Quotes about Church-Defined


The church is that assembly of people who belong to the Lord, who are gathered together for Him. The gospel of Jesus Christ calls individuals out of the world of sin and death and into eternal light and life; it takes people who were no people and turns them into a special people for God (1 Peter 2:9-10). That’s what the church is. It’s the assembly of people living under the rule of Jesus and committed to each other in the faith.


The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.


If the Church on earth is the militant Church, the Church in heaven is the triumphant Church… In these two stages of her existence the Church reflects the humiliation and exaltation of her heavenly Lord.


Strictly speaking, it may be said that the true preaching of the Word and its recognition as the standard of doctrine and life, is the one mark of the Church. Without it there is no Church, and it determines the right administration of the sacraments and the faithful exercise of Church discipline. Nevertheless, the right administration of the sacraments is also a real mark of the Church. And though the exercise of discipline may not be peculiar to the Church, that is, is not found in it exclusively, yet it is absolutely essential to the purity of the Church.


The church is not a democracy in which we have chosen God, but a theocracy in which He has chosen us. The church is the only society in the world that never loses any of its members, even by death. The church upon its knees would bring heaven upon the earth.


Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.


When Protestants speak of going to church…they are not thinking of a building but of a congregation. The congregation, not the building is holy… The church is holy because the congregation is the house of God.


The church is primarily a body of people who profess and give evidence that they have been saved by God’s grace alone, for His glory alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This is what a New Testament church is; it is not a building. The early Christians didn’t have buildings for almost 300 years after the church began. The collection of people committed to Christ in a local area constitute a church.


A church is not a group of friends you’ve picked, it’s a group of brothers and sisters God has picked for you.


Paul [addressed] the Corinthians as “those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Cor. 1:2). The congregation in Corinth was anything but a “holy” people in terms of life and conduct; false teaching, schisms, and immorality marred the church. Still, it was a congregation of saints, of the sanctified, because in spite of the sinful conduct of many of its members and the worldly character of the church itself, it was still the church of God in Corinth.


What is the local church? It’s the institution which Jesus created and authorized to pronounce the gospel of the kingdom, to affirm gospel professors, to oversee their discipleship, and to expose impostors.


A local church is a group of Christians who regularly gather in Christ’s name to officially affirm and oversee one another’s membership in Jesus Christ and his kingdom through gospel preaching and gospel ordinances.


Now the church is not wood and stone, but the company of people who believe in Christ.


The church, as defined by the Word of God, is a group of Christians who dedicate themselves to meeting together for the regular preaching of the Word of God; who submit themselves to biblical eldership; who regularly celebrate the ordinances of the church (baptism and the Lord’s Supper); and who practice and submit themselves to church discipline as laid out in Scripture.


A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints (L.L. Nash)


The holiest moment of the church service is the moment when God’s people – strengthened by preaching and sacrament – go out of the church door into the world to be the church. We don’t go to church, we are the church (Ernest Southcott).


Where Christ is truly preached, there is the gospel; and where the gospel is truly believed, there is the church (Mark Ross).


The Greek work for church, ecclesia, is made up of a prefix and a root. The prefix is ek – out of. The root is the verb coleo, to call. The church in the New Testament is made up of those who are called out from the world, from darkness, from damnation, from paganism, to become members of the body of Christ.


The church of Christ is the multitude of all those who believe in Christ for the remission of sins, and who are thankful for that mercy and who love the law of God purely, and who hate the sin in this world an long for the life to come.


According to Augustine, the true Church consists of those who have repented and believed, who are spiritually united to Christ as their Head, and who live holy lives as evidence of their mystical union with Him. Those who do not manifest a transformed life, he characterized as Christians in name only, not genuine

Recommended Books

The Church: Contours of Christian Theology

Edmund Clowney

A Theology for the Church

Daniel L. Akin

The Deliberate Church

Mark Dever and Paul Alexander