What is the Church?

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

Last Sunday we began our fall preaching series, focusing both on our Church Covenant, as well as discovering more about just what the church is and what God calls us to do as His church.  Here is a summary of the main points to help us as we continue thinking about the church, and specifically about IBCZ.

Jesus said He would build His church (Mt. 16:18).  The word translated as “church” is “ecclesia” in the original Greek New Testament.  It means “people.”  Jesus promised that He would build His people.  As Jesus builds his church/people, we are marked by four different characteristics.

First, we are called out.  Specifically, we are called out of darkness (I Pet. 2:9), out of a way of living in which we are separated from God and unaware of His ways.

Second, we are called for.  That is, we are called for relationship with God (Mk. 3:14).  As His people, we can experience His presence, goodness, guidance, faithfulness, and love day by day.

Third, we are called together.  Acts 2:42 tells us that the first Christians “devoted themselves…to the fellowship.”  The church is a community of believers who are devoted to one another, who love one another, support one another, encourage one another, and pray for one another.

Finally, the church is called into.  We are called out of the darkness of life apart from God, called for relationship with God, called together to grow with one another as His people, so we can be sent back into the world as His witnesses and servants.  Jn. 20:21 reminds us that we are sent in the same way Jesus was sent – into the world to proclaim the truth of God and reveal the love of God.

As the International Baptist Church of Zurich, by God’s grace let us live out the full meaning of what it means to be the church!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Bob

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