Characteristics of Christ’s Church Mat 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? Mat 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The church of which Jesus Christ spoke is founded upon Him. Jesus built it upon Himself and upon the truth that He is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” People who recognize this truth, who in faith recognize Jesus Christ as the crucified and risen Redeemer, are joined to Him as part of His church. When we partake of the Eucharist, we are reminded that we are in Christ, a part of His body on earth, and that Christ is in us. Jesus Christ, and Him alone, is head of the church. He is its leader and controller. He joins us, fits us together, and binds us together as a unified body, one in Him. Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 2 likens the church to a building, a living temple, with its parts fitted together by God, with Jesus as the “chief cornerstone” and the apostles and prophets serving as the rest of the building’s foundation. Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. As His ecclesia, we worship Him in spirit and in truth. Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Christ rendered the temple sacrifices obsolete. Christ’s ecclesia contains both Jews and Gentiles on an equal footing. 1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. All members of this ecclesia are joined together in the body by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Jesus is our advocate, our intercessor, the one who goes between us and the Father. Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Christ, the prince of peace, gives His people rest. Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.