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Lecture 8: Article Eight: Ecclesiology (doctrine of the church)
The church consists of all true disciples of Jesus Christ. All things exist under the supremacy of Christ, and therefore Christ and Christ alone is the head of the church. The local expression of the church is comprised of disciples gifted for the work of building up the body of Christ, living in unity, bound together by love. While different local expressions may have different emphases, all are commanded to make disciples, which includes both evangelism and teaching obedience to all that Jesus taught. The church is to be committed to the reading of Scripture, the exhortation to obedience, and teaching of the doctrinal truths of Scripture, as well as to all that is necessary for the edification of the body, including worship, singing, prayer, and service, all to the glory of God.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be valued and observed. They are visible signs representing spiritual truths; they do not accomplish salvation. Baptism is the washing of the believer, signifying that in conversion he has died to his old life and has been raised with Christ into a newness of life in which the power of sin is broken. The Lord’s Supper is the present proclamation of Christ’s atoning death, and looks forward to his return.
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