This fall our series at Crossroads is on the church. It's a big topic! People often have assumptions and perhaps misconceptions about the church. We'll try to shed some light on the topic. Today we’re asking: What is the Church?
The Nicene Creed was formulated in the 300s AD and is widely accepted by most Christian denominations. It summarizes the essential beliefs of Christianity. About the church it declares: “I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church” Over the next 2 weeks we’ll unpack this statement as we look at Ephesians 2:19-22.
The church is one. The church is not a building and it’s much more than a local congregation. All people who believe in and follow Jesus are part of the ONE CHURCH. Ephesians 2:19 gives us two metaphors. We are citizens of God’s kingdom and members of his household. These descriptors are not limited by time and space. All believers are in Christ, members of the church. One Lord, One Church.
The church is apostolic. Ephesians 2:20 gives us the metaphor of a foundation. We know that if a building does not start with a solid foundation, anything you might build is useless. Biblically the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets of the 1st century AD. Keep in mind there was no written New Testament for the early church to read. The apostles and prophets of the New Testament era wrote the New Testament as it was revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. Today we continue to read the New Testament and rely on it. The foundation stands.
The church is holy. Ephesians 2:19-22 gives us three building metaphors to work with. The first is that Jesus is the chief cornerstone. In ancient construction, the cornerstone set the lines, angles and dimensions of the whole building. It was an essential reference point. Likewise Jesus is our reference point in life and faith. Jesus is the key to the Church. Jesus is holy and upon his holiness is based the church. We’ll look at this more and finish the summary next week in part 2.