What Is Necessary To Make A Church Theology Religion Essay Example
What Is Necessary To Make A Church Theology Religion Essay Example

What Is Necessary To Make A Church Theology Religion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 7 (1787 words)
  • Published: September 21, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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According to both the New Testament and the Old Testament, the church is a community of believers who are considered genuinely saved. This group consists of God's people at any level.

A Brief Overview of Grudem's Views

In his 1994 work, Grudem described the church as the people whom Christ redeemed and saved. This includes believers from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jesus Christ established the church himself according to Matthew 16:18, and this process has continued since the time of the Old Testament when people would gather and worship God.

In Greek, the word "gather" is ecclesia, which translates to "church" in the New Testament. In Heb. 2:12, the writer of Hebrews cites Ps. 22:22 and asserts that the Old Testament people are called church (according to Today's English Version Bible) when th


ey proclaim, "I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises". Hence, assembly can be interpreted as synonymous with church.

According to Paul in 2 Timothy 2:19, the church is invisible and only God is able to see the true spirituality of an individual. Grudem (1994) discusses the differing views of Martin Luther and John Calvin on Roman Catholic teachings. The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the visible church with a lineage of bishops dating back to the apostles. However, Luther and Calvin argue that this lineage is meaningless unless the successors have faith in Jesus and show evidence of such faith in their lives (Grudem, 1994, p. 855-856).

The visible church, also known as the true church of Jesus Christ, is made up of Christians who are currently residing on Earth. These

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individuals openly declare their belief in Jesus Christ and show their religious dedication through their daily behavior. Currently, the visible church exists in the form of congregations that come together as a united group to worship and display their faith in Christ. It is important to note that although there may be non-believers among them, believers cannot identify them because only God can understand the innermost thoughts and intentions within each person's heart.

The text proposes that Christians should treat non-believers in the church with fairness and not expel them from the church community unless they publicly engage in evil actions. This guarantees transparency within the church. Additionally, the author asserts that the church ought to be a collective of God's followers, beginning at a local congregation and extending to believers in an entire city, region, and eventually worldwide. The Bible employs metaphors and visual representations to aid Christians in understanding the essence of the church. By perceiving it as a family, our affection and bond with one another should thrive.

The idea of the Bride of Christ should deepen our affection for Jesus. Just as the branches of a vine offer us solace in God, the harvest field should inspire our spiritual growth. The church can be seen as a new temple, founded on solid principles and serving as a foundation of truth. This should remind Christians that when two or three people gather to worship Him, God is present. George Ladd made a distinction between the church and the realm of God, stating that they are separate entities. The realm forms the church, while the church spreads the Gospel from the realm throughout the world.

The realm utilizes the church as its instrument, with the church acting as guardian of Eden's land and entrusted with its keys.

Christians should recognize the strong bond between the church and God's land. Grudem (1994, p. 859-862) explains that when Christ returns, his domain will encompass all forms of creative activity.

Different Views on the Church

According to Conner (1937), a Christian church is not merely a religious organization but an institution born out of Jesus Christ's redemptive work and mission. Those who have willingly accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior should be part of this establishment.

According to the church's belief, individuals who have undergone regeneration should join the church as it symbolizes the Body of Christ. Additionally, those who express interest in Jesus' life are encouraged to become members since the church serves a spiritual function. Regenerated individuals are seen as genuine members of the church and they carry the duty of sharing God's regenerating grace with non-believers (p. 259-260).

However, in Conner's (1937) work, Doctor Hodge argues against the idea of church leadership determining whether an individual is regenerated or not. The author's main point is that there will always be some un-regenerated members in the church, emphasizing the importance of closely guarding the church membership to ensure it is made up of regenerated individuals. While it may be difficult to enforce this law perfectly, just like any other law, regenerated church membership remains the standard and should be upheld as much as possible (p. 261). Thiessen (1963), in agreement with Conner (1937), asserts that God has ordained that His saved people live an organized life that can only

be found through the church.

While there is a connection between the saved of all ages, the church, however, is not Judaism. It has been improved and continued. We can compare Christianity to a new wine poured into new wineskins, as mentioned in Mathew 9:17. The Kingdom of God is not the church; it is larger than the church and has an eschatological aspect. Nevertheless, the church consists of present age believers. It is not in any way a denomination, and Jesus spoke of building His "Church," not churches.

Paul's recognition of his past persecution of the "Church" led to feelings of remorse. Christ emphasized the significance of loving the "Church". The "Church" is purified and sanctified by the Lord, who serves as its leader. Additionally, the "Church" is established with apostles, prophets, and teachers. In a broader context, the "Church" encompasses all those who have experienced spiritual rebirth during the era of God's Spirit. These individuals are incorporated into the body of Christ through baptism by the same Spirit (p. 406-408). According to Buswell (1974), the term "church" can refer either to a specific group of people who belong to God or to the physical structure where these individuals gather for worship, aligning with Thiessen's (1963) viewpoint.

Buswell ( 1974 ) explained that the term "church" also refers to a visible organized church with a religious foundation as a body of believers. The universal church is the invisible one, consisting of those who will one day come together with Jesus Christ as the Head. There is a mystical union between the believer and Jesus Christ at the time of rebirth through the supernatural power of the Holy

Spirit, which qualifies a believer to be the "bride" ( p.216-220 ). Erickson ( 1985 ) supports Buswell ( 1974 ) by stating that the Christian life is not solitary; it involves being in community with fellow believers, and the collective aspect of the Christian's life forms the church. Churches are structures where Christians gather to worship God, but due to the various uses of the word "church," there is confusion that leads to misinterpretation of its fundamental nature.

The concept of the visible church differs from individual local groups as each small community represents the universal church. This understanding helps believers interpret metaphors in Matthew 16:18 ("I will build my church") and Ephesians 5:23 ("Christ is himself the Savior of the church, his body" - Today's English Version Bible). The author emphasizes that the organization does not define the church; instead, it is formed by it (p.1025-1043). A genuine church comprises individuals chosen by God and serves as Christ's body and a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. The existence of the church stems from its relationship with the Holy Trinity.

The church, through the Holy Spirit, carries out God's will and experiences the continued presence of the Lord. Despite being a creation of God, the church has imperfect human beings and faces the challenge of achieving perfect glory until God's return (Erickson, 1985, p.1044-1049). Berkhof (2002) supports Erickson's view that the church consists of believers in both heaven and on earth who are united to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The church represents the spiritual body of Christ, created to reflect God's glory. On earth, the church is a militant entity engaged in a

holy war. The triumphant church reigns in heaven, where there is an exchange of palm branches for swords and the cross is replaced by a crown.

The Church of Jesus Christ can be observed in both visible and invisible manifestations. While it cannot be seen with the naked eye, its visibility is apparent through the behavior and testimony of its followers. These individuals declare the Gospel, administer sacraments correctly, and exhibit faithful discipline (p.279-286).

My Beliefs

I hold the conviction that the church exists in both visible and invisible forms. The unseen church remains undetectable to humans; only God possesses awareness of those who authentically worship Him with genuine hearts.

Those Black Marias are transformed into the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The visible church is a righteous family of reborn believers who display the religious traits of Jesus Christ. They are Christians who gather and adore God in sincerity and are genuinely united as one entity, similar to how Jesus Christ's body is a singular entity. The foundation of the church originated during Pentecost. The believers from the Old Testament era, prior to Christ's redemptive life and death, merge with the church after being assimilated into the same body of Christ as New Testament believers and saved like us.

I believe that there is a distinction between the church and the land. The land has always existed in Eden, which helped to create the church, and the church is the embodiment of God's land.


To sum up, both visible and invisible forms of the church coexist. God can perceive the invisible church as He sees into people's hearts. He can recognize sincere worshipers who are true believers. The visible church

is comprised of believers who publicly acknowledge Jesus as their Savior and adhere to Eden's principles of life. However, it is possible for non-believers to be part of the visible church without truly being members of Christ's body.

On Pentecost, the church spread globally, disseminating the message of redemption to believers worldwide. It is crucial to recognize that the church and God's kingdom are separate but interconnected. The kingdom was already established in Eden before the universe came into existence. Jesus Christ assumes leadership over the global church and will return shortly to empower his followers to rule with him in God's everlasting kingdom.

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