Basic Christianity 102 Church

Now that you are a Christian


Every Christian has a responsibility to help build up the church.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.                              

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

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The Church Defined

The word church comes from the Greek term ekklesia, meaning a gathering or assembly of believers. Ekklesia comes from the Greek word kaleo (to call), with the prefix ek (out). Thus, the word means "the called-out ones." The term ekklesia was used to refer to a group of people who had been called out to a meeting. It was also used as a synonym for the word synagogue, meaning to "come together," i.e., a gathering.  The English word "church" also comes from the Greek word kuriakon, which means "dedicated to the Lord." This word was commonly used to refer to a holy place or temple.

Body of Christ

The physical buildings facilitate God's people's fellowship, worship, and ministry, but it is not the church. God’s people are.

The believers have been united with Christ through Salvation, so they are corporately referred to as the body of Christ. 

Romans 12:4-5 (NIV) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Colossians 1:18 (NIV) And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Ephesians 5:30 (NIV) for we are members of his body.

The "Body of Christ" is "a holy temple." 

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NIV) Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple

Ephesians 2:21-22 (NIV) In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him, you, too, are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Jesus declares that He will build up His Church

Matthew 16:18 (NIV) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

The Church Is Set Apart. Scripture utilizes the word "holy," which means to be set apart. The Old Testament counterpart called God's people "a holy nation." 

Exodus 19:6 “(NIV) and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” We are "called to be saints (holy ones)" 

 We are "God's chosen ones, holy and beloved" 

Romans 1:7 (NIV) To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:2 (NIV) To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours. We are "set apart as holy" 

Timothy 2:21 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. We are chosen to be holy 

Ephesians 1:4 (NIV) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love


Colossians 3:2  (NIV) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. We are "a holy priesthood" 

1 Peter 2:5 (NIV) you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. We are "a holy nation" 

1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

The Church is the bride of Christ or Christ's betrothed.

2 Corinthians 11:2 (NIV) I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.

Ephesians 5:32 (AMP) This mystery [of two becoming one] is great; but I am speaking with reference to [the relationship of] Christ and the church.

Revelation 19:7 (NIV) Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Revelation 21:9 (NIV) One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The Biblical Church

Some have said biblical churches must have at least four things in common – learning, fellowship, worship, and prayer.  Many teach the five functions of the church: evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, and worship.  


We cannot ignore the responsibility of the church to reach the lost of all nations.  We claim we want to become an Acts 1:8 church.  If that is true, we - the individual members of the local church – need to be personally engaged in reaching our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost.


The apostles were set aside as teachers in the early church because they had walked with Jesus and because he had commanded them to make disciples.  God still calls out and equips people to teach others about Christ.  When we “walk with Jesus,” we learn from Him and He commands us to “make disciples” as well.


It's not just the “fellowship meal” we are good at in the modern church. God did not design the Christian life to be an alone, solitary venture. He wants us to encourage one another, enjoy one another, and build wholesome relationships with other Christians. As we grow in Christ, we develop a stronger bond of love for one another and are willing to demonstrate that love in a deeper/sacrificial manner.


Ministry is linked to that fellowship that grows for others from our love for God, we commit our lives to serving one another.  The early church considered nothing their own and shared with one another as they had need.  Out of our love for others, we also minister to the temporal needs of others.  There is a desire to minister to the temporal needs of lost people in an effort to share the Gospel with those around us (near and far) that are without Christ.


The early church met regularly to worship and remember Christ's death and resurrection. We gather to remind ourselves why we exist. The more we learn of God and His love, the more we want to express our gratitude—praise Him for His provision—and declare our love towards Him. We desire to gather with others to declare our adoration and praise. Music and singing are a big part of our worship of our God and Savior. We often move our bodies as an expression of worship, raising our hands, clapping, and dancing.


The “Functions of the Church” MUST BE bathed in prayer.  Prayer was and is the lifeline of the church.  If our church is not praying, we will not know what Christ wants us to do. The truth is, there is too much at stake for us to think we can survive without prayer. The subject of prayer is too important and big to thoroughly discuss here. Please learn more about prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 26:41 (NIV) “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Romans 12:12 (NIV) Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Philippians 4:6 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

James 5:16 (NIV) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Why attend church

God intends for us to have fellowship with one another. The Christian life would be impossible without fellowship. We need each other to help us stay on the right path, to cheer us on, and to encourage us. 

A community of believers is essential to God’s plan for His church. The Bible uses the following words as apt descriptors for the church: people, body, household, and family. It’s evident from Scripture that God wants His people to grow and mature within a community of unity and togetherness. God never intended for His followers to practice their faith in a vacuum away from other believers. New converts need the fellowship and community of other believers to become all God has for them. 

God designed His church to be a catalyst for spiritual growth. The “new birth-experience” (John 3:7), equips us to reach people for Christ. Therefore, it is imperative for the church to be about the task of seeing people come to Christ and helping them grow towards maturity in Christ.

John 3:7 (NIV) You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV) And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

1 John 1:7 (NIV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Ephesians 4:15-1, (NIV) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Sacraments of the church

In the Christian Church, there are religious ceremonies or rituals in which we participate out of obedience to the Lord. The two sacraments are water baptism and communion. Unlike Baptism, which is a one-time event, Communion is a practice meant to be observed over and over throughout a Christian's life. It is a holy time of worship when we come together as one body to remember and celebrate what Christ did for us.


Names Associated With Christian Communion

1. Eucharist:

The name" Eucharist" is derived from the Greek word eucharistesas, which means thankfulness, gratitude, giving of thanks, and words of gratefulness. It was the most widely used term in primitive times, as it applied to the whole service, the consecration of the bread and wine, and the consecrated elements themselves. 

2. Lord's Supper:

The Lord's Supper refers to Jesus' last meal with His disciples before His death. At this meal, Jesus instructed us to regularly take communion to remember the sacrifice He was about to make. 

3. Breaking of Bread:

The phrase “breaking of bread” refers to Jesus's broken body on the cross. Early Christians frequently came together for shared meals, which involved breaking bread.

4. Communion:

In 1 Corinthians 10:16, Paul describes the cup as “sharing in the blood of Christ.” “Sharing in” translates the Greek word koinonia, which comes to us via Latin as “communion.” "The cup is a participation in the blood of Christ, and The bread is a participation in the body of Christ."

1 Corinthians 11:25 (NIV) In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 10:16 (NIV) Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

Three steps in taking communion

1st step is to prepare - repent, ask for forgiveness, and get in the right frame of mind.

Prepare your heart and mind to take communion. Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 that everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. Paul says we need to repent and turn 180 from our wicked ways. We need to ask forgiveness for our sins (1 John 1:9). Above all else, we need to remember and acknowledge the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). 

1 Corinthians 11:27-32 (NIV) So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 Corinthians 11:24-25 (NIV) and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

2nd step is to partake - eat the bread and drink the juice while remembering what Jesus did for you.

The Biblical reference to eating (when not actually talking about consuming real food) means to partake, participate, receive for oneself, and take ownership. So when you eat the piece of bread/cracker you are acknowledging that Jesus took your brutal punishment for you. Take ownership by saying something like “Jesus died for me.” 

Matthew 26:26 (NIV) While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

The Biblical reference to drinking (when not actually talking about consuming real liquid) means to take in and bask in, to surround yourself in. So when you drink the juice you are acknowledging the message that you have fellowship with Jesus and His followers and You are enjoying the fellowship with Jesus and all of us here who are the body of Christ. 

Matthew 26:27 (NIV) Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

1 John 1:7 (NIV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  

Personalize your communion. “Lord, I eat this bread remembering and acknowledging that you died for my sins.” break and eat the bread. “Lord, I drink this cup remembering and having fellowship with You and all Your saints. Mahalo (thanks) for obeying the Father even to the cross.” Drink all the juice.

3rd step is to rejoice and celebrate what God has done for you

When someone sacrifices to do something good for us, we need to thank them. We need to thank and praise Jesus for our Salvation. “Father, in Jesus' name, we thank you for sending Your only Son to take our punishment so we can have an abundant life. We thank You, Jesus, for Your willingness to die for us. AMEN!” 

Water Baptism  

Jesus has commanded us to be baptized (Matthew 28:19). Baptizing means to immerse, to cleanse spiritually. The Biblical meaning of water baptism is an outward sign of an inward work. After being saved, we are to publicly proclaim Christ as our Lord and Savior (Matthew 10:32).  We practice baptism by immersion in water, which is how Jesus was baptized (Mark 1:9-10). We confess our sins (die to sin) (Romans 6:3), are buried with Christ (immersed) and are raised with Christ to become a new creature. (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Water baptism comes from an old Jewish cleansing custom. Jews were to immerse themselves in water every time they made atonement for their sins. Jesus made atonement for our sins once and for all, so we need only be baptized once.  

Matthew 28:19 (NIV) “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV) “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” 

Mark 1:9-10 (NIV) “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.” 

Romans 6:3 (NIV) Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Colossians 2:12 (NIV) having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Therefore, we obediently get baptized as an act of obedience and to show the world that we have died to sin and were buried with Christ. We then rose again to become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Water baptism does not get us saved. It is only a symbol of the work of salvation within us as we confess Jesus as our Lord and believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again so we can be saved from our sins (Romans 10:9-10).   

Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Extra scriptures about water baptism:

Acts 2:38 (NIV) Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

Luke 3:21 (NIV) When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened

Matthew 3:11 (NIV) “I baptize you with water for repentance.

Galatians 3:27 (NIV) for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV) For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles,    slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Acts 8:12 (NIV) But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Acts 2:41 (NIV) Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Acts 22:12-16 (NIV) “A man named Ananias came to see me (Paul). He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment, I was able to see him. 14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

My responsibilities in the church

Serving the Lord must be at the center of every believer’s life. God wants believers to actively serve Him by ministering to others in and through their local church. Obviously, salvation, when a person puts their faith and trust in Christ, is when the process of service begins. God never intended for the church to be a “spectator sport” where people show up on Sunday mornings to watch others perform. God expects every Christ-follower to use their natural abilities and spiritual gifts to serve Him faithfully.

Romans 12:3-8 (NIV) 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Acts 2:42 (NIV) “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers.”  

1 Timothy 3:13 (NIV) Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 20:28 (NIV) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45 (NIV) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Luke 22:26-27 (NIV) But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

John 12:26 (NIV) Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Acts 20:19 (NIV) I served the Lord with great humility ...

Romans 14:18 (NIV) because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

Galatians 5:13 (NIV) You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Ephesians 6:7 (NIV) Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 5:2 (NIV) Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;

Praise and Worship Together

The Bible is overflowing with examples of worship, both outwardly and inwardly. Praise shows our devotion and brings us together.  Praise is a cornerstone of our faith. We strive to follow the example of King David: "Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live." (Psalm 146:1-2). In doing so, we can worship in accordance with scripture and focus our attention from ourselves to the Lord.

How we do this can vary from church to church. Contemporary churches may worship with large bands and rich creative experiences, while traditional churches may connect with God through hymns and traditions from the church's history. We can express it in many forms as long as we are honest and sincere in that praise and worship. 

Participate in the Preaching and Teaching

It is one thing to come together and sing the praise of God, but you also need good teachings to remind you of why your walk with the Lord is so important. Listen and participate in the Word of God for guidance and to strengthen your faith in hard times. You need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ from passionate and knowledgeable evangelists, pastors, and teachers - someone who can equip you for the work that God is calling you to do. Remember, your testimony plays a major role in the development of other believers.

Local Outreach

It can be easy to get caught up in our own lives and problems and forget that there are people in our own neighborhoods who are going through similar or worse things. One way we can help is through local outreach programs. These programs allow you an opportunity to live out your faith, disciple your family, care for your community, and establish a positive reputation for your church in the area.