The church is not a business or a corporation and it is not of this world. The Church is in the world but not of the world, it is not an organization. The Church is not buildings or programs. The Church is the Body of Christ. The Church is a hidden body of devoted believers who have not wavered in their passion and love for Christ.
Jesus is the head of His Church which Paul refers to as the Body of Christ. (Col.1:18) Jesus says: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18) Jesus says that He is going to build His Church that no force of evil will ever prevail against it. Peter also reminds us that the Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone:
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone….
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:4-9 NKJV)
Jesus has subdivided His Church into local churches. The Biblical example of this would be His words to each of the seven local churches in Revelation: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. The Church is gifted with apostles, teachers, pastors, evangelists, encouragers, healers, prophets, and administrators.
The Church is a place where two or more are gathered in the name of Jesus. It is a place where the Scriptures are discussed, interpreted and preached. When the Church meets together, one will bring a hymn, another might bring a teaching, or a special prophetic knowledge. It is a place where everyone can be edified. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
It is also a place where the sick can ask for the elders to anoint them with oil and pray over them. (James 5:14) It is a place where we confess our sins to one another. In 1 John 1:7 the apostle John states that “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”This means we are to be honest and open with each other.
The Bible tells us that we are the spiritual temple built out of living stones (1Peter 2:5) Jesus is its sole foundation and cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 3:11) in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, replenishing and sanctifying the hearts of the faithful. The Body of Christ is the living temple of God.
The Church consists of individual members who walk among people of all races and nationalities. No geographical, political or cultural boundaries identify the extent of the Church because it has no earthly parameters. The Church is admonished not to be part of this world: Paul warns us in Romans 12:2 …. not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We are in the world but not of the world. We are citizens from every country on the face of the earth; but we are different. Christians are not promised of an inheritance on this earth because we have been promised an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
The true church of Jesus Christ is comprised of believers who have an intimate love relationship with the Lord. All over the world—in every nation and ethnic group, in every walk of life, among rich and poor and people of all races–the Lord has individuals who are wholly devoted to Him, believers who have a genuine heart love and surrender to Him. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
The true church has not prostituted divine salvation for material and financial gain. They are strangers and pilgrims on earth (Hebrews 11:13). They seek those things that are above, not the things that are on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)
The Church is the Ecclesia, those who have been chosen and called out, the Body of Christ on earth, the followers and disciples of Jesus Christ.