We begin our ‘Foundations’ series, evaluating our church Constitution, with ‘The Church’. We believe in,
The church, the body of Christ, made up of those drawn from every tribe, language, people and nation throughout history who are added to it by the work of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; the scriptural expression of the church in the world as the local company of baptised believers gathered under the headship of Christ for worship, fellowship, instruction and evangelism, in separation from all systems of belief that do not adhere to the Scriptures and are unfaithful to the gospel of salvation by grace alone; the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper: baptism being the immersion of believers on profession of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a symbol of their identification with Him in His death, burial and resurrection; the Lord’s supper being a remembrance of Christ’s death until He comes and a renewal of commitment to Him; the offices of elder and deacon; the gifts of evangelist and pastor-teacher; the priesthood of all believers and their unity in the Body of Christ; the separation of church and state.
This is really the answer to three questions about the Church:
- What is it?
- What does it do?
- What is it made of?