Bible Themes

7000 - God's People

What the scriptures say about
7010 - The Church as the people of God
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7020 - Church, the
The community of faithful believers, of whom Jesus Christ is the head, called out from the world to serve God down the ages.

Scripture emphasises that the church is the body of Christ whose members are intended to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Scriptural understanding of the church is corporate, rather than solitary or individual.

7021 - church, OT anticipations of
As the people of God, the Christian church is continuous with Israel.
The OT provides important anticipations of the church.

OT terms for the people of God

The descendants of Abraham
    2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8-9; Ro 4:16; Gal 3:7
    ďchildren of AbrahamĒ in the NT refers to those
    who, like Abraham, put their faith in God

The saints
    The term for ďsaintsĒ means ďset apart for GodĒ,
    ďmade holyĒ, and is the most frequently used
    NT term for Christians: 1Sa 2:9; 2Ch 6:41;
    Ps 132:9; Ps 16:3; Ps 31:23; Da 7:18

The assembly
    ďassemblyĒ means ďa community gathered
    together in response to Godís call to serve
    and worship himĒ. Its NT equivalents
    include the synagogue and the church:
    Ps 1:5; Ps 107:32; Ps 149:1

The scope of the OT people of God
Israel as Godís people Ex 6:7 See also
    Ex 19:5-6; Lev 26:12; Jer 30:22; Eze 36:28; Hos 2:23

Not all Israelites are Godís people Ro 9:6-7
    Even within Israel there are believers and unbelievers.
    See also Ezr 9:8

    Those Israelites who believed were
    sometimes called ďa remnantĒ;
    Isa 1:9; Isa 11:11,16; Jer 23:3; Eze 14:22; Mic 2:12

Godís people included non-Israelites
    Isa 2:2-3; Mic 4:1-2
    See also Ex 12:38,48-49; Dt 31:12; Ru 4:10-11

The formation of the OT people of God
Godís people are formed through Godís promises
    Ge 12:2 See also
    Ge 15:5; Ge 17:5-6; Ge 22:17-18; Ex 1:7

Godís people are chosen and called
    Dt 7:6 See also
    1Ch 16:13; Ps 105:6; Ps 33:12; Eze 20:5

Godís people have been redeemed
    Dt 5:6; Ex 20:2 See also
    Ex 6:6; Ex 19:4; Eze 20:6

God formed a covenant with his people
    Ex 24:8 See also
    Ex 19:5; Ex 34:10,27; Dt 4:13; Jdg 2:1; Jer 31:31

OT people images of the people of God
As Godís bride Jer 2:2
    This OT image is taken up in the many references to
    Jesus Christ as the bridegroom and the church as his bride.
    See also Isa 62:5; Hos 2:16,19-20; Eph 5:25-27; Rev 21:2

As Godís vine Isa 5:1-7
    These passages form the background to Jesus Christís
    claim to be the true vine (Jn 15:1):
    Ps 80:8; Jer 2:21; Eze 17:5-6; Eze 19:10; Hos 10:1

As Godís flock Ps 95:7
    See also Ps 74:1; Ps 77:20; Ps 100:3; Isa 40:11;
    Zec 9:16; Mt 26:31; Zec 13:7; Lk 12:32; Jn 10:16
    The NT church is also described as a flock:
    Ac 20:28-29; 1Pe 5:2-3

As Godís inheritance Dt 4:20 See also Ps 28:9;
    Ps 33:12; Isa 19:25; Mal 3:17

As Godís family Am 3:1-2 See also Ex 4:22-23

Israel was sometimes called Godís ďfirstborn sonĒ
    as well as his children;
    Dt 1:31; Dt 32:6; Ps 103:13; Isa 1:2;
    Isa 30:9; Hos 11:1; Mal 2:10

Requirements of the people of God
To obey Godís word
    Dt 5:1 See also Ex 24:3;
    Dt 6:1-3; Dt 13:4; Jos 1:7; 1Sa 15:22

To remember their redemption
    Dt 5:15 See also Dt 7:18;
    Dt 15:15; Dt 16:12; Ps 105:5

To commemorate their redemption
    Ex 12:25-27

The focus of Israelís commemoration
    of their redemption was the Passover,
    which is one of the ceremonies
    lying behind the Lordís Supper.
    See also Nu 9:2-3; Dt 16:1; Lk 22:14-20

To love God wholeheartedly
    Dt 6:5 See also Dt 10:12;
    Dt 11:1; Dt 19:9; Jos 23:11

Marks of the people of God
Circumcision as a mark of Godís people
    Ge 17:10-14; Lev 12:3

Circumcision had to be internal as well as external,
    as a sign of spiritual commitment to God:
    Dt 10:16; Dt 30:6; Jer 4:4; Ro 2:27; Col 2:11

The presence of God
    Ex 25:8; Ex 33:15-16; Ex 40:35; Nu 10:33-36; 2Ch 5:14