1. What Is the ChurchRelated Media
What is the church? The English word “church” comes from the Greek word “ekklesia,” which means “a gathering” or “an assembly” or literally “called-out-ones.” It was a word used of any gathering or congregation—not only a religious one. In Matthew 16:18, Christ used it when describing a future congregation of people he would gather. He said, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” This church would be full of people who God “called out” from the world to be Christ’s disciples. In John 6:37-39, Christ said this:
Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never send away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. Now this is the will of the one who sent me—that I should not lose one person of every one he has given me, but raise them all up at the last day.
Also, in John 17:1-2 and 15-18, Christ said this in his high priestly prayer before going to the cross:
… Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you—just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him … I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world
Christ described those God gave him (his disciples) as in the world but not “of” the world. The “in” but not “of” demonstrates that the church, though in the world, would be vastly different from the world—in their speech, actions, values, and motivations. It consists of those who have repented of their sins and believed in Christ as their Lord and Savior (John 3:16, Acts 2:38, Rom 10:9-10). In repenting, they have turned away from living for the world (and themselves) to live for Christ. They have been called out of the world to be a blessing to the world. In Matthew 5:13-16, Christ said this to his disciples:
You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.
Who are the inhabitants of the church? Though it has a simple answer, like “those who repent of their sins and believe in Christ as their Lord and Savior,” it is more complicated than that. Historically, there has been great debate over this question.
Some would say the church includes believers in God from all time periods, including Old Testament believers and specifically those in the nation of Israel. (1) They would say this because some texts use the Greek word “ekklesia” to describe Israel in the Old Testament. For example, in Acts 7:38, Luke wrote about Moses and Israel in the wilderness: “This is the man who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, and he received living oracles to give to you.” “Congregation” is the same word “ekklesia” which is used for “church.” Also, Hebrews 2:12, which is a quote by Christ from Psalm 22:22 says, “I will declare your name to my countrymen! In the middle of the assembly I will praise you!” The word “assembly,” which in the context of the Psalms probably referred to Israel, is the Greek word “ekklesia.”1
(2) In addition, throughout the New Testament, the same terminology that was used to describe ethnic Israel is commonly used of the church, often prompting people to call the church the “new Israel” or “spiritual Israel.” For example, in Galatians 3:29, Paul says: “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.” Also, in Romans 4:11, Abraham is called “the father of all those who believe.” Therefore, though not physical descendants of Abraham, like Israel, the church is a spiritual descendant because they have Abraham’s faith in God and because they belong to Christ—the ultimate seed of Abraham (Gal 3:16). Therefore, it is commonly believed that spiritual Israel, the church, inherits all the promises of physical Israel. This view is often called “replacement” theology (or supersessionism). Likewise, in 1 Peter 2:9, Peter says this about the church: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues.” These are all things originally said about Israel, which gives further evidence to the church being the new Israel (cf. Ex 19:5-6, Dt 7:6, 14:2, etc.). With that said, many only see these texts as showing similarities between the church and Israel as they are both God’s people. Israel was God’s instrument in the Old Testament to draw people to the Lord, and the church (which includes believing Jews) is God’s instrument in the New.
(3) Furthermore, there are several texts, it is argued, which refer to the church as a continuation of Israel or replacing Israel in God’s plan. For example, Romans 2:28-29 says:
For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God.
Here, it is said that Paul is broadening the understanding of a Jew. True Jews are not ethnic, but those who have been transformed spiritually, including Jew and Gentile. William Barclay said this about Paul’s words:
Jewishness, he insists, is not a matter of race at all; it has nothing to do with circumcision. It is a matter of conduct. If that is so, many a so-called Jew, who is a pure descendant of Abraham and who bears the mark of circumcision on his body, is no Jew at all; and equally, many Gentiles, who never heard of Abraham and who would never dream of being circumcised, are Jews in the real sense of the term. To Jews, this would sound like the wildest heresy and leave them angry and aghast.2
However, many disagree with this interpretation. They would say that Paul is not broadening who a true Jew is, but narrowing it to saved Jews within the nation of Israel. Christ at times did the same thing in the Gospels. With the Jews who wanted to kill him, he claimed they were not true children of Abraham. John 8:38-39 details this:
They answered him, “Abraham is our father!” Jesus replied, “If you are Abraham’s children, you would be doing the deeds of Abraham. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth I heard from God. Abraham did not do this!
Only Jews who practice Abraham’s faith are true Jews. Likewise, Christ spoke of other Jews as being true children of Abraham—meaning that they were saved. After Zacchaeus repented of his sins by declaring he would give half of his wealth to the poor and repay those he had cheated, Christ said to him: “Today salvation has come to this household, because he too is a son of Abraham!” (Lk 19:9). He was a true Jew. Likewise, Christ said the same thing to the woman who had been bent over for eighteen years because of a demonic spirit. She was a “daughter of Abraham” (Lk 13:16)—referring to her being truly saved. It is unlikely that Christ was broadening the definition of a child of Abraham at that time since he originally was “sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” (Matt 15:24; cf. Rom 1:16).
Like Christ referring to a true remnant of believers in Israel (Lk 19:9, 13:16, Rev 2:9, 3:9), in Romans 2:28-29, Paul seems to be doing the same. A true Jew is one inwardly and not outwardly—referring to Jewish believers within the nation of Israel. Further evidence for this is the fact that Paul continually refers to the nation of Israel as a separate entity from the church throughout Romans (Chapters 9-11).
Likewise, the same argument is made about Romans 9:6. In it, Paul says, “...For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel.” It is argued that when Paul speaks of some being “truly Israel,” he is referring to the church, not ethnic, believing Israelites. However, in the context, Paul is arguing that God is not done with ethnic Israel. In Romans 9:3-6, he says:
For I could wish that I myself were accursed—cut off from Christ—for the sake of my people, my fellow countrymen, who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen. It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel.
Paul will later definitively argue that God is not done with ethnic Israel as they are God’s elect and God’s gift and call are irrevocable. In fact, all of Israel will be saved at Christ’s return. Romans 11:26-29 says:
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Again, it seems that in Romans 2:28-29 and 9:6, Paul is referring to Jewish Christians within Israel as being “true Israel” or “true Jews.” He was not saying that the church is the new Israel, nor that God has removed his promises to ethnic Israel. Paul actually argues the opposite of that.
Another verse commonly cited by those who see the church as a continuation of Old Testament Israel is Galatians 6:16, which says, “And all who will behave in accordance with this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God.” Depending on how one translates this verse, it could either be distinguishing between Gentile believers and Jewish believers or only speaking of one group—the church as the Israel of God. The NET translation, “and on the Israel of God,” distinguishes between Gentile and Jewish Christians, as they are separated by the conjunction “and.” The NIV translation, “Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God” seems to support the church as being “the Israel of God.” There is obviously merit for both translations; however, when studying how the term Israel is used throughout the Old and New Testament to refer to national Israel, it seems best to interpret “Israel of God” as referring to Jewish believers. John MacArthur in his book Bible Doctrine said this:
Of the more than two thousand uses of the term Israel in Scripture, more than seventy are found in the New Testament. Biblical commentators agree that most of these occurrences refer to ethnic Israel (either the nation as a whole or a group of Jewish people). However, some contend that on certain occasions the New Testament authors apply the name Israel to the church. Yet when the passages in question are studied carefully, it becomes evident that only ethnic Israelites are in view. Consequently, a compelling case can be made to demonstrate that, whenever the New Testament writers use the term Israel, they reserve it exclusively for national Israel.3
The view that sees the church including all believers of all times, including Old Testament believers, has been a common view throughout history in both Protestant and Catholic theology.4 It sees the church and Israel as the same, the church as an expansion or fulfillment of Israel, or even replacing Israel altogether. God has one people group who he is expanding his kingdom through—not two. Therefore, all of God’s promises to national Israel are ultimately fulfilled in the church, which now consists of believing Jews and Gentiles. Promises such as Israel eternally having a land, a Davidic king that rules from Jerusalem, a millennial temple, nations coming to worship in Jerusalem, and ethnic Israel being a blessing to all nations, in this view, all symbolize the church in some way.
The view that sees the church including only New Testament believers (Jews and Gentiles together as one entity) is called the dispensational view, which is probably the most popular view in American evangelicalism today.5 They would see Israel and the church as separate entities with many similarities, such as being children of Abraham (Rom 4:11-12), but with different blessings and callings from God. Israel’s promises are commonly earthly, such as having a land, them blessing the nations, and Christ ruling over them and the world from Jerusalem. According to dispensationalism, God will ultimately restore Israel to himself (Rom 11:25-27) and fulfill his promises to her in the millennial kingdom (Is 65, Rev 20). The church’s promises are more commonly heavenly, such as being seated with Christ in heaven (Eph 2:6), having every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Eph 1:3), being the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13), and eventually ruling with Christ, as his bride, in heaven and on earth (Rev 19:6-7, Lk 19:16-19).
(1) Support for the belief that the church includes only New Testament believers is the fact that Scripture speaks of it as something new—not existing in the past. For example, in Matthew 16:18, Christ said that he would “build” his church. The future tense suggests that the church was something new and not a continuation of something old. Also, in Ephesians 3:2-6, Paul calls the formation of the church as Jewish and Gentile fellow heirs a “divine secret” or “mystery” which was revealed to him and not to “former generations.” Certainly, it was always God’s plan for Israel to be a light to the Gentiles and a blessing to them, but Israel becoming one with Gentiles in the church and fellow heirs was never clearly revealed. In Ephesians 2:15, Paul describes how Christ “created in himself one new man out of two”—referring to believing Jews and Gentiles being the church. Since the church is a “new man” and not a continuation of something previously existing, this again suggests the church did not exist in the Old Testament.
(2) Additional evidence that the church is a separate entity from Israel and other Old Testament believers is the description of present heavenly worshipers in Hebrews 12:22-23. It says:
But you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect,
In this heavenly description of worship, it separates angels, the church, and the spirits of the righteous men made perfect. The righteous made perfect seems to clearly refer to Old Testament saints, including Israel, while the church refers to New Testament believers who came to faith after Christ’s death and resurrection.
(3) Another evidence that the church began in the New Testament and does not include Old Testament saints is the fact that the body of Christ, which is equivalent to the church (Rom 12:5, 1 Cor 12:27), was not formed until the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost after Christ’s ascension (Acts 2). In 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Paul says:
For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body—though many—are one body, so too is Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit.
Likewise, it was after Christ’s resurrection and ascension that he became the head of the church. After describing how God resurrected Christ and seated him in the heavenlies (Eph 1:20-21), Paul said this: “And God put all things under Christ’s feet, and he gave him to the church as head over all things. Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:22-23). In the Old Testament, believers in God associated with Israel; however, in the New Testament, believers become part of Christ’s body, which was formed when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost (Acts 2). Charles Ryrie summarizes this concept:
Though there is a continuity between the redeemed of all ages (simply because they are redeemed and their common destiny is heaven), there is a discontinuity because redeemed today are placed in the body of Christ and not in some sort of Israel. Similarly the redeemed before Abraham’s day (like Enoch and Noah) did not belong to Israel, yet they belonged to the family of God. So there are pre-Israel redeemed (pre-Abrahamic saints) and post-Israel saints (Christians in the body of Christ).6
(4) Finally, as mentioned previously, of the seventy plus times the term Israel is used in the New Testament, most clearly refer to national Israel, and of the few times that some believe it refers to the church as “spiritual Israel” or the “Israel of God,” there are compelling arguments that those also refer to ethnic Israelites, albeit believing ones.7 Consequently, it appears that the church does not include Old Testament believers; it is a formation of believing Jews and Gentiles who have been included in the body of Christ since the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost (cf. Acts 2, 1 Cor 12:13).
With all that said, though Israel and the church may be different, they are both part of God’s plan to establish his eternal kingdom and are both part of God’s people.8 The heavenly Jerusalem, which will descend to earth in the eternal stage, will have twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and twelve foundations with the names of the apostles (Rev 21:12-13)—representing both Israel and the church. Ultimately, God’s people from all ages will glorify the Lord in his kingdom throughout eternity.
If the church didn’t exist in the Old Testament, when was it formed? In 1 Corinthians 12:13-14, Paul said this:
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit. For in fact the body is not a single member, but many.
Paul’s description in 1 Corinthians 12:13 of believers being baptized with one Spirit into the body of Christ indicates that the church began and was formed at Pentecost in Acts 2. Before ascending to heaven, Christ told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were empowered and baptized with God’s Spirit. In Acts 1:4-5, Christ said this:
Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what my Father promised, which you heard about from me. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
Then, in Acts 2:4, God’s Spirit baptized the disciples, and they spoke in new tongues, symbolizing the new work that God began with his church (cf. Acts 11:15-16). Through Spirit baptism, God formed the body of Christ, which would be Christ’s visible witness on the earth. After being baptized with power from above, Peter preached to a great multitude gathered for Pentecost, saying, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Three thousand responded—forming the first local church, which resided in Jerusalem. As people repented and followed Christ, they immediately became part of the body of Christ, the church.
As often considered, the church did not begin with saints in the Old Testament but with believers at Pentecost, as Jews who repented and believed in Christ were baptized with the Spirit into the newly formed body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13). Later, Gentiles began to follow Christ and became part of his church (Acts 8 and 10). The church is Jew and Gentile believers unified, empowered, and sanctified by God’s Spirit in order to glorify God, serve one another, and reach the world for Christ, as his visible representation.
Invisible and Visible
Scripture teaches that the church is both invisible and visible. In what ways is the church invisible? Ephesians 2:6 says, “And he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” When a person is born again by faith in Christ, they are spiritually raised and seated in heavenly places with Christ. God reckons believers as his Son and the privileges and positions he has, they have, since they are his body (1 Cor 12:13). This is demonstrated in the commonly repeated phrase throughout the New Testament epistles, “in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.” Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!” Hebrews 12:22-23 describes this spiritual reality of believers being seated in heaven with Christ. It says,
But you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect,
This describes the spiritual reality of the invisible church, seated in heavenly places with Christ. The invisible church includes all born again believers, including those alive on earth and those deceased, awaiting their resurrected bodies in heaven.
With that said, Scripture also talks about a visible church, which would not only include born again believers but also professing believers who are not born again. In Matthew 7:21-23, Christ described this unfortunate reality. He said:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’
Christ describes how there are many in the church, sometimes even serving and leading in congregations, who are deceived about their salvation. They call him, “Lord” but are not truly saved—their life of iniquity proves this reality.
Likewise, in the Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds, Christ describes this. In Matthew 13:36-43, he said:
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world and the good seed are the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. As the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everything that causes sin as well as all lawbreakers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears had better listen!
In the kingdom of God—the place of God’s rule—Christ has planted good seed, representing true believers, and the enemy, the devil, has planted weeds, who are not truly saved. Planting weeds amongst wheat was not an uncommon practice in ancient societies when an enemy was trying to sabotage another person’s harvest. The weeds would choke the wheat, hinder growth, and possibly destroy the harvest. That’s what Satan has tried to do with Christ’s church.
Other parables demonstrate this current state of God’s kingdom as well. In the Parable of the Net (Matt 13:47-50), Christ describes the kingdom as a great net that fishermen threw into the sea, catching both good fish and bad fish. The good fish are kept, and the bad fish are burned. Christ said that’s how it will be at the end of the age, as the angels throw false believers into the furnace. Likewise, in the Parable of the Virgins (Matt 25:1-13), there were five virgins with oil and five virgins without. When the bridegroom returned, the virgins with oil entered the wedding banquet, but the others, who called the bridegroom, “Lord, Lord,” were left out. The bridegroom told them, “I do not know you” (Matt 25:11). In addition, in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matt 25:31-46), Christ described his return to earth. Those who cared for the least of these, including the hungry, the imprisoned, and those without clothes, were the sheep who entered the kingdom. As they served the least, they served Christ. However, those who neglected the needy were goats. They were rejected from the kingdom and sent into eternal fire (v. 41), though they called Christ, “Lord” (v. 37).
This is the visible church—full of true believers and false believers. Because of this reality, in 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul said to the Corinthians, “Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless, indeed, you fail the test!” Likewise, in 2 Peter 1:10, Peter said this to believers: “Therefore, my brothers, make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. For by doing this you will never stumble into sin.”
Believers must test the reality of their faith by discerning their fruits (cf. 1 John 5:13, Matt 7:16). Has their profession provoked them to a life of obedience to God’s Word? Or, are they calling Christ, “Lord,” but not living for him? In Matthew 7:21, Christ said only those who did his Father’s will would enter the kingdom. Also, in verse 23, Christ told the professing believers who were serving in leadership within the church, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you!” (paraphrase). Though they had religion, they had no relationship with Christ, and their profession had never changed their relationship with sin.
The church is both invisible and visible. The invisible church is seated in heavenly places with Christ and includes only true believers; but the visible church includes both true and false believers.
Local, Regional, and Universal
The church is also local, regional, and universal. At times, the word “church” is used in the New Testament to describe a local church, churches in a city or region, or the universal church consisting of all believers. Consider how Paul addressed the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 1:1-2:
From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
Clearly, there were many churches in the city of Corinth, but he addressed them all as “the church of God that is in Corinth.” In 1 Corinthians 16:19, Paul spoke about the churches in a region of Asia and a local church which met in Aquila’s and Priscilla’s house. He said, “The churches in the province of Asia send greetings to you. Aquila and Prisca greet you warmly in the Lord, with the church that meets in their house.” In Ephesians 5:25, Paul spoke about the universal church, including all true believers. He said, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.”
As we consider the fact that the church is local, regional, and universal, it should reinforce our commitment to all three. As believers, we should not be content to be a part of the universal church, we should be committed to a local body of believers. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near.” By being together and serving together, we mutually encourage one another, as we await the Lord’s coming. In addition, since a local church is part of the church in a city or region, they should not be isolated or competitive, but seek to pray together, serve together, and reach that city or region for Christ.
Finally, since all true believers are part of the universal church, we must remember and seek to serve the universal church. In Ephesians 6:18, Paul said, “With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.” If the church in a certain nation is experiencing revival, we should give thanks and pray for it to continue. If the church in another area is being persecuted, we must mourn and pray for protection and justice. If the church in a specific city has needs, we should pray and seek to help in practical ways, if at all possible.
As believers, we must be committed to the church, which is local, regional, and universal. Christ is the head of the church for whom he gave his life. As he continually loves, serves, and prays for her (cf. Eph 5:25-26, Heb 7:25), so must we. He said they will know we are his disciples by the way we love one another (John 13:35).
- What stood out most in the reading and why?
- Is the church and Israel the same? Why or why not?
- In what ways is the church invisible and visible?
- What applications can we take from the fact that the church is mentioned in Scripture as local, regional, and universal?
- What other questions or applications did you take from the reading?
Copyright © 2020 Gregory Brown
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1 Grudem, Wayne A. Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith (p. 364). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
2 Barclay, W. (2002). The Letter to the Romans (3rd ed. fully rev. & updated, p. 55). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.
3 MacArthur, J., & Mayhue, R. (Eds.). (2017). Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (p. 748). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
4 Grudem, Wayne A. Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith (p. 368). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
5 Accessed 9/1/20 from https://www.gotquestions.org/covenant-theology.html
6 Ryrie, C. C. (1999). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (p. 464). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.
Related Topics: Ecclesiology (The Church)