The New Testament church has many different descriptions for the church. We are called “the family” (or “household”) of God, we are “a royal priesthood” and a chosen nation, we are “the Body of Christ.” We (together) are God’s temple, and we are “a people of God’s very own, eager to do his will.” (Titus 2:14) We are “one new man” (Ephesians 2:15), that which reconciles Jew and Gentile. Finally, we are simply called: “the saints.” We believe that God is the one who has called us together and made us into a people. Within the church, there are unique relationships coming from the shared joy of our Salvation, shared hope of Jesus’ return, shared identity in Christ—all of which are not found in the world. The church community is also where we learn and practice grace and forgiveness with each other, encouraging each other in our walk with Christ, and bearing with one another. Our overall unity comes from the fact that Jesus Christ is the Head of his Body, the church, and that within the church his Holy Spirit works in and among us.

The mission of the church, looking outwards, is to proclaim the gospel and make disciples. Or in other words: to know Jesus (discipleship) and to make him known (evangelism). Everything of the arrangement of our identity is to allow for these to happen, based on the power of God at work in our lives. And so we are able to invite people in to share in God’s grace and also to follow Jesus Christ. We are called ambassadors, making our appeal to the world that they also would be reconciled to God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:20) We are called to “shine like stars” in this dark world (Philippians 2:15), and that we are to be “always ready to give an answer for that hope that we have.” (1 Peter 3:15)

Bible verses describing the church in various forms

1 Corinthians 3:9, Ephesians 2:19-22, Ephesians 4:4-6, Galatians 6:10, Hebrews 10:14, 1 Peter 2:4-10, Revelation 1:5-6, Daniel 7:27

Bible verses defining the role and mission of the church

Matthew 28:18-20, John 15:15, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, 2 Corinthians 5:20