Our Christian Beliefs: The Church"...walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:1-6) In the New Testament, the Church literally means the called out ones. The Church is the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the body (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18). He is the source of life and has authority over the body. Like different parts of the body, there is diversity within unity in the Church (1 Corinthians 12:27). The term "church" is used in two ways: universally to refer to all believers in Christ, and locally to refer to an assembly of believers.
The mission of the Church includes the following aspects of life:
The primary function of the Church is to love God and to glorify Him. Worship is to be carried over as an attitude to the whole of life. Thus, God is to be worshipped not only through our praise and prayer, but our giving, our serving, our witnessing and our loving.
The Church is to provide fellowship for believers. This is the common participation in the life of God. It expresses itself in unconditional love or agape, and in hospitality. Throughout Christian fellowship, believers learn how to forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32), to bear one another's burden (Acts 11:29), to pray for one another (James 5:16), and even to admonish one another (Hebrews 10:24; Colossians 3:16).
The Church is called to serve. The supreme example of ministry or humble service is found in Jesus Christ (Mark 10:45).
The Church is called to witness. The call to witness lay at the heart of Jesus' final instructions to the apostles to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). The responsibility to make disciples of all nations should not rest on a few individuals in the Church but on the Church corporately. There are two sacraments in the Church - water baptism and Holy Communion. Remember that a sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.
Water baptism is part of the Great Commission: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." (Matthew 28:18-20). It is the first step of obedience to Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38).
Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper, commemorates the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. Twice at the Last Supper, Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of me." The Apostle Paul says that every time we take part in the Holy Communion service, we "proclaim the Lord's death until He comes" (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). We not only remember His death in the past but we look forward to His return in the future.
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