The Church is the community of all true believers for all time (Ephesians 1:22-23 – And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all).
- The invisible church is the church as God sees it, and the visible church is the church as Christians on earth see it.
- The marks of a true church are right preaching of the Word and right administration of the sacraments, plus attempting to function as a church.
- The purity of the church is its degree of freedom from wrong doctrine and conduct, and its degree of conformity to God’s revealed will for the church.
- The unity of the church is its degree of freedom from division among true Christians.
- The primary purposes of the church are ministry to God (worship), believers (nurture), and the world (evangelism and mercy), (Ephesians 4:11-13).
- The power of the church is its God-given authority to carry on spiritual warfare, proclaim the gospel and exercise church discipline.
- A church officer is someone publicly recognized as having the right and responsibility to perform certain functions for the benefit of the whole church (elders and deacons).
- Plural local elders seems to best represent the NT pattern of church leadership.
Forms Of Church Government
- Episcopalian: leads with priests; final authority is outside the local church.
- Presbyterian: has elders, some of whom have authority beyond their local congregations.
- Congregational: has all final governing authority resting with the local congregations.
Primary Means Of Grace In The Church
- Teaching of the Word
- The Lord’s Supper
- Prayer for one another
- Church Discipline
- Spiritual Gifts
- Personal ministry to individuals