The Church in the Bible
How does the Bible describe the Church?
The Bible used a lot of word-pictures to help early Christians understand what the Church is designed to be.
Church is a body – Jesus’ body, with Jesus himself as the Head (Ephesians 1: 22-23).
Bodies are made of different parts – hands, feet, legs – but they all work together to get things done. When one part hurts, every part suffers. Church is a community where everybody is treated with love and respect.
Church is the branches of a vine (John 15)
Grapes are grown on vines. The Bible calls Jesus the vine, and the Church the branches that bear good fruit. Christians take this picture to mean that the Church should do good things (the fruit) that Jesus asks them to – following the example he set while he was on earth. So just as Jesus loved people – especially people in need – so the Church exists to be a place where all people will find love and support.
Church is a priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)
In Bible times, Jewish priests were specially chosen by God to help people in the community know Him better: by speaking God’s words to them, praying for them and helping them experience God’s love and forgiveness for themselves. Christians believe that this is still part of what they should do today – by serving their communities and living in a way that will help people know more of who God is and the love He has for people.