What is Church?

The church is to be the kingdom of God, and as such to be governed from the throne in heaven. No earthly headquarters. So, whilst we certainly enjoy moving together socially, the church is not a mere social club. Nor is it a democracy. It is a place where Christ is king, where his glory is revealed, and a place where he can find rest amongst his people. As David said: “The palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.”(1Chr.29:1)

In the New Testament we find the Lord raising up men in the different local churches to be pastors, or shepherds, or overseers, or elders, or bishops (all the same calling). Men who do not want to lord it over the flock but who have a servant heart; who do not love money or position but are willing to “labour in word and doctrine.”(1Tim.5:17) So the church gathering here in North Parramatta prays for the Lord to raise up such men in his time.

The church is to show forth the light of the glorious gospel of Christ to a world that lies in the darkness of sin. A world that is dying. So each of the believers here are encouraged to be a personal witness for Christ, and those of us in the church who are able go into the shopping centres as the Lord leads to evangelise. We have some good gospel tracts written here that we can send to you, if you wish, for your own personal witness.

Finally, the church is to be the bride of Christ, and so then our ministry is to make disciples (Mat.28:19,20), and to help prepare his people for his soon coming. (A book has been written in the church here called “Behold the Bridegroom”which can be sent on request). The church does not belong to any nationality or group. The church is from heaven, and as we let the cross of Christ have its way in our lives, all the barriers of race, colour, gender, social position, and age are broken down. By his grace, the assembly here reflects just that. It is a marvellous and wonderful work of God that, whilst we remain unique individuals with different gifts and callings, we are all, bit by bit, being changed into the image of God’s dear Son.

So the church is not some afterthought of God after the day of Pentecost, but rather his eternal purpose. (Eph.3:11) God certainly has his plan and pattern for his church, but he is not stamping out churches like McDonalds franchises just as he does not make us all exactly the same. And this is also wonderful in our eyes. No set formula or pattern will ensure a church does not fall into staleness, or deadness, or mere ritual or formalism, but holding the Head will. As David spoke in Psalm 133: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head....that went down to the skirts of his garments.”

So enough said. Two of John’s disciples that turned to follow Jesus asked him where he lived, and Jesus answered them: “Come and see.” (John 1:39)

“The God of peace be with you all. Amen.”(Rom.15:33)