What is the Church?
In one sense, pretty much everyone knows what a church is. For most people, a building comes to mind, often with a steeple and stained glass windows. For many, it’s a place where people gather for services where at least songs are sung and a sermon is preached. For still others, the church is where people gather to hear God’s Word, worship Him, and have fellowship with one another.
The Church (note the capital “C”) includes all people in all time who believe in the one true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These people believe that Jesus Christ, who is God, was born of a woman and took on human flesh. He lived and taught the truth of the good news (gospel), which is God’s plan for saving people lost to sin. After his death, resurrection from the dead, and ascension into heaven, God sent the Holy Spirit to establish the Church. The Church is the body of all believers in all time. It is what some call the “invisible church” because only God truly knows who does and does not truly believe.
A church (note the lowercase “c”) is also a reality. It consists of a local body of people. Hopefully, most or all believe in the gospel and are saved from sin and death. There will also be people who do not truly believe. A church exists to spread the gospel message of salvation in the community. It is not just a social club, but fellowship is a very important part of what the church does! If people are in community together and the gospel is proclaimed, then people who do not believe have hope that they too will hear the gospel message and believe also. A local church has three jobs: to worship God, to reach the lost, and to build up those in the body. All of these tasks involve Scripture: we worship God as he requires in Scripture, we reach the lost with the gospel given in Scripture, and teach those in the body with Scripture.
Our prayer is that the people who come to church the Valley Remnant become part of the Church. In other words, we pray that everyone who comes into our local church will come to saving faith in Jesus Christ making them members of the body of all believers.