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9 Important Aspects of the Christian Church

9 Important Aspects of the Christian Church
9 Important Aspects of the Christian Church from its design in the mind of God, to its birth, history, worship, Cornerstone, and future.

The simplest definition of “Church” is “God’s people.” But we, like the blind men examining the elephant, see it in different ways. Here we will look at the Church from 9 distinctive views.

Our history of Church begins with its origin as a concept in the mind of God BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN.

Eternal Plan (God’s Design)

The Beginning of the Church

Like all things, the church began with God, who had chosen us to be His people through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Now that name had not yet been revealed, the Being that we know as Jesus was simply known as the Word. He chose us for everlasting life in Jesus, to be His adopted children.

Now all of this was in Eternity before the creation of time, man or even matter. But JESUS WAS THERE choosing us and planning good works for us and our glorious salvation and adoption as children of God.

The agency for all of this is the church, and the next view of our history of church is its origin on earth.

Paul told the church at Ephesus ABOUT THIS PLAN: Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before Him. Because of His love, God had already decided that through Jesus Christ He would make us his sons and daughters—this was His pleasure and purpose.

Origin (Adam & Eve)

The first manifestation of the Church occurred in Eden, where God placed the man and woman He had created and gave them His word. These are essential elements of the church,

  • Relationship

  • communication

  • the presence of people and God.

These elements were there when God created Adam & Eve. He blessed them and told them to Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:27

The Creator put them in a beautiful Garden, provided their every need, and taught them His will. They were free, perfectly made, and in daily communion with God. Eden housed the first church, and this was the only perfect one ever because there was no sin, no evil, and no death there. And although the foundational elements of the church began here, the church was yet incomplete.

But this was changed by these free, intelligent, and thoughtful people when they were tricked by the devil into stepping out of God’s will and disobeying His only commandment, warning against the eating of the forbidden tree.

It was through the agency of the devil that sin, separation and sacrifice were introduced and all elements of church came together.

I suppose the first church meeting was there, right after realized they had sinned. They were in fear of His just penalty of death, and no doubt trembled when they heard His curse on the serpent.

They were expecting immediate death themselves, but God was merciful and shed the blood of an animal to make them clothes to cover their nakedness. At the same time, He promised them a Deliverer who would “bruise” the serpent’s head, the first prophecy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Until Jesus came and shed His blood for the sins of the world, God set up a system of animal sacrifices, foreshadowing Calvary, that would cleanse their guilt and shame and temporarily atone for their sins.

But the final elements that make the church were still to come, our offerings of praise and worship and the symbolic cleansing by the blood of Jesus. These were soon added when Cain and Abel came to worship and sacrifice, and all the essentials of “church” were in place.


From the mind of God in Eternity to the present day and beyond, there is only one Church. It is Universal. Every child of God is a part of this mystical body.

While this can be clearly seen from the present point in our discussion, it would not be clear as our history of the church unfolds. Although the Church is universal, it is also local. The universal model is everywhere and through every age, the local is temporal and has been planted in many places.


As the history of the church began, the Church existed in only one place on Earth, the Garden of Eden. The Bible gives us no other examples of the Church anywhere else and although some elements of the church were practiced in other places in the world, those who were faithful and obedient to God did not see themselves as a part of the universal church, but simply as the people of God.

Later, the Bible would give instructions on how the LOCAL CHURCH WOULD BE ORGANIZED AND GOVERNED

People of God

Long before anyone was conscious of it, God had chosen us to be His people. Made before the world began, the occasion of that choice was hidden from us, but we see it unfold in the Bible. At first, Adam and Eve were exiled from God’s presence in the Garden of Eden, but He still loved them and communicated with them. Up until this point, all of the human family were the people of God and enjoyed His fellowship.

This changed when their son Cain murdered his younger brother Abel. Why? Because Abel made a more excellent sacrifice, a lamb the first typological representation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.

Cain was angry and jealous, and although God spoke to him about this and gave him a chance to repent, Cain did not, and instead rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. (Genesis 4:8)

When God confronted Cain with his sin and judgment, he was not sorry, but resentful and angry again. He “went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” Genesis 4:16

Now there was a division in the first family, and God’s people lost the first person who bore testimony of His goodness. It was not God who made the division, but man.

God blessed Adam and Eve with another son, Seth, who was faithful to God and the father of a godly line of people who saved the human race from total destruction in the flood.

The Flood hammers home this key aspect of the Gospel: sin leads to death, both physical and eternal.

The Flood was a preview of the total wrath of God that will come at the end of time, when Jesus returns to earth.

Until then, God, ever good and compassionate, made a covenant with Noah, the one righteous man whose family was the only surviving people:

I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. -Genesis 8:22-23

And God confirmed this covenant with a visible sign we all can see: the Rainbow!


That covenant with Noah was the first of others that would make up the complete covenant with God’s people that we know as the Old Testament. Moses wrote all this history from the Creation to his death in the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament.

These books contain not only the narrative of God’s people from Adam to Joshua, but the foundations of the Old Covenant, the Law (including the Ten Commandments), and prophecies concerning the Deliverer first promised to Adam and Eve and eventually realized in Jesus Christ.

These books also lay out a pattern of worship, consisting of a coming together before God, hearing His Word, and worshiping Him through praise and offerings including the sacrifice of lambs and other animals so that their blood could atone for their sins. This had to be repeated regularly in structures God had designed, the Tabernacle and the Temple, to affirm the Covenant God made with His people.

All of this was temporary, although in accordance with the design God gave Moses, but it was all also pointing to the day when the Messiah would come and fulfill the words of prophecy and permanently cleanse His people from their sins.

Jesus came to “save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) His very name “Jesus” means “Saviour,”

The Greek form of the name, Joshua or Jeshua, is a contraction of Jehoshua, that is, “help of Jehovah” or savior”. Smith’s Bible Dictionary, 1863.

New Covenant

The Old Covenant was based on the Law of Moses and required obedience to the Ten Commandments. It was a national salvation offered only to the children of Israel. To receive it one must be a part of that group, and so salvation was of the Jews.

Jesus came to save them, His people. His sinless life had satisfied God’s requirement of obedience to the law and now all they had to do was believe in Him and accept Him as the Christ. Many did, in fact 100% of the first Christians were Jews.

But the Jewish religious leaders would not accept Him. They turned against Him and collaborated with the Roman authorities to have Him crucified. In doing this, they opened the door to salvation to everyone, Gentile as well as Jew.

The Old Covenant had relied upon the ritual system of animal sacrifice, but Jesus’ death was the ultimate and final sacrifice atoning for the sins of the whole world, once and for all.

In Jesus the Old Covenant had been fulfilled and was history and was replaced by the New Covenant and the New Testament.

At first, the New Covenant operated among the people of the Old Covenant, but Jesus’ body had now become the temple, replacing the one in Jerusalem which was soon destroyed.

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 10:14-17

As the New Covenant began operating inwardly, individually in the hearts of those who believed, Christians as a body become both the Universal and Local churches at once.

Salvation was again of a group, but that group was now the Church of Jesus Christ, not restricted by national, racial of gender distinctions but open to all, to everyone who made an individual decision to accept Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for sin and to follow Him with their whole heart.


Missionary churches were the driving force in the history of the church for establishing both Christianity and the local church. In the first century, these missionary churches were launched by a “mother church” first in Jerusalem, later in Antioch, and later in other churches of the Apostles.

Today, missionary churches are launched by established Christian churches and missionary societies. These are aimed at sharing the Good News of Jesus and His love and operate throughout the world.

They are not self-supporting and often are served by missionaries or ministers who are foreign to their local. These missionary churches today are the ones responsible for the Church’s continuing growth

As they grow, the ministry is assumed by people in the congregation who set up local churches according to the principles of the New Testament.

Bride of Christ

In the Old Covenant, God’s people were seen as His wife. The Song of Solomon is the most concentrated illustration of this, but there are others in Isaiah and other prophets. In the New Covenant, this relationship is transferred to the church

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:32

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2

It is no coincidence that the Bible begins and ends with a wedding in Paradise. Praise God!

History of the Christian Church: Final Observations

Its beginning in the mind of God in Eternity past and its finale in the glorious marriage feast of the Lamb in Eternity ahead demonstrates that the Church has been fearfully and wonderfully made to be a loving and everlasting home for everyone Jesus has saved.

It provides a place, purpose, and promise for everyone, no matter what they have been, wherever & whenever they lived that we enter into immediately when we worship the Lord Jesus Christ and own Him as our Lord.

This article and blog celebrate the history of church and rejoice over every soul that Jesus has saved and placed in it.

If you are not yet a member, please accept Jesus today and join! If you are already a member, please pray or sing this hymn with me:

Jesus, with Thy Church abide, Be her Savior, Lord, and Guide, While on earth her faith is tried: We beseech Thee, hear us.
May her voice be ever clear, Warning of a judgment near, Telling of a Savior dear: We beseech Thee, hear us.
Keep her life and doctrine pure, Help her, patient, to endure, Trusting in Thy promise sure: We beseech Thee, hear us.
All her fettered powers release Bid our strife and envy cease, Grant the heav’nly gift of peace: We beseech Thee, hear us.
May she one in doctrine be, One in truth and charity, Winning all to faith in Thee: We beseech Thee, hear us.
May she guide the poor and blind, Seek the lost until she find, And the broken hearted bind: We beseech Thee, hear us.
May her priests Thy people feed, Shepherds of the flock indeed, Ready, where Thou call’st, to lead: We beseech Thee, hear us.
Judge her not for work undone, Judge her not for fields unwon, Bless her works in Thee begun: We beseech Thee, hear us.
All that she has lost, restore, May her strength and zeal be more Than in brightest days of yore: We beseech Thee, hear us.
Raise her to her calling high, Let the nations far and nigh Hear Thy heralds’ warning cry: We beseech Thee, hear us.
May her lamp of truth be bright, Bid hear bear aloft its light Through the realms of heathen night: We beseech Thee, hear us.
May she holy triumphs win, Overthrow the hosts of sin, Gather all the nations in, We beseech Thee, hear us.
May she thus all glorious be, Spotless and from wrinkle free, Pure and bright, and worthy Thee: We beseech Thee, hear us.

Thomas B. Pollack, 1871

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