It Is Not Good to be Alone

From the declaration by God in the garden to our first parents – that it is not good to be alone – to the example of the one true God who himself exists in Trinitarian community as Father, Son and Spirit, the emphasis of Scripture is that while we are individuals insofar as there is distinction between us, through the reconciling work of Jesus there should not be division but loving relational community as the church.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 50

How the Reforming of the Church Was and Can Once Again be Accomplished

The reforming of the church by the Word of God can be accomplished only by continually returning to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The great Protestant reformer Martin Luther rightly defined the visibile church as a community holding common faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 48

Eleven Evidences of the New Birth

Eleven Evidences of the New Birth:

  1. Those who are born of God keep his commandments (I John 2:3-4; I John 3:24)
  2. Those who are born of God walk as Christ walked (I John 2:5-6)
  3. Those who are born of God don’t hate others but love them (I John 2:9; 3:14; 4:7-8; 4:20)
  4. Those who are born of God don’t love the world (I John 2:15)
  5. Those who are born of God confess the Son and receive (have) him (I John 2:23; 4:15; 5:12)
  6. Those who are born of God practice righteousness (I John 2:29)
  7. Those who are born of God don’t make a practice of sinning (I John 3:6; 3:9-10; 5:18)
  8. Those who are born of God possess the Spirit of God (I John 3:24; I John 4:13)
  9. Those who are born of God listen submissively to the apostolic word (I John 4:6)
  10. Those who are born of God believe that Jesus is the Christ (I John 5:1)
  11. Those who are born of God overcome the world (I John 5:4)

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 126-128

The Church is What Happens When…

According to Calvin and the Reformers, with whom we agree, the church is what happens because God the Holy Spirit works in power through the gospel of Jesus Christ and is not a static institution resting its hopes on apostolic succession.  This gospel message is to be heard by rightly teaching the Scriptures and rightly guarded with baptism, the Lord’s supper, regenerated church membership, and ensuing church discipline as needed.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 47

Characterization of a True Church

A true church is one characterized by:

  1. Regenerated church membership (I Corinthians 14:22-25)
  2. Qualified leadership (Acts 2:42; 4:35-5:2; 6:1-6; 8:14; 14:23)
  3. Preaching and worship (Acts 2:42)
  4. Rightly administered sacraments
  5. Spirit Unity
  6. Holiness
  7. The Great Commandment to love
  8. The Great Commission to evangelize and make disciples

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 38-39

A Definition of ‘Church’

The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord.  In obedience to Scripture they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and Communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and their joy.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 38

Its Not Just About Being With Jesus After We Die

This life is not just being with Jesus in heaven after we die but having a Spirit-empowered relationship with Jesus in the present.  John 17:21 says we actually share the life of the Trinity now.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p.  34