What is a Local Evangelical Church?
A church is not a religious building! It is not a national or international religious organisation! It is not a social construct invented by people! A church is far more important and glorious than any of those things! The church is people! People from every tribe, language, ethnic heritage and nation on the earth. Ah, but which people? People who once were lost but now are saved by grace alone, through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8), in the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7). People who are saved are called the ‘body of Christ’, and Christ is the head (Colossians 1:18). This is the church.
A day is coming when all kingdoms, nations, parties and organisations on this earth will come to an end! The great day of judgement is coming for all people. Jesus is the judge (Acts 17:31). But God’s great purpose and plan, through all human history, and for all eternity, is that his people will reign with him in perfect happiness forever. “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 5:9-10).
An Evangelical Church
The word ‘Evangelical’ comes from the word ‘evangel’ meaning ‘good news’ – and that’s exactly what the Christian message is all about. The Bible’s teaches that we can be forgiven by God for all our wrong and receive eternal life, through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross, rising bodily from the dead on the third day (Luke 24:46-47). Forgiveness is a gift from God, not something we can earn ourselves by being a good person or being religious. This message is at the very centre of our worship as God’s Word, the Bible clearly teach (1 Corinthians 15:1-5).
A Local Evangelical Church
God wants his people to live a life of serving others. This means meeting as a visible local group of people committed to each other, living within a local community. (John 13:34-35, John 17:21, Acts 2:42).
When Jesus came to earth he didn’t commute to meet, speak and love people. He didn’t make a dream house his priority! He chose to live among people, so they could see, hear and know him in a personal way (see John 1:14), and so he could serve them and speak the words of life. This is the way God wants you and I to make his love, goodness and glory known (Mark 12:31, Matthew 5:16). We live in a fractured and lonely society, desperate to experience and see real loving relationships. There are no shortcuts. You and I need to follow Jesus’ example.
This is a Local Evangelical Church.
‘What is a Church?’ – a publication by Christ The Word, Wixams, that describes a church’s definition, purpose, motivation, leadership, membership, and the importance of beliefs. PDF 674k.