Grace Protestant Reformed Church

I Believe an Holy Catholic Church

Date: AM
Text: Colossians 2; Lord's Day 21
Psalters: 236, 241, 132, 380
Series: Heidelberg Catechism
  1. A glorious organism.
    1. As an object of faith, the church is a living organism, so every member has the same one life.
      1. It is a living organism, composed of only true believers from the beginning to the end of the world.
      2. It is one, catholic (universal and diverse, not identical), holy, and apostolic.
    2. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Head of the church and He is the life of all the members (Gal. 2:20).
      1. He is the life and the members live only in relationship to Him (John 11:25); He lives in them, and they out of Him.
      2. The relationship of Christ and the members is extremely close.
  2. The Head gathers, defends, and preserves to Himself this church by His Word and Spirit.
    1. He knows whom God has elected and those for whom He died, so them He gathers, defends, and preserves.
      1. He endured their hell, paid their debt to God, satisfied His Father’s justice and merited their righteousness.
      2. He gathers them, drawing them, and He preserves them by His Word, speaking as the Shepherd
    2. Thus God singles out the means of the preaching as His chief instrument to gather, defend, and preserve His church.
    3. The result of Jesus’ gathering, defending, and preserving is the visible manifestation of the church in the institute found in particular places (I Cor. 1:2).
  3. We highlight four glorious implications.
    1. First, the ones being saved are made to be a part of the instituted church (Acts 2:47).
    2. The church and her members must live in the consciousness of their total dependence on Christ, the Head.
    3. Jesus works all things in the history of the world “to the church,” i.e., for the sake of His church (Eph. 1:22).
    4. The members have the assurance that they are and forever shall remain living members thereof.