Church is the Gathered People of God . UCCP AKO

Church is the Gathered People of God

The Church is the gathered people of God (1Peter 2:10) who have responded to Christ’s call for newness in life, attitude, understanding, and action. It is a people trying to be responsive to the teachings and mandates of Jesus Christ (cf. John 14:15) and endeavoring to be responsible to those with whom Christ gave himself in solidarity and in sacrifice (cf. John 21:15-17).

Therefore it is a people who have caught a vision of a different kind of life and lifestyle and are striving to live according to that life and to share the hope of newness with others. Thus, they become God’s instruments in the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

The Church is the New Israel.  And like the Israel of old, it is to be a light to the nations and a symbol of God’s presence in the world. (Clergy Manual of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines)

The Church is the Gathered People of God

Many people today understand the church as a building. This is not a biblical understanding of the church. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. Romans 16:5 says “… greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house—not a church building, but a body of believers.

The church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head. Ephesians 1:22-23 says, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” The body of Christ is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) until Christ’s return. The body of Christ is comprised of two aspects: 

1) The universal church consists of all those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13). This verse says that anyone who believes is part of the body of Christ and has received the Spirit of Christ as evidence. The universal church of God is all those who have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

2) The local church is described in Galatians 1:1-2: “Paul, an apostle … and all the brothers with me, to the churches in Galatia.” Here we see that in the province of Galatia there were many churches—what we call local churches.

A Baptist church, Lutheran church, the Catholic church, etc., is not the church, as in the universal church—but rather is a local church, a local body of believers.

The universal church is comprised of those who belong to Christ and who have trusted Him for salvation. These members of the universal church should seek fellowship and edification in a local church.

In summary, the church is not a building or a denomination. According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 3:161 Corinthians 12:13).

Local churches are gatherings of members of the universal church. The local church is where the members of the universal church can fully apply the “body” principles of 1 Corinthians chapter 12: encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 It is a People Trying to be Responsive to the Teachings and Mandates of Jesus Christ

The UCCP Statement of Faith states We believe that the Church is the one Body of Christ, the whole community of persons reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and entrusted with God’s ministry.

The Church response can be expressed in the following varied forms and expressions:

In faithfulness to Jesus’ proclamation of his own mission (Luke 4:18-19), and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), the Church, as the People of God, is called to a ministry of love and service and the search for peace based on justice and reconciliation, in obedience to, and as exemplified by Jesus Christ.

Having been given a diversity of gifts, all church members are called upon to participate in this ministry, looking forward to the attainment of unity in faith, knowledge of the Son of God, and mature personhood according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

Within the Church, some are called as ordained ministers, lay church workers and others charged to perform specific ministries to enable the Church to fulfill its mission and service and to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Schools, health-care institutions, service agencies, sectors and organizations duly recognized by the Church shall contribute to the fulfillment of its life and ministry.

The ordination of ministers and the classification and assignment of all church workers shall be provided for in the By-Laws. (Adapted from the UCCP Constitution and By-Laws Article IV-THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH, sections 1 to 4).

 

 

12 thoughts on “Church is the Gathered People of God”

  1. Yes I will agree with you that church is a gathering of the believers who have gathered in praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, people have oven taken the building to the building and they forget that God our Lord does not stay in building but within our hearts.it is written in the good Book that where their two or three join in the praise of my Name I will be among Them God Never stated that   I will  living in the church but the only thing He said that building a place where you can gather and Praise the Name of Mighty lord together  so Gathering in one accord and praise the Lord  that is the true Church of Christ.

    • Thank you, Charles, for your affirmation. I have been teaching in Bible Studies that words and terminologies like chapel and church should not be interchanged. So they have to say, “I will go to the chapel”, “the church of 
      God worship in the chapel”. “We are the church”.

      I hope they’ll learn the true meaning even translated in different languages it should bring the same sense.

  2. I do agree that the church is not a specific building or denomination. We are the church. There is a verse that says, “forsake not the assembling of yourselves.” ( I tried to look it up in my bible concordance and couldn’t find it.) I’m Filipino too and half American. I didn’t learn Tagalog. Did you have to pay for the ad in your site? You have put it together well and is so easy to understand if you are not a Christian. Hopefully it will spark some interest in your readers. I am a Christian. God Bless and keep up the good Word.

    • That verse you mentioned is found in Hebrews 10:25. The ads are from Adsense and these are free.
      Thank you, Donna, for leaving a comment on this post. I hope people will find this and read and be inspired by the truth that we are all part of the one body.
      I hope you will share this post with others.

  3. Thank you for this highly religious post, The church is the holy gathering of the followers of Christ and the new Israel, More informations like this should be sent out to people to make them understand that the church is not a building but the collective individuals that worship inside it. 

    • Thank you, Clement. I hope you are eager and willing to share this so others may find and know it. May God’s blessing be upon you always.

  4. The church is  instrumental in the spreading of the gospel. It is a gathering of like minds with common aim,salvation .This gathering makes it possible to form assembly to propagate messages about Christ and salvation. So this write up corroborate the power of gathering in presence of God. It is very elaborate to say the least. 

    • True, Chris, the Church is God’s instrument to realize his mission. We are entrusted with that mission so we are partakers, participants to the realization of God’s Kingdom on earth.

      Thanks again for leaving your affirmation to this post. 

  5. This was a very informative article. I am not a great believer in the institution for the religions, churches of many sorts, but I believe there is a God that sees everything we do whether we go to church or nor, whether we say we are good or not He can see everything. I did not know of the existance of this particular church and I do appreciate learning about it. Learning it is all part of growing.

    • Thanks, Barbara for your honesty. Your deep faith in God can certify that you are a member of his Church, his body, for he is the head.

      The Church we refer to this discussion can come from the different religious group around the world. They are the people that believe and obeys the Supreme Being who causes everything and anything in this world. 

  6. Misleadingly, people can say I’m going to church meaning they’re going to a building. But Church is not the beautiful buildings but the people of Christ. I believe the Church is one irrespective of creeds and dogmas. I believe that’s why we’ve been given the five ministerial gifts of pastors,evangelists,teachers,prophet and apostles to bring the body of Christ into the unity of faith.

    • Absolutely, Louis. The Church is the beautiful people of God, they may come from different religious groups or just individuals that believe in the provider and source of everything, the author of life, the king and the judge of all the living and the dead. That Supreme Being is the one who loves us and exemplified that love through Jesus Christ who died on the cross for the remission of sins so we can be reconciled to God again.

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