There are few things more frustrating, disappointing, infuriating than the Christian Church. There are few things more amazing, astounding and uplifting than the Christian Church.
I love this saying, “A Church that admitted only saints would be like a hospital that admitted only healthy people. It would be a lot easier to run, but it certainly wouldn’t serve the purpose for which it was created.”
So what is the Biblical concept of the Church? At its base, the Church is a gathering of the people of God. “I will be your God and you will be My people.”
Beyond that, the Church is described as being:
The Body of Christ - We are, in the true Church, one and all, believers in Jesus the Christ as He is revealed in the Bible. We are being made one in life and character with Jesus. Jesus is the head of this body.
The Bride of Christ - This image has deep, deep roots in the OT. Jesus referred to Himself as the bridegroom and because of our sin nature, we are, mostly, the unfaithful bride. God / Jesus has always identified Himself with unqualified love. His desire is toward us and He pursues us to what seems an unreasonable level. God is single minded in His devotion to His people with a degree of devotion to which we can only long to achieve. God’s love for us is so deep that He will not and cannot tolerate rivals for His affection.
The Building of God - We are God’s temple. We are the residence of His very Spirit. God dwells with His people. The image is of one who has pitched His tent among us. The Church of God is Spiritual - not material. Nevertheless, Jesus is described as the cornerstone without which life itself becomes twisted out of shape. 1st Peter 2:5 describes the people of God as living stones in the temple of God.
The Family of God - As believers in Christ we are adopted into His family. To all of us, God is our Spiritual or Heavenly Father. Therefor the Church becomes the family of God. We are sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters in Christ.