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New City Catechism - Question 48
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Posted by Ed Fedor, Associate Pastor

 

New City Catechism - Question 48

 

Q48: What is the church?

A:  God chooses and preserves for himself a community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together. God sends out this community to proclaim the gospel and prefigure Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another.

Kids’ Answer:

A community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together.

 

SCRIPTURE TO MEMORIZE:

Romans 12:5

"so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another."

 

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES TO READ: 

Hebrews 10:24-25, Matthew 5:13-16

 

LIFE APPLICATION:

Many people, when they think of church, think of a building. It’s the place where we go to church on Sundays. We meet at the church for an event, and so on. It’s fine in one sense to talk in those terms. But biblically, the church is not a building. The church is the set of born-again children of God, all those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior, who have been called out of the world, and have been called together as the family of God. And as the family of God, we gather together to worship God, to learn about God in Scripture, to pray to God with and for one another, to grow in our character, and to deepen in our faith. We gather corporately on Sundays as a local body and we gather in smaller groups through the week to study Scripture, serve, and have fellowship with one another.

 

The weekly gathering of the church body for worship should never be seen as an optional extra. Apart from the corporate worship, ministry of the Word and prayer, and fellowship of the body, we will drift in our spiritual lives. The devil and the world pull far too hard on our hearts for us to assume we’re strong enough on our own. Also, there’s also no way to practice the “one anothers” in the Bible (love one another, encourage one another, exhort one another, etc.) if we don’t regularly gather together.

 

The church is also called by God to scatter. The church shouldn’t live together in a cloister either literally or figuratively. God has commissioned the church of Jesus Christ to go and share the good news of the gospel with those they interact with in their daily experience. And he calls some to go farther, even to the ends of the earth with the message of life in Christ. And as we live among the non-Christians in our workplaces and neighborhoods, we are to be salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16). We are to live our lives in such a way that commends and adorns the beauty and the reality of our Savior and the gospel. Time is short and all Christians are on mission. Are you living your life for the glory of God, for the encouragement of your fellow believers in the family of God, and for the expansion of the Kingdom of God? Are you being the church?

 

CONNECTION TO CORNERSTONE’S STATEMENT OF FAITH: 

 

SALVATION
We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus by faith are born of the Holy Spirit, become children of God, and are saved for eternity.  (Heb. 9:22;     Mt. 26:281 Pet. 1:18,19Rom. 3:2425Rom. 5:1,  918Jn. 1:123:16Eph. 2:8,9)

 

THE CHURCH  
We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the Body of Christ, of which He is the Head.  (1 Cor. 12:1213Eph. 1:224:15Col. 1:18)

 

MEMBERSHIP
We believe that only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.  (Rom. 8:591 Cor. 12:12-27)

 

AUTONOMY OF THE CHURCH 
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right, under Christ, to decide and govern its own affairs according to the Scriptures.  (Col. 1:18Eph.1:2223Acts 6:1-7Acts 13:1-3Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy and Titus)



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