Apologetics: The Church

We believe that the true church is composed of all such persons, who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been reborn through the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ, of which He is the head.

– Beatty Community Church
Statement of Faith

What is the church?

The church consists of all who have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ.

What is the purpose of the church?

The church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21), edify believers (Ephesians 4:11-12), and evangelize the world (Matthew 28:19-20).

The church is called the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27), which signifies that Christ is manifested through us to each other and to the world (Ephesians 5:30). Jesus Christ is the head of the church ( Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18). Like a physical body, the members are to work together, each member caring for and building up the others under the direction of the head (Romans 12:5, Ephesians 4:13).

The church is also called a living temple (Ephesians 2:21), Christ being the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) and cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20) and each believer being a “living stone” (1 Peter 2:5). Just like everything in the Old Testament temple was holy, so we are to live holy lives.

The church is also called the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 19:7).

How is the church organized?

Because the head of the church is Christ, no man should have final authority as to the leading and teachings of the church (1 Corinthians 3:11). The leading of the church must be biblically-based.

An elder is a spiritual leader in the church, in charge of the spiritual direction of the church (1 Timothy 5:17). Elders are sometimes called bishops or overseers in the Bible. The qualifications for an elder are listed in 1 Timothy 3:2-6 and Titus 1:7.

The pastor is the head elder in the church. The word pastor means shepherd, which implies that his tasks are similar to a real shepherd.

“The tasks of a Near Eastern shepherd were: to watch for enemies trying to attack the sheep, to defend the sheep from attackers, to heal the wounded and sick sheep, to find and save lost or trapped sheep, to love them, sharing their lives and so earning their trust.” ( Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

During World War II, a shepherd was a pilot who guided another pilot whose plane was partially disabled back to the base or carrier by flying alongside him to maintain visual contact.” (from Online Bible lexicon)

A deacon handles the logistics of the church, such as caring for the poor, handling church business, etc. (Acts 6:1-4). Deacons are sometimes called ministers or servants.

The office of apostle ended when the last of the original apostles died. This is because one of the qualification of an apostle is to be an eyewitness not only of Jesus during the 40 day period between His resurrection and His ascension to heaven (Acts 1:21-26, John 15:27) but also of His life on earth before He died. An apostle is means one who is sent. Paul’s apostleship was unusual because he saw Jesus later (1 Corinthians 9:1, 15:8) Unlike elders and deacons, there are no instructions on how to become an apostle.

The church does not have priests. All believers are priests and have direct access to God so the church doesn’t need a separate office of priest (1 Peter 2:5,9).

Each believer has been given a gift by the Holy Spirit. These gifts are not to be used for personal profit but to build up the church ( 1 Corinthians 12:7, 14:12, 1 Peter 4:10).


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