic, biblical definition of the church, not what makes a church healthy or unhealthy.
This is my working definition so far:
The church is believers and followers of Jesus Christ, gathered out of the world by Jesus Christ (through His Spirit) for the purpose of revealing His character, living according to His commands, and representing Him in the world (all through His Spirit).
As Jesus (through His Spirit) gathers together those who believe and follow Him (through His Spirit), those believers will reveal His character, live according to His commands, and represent Him in the world (all through His Spirit).
I recognize that I am fallible. I often make mistakes. So, keeping in mind my desire to find a basic, biblical definition of the church, I am asking others to respond to the following questions (and other questions that you may feel are applicable). Please include scriptural justifications.
1. Is this a basic, biblical definition of the church?
2. Is there something in this definition that can be removed while maintaining a basic, biblical definition of the church?
3. Is there anything that should be added to this definition in order to approach a basic, biblical definition of the church?
4. What are the implications of this definition for the church?
Thank you for participating!
- Defining the Church 1 – Matthew 16:15-19
- Defining the Church 2 – Matthew 18:15-20
- Defining the Church 3 – John’s Farewell Discourse
- Defining the Church 4 – Acts 1-2
- Defining the Church – Implications