Question 48 - What is the church?
God chooses and preserves for himself a community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together. God sends out this community to proclaim the gospel and prefigure Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another.
Answer for kids:
A community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together.
2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
Commentary (from newcitycatechism.com Web App)
My brethren, let me say, be ye like Christ at all times. Imitate him in public. Most of us live in some sort of publicity; many of us are called to work before our fellow-men every day. We are watched; our words are caught; our lives are examined, taken to pieces. The eagle-eyed, argus-eyed world observes everything we do, and sharp critics are upon us. Let us live the life of Christ in public. Let us take care that we exhibit our Master, and not ourselves—so that we can say, “It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.” Take heed that you carry this into the church too. . . . Be like Christ in the church. How many there are of you . . . seeking pre-eminence? How many are trying to have some dignity and power over their fellow Christians, instead of remembering that it is the fundamental rule of all our churches, that there all men are equal—alike brethren, alike to be received as such. Carry out the spirit of Christ, then, in your churches, wherever ye are; let your fellow members say of you, “He has been with Jesus.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (What is the church? | The New City Catechism/#48)
King Over All, you have brought us together as the family of God. Keep us faithful to worship together, to love one another, and to provide for each other’s needs. Let our fellowship be genuine, and help us to spur one another on in the faith. Amen.