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

It Is Not The Strength of Our Faith

It is important to remember that the power of salvation is not in the strength of our faith but in the completeness of Jesus’ saving work.  Jesus said that even faith as small as a grain of mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) connects us to God’s power, which raised Jesus from death, giving us new life and forgiveness of all sins (Colossians 2:13).  Through faith we can know the truth of what Paul said, “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord of Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Corinthians 6:11)

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 31

The Connection of the Church and the Holy Spirit

Because the church is so dear to Jesus, it is dear to Christians who love Jesus and are part of the church because of justification on the cross and regeneration in their hearts.  this is why the church father Irenaeus rightly said, “Where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 30

Our Authority Rests on Nothing Less

Indeed, the authority of our mission rests on nothing less than the authority delegated to us by the exalted Lord Jesus Christ who rules over all.  It is the one gospel of Jesus Christ that is needed by all tribes, races, nations, tongues, ethnicities, religions, and cultures.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 29

The True Mark of Circumcision

All of the people of God are marked with a special brand as it were.  In the Old Testament, circumcision was the proof of divine ownership.  It was required of all make children of the people of Israel, as well as of all male converts or proselytes.  It was an external sign of the covenant which made them God’s people.  It was also a subjective sign of the covenant in that it was applied individually to each person, whereas the ark of the covenant served as an objective sign for the whole group.

Instead of this external circumcision of the flesh, found in the administration of the old covenant, we find under the new covenant an inward circumcision of the heart.  Paul wrote, “He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal” (Romans 2:29; see also Philippians 3:3)

– Erickson, Millard

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

Repentance Is

Repentance is the Spirit-empowered acknowledgement of sin that results in a change of mind about who abnd what God is in my life, what is important and what is good and bad.  This is followed by a change of behavior flowing out of an internal change of values. 

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 24