What Makes A Church?
The word "church" has a
two-fold meaning. The church is the congregation of believers in this world,
and it is also the collective body of all believers in the past, present, and
So the church in the Bible is not
a place to go or a building to sit in. It is made up of people, God's people.
It goes beyond national boundary, ethnic group, political alliance, or social
status. With his own blood, Christ "purchased men for God from every tribe
and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9 NIV). Together, these
believers constitute the church (Acts ).
Becoming a church member, however,
is not a choice to join an organization for some common interest, but the
acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In a social organization, a few
like-minded people can come together, set up a charter, and recruit members.
But in the church, it is God who chooses people into the church. As our Lord
said, "you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you
should go and bear fruit" (John ).
Through baptism, the blood of our Lord unites us as members of the church.