1.The church is the Building of Christ. Its Builder is Jesus “the Rock” and each believer is a “living stone.” And as with virtually all buildings, the church has a specific purpose in the community. Scripture reveals three purposes: to serve as the “conscience of God in the community” (I Timothy 3:15); to live as the “consecrated of God in the community” (I Peter 2:4,5); and to gather as the “convocation of God in the community” (Ephesians 2:19-22).
2.The church is the Brotherhood of Christ. Its Father is God and each believer is a member of His family. And as with all families, there should exist a demonstration of Agape love between members. The Bible characterizes the manifestation of this love as such: the demonstration of a “friendly spirit of love” (II Corinthians 13:11,12); the demonstration of a “fervent spirit of love” (I Peter 1:22); and the demonstration of a “forgiving spirit of love” (Luke 17:3).
3.The church is the Bride of Christ. Jesus is the waiting Husband and the believers are espoused to Him. And as with all marriages, a wife should respond in certain ways to the love of her husband. The Word of God teaches that the believer’s response to Christ, in this context, should be as the following: a “loyalty to Christ” (II Corinthians 11:2); a submissive “love to Christ” (Ephesians 5:32-33); and a “longing for Christ” (Revelation 22:17).
4.The church is the Body of Christ. Jesus is the Head and the believers are the various members. And as with any functioning, healthy body, there are certain principles that must be followed to maintain productivity. God describes these principles as: “the diversity of its members” (I Corinthians 12:14-24); “the discipline of its members” (Colossians 1:17-18); and ”the duty of its members” (Ephesians 4:11-16).
5.The church is the Branches of Christ. Jesus is the Vine and the believers are the branches. And as with any fruit bearing plant, there are certain expectations of the husbandman regarding his labours. The Scriptures teach us that the Lord expects His branches to bring forth “plentiful fruit” (John 15:2); to bring forth “pleasant fruit” (Song of Solomon 7:6-13); and to bring forth “pure fruit” (Luke 6:43).
6.The Church is the Beacon of Christ. Jesus is the light of the world, and believers are individual light-bearers. As with any instrument of light, there are certain qualities that enhance the usefulness of the light. The Word of God describes these qualities as: “the shining of the light” (Matthew 5:14-16); “the situation of the light”.