What does the Bible say about the church?

Recent headlines have proclaimed people are leaving the church “in droves.” Even Christians agree the church is dying, that it’s becoming irrelevant.

But what does God say about His church?

Here are 11 Bible passages that tell us how God sees the church, how the early church acted and how we as believers are a part of its continuing presence in the world:


The gates of hell will not overcome the church.

“(Jesus replied), ‘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.'” – Matthew 16:18


All the believers were together in the early church.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47


Christ bought the church with His own blood.

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” – Acts 20:28


Our gifts build up the church.

“God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. … Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.” – 1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:12


Christ is head of the church.

“And God placed all things under (Jesus’) feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” – Ephesians 1:22-23

“And (Jesus) 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.” – Colossians 1:18


God’s people, the church, are being built together into a dwelling place for Him.

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 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.” – Ephesians 2:19-22


God is glorified in the church.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21


Christ cares for the church.

“After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.” – Ephesians 5:29-30


Christ is faithful to the church.

“But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” – Hebrews 3:6


The Spirit speaks to the church.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” – Revelation 3:6

Emily McFarlan Miller

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